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 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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Not that there was anything else much to talk about with the normal slate of games, but even on a night with a full schedule of matchups, Donovan Mitchell’s career-high 71 points in a comeback win against the Bulls would have probably taken the lede no matter what. Unless of course someone with the name that rhymes with Buka Fonkitch did something like his normal self. But enough about Harry Potter characters, Mitchell just didn’t create a loathing from Chicago fans. Nope. His 71/8/11 night also created so much self-loathing in Minnesota and Utah that they actually might raise up, the dozen or so of them, and actually, well, I don’t know what they’d do to be honest. I guess throw bad midwestern accents and Mormons at the rest of the world. I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something. Regardless, while Mitchell will have some hype follow him, don’t forget that, while a good basketball player, he’s still just a scorer. A scorer that the T-Wolves should have traded for instead and a scorer that the Jazz should have built around, sure. But for now, the Cavaliers have the spotlight in Cleveland, and whatever takes away from the eternal dumpster fire (now with added gasoline for obvious reason) from the Browns, well, something-something goose-goose and the gander. My homies in the Midwest know what’s up. Maybe? Here’s what else I saw during last night’s games…

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On this day a year ago, DeMar DeRozan knocked down a clutch buzzer-beater to steal the victory over the Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, this time around, he was not so lucky. Despite finishing with 21 points, DeRozan fell just short of yet another heroic moment as he missed the go-ahead turnaround fadeaway jumper that would’ve stolen the victory.

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It was tough to enjoy watching my Ducks eek out the Holiday Bowl Wednesday because every commercial break was chock full of warnings about shingles. I have never known anyone in my life getting shingles, and after that I’m convinced all of us are getting it next year. 

On Friday night, however, Minnesota had to deal with a case of the non-viral irritation known as Ingles: Joe Ingles. [Wow, Phil, way to send off 2022 with the oddest lede/transition yet.] In his sixth game back from injury, Ingles played a season-high 25 minutes and banked 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-7 3pt), 5 boards and 10 assists, and was a major factor for the Bucks in the second half, as Milwaukee pulled away from Minnesota in a 123-114 win. Ingles probably won’t garner enough minutes when Jrue Holiday and Middleton play, but is worth adding to the streamer board as needed. 

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In this life, do-overs are rare. The opportunity to go back and change the mistakes of the past is reserved for science fiction plots or melancholy discussions over a pint in dimly-lit watering holes. But over this last week, I was presented with an opportunity to do just that – to go back with the knowledge of hindsight and fix where I failed, to atone, to set things right. I had screwed up once and now I was gifted a second chance. Please, I told myself, don’t blow it again. 

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Devin Booker with the 50-ball! 58 points on 35 shots with 15 free throw attempts and six made threes. In short, Booker was letting that thing fly last night. The next closest player on the team in terms of shot attempts was Mikal Bridges with 13. Speaking of Mikal Bridges, he and Chris Paul combined for 33 points on the night. Notable players that missed this game were Deandre Ayton (left ankle sprain) and Cameron Payne) right foot strain.

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I’ve always had the need for speed. Since I was able to reach the pedals, my legs always pushed them to the metal. Video games helped to refine my urges, as the experience of playing countless other driving games gave me the experience and instincts to anticipate potential hazards while identifying slivers of space to maneuver through. For you New Yorkers, I used to pick up a buddy on the Jersey side of the GW bridge then see how fast I could make it to the east side of Manhattan. Sure, that was driving on expert mode, and we should’ve died more than a few times, but we always escaped unscathed. Oh, what a thrill. The same emotion is elicited when I watch the fantasy points rack up for Joel Embiid this season. He’s scored at least 30 points 11 times this season with three over 40 and a high of 59. On Sunday, he did this:

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Welcome Razzball Nation to our weekly dive into a player who is performing below expectations and with scope to bounce back. That is the key here folks, as it is not enough to just be playing poorly because let’s face it, the NBA has a lot of those types of players. The difference is that not all players who play poorly have a pathway towards increased production or a history of higher-level production leading us to believe they will be better. Essentially, do you believe said player will be better and if so, we highlight those types of players here and attempt to be strategic in how you may be able to pry that player away from their current team.

So,

“Hey Mr. CJ,

You can get this started,

Everybody’s ready to party, all night, all night”.

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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?