The legend grows. 

With the Jazz hanging on to a 1-point lead with seconds left on the clock, Collin Sexton stepped to the line and choked away two free throws in a row. But our hero, Walker Kessler, Utah Ranger – who kicks posterior not just for a living, but for America – bullied his way to an offensive rebound and was fouled. 

There, he faced his most challenging nemesis of all: the free throw line. What’s he do? But, of course, he steps up and drains back-to-back; turns, and flashes a look to the camera that says, “Even I can’t believe how much of a badass I can be.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Regarding last week’s suggestions, Kelly Olynyk unfortunately suffered an injury that will sideline him for the coming weeks, while Jalen Williams continued impressing and I hope you already picked him up. Jalen McDaniels has also been productive and is a standard league player as long as Gordon Hayward is out. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Gary Trent Jr. continues his hot streak and thus his sell high window continues to be open for savvy fantasy managers.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, both Quentin Grimes and especially Immanuel Quickley had great weeks and remain premium streaming targets until the Knicks get back to full strength. The same can be said for Jeremy Sochan, who with an exception of a dud in the blowout at Brooklyn seems like a good value for the rest of the season. On the contrary, Damion Lee never got it going in Devin Booker’s absence and the returns of both Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne put a nail in his fantasy relevance coffin.

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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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Happy New Year, friends! I hope there have been some days of rest and rejuvenation for you as we turn the calendar over and start anew. Considering the tardiness of this post, it might be obvious that I was successful in unplugging and getting away from the tyranny of my computer for a bit. What have I been doing with that blissful time of solitude? Thinking about the Utah Jazz, mostly. 

2022 has been a weird one for Utah. During this time, an era of sustained success ended. Quin Synder got the boot, stars were shopped and shipped, Danny Ainge came home. Following these significant steps of a teardown, a bonafide firesale wasn’t just expected, it seemed imminent. The 2022-23 season of Jazz basketball, conventional thinking went, wouldn’t amount to much more than a long, slow, painful march toward ping pong balls the promise of Victor Wembanyama. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Regarding last week’s suggestions, Walker Kessler was already a hot add but Kelly Olynyk missing some time with an ankle injury makes him even more must add, while Jordan Goodwin had a good run and is still a steals specialist but with the Wizards healthier, he becomes more of a 16-team league player. Finally, Maxi Kleber got unlucky and injured his hamstring in practice, while the two “Sell” suggestions from last week, Jalen Smith and John Wall did nothing to change their status as players I don’t want in my fantasy team.

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Tuesday night’s five-game slate presents me with my first opportunity to bring you a game recap!  Normally, I’m the guy who writes up borderline players and streamers on Thursday afternoon, so it’s a nice change to profile some of the league’s studs.  It’s kind of like hate watching Hallmark Christmas movies (Mingle All the Way, among others) for the first few weeks of December before switching gears and watching It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story.

Disclaimers: Because I was too busy watching Santa Switch last night, and the fact that I’m on Greenwich Mean Time, I haven’t had a chance to watch the games.  As a result, all of my observations are through a strictly fantasy lens and don’t necessarily account for every nuance.  Additionally, all of my ranking references are based on category-league values as a default.

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Following back-to-back years of Top 40 production, Terry Rozier has disappointed so far this season, mainly due to some rookie-level percentages (in fact, his worst percentages since his rookie season as it stands). But he’s just a hot shooting streak away from producing as owners have become accustomed to, and on Friday he helped the Hornets edge the Wizards 117-116. Rozier scored 25 points on 8-of-21 shooting, 2-of-5 from deep, with 5 boards, 8 assists, 2 steals and a season-low zero turnovers. Charlotte has been paying the doctor’s new vacation home so far this season, and Rozier’s percentages should benefit whenever (if ever) LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward return. For the time being, the assists are up along with his usage rate, and he’s a great buy target, especially for those punting the FG% category.

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You can’t win a championship at the beginning of a season, but you can lose one. Much as it pains me to say, I think I’ve already lost.

After a successful Writer’s League last year that ended against Kostas in the semifinal and a pretty intensive offseason of thinking about hoops, I came into this year’s draft feeling like I was in decent shape to post a good showing again. But this year ain’t last year. Stats and success don’t carry over, and if you’re resting on laurels rather than applying lessons learned, there’s no way to bank Ws on account of “experience.” If you’ve been following Kelder’s weekly recaps, you might have noticed that my team isn’t anywhere in the mix. Indeed, you’ve got to scroll almost the way to the bottom of the table to see my name. A record of 19-34-1 is good enough for 11th and I feel all but certain the hole that I’ve put myself in is going to be too deep to recover from. I’m not quite ready to quit on some other struggling squads, but I think it’s safe to let go of preseason expectations at this point and set a different goal for the remaining three-quarters of the season here in the Writer’s League.

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The NBA on Friday Night rolled back the clock two nights too early (the end of daylight savings is Sunday 2 a.m.), harkening the days where big men ruled the professional basketball roost. There were myriad starting backcourts taking the night off with injuries and “injuries” (the league loves it when teams rest their stars on Friday night!), leading to a slew of point-forward play and 7-footers trying out for the 3-point contest.

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Another season is here and your weekly Buy/Sell column is here to help you decide which players to buy low or add from the wire and which players to sell high or flat out drop to improve your chances for fantasy gold. I’m very excited for the start of the season as we already have a few great performances to discuss and some not so great.

Please, blog, may I have some more?