On the heels of a thoroughly meh trade deadline, Joel and Son break down all the big moves, including Dejounte Murray, D’Angelo Russell, and Bruce Brown! [inter whispers in ear] Or not! Instead, the duo discuss Dallas’ new frontcourt of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford, Buddy Hield’s fit in Philly, and consider the redemptive possibilities of Richaun […]

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Last night we saw the transition from Shaedon Sharpe the cool shiny gadget that’s just for show, to the I Gotta Have This In My Daily Life type of tool. 

With Anfernee Simons out 6 weeks [sad face] and Scoot Henderson injured mid-game, Sharpe took over with 25 points in the second half, scoring on all three levels and finishing with a 27-7-5-1-2 stat line (9-16 FG, 3-6 3PT, 8-10 FT). 

Sharpe has been hitting the glass early on this season, averaging nearly 6 per game (including several smooth offensive putbacks) and has 9 stocks in five games. I still need to see him continue to be aggressive, as the youngster tends to stand around and wait for his turn. If he can, this could be one of the better breakouts of the first couple months of the fantasy season. 

Here’s what else was noteworthy to me on another packed Wednesday slate, with some boring blowouts and a couple nail biters. 

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The Bergens are coming, AHHH. The Bergens are coming, AHHH. The Bergens are coming, AHHH. The Bergens are coming, AHHH. 

For those without kids, that’s Branch in “Trolls” overreacting because he’s scared of success (and friendship), just like so many fantasy basketball players will overreact to the first couple games, when regular bench rotations guys will be proclaimed breakouts of the season, and busts will be said to abound as the rust gets knocked off the boots. 

However, while we definitely don’t want to overreact, let’s remember: Branch ended up being right. You don’t want to be caught with that average penny stock and telling yourself, “any day now, it’s gunna go crazy!” [Checks portfolio, sighs with depression, gets back to basketball.] Keep an eye on minutes, rotations and usage more than the general stat lines in these early going. 

And with that piece of nonsensical advice, let’s get on with the show! Here’s what caught my eye in the 12 games of the unofficial official opening night in The Association.

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It’s March Madness time, and in honor of Duke and their successful season, the first without a certain GOAT coach who looks like a rat, I’m gonna focus on the Dukies in the NBA.  No, not Doookies, don’t be haters.  One of the best things about being a fan of them lately is the many fantasy contributors from the best college hoops program in the land.  It’s not their fault that they are better than whatever lesser team you follow.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Eight!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchups.  As the title suggests, I couldn’t help but come up with a bunch of forwards and centers this week, as there are a lot of intriguing options at the moment.  So if you like ’em big, er, this is the post for you…

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I’m pretty sure Ivica Zubac doesn’t have a pocket full of rocks. He’s definitely not skinny and likely has never gotten his ass kicked. He was probably doing the ass kicking. He’s not smoking blunts but has made millions without having to cut a quarter ounce. That said, if Zubac wants to continue making millions, he’s gotta keep dealing and ballin’. And ballin’ he did as no one can take Sunday’s game away from young Z:

31 29 3 0 3 5 0 14/17 3/3

Holy schiztnitz. It was a White Man’s World. The only other player who has put up a 30-point, 29-rebound, 3-assist, and 3-block game was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar back in 1978 when he went for 37 points, 30 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 blocks! As a Lakers fan, it makes me sad that the Lakers traded him away. And to the Clippers no less for Mike Muscala. And by Jerry West, who is the greatest general manager in the history of the game and ended up consulting for the Clippers.

“The Clippers, sources said, never even called the Lakers to inquire about Zubac. The Lakers made the offer and the Clippers gladly accepted. Sources said that those at the dinner table shared a hearty laugh at the Lakers’ expense.”

Excuse me as I go perform seppuku for the eighth time in my life. I guess I’ll find out soon if I’m a cat or not.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

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Buy Low. Sell High. 

It’s a simple concept, projected every week of every season in fantasy sports. And for good reason. It’s the foundational strategy to get the most out of in-season trades and improve your roster. The only problem is that it’s all based on general consensus of which players are performing below ADP and should improve, and who’s overplaying their hand and is due for regression. There’s always variable opinions on what the best moves are in the buy low / sell market. But, for the most part, there’s agreement of what players fit in that box on any given week.

So – if for nothing else other than a matter of practice – let’s think outside the box for a moment, using as an example the biggest sell high candidate of the moment. 

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Here’s a story of a man with two first names, who hit the age of 30, an age when most players say goodbye to their primes and buckle up for the descent below. And descend the man with two first names did, playing in 58 and 58 games the next two seasons. Many called him injury-prone and swore him off for fantasy. Father Time leaned back in the La-Z-Boy chair, grabbed the bowl of popcorn and just waited. But the man with two first names spit in the face of Father Time and proceeded to play 70, 70 and 65 games in his age 34, 35 and 36 seasons. So far this season, the man with two first names has missed five of 15 games and caused much consternation for those who drafted him. “We can squeeze one more year out of him!!!”, they said. It’s akin to having one taco left with no more freshly cut limes. You rummage through the whole table and squeeze every last drop out of what’s left. Anyways, the pain that has been felt by the Chris Paul owners has been nothing but elation for the Cameron Payne truthers. Over the last five games, he’s averaged 33.5 minutes, 15.6 field goal attempts, 20 points, 3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals. On Sunday:

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The Nets are leaning more and more on Yuta Watanabe, and he’s rewarded them with hard-nosed defense and a sizzling start from beyond the arc. Watanabe has averaged 24 MPG over his last seven healthy outings (scoring in double figures in five of them), and was a key cog in 29 minutes last night after scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and nailing five triples. With his 5-for-7 display from deep, he’s now up to a ridiculous (albeit unsustainable) 55.6 percent on his threes. A long, switchy wing who can keep defenses honest from distance is a good fit for Brooklyn, and Watanabe should stay in this prominent role as long as his jumper doesn’t go in the toilet. He’s a deep-league add who should be on the streaming radar in standard formats as well (three percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Five!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you down the stretch of your head-to-head matchup.  A number of last week’s recommendations panned out, with no-brainers like Aleksej Pokusevski, Cam Payne, and Gabe Vincent stepping up to provide big production.  This week presents a totally different picture, with a slew of teams playing just two games for the week and one team playing five.  Plus, we have new injuries and illnesses to consider.

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