Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 14!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  We’re now at the point in many fantasy leagues when the playoff race and its participants are well defined.  For struggling managers, you have to adopt a more aggressive mindset that prioritizes streaming over holding long-term injuries and/or stashing guys who might benefit from a trade.  As an example, if you’re in a battle for one of your league’s final playoff spots in a tournament that starts February 27th (Week 19), there’s not much use in holding Devin Vassell when he might be ready to play after the All-Star Break.  He’ll hurt you in the interim by occupying a valuable IL slot, and will likely miss games even after he returns as the Spurs adopt a cautious (tanking) mindset.  I’ll give one more example: Isaiah Jackson.  Is it worth holding him just in case Myles Turner gets traded if you’re taking L’s in the meantime?  Probably not.  Time to move on and free up that spot for guys that can help you right now.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 13!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If you saw last week’s post, I hope you benefitted from investing in the Marshall Plan – Naji Marshall, that is.  He was a far better investment than Patrick Beverley, who promptly ceased to produce after I thought it was safe to promote him again.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 12!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help your head-to-head matchup.  I’m writing this from Barcelona, Spain, where from 1936-1939, General Francisco Franco received material support from Germany’s government to aid his side of the Spanish Civil War.  The conflict served as a precursor to World War Two, in which much of Germany was razed, setting the stage for the comprehensive infrastructure restoration effort known as the Marshall Plan.  Does this way-too-broad history lesson have a point?  Well, I could try to tie it in to the Pelicans’ injury woes and the need to introduce a Marshall Plan of their own, but that would be a stretch!

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So after last night’s win over a strong Cavaliers team, I’d confidently say now that the Nets are around the Bucks and Celtics tier and a real contender… which means Kevin Durant (36 MIN, 10-18 FG, 5-8 3PT, 7-8 FT, 9 REB, 5 AST, 4 TO, +10, 32 PTS.) is a legit MVP candidate as well. That being said though, Nets fans can be a tad bit ridiculous. Seeing a lot non-ironic content throwing Steve Nash under the bus and sneakily laying shade on “distractions” no longer affecting the team and all the hate the team has been receiving over these “distractions”. My homies in Brooklyn, y’all ridiculous. Isn’t Steve Nash the type of player-soft coach that KD and Kyrie wanted and forced on the team? Then you have KD’s fragility from being rightly called a bus rider… and of course the anti-semetic and anti-vaccine stuff from Kyrie, as if that wasn’t the most egregious out of all of this… so yeah, Nets are a great team and are playing well and have triumphed over some adversity. And yes, Kyrie Irving is playing well too! (40 MIN, 11-19 FG, 7-11 3PT, 3-4 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 TO, +16, 32 PTS. Finished 7-out-of-11 from beyond the arc. Happy Hanukkah to him! But it was their own adversity that they so eagerly created by being emotional and/or hateful idiots, so do they really deserve a cookie? No. I want the cookies. It’s the holiday season and I’m in the camp that says Jews don’t have space lasers, so yeah, that deserves cookies I think. Here’s what else I saw during last night’s short slate of games:

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Christmas Day is among the most hyped lineup of games during the NBA season. But Friday, Dec. 23, was a Festivus celebration for the rest of us. After all, the Association exemplifies feats of strength and airing of grievances this time of year, as the slow-starting teams begin to gripe in the locker room, trade chatter reaches new highs, and the established powers of the season start showing more muscle in impressive wins. 

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Who else did a double take when they thought they saw D. Robinson show up twice in Miami’s box score? But no, that second one was actually an O—as in Orlando Robinson. The rookie big man nearly doubled his career minutes total with 36 for a shorthanded Heat squad. He made them count with nine points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. He attempted a pair of threes, though he didn’t connect, and shot 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Now, this was obviously a complete one-off as it was just Robinson’s third appearance of the season, but Miami is always short on warm bodies, so he might be fantasy relevant at some point. He produced an intriguing mix of stats, so keep the name in the back of your mind (zero percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).

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Watched a delightful little game between the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans.  They are my favorite teams to watch!  So many dunks, Ja Morant is great, I’ve been following Brandon Ingram since he was in my area high school, and even with Zion Williamson sitting, this game was teeming with talent.

I won’t bore any of you with a take on Morant (I, at one point, thought RJ Barrett was a better pick than Ja.  I, at one point, needed a lot more sleep).  What I noticed was there were so many good players on either team that could shower us with fantasy goodness any time someone hits the injured list, health and safety protocols, or is simply tired and needs a night off.  I’ll give some stats from last night and my take on each team.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Three!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  Ideally, you’ve been able to take advantage of the impatience of your league mates at some point in the first three weeks.  Unless a struggling player is at the absolute bottom of your roster in production, I recommend holding in most cases to see if he can turn things around.  This especially applies if you drafted a high-profile rookie or a player who is settling into a new team.  If he’s your weakest link, however, cut him loose and go streaming

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Son had a nice moment of self-reflection on the latest podcast, recognizing how he – and we all – tend to get easily sucked into preseason storylines that make us overhype or dismiss certain players without questioning the herd mentality around said player. 

Case in point: Myles Turner, who was discussed more for his potential to be traded than for his promising fantasy game. After sitting out a couple games and taking one to ease back to form, Turner put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 assists while shooting 3-4 from three, 7-14 from the field and 10-10 from the line as the Pacers beat the Wizards 127-117. The trade talk will eventually reemerge, but in the meantime, Turner owners may get to feast on a steady diet of blocks with quality numbers across the board. It’s worth remembering he’s just 26, when big guys usually enter their prime. If that age and experience turns into consistency for Turner, there’s Top 15 value to be had here. 

More notes from a busy Friday night in the Association:

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Does anyone remember Zion Williamson? Strange as it sounds, he still exists most clearly in my mind as a cannonball at Cameron Indoor. Basketball Reference tells us that there have indeed been three professional seasons for Zion, but none of them have been able to dislodge the image of him in the clean white and blue from my mind, youthful explosiveness so undeniable that the shoes on his feet crumble when he steps. Teenage Zion made quite an impression.

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The Nets defeated their in-state rival Knicks 110-107, behind a statement performance from Kevin Durant, who finished the game with 53 points (19-37 FG, 4-13 3PT), six rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. The 53 points were a season-high and just a point shy of his career-high. Andre Drummond added 18 points, 10 rebounds, and one block on a perfect eight for eight from the field. Bruce Brown, whose value and strong play has grown consistent of late, finished the game with 15 points (7-14 FG, 0-1 3PT), seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Nic Claxton contributed off the bench, compiling 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block. Seth Curry was a late scratch due to an ankle injury. The Nets have now won three in a row after losing four in a row.  During this winning streak, Durant has reminded everyone in the league and everyone watching at home just how dominant he can be. The spiciest and most hilarious result of a late-season Nets winning streak would be a 76ers vs. Nets first-round matchup—one can only hope!

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