Being in the middle is…..

Bad for a sports team, as perpetual mediocrity permeates. No chance at the trophy and no possibility to draft a franchise-changing player. Bad if you are a piece of lettuce or meat between two slices of bread. I guess everything in that situation sucks as they all get eaten. Bad if you’re an avid surfer that lives in Nebraska. There’s good, though. You ain’t poor. Malcolm did alright. You’ll never be first or last. In the NBA, being a part of the bourgeoisie is great. You’re not the worst of the 1% of the ballers on the planet. But, imagine if you are a part of the 1% of the 1%? Kyrie Irving doesn’t have to imagine because he’s living the dream. Yesterday, he went:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 40 7 5 0 1 1 5/7 14/23 7/8

The Celtics lost to the Magic, 103-95. That should’ve been grounds for automatic disqualification from being the lede, but….a 40-burger is a 40-burger. You drop one of those and you’re always going to be a contender. Now, it’s felt like Kyrie has been a relatively quiet member of the fantasy elite, as he hasn’t been messing around or going nuts on a nightly basis. He’s the 14th player for fantasy and his numbers are almost identical to last year. Imagine if he was on a shitty team that didn’t play any defense?

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My Charlotte Bobcats fandom reached it’s peak during the 2006-2007 NBA season. My Bulls had been one of the worst teams in the NBA for nearly a decade and I liked cheering for the recent expansion team. I had NBA League Pass back then, since I was providing live box scores for a website more nights than not. The Bobcats weren’t one of the in-demand teams to cover, so I got to do a lot of their games. While the Bulls had just drafted LaMarcus Aldridge at #2 and traded him for #4 Tyrus Thomas and Victor Khryapa (yes, that happened), the Bobcats selected one of my favorite players right between those picks to join forces with other favorites Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor. That’s right, Adam Morrison was going to light up my tiny 19-inch box TV that sat beside my giant desktop computer as he turned (yes, people thought this) into Larry Bird 2.0! It was going to be fun watching this franchise, in just it’s third year, develop into a contender with those pieces.

Check it out! That weird, slippery ball they used briefly!

Okay, so the ‘Cats never really went anywhere, though Morrison did have some fun 3-point shooting streaks. I still love the snubbed and rightful 2012 Las Vegas NBA Summer League MVP and two-time NBA Champ (true). And, I still wear my Bobcats hat proudly (also true). Why am I going on and on about a player who only played in 161 career games and was out of the NBA four years after he was drafted? Because, he’s the theme of today’s strategy: The ‘Stache! I guess it’s The Stash, but at least I got to talk about Adam Morrison and Victor Khryapa.

This is a good time to stock up on and stash the players that might take off toward the end of the season and lead you to a championship.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Somehow, we’re already halfway through the NBA season. You know your team(s). The only major unknowns left are who else will get hurt, who will get shut down, and who will get a big value increase due to those injuries and the shutting down of said teammates. Aside from trying to grab some young guys that might get some extra run down the stretch, what else can you do to increase your odds of winning at this point? Well, staying active and streaming hot players will work wonders. But beyond that, I suggest checking out your team’s standing in each of what I’ll call the forgotten stats. Even the most astute fantasy player is going to be drawn to points, rebounds, assists, and threes out of habit and because of the way that we’re most often presented with stats.

I’m going to update you on the leaders in the boring and unsexy categories of field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals, and blocks (in addition to FG% + FT% and steals + blocks). I’m sure some of you might be much more focused on the % categories than I just mentioned, but I think most players treat them as an afterthought. So, since others are more likely to ignore these forgotten stats, take advantage of that and focus on them if you can stand to gain points there. I think you’ll find that these categories are often led by some lesser names that can be had more cheaply than the points/rebounds/assists stars. Many are even available in most leagues.

Here are your most effective players in order of Basketball Monster’s per-game values (percentages are weighted) by category or combined categories through 1/9.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Although kinda late due to the fact it’s a Wednesday column, I wish to all you Razzball readers a Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true and your fantasy teams win it all this year. Except if you play in one of the leagues I also play…. If you do, I wish a happy Second Place and a great drafting position for next year’s draft.

Imagine an extra circle above the last zero in Chuck’s glasses because I lack the Photoshop skills to put it there myself and let’s review last week’s calls. Both Ish Smith and Bismack Biyombo have been on fire since getting the starting job, with Biyombo especially returning top 25 value during these games making me very happy for the calls. They were in fact so much on fire as Vangelis Ioannou, a Greek sportcaster, suggests in the video.

Jaycee Carroll’s face says it all…I admit we Greeks are not world-renowned for our English pronunciation skills. Moving on, Jordan Bell and Willie Cauley-Stein were also productive and look to maintain their value going forward. Finally on the sell front, Jonathon Simmons has seen his usage decline and has taken a backseat to Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, while Dirk Nowitzki was solid but I still stand by my advice to sell. Let’s take a look at this week’s candidates now…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A little over a week ago, I had DeMar DeRozan as the lede, which you can conveniently read HERE. I got no shame in my game for clickbait. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I try not to write about the same players, but sometimes it’s an inevitability. Especially on a four game slate. Now, last week DeRozan scored 45 points and went 6-of-9 from downtown. Due to the three-point shooting prowess, I labeled DeRozan Triple D and proceeded to do what any normal human being would do….Google it. To my surprise, I did not see big breasteses, but instead saw links for a Jamaican restaurant and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. At the time, I was kind of disappointed, but like with most things in life, it takes time for things to come together. Last night against the Bucks, Triple D dropped a 50-burger. Nom nom nom. Guy Fieri was so impressed that he got DeRozan’s face tattoed onto his forehead.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 52 5 8 1 1 2 5/9 17/29 13/13

I still don’t think the shot from downtown is a staple in DeRozan’s game just yet. Including the two nine-shot attempt games, DDD is only averaging 2.9 a game. Let me take away one of those D’s. Granted, that number is well above his career 1.5 mark, but he did have a season back in 2013 when you attempted 2.7 threes a game. Currently, DD is a top 40 player for fantasy. If he can incorporate that three-point shot into his arsenal on a consistent basis, it’s going to open up the rest of his game and have him shooting up the rankings. 52 and 45 points scored the last two games he’s attempted nine downtowners. Seems like a logical path to take.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” (Vince Lombardi)

 

Sports in the 20th century inspired many dramas, thrillers and comedy films.”Rocky”, “Raging Bull” and “Slap Shot” became instant classics. Now in the 21st century, we have many dramas, many many thrillers and some comedy in our leagues. Injuries are a drama, and we have a lot this season, one after another. Players with O (out) and GTD (game time decision) are usual on any team, and if you drafted Willy Hernangomez or acquired Jahlil Okafor in the waiver… no more words.

 

 Here is how the action went down in Week 11 across our 12 RCL Leagues:
Please, blog, may I have some more?

What’s up Razzballers? We’re back with another edition of Any Given Saturday. Speaking of being back, professional basketball player Steph Curry returned after missing 11 games with his ankle injury and went nuts in a win over the Grizzlies. Steph went for a cool 38/4/3 on 13-for-17 FG (10-for-13 3P, 2-for-2 FT) and nary a turnover. All this in only 25 minutes. What a monster. Anyway, here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Who am i? My name is Ish

On my hand I have a dish.
I have this dish to help me wish.
When I wish to make a wish
I wave my hand with a big swish swish.
Then I say, “I wish for fish!”
And I get fish right on my dish.
So…
If you wish to make a wish,
you may swish for fish with my Ish wish dish.”

– The Good Doctor Seuss

I remember reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish when I was a little kid. The Good Doctor was indeed a genius. I had forgotten all about the book until I had kids of my own and decided to participate in the circle of life. Always puts a smile on my face when I read it to them. Anyways, Ish Smith first made us smile back in 2014 when he played for the 76ers and flashed potential. Unfortunately, he’d disappear, then flash. Disappear, then flash, until we pushed him to the side and forgot about him. Well, he’s baaaaaaaaack. With Reggie Jackson out 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury, Ish will be taking over the reigns at point guard for the Pistons. If last night was any indication, we may not have to wish for a dish. Rather, we may get lots of swish swish.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
 18 7 5 1 1 1 0 9/18 0

Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Merry Christmas Razzball nation. Hope you guys had a great time with your family and friends and continue to enjoy the holiday season! I always felt weird watching NBA games on Christmas Day, as they felt like the absolute contrast. On the one hand, you have elite athletes competing against each other in high-paced, tiring games while there’s me, contemplating whether I should stop on the fourth or fifth refill of my dinner plate.

Anyways, me and my five extra kilos will review last week’s calls, as always, before we move to the new suggestions. Both Nikola Mirotic and Josh Richardson continued their excellent play, rewarding owners that were quick enough to add them. The same can’t be said for Larry Nance Jr., who saw Andrew Bogut get the majority of Brook Lopez’s minutes while Alex Len continued his musical chairs winning streak and had an above average week. Lastly, I am pretty happy with the Jonas Valanciunas call, as his recent success was indeed matchup-dependent and he returned to his usual underwhelming self last week, firmly closing the sell opportunity for his owners.

Please, blog, may I have some more?