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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Looking through the Basketball Reference page for Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell, it tells me his nickname is “Floor General.” Is that even a nickname anymore? I thought that was a ranking in Space Force. It’s like showing up for your first day of work and your boss calls you “Coffeeboi” and for the next year you smile cheerfully while you pour the Folgers, always wondering what could have been had you brought donuts on your first day. Yet, T.J. “Floor General” McConnell is the kind of guy you’re not supposed to get excited about. He’s the kind of guy you plug in when you’re a month into the season and D’Angelo Russell is missing his 10th game due to bilateral leg weakness, which is absolutely contagious in Minnesota. So! Let’s dive in and see what the backup guard on the Pacers is going to do for your fantasy basketball team. 

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Jeremy Lamb went back to the bench, but it didn’t affect his game at all. Lamb still played the most minutes he has in the month of February and was ridiculously efficient, making six of his seven field-goal attempts, all three of his triples, and both of his freebies for 17 points. For the season, he’s shooting 51 percent from the floor, 52 percent from downtown, and 97 percent at the line. This level of accuracy is unsustainable so see if you can get anyone to bite while he’s on fire.

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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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Nikola Tesla was of Serbian descent and is considered one of the most influential people of all time. He invented the Tesla coil, the magnifying transmitter, Tesla turbine engine, shadowgraph, radio, neon lamp, Niagra Falls transformer house, the induction motor, radio-controlled boat, but his crowning achievement was inventing alternating current, which allowed electricity to be sent over long distances more efficiently. Ranker.com has him at the top among famous people named Nikola. That’s fair, but Nikola Pekovic is number two? Granted, there is no number but the logical assumption would be that the next Nikola listed would be the number two Nikola, right? What about Nikola Jokic? Scrolls down. Nope. Scrolls down more. Where he at? Keeps scrolling, Nopenopenopenope. Finally CTRL-F. Big. Fat. Zero. Man, F#@! Ranker.com. As for Tesla, he’s dope and even has an awesome car named after him but when’s the last time he did this?

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NBA officiating is a long and painful story. Being a dedicated fan of European basketball, it took some adjusting to watch NBA games without yelling at the screen multiple times throughout a match, due to some bad refereeing decisions. There are multiple examples of those, but few more mind-boggling than this technical call on Draymond Green.

It was not only a technical, but an ejection for Green as well. Maybe the refs wanted to defend James Wiseman’s feelings but it’s always Green’s bad reputation that leads to many more calls than would happen otherwise.

Regarding last week’s suggestions, I hope you followed my advice and scooped up Jeremy Lamb, as I recommended him before even playing his first game for the season. He was owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues but this percentage is now over 50% and this is your last call to add him to your team from the wire, if he is still available. The rest of the players also fared well, with the exception of Patrick Beverley, who never played due to a right knee injury.

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Shouts to Gabe Vincent on a 20-point, 8-assist outing in a rare start, but not much to take away for Miami with several players out due to “Health & Safety Protocols” (replacing “Load Management” as the hot new phrase in DNP lingo). It might be time to re-evaluate Tyler Herro. He’s been…fine (and he was again on Thursday), but he hasn’t had the anticipated breakout that made him a top-80 selection in drafts (currently ranked No. 160 in Yahoo! leagues). It isn’t due to a lack of playing time or touches. Maybe “The Leap” is still coming this season, but if I could get draft-day value for him in a trade I’d do it.

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We’ve yet to see this Indiana Pacers team live up to its potential. With cornerstone pieces such as Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and a nice cast of veterans to round out the team, this is a team that’s engineered to compete. But after getting swept for the third time in four years, this time in the first round of the playoffs, the Pacers saw fit to fire head coach Nate McMillan. Former Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkrgren has been hired as McMillan’s replacement as the Pacers look to straighten things out.

Being that the Pacers don’t have a first-round draft pick and Justin Holiday was the only significant player to hit free agency, it looks like barring potential trade talk (of which there has been plenty), the Pacers are going to run it back. It’d be a shame if the Oladipo-led Pacers didn’t get another year to sort things out. Things started out so promising in 2016, with the team pushing LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games. The Cavs would go on to get swept by the Warriors but let’s be honest, nobody was beating the Warriors that year.

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