Welcome to the 2023-24 Fantasy Rankings! We’ll continue this wonderful (is it? Yes!) journey with Forwards in Roto Leagues with other positions following tomorrow and continuing on through all the positions for both Roto and Points leagues, wrapping it all up with Dynasty Rankings. What will be released is just the rankings; analysis and other amazing draft preparational content (oooo, sounds so official) will be released after our aforementioned rankings “journey”. Remember, it’s not about the destination, but the friends we made along the way! Especially if it ends in a Fantasy Championship, in which case, it is sorta-kinda about the destination, which is also fine. Because who cares about friends when you can hoist a trophy? Literally or figuratively. Just as long as you hoist, it counts. It’s all about the hoisting. I think…

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Kevin Durant is back!

For what feels like the millionth time. How many times does this guy have to be “back” before it’s not even a story anymore? I guess he gets infinite re-entries on this – ESPN even used the exact headline “KD is back!” It literally never ends, but I guess we gotta talk about his fantasy impact anyway.

Elsewhere on OKC Thunder throwback night, Russell Westbrook went HAM against the high-flying Memphis Grizzlies. Let’s dive in and take a look at these throwback performances under the fantasy basketball microscope.

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You read that right. Valentine’s Day is an objectively stupid holiday, and after 18 years of marriage the wife and I were good with a nice cup of coffee and takeout for the day. Then I watched the Bucks vs. Celtics game on TNT, and took a huge gamble at that! It paid off though, but please honor my sacrifice for your benefit and click on this article multiple times. I took the huge risk for all of you.

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If you haven’t watched the ending, it’s everything that makes basketball great.  Kudos to Will Hardy, the Jazz coach, for not calling a timeout and letting the end game flow.

My first take is that the Jazz may not be as big of sellers as we all assumed they would be.  They have a solid young coach, a breakout star in Lauri Markkanen (28 and 8 tonight), and, when Mike Conley (18 points, 7 dimes, 3 swipes) plays, they are downright good.   I was monitoring guys like Walker Kessler, but I’m thinking now they keep the group together and figure things out.

Kelly Olynyk (5 points, 6 boards) would be a logical piece to move if they decide to do so, as is the aforementioned Conley.  I just give the Jazz some credit for not going scorched earth on this and playing well and hard, even if the end result was a close loss to the surprising…………..

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I was watching Dahmer the other day on Netflix, and there’s a scene toward the end of the series where Jeffrey Dahmer (infamous serial killer) seeks wisdom and guidance from a priest in prison. Dahmer says, “Even in Star Wars, I always liked the bad guys more,” to which the priest replies, “So did I… those characters are written better.”

With that in mind, is there a villain in the NBA whose storyline is written any wilder than Kyrie Irving’s? Back in his Cleveland Cav days, Kyrie was my favorite player in the NBA, and now he even plays for my favorite team – the Brooklyn Nets. And yet, for a plethora of obvious reasons, Kyrie has gone from my favorite to most hated player in basketball. For lovers of The Villain – like Dahmer, who was one himself – has an NBA storyline ever been written like this before?

(1) It all started when Kyrie dropped a bomb on us… apparently the world is flat. That’s when we knew things were starting to change in the young man’s mind. (2) Then he wore out his welcome in Boston, and capped that off by enraging Celtics fans when he stomped on their logo, Lucky the Leprechaun. (3) Then he became THE anti-vaxxer in the NBA – the poster boy for dissent – and cost the Nets their season in the process. (4) Then came Alex Jones, I don’t think I need to say more on that, followed by (5) The Grand Finale, going down as arguably the worst anti-Semite in the history of the NBA.

And yet, after all that disgusting content and embarrassment, Kyrie refused to vanish into Cancellation. In fact, he seemed to return to the court as strong as ever. Is he simply embracing his newfound role as basketball’s Supervillain? Let’s jump into Wednesday night’s NBA slate to get a deeper understanding of Kyrie’s fantasy basketball adjustments.

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Basketball is back!

It was a wild offseason in the NBA, one highlighted by more off-the-court news than on. Kevin Durant demanded a trade; then after a long, drawn-out soap opera, ended up remaining in Brooklyn.  The defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics lost their head coach Ime Udoka for the season, after he was suspended for an “improper intimate and consensual relationship” with a female staff member. Lastly and most devastatingly, the basketball world lost all-time legend Bill Russell after 88 of the most accomplished years anyone’s ever seen on this earth.

In terms of impact roster moves, old-school center Rudy Gobert was dealt to the Timberwolves, the Spurs’ best player Dejounte Murray was traded to the Hawks and Donovan Mitchell – after being linked to the Knicks in over 10,000 rumors – ended up being shipped to the Cavs. But without further ado or hoopla, let’s jump right into my NBA preseason predictions and rapid-fire fantasy summaries.

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Hey now, you’re an All-Star! Yes, I’m talking to you. It’s time to pat yourself on the back for a successful DFS season so far. If you were a losing player and now break even, if you were a break even player and are now profiting, if you just absorbed the strategies we’ve talked about and feel like you’ve learned something regardless of your current bankroll, you are succeeding. Yes, it’s nice to win every night but in this game the odds are against us. I trust you have been able to use these strategies to improve your process this season. Tonight is the last slate before All-Star weekend so let’s go into the break with some extra cash in our pockets.

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Welcome back to Thursday Night DFS Dunks!  The countdown to Christmas has begun! You have 23 days to master these strategies so we can beat up on those casuals when they arrive for us on Santa’s sleigh.  We had the day off last week so let’s refresh our brains before tonight’s five-game slate.

If you’re new to this article, I break down tonight’s NBA slate and give you my starting five for both FanDuel and Draftkings.  These will be my core plays (guys I’ll be playing in my lineups with my money) for hitting the cash line in 50/50s and double-up contests.  If you’re looking for GPP winning plays you’ll have to follow me on Twitter (@TimmySperos) and then we can talk. At the end of the article, I’ll have a pool of three to five players I like that you can use to fill in the rest of your lineups. It’s important to have a process in DFS so let’s review the strategies you should be thinking about.

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With the new season approaching sooner rather than later, I think it’s time for some “right on time” or “way too early,” however you want to see it, predictions for the season. More specifically, the top 8 seeds in both conferences, including the 9th and 10th seeds that can be involved in the newly implemented play-in tournament.

What is this new play-in mini tournament thing you ask? Well, we first saw it in the Bubble and it allowed the teams that finished outside the top eight, specifically the ninth seed to play for a shot at entering the playoffs. This season, the rules will be that the 7th and 8th seed will play in order to win the spot of the 7th seed, while the 9th and 10th seed will battle it out for a chance at the loser of the previously mentioned matchup, where the winner takes that last 8th seed. 

There are also the questions of who will find themselves with the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, and the Most Improved Player awards. I’ll give my predictions for those later on. This season will be one like no other. 72 instead of 82 games. No All-Star game, but an All-Star break. The usual frustrations of injuries, both in the fan bases and of the fantasy players will only be heightened since now we will also have inevitable positive COVID cases flying around. But who will come out on top and consider their teams “successful”? 

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