Yep, I’m going to subject you all to my friends and family league yet again. We’re at the midway point of our regular season after today, so I wanted to go back and see where my predictions from the preseason were right and wrong, and which fantasy players are performing better or worse than their average draft position (ADP).

What I hope you can take from this is how to better formulate your strategy in your own leagues, and what seems to work best for people in a relatively average league. Our league is listed as a “silver” league on Yahoo!, which isn’t really scientific but indicates our team levels combined are slightly below the average of “gold.” We have two platinum, one gold, four silver, and five bronze managers. It’s a top-heavy league, which is the case in most scenarios as the people who run the league seem to be far more invested.

Anyways, the below records and rankings are based on if the scores stay the same as they are at the writing of this article. Those are subject to change, but not by much.

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Boy oh boy did we have some great matchups under the Friday Night Lights this week ladies and gentlemen. Battles amongst some of the best players in the league with a few interesting storylines.

We had the battle of the top 2020 NBA Draft picks as No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards going toe-to-toe with No.3 overall pick LaMelo Ball. Then there was the matchup between two up and coming Western Conference teams as Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans faced off against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. And of course, to close the night, we got a dogfight between the King, LeBron James, and the Phenom, Ja Morant, as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies went blow for blow till the very end.

Definitely some interesting games with some amazing performances by some of the top talents in the game. So, with that, here are the standout performers from Friday Night’s slate of games!

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Now THIS is the Luka we all expect to see, not his bricklaying doppelganger who’s plagued us with his presence too many times this season. It was a proper shootout in Texas last night, with Luka emerging the victor. He’s still only the 22nd-ranked player in fantasy despite projections, but, shooting like this should catapult him back into the top-10 if he can keep it up.

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The number 3 is considered a mystical and magical one by many because the Universe is predicated on it. There’s the Holy Trinity. Three little bears. Larry, Moe, and Curly. Past, present, and future. Birth, life, and death. Beginning, middle, and end. Menage a trois. Yummy. Outside of a circle, the minimum number of sides you need to create a pattern is three. Only a third person can break a tie to decide where to go eat. Last night, Fred VanVleet, who has three capital letters in his name and wears the number twenty-three, went H. A. M.

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I’ve managed to end up in the positive three of the last four days while netting 65% of my bet, on average, with my biggest win being 10x my bet. The one day I didn’t hit was because I faded Steph Curry on a career night. Whoops. It happens. Let’s see if we can get the big one now and cash out.

And, by the way, screw Dwane Casey as I had Delon Wright in all my lineups last night. Way to go, you a-hole.

It’s a five-game slate tonight that starts at 7:30 ET and with the news midday yesterday that Kevin Durant is going to start a seven-day quarantine means people will be flocking to Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert in droves. It’s probably not wise to fade both of those guys, but fading one can make your lineup contrarian enough to nab the big one. I’ll probably fade one in 1/3 of my lineups, then the other in 1/3 of my lineups, and have 1/3 of my lineups with both. One important thing to keep in mind that a lot of people will overlook is that LeVert had his 61.3 Fanduel point blowup without KD AND Kyrie.

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Surprise, I’ve taken over the Wednesday recap this week, let’s get jiggy with it!

Nets vs Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks undefeated 2020-2021 season came to an end at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, December, 30th, but not without some positive signs of progress for this new look roster. At the moment, the Hawks have the second best Offensive Rating in the league at 119.9 and their opponent, the Nets, have the best Defensive Rating at 98.3. I’m not sure if these numbers include the data from Wednesday’s competition, but either way, the Hawks were the team that lived up to their statical billing in this one. The teams went shot for shot through most of the game until Kyrie Irving took over in the fourth quarter and the Hawks suffered enough empty possessions on offense to walkaway with their first L. Both teams broke a hundred by the third quarter and the final score of 141-145 tells you everything you need to know. Neither team played much defense in this game and that end of the floor will remain the biggest question for both teams going forward.

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When I play franchise modes in any video game, I try and make it as realistic as possible. I’ll play games out, accept the draft order, not cheese, eat losses when they come, make trades that make sense, and all in all be a good citizen. Injuries? They have to on for sure. But, but, but….I have a confession to make. I have restarted more than one franchise when stupid injuries occurred early on that didn’t make sense. That was my rationale. I feel dirty now. That said, injuries are a part of the game and they make me sad.

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Portland took a step back last year, falling from 3rd in the Western Conference to 9th despite the best efforts of Damian Lillard, who recorded his best season since turning pro. On the face of it, the most glaring difference was the absence of the Bosnian, Jusuf Nurkic, who sat the entire season with a leg injury. Losing Nurkic and later Zach Collins seriously crippled the Blazers, as they were forced to trot out a starting frontcourt of Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony for much of the season, though Whiteside owners weren’t complaining. The much-maligned big man absolutely demolished his ADP, ranking within the top-20 on the season. Say what you will about Whiteside, but given the minutes, he’s always produced.

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We officially survived The Bubble. We adjusted, adapted, and social-distantly cried or cheered depending on the fate of our teams. Bron Bron is yet again a champ of the known carbon-based universe. The Brow is newly minted and giddy in his child-like man hoodness. Horton-Tucker tipped the scales and made the Larry O’ come back to the smoggy post apocalypse that is 2020 Los Angeles.

Let’s pause a moment to think back on all that has happened in hoops over the last decade.

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