Dejounte Murray comes in as our fantasy star of the Friday slate, as he tied his career-high of 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. He was excellent down the stretch making clutch play after clutch play to lead the Spurs to a 96-88 win. Murray has shown his talents all year as an elite three-category player with great shooting numbers and defensive stats to go along with it all. He has been amazing, both in real life and in the fantasy world. Keldon Johnson was right there with Murray down the stretch, ending with 17 points and 14 rebounds. 

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Five starters failing to score 10, four starters scoring less than ten combined, three teams that should blow it up, two Mondays skipped by the author, and one comment section debating Jayson Tatum. I realize it’s still November, but if the mall and my girlfriend force Christmas upon me I shall do the same to everyone reading this. Last night in the NBA, players failed to score, Andre Drummond proved he’s still Andre Drummond, and the Bucks disappointed everyone.

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Much was made of the Chicago Bulls’ offseason, and rightly so. Following his promotion to president of basketball ops in 2020, Arturas Karisovas attempted to put the GarPax era firmly in the rear-view this summer by flipping the roster over pretty dramatically and moving the center of gravity away from a Zach LaVine-shaped black hole to a more egalitarian committee featuring new-comer Lonzo Ball, a full-season of Nikola Vucevic, and the $85M man himself: DeMar DeRozan. Ink was spilled and hands were wrung about the money spent on the 32-year-0ld DD and how all these new pieces would fit together, but considering Chicago’s position atop the Eastern Conference as we approach the quarter post of the season, it’s hard to feel anything but positive about the early returns on the new-look Bulls. DeRozan in particular has been balling of late, and following Sunday’s performance against the Knicks, DD is now on the cusp of the top-10 in fantasy hoops. Like Sinatra before him, DeMar is doing it his way.

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Y’all know that I’m mainly a hip-hop guy but I do have a diverse musical palette. I enjoy classical, jazz, and metal. I actually played the bass guitar in elementary school with “our band.” Y’all also know that I’m a Lakers homer and have been on Talen Horton-Tucker since Day One. Watching him in the first three games of this season has gotten me so amped.

He could always drive to the rack but now he’s developed the side-step J and really improved his outside shot. With his wingspan, the defensive ability has always been there. This AC/DC song just kept playing in my head watching THT play last night in Milwaukee:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
25 12 3 2 1 3 3/6 9/18 4/4

In three games so far, he’s the number four player in fantasy!!! Alright, small sample size and he’s been getting a ton of run with LeBron James out of the lineup. There is uncertainty as to what exactly his role will be and how much run he will get when LeBron returns, but he’s going to be an important part of the rotation. If he’s still out there, scoop him up for sure.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Regarding last week’s suggestions both Lethal Weapons (Frank Kaminski and Javale McGee) were great streaming plays but can be safely dropped with Deandre Ayton back in action, while Jrue Holiday improved his play and can be no longer viewed as a buy-low. Daniel Theis had an ok week for streaming as well and regarding the sell candidates, both Chris Boucher and De’Andre Hunter proved me right as they continue to provide no value in standard leagues, while Cole Anthony continues his hot streak and I continue to see him as an excellent sell-very-high, if I may create this term.

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The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 114-116 on Sunday night, making them 3-3 since LeBron James has been sidelined due to an abdominal injury. None of the victories have been particularly impressive, but they’re doing what they need to do—staying afloat until they get healthy. After a lackluster performance that led to a 24-point loss to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves in their previous contest, Anthony Davis set the tone early for the purple and gold in this game. Davis had 19 points (8-10 FG) in the first quarter and finished the game with 32 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block. It was the kind of dominating performance the Lakers will need in James’ absence as well as when he returns if the Lakers have any hope of achieving their championship goals. This game also saw Talen Horton-Tucker return from injury, pushing Kent Bazemore all the way out of the starting lineup and into a DNP (Coach’s Decision). Horton-Tucker had a solid game with 17 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block. Carmelo Anthony continues to shoot the ball well at home and he received a surprise start in this game. He finished the contest with 15 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 3PT) and five rebounds. He’s still shooting a ridiculous 47.3% from three on the season and an even more ridiculous 56% from three at home. Finally, Russell Westbrook had a quiet, efficient night for the Lakers. I might contend that quiet and efficient should be the goal for most of Westbrook’s contest given his rocky start to the season, but that’s a conversation for another day. Westbrook finished the game with 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-5 3PT), 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and seven turnovers.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Patrick Beverley continues to start even with D’Angelo Russell returning and looks like a solid pickup for the rest of the season. Damian Lillard had some encouraging signs in his last games so the buy-low window might be closing, Furkan Korkmaz was and will remain a great streamer for as long as the 76ers are not at full strength, while Derrick Jones Jr didn’t bring the defensive stats we were hoping but remains a specialist streamer. On the sell front, all of Kelly Oubre, Joe Harris, Duncan Robinson did nothing to improve their status, while the sell high window for Kyle Kuzma is shrinking with Rui Hachimura reportedly nearing a return in the coming weeks.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Three!  The goal of this post is to provide you with streaming suggestions for the final days of your head-to-head matchups.  As we approach the ten-game mark, there’s less and less guesswork in determining who’s fantasy relevant.  We’re also gaining more clarity on who’s going to significantly underperform their pre-draft ranking.  If you’re like me and you took a conservative approach to adding and dropping players in the first two weeks, I believe we’ve seen enough to begin cutting players who are consistently performing as your squad’s weak link – especially if you don’t currently have a streaming spot.  Ideally, this post will help you objectively evaluate how you can upgrade your team.

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A few weeks back, before the RazzJam drafts started, Son and I were talking about strategies for the upcoming year. “Talking about strategies” is a generous way of describing my contributions to the discussion. Mostly I was bellyaching about the mistakes I made last year (double guard to start, no real center…ever) and committing to not doing that again. Son, who I’m sure was saying something brilliant and valuable and actionable, was mostly there as a witness to me turning over new leaves. 

Draft season kicked off with the RazzJam (slow draft, four-hour timer. Mine took 13 days to complete), and I was enjoying it so much that I kept finding myself in more draft rooms. By the time my RCL draft wrapped up on Monday night, I had seven rosters to manage — a medley of H2H and roto, 10- and 12- teamers, weekly and daily — which is significantly more than I normally play.  

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