Well, there’s certainly been no lack of news this past week! No fantasy sport is safe from injuries, even in the preseason! Well, maybe fantasy fishing (yes, I’ve played it!).
As reported everywhere, even on tweens.com (I hope that’s not a real site and/or not an illegal site! Not gonna find out in my web history!), Kevin Durant has a broken bone in his foot, and the initial timetable in 6-8 weeks. But of course given it’s KD, and we’re nearing the home stretch of the fantasy drafting window, there’s all sorts of shrouds of uncertainty. First there’s surgery vs. non-surgery, which I’m guessing the latter involves rum and Jobu, but I’m no voodoo. Despite my limited knowledge on Jones fractures, I am hoping he opts for the surgery. If he doesn’t get it, it seems like Durant is playing with fire. We saw the Thunder bring back Westbrook earlier than expected last year with his knee issues, then he suffered re-injury (of course, causation is merely speculative). Which leads to point number two – either way you look at it surgery vs. non-surgery, Jones fractures are all sorts of tricky. Lingering issues, re-injuring it, it’s all up in the air. My perspective is Durantula has been healthy for virtually his whole career, spanning 7 seasons. So I’m optimistic he can be a fast healer, and splitting the difference of 6-8 weeks to 7 weeks out. Given when news broke, that’s missing just over a month of the regular season.
In my re-ranks I published yesterday, I only moved KD down to 2 with Anthony Davis up to #1 (side note – found this article with NBA MVP odds, how can I hop in on this?! Brow 25/1?! I’ll throw $10 on him to win $250!). In H2H, if you’re a confident manager, you can stream and bear a .500 record for a month. Then you have KD for the playoffs! I think if you try to sell right now in a panic if you’ve already drafted, or let him fall too far in your draft, you’ll be kicking yourself in the postseason. All that said, in Roto, I’m probably letting him fall until at least the middle of the first round. Having by far the best per-game player for the fantasy playoffs weeks obviously doesn’t matter. Hopefully by early next week there’s a little more clarity on Durant, and I’ll have one final rankings revision next Wednesday. Here’s what else has gone down in fantasy hoops since the last wrap-up (which will be daily during the season!):
Anthony Davis – 26/8/0/1/4 shooting 9-11 FG and 8-10 FT. Mmmmmmmm. It’s like he dedicated last night’s preseason game against the Rockets to Razzball’s re-ranks.
Russell Westbrook – Moved him up from 10 to 8. Nothing too drastic, the big debate is John Wall or RW. Slim did an awesome in-depth look at this two against each other, and said on yesterday’s Pod he’s still going Wall. It’s just enough time without KD to make me flip the script and flip-flop (double flipping, is that like a double negative?) Westbrook ahead of Wall now. While you obviously get huge scoring and theoretically a boatload of assists (12 last night against a Mike Conley-less Grizzlies = dimebag dozen!), his FG% and TO are going to brutal some weeks (7 TO in that game).
Bradley Beal – Broke his wrist, and will miss a little less than the first month of the season if his timetable holds true. Wall gets a mini-boost like Westbrook with increased importance to his team, but Beal ain’t Durant! Don’t think Wall will have to press as much and the TO are about as bad anyway. Probably filling in is Glen Rice Jr., who after a huge Summer League looked good in his debut to preseason (18 Pts, 3 treys). But since then has done a whole lot of nothing in three subsequent games, capped off with a 2/0/0/0/1 line shooting 1-6 in 22 minutes as the starter Monday. It’s preseason, sure, but Otto Porter is looking more and more saucy. He’s a little big for a SG (6’8″), but I think they could slot him there at times. 13/6 in that same preseason game on Monday night, and played aggressive with 6-10 FT. I don’t have Rice Jr. ranked, he’s going to be a very empty ThrAGNOF, but with Paul Pierce as old as the peach buckets Dr. Naismith used to invent basketball, Porter is going to get a lot of run (helps he had a dynamite Summer League performance as well – first-team selection). Shooting up my ranks.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Razzball Nation! Start the KCP chant! Well, sorta. Jodie Meeks went from seemingly non-threatening back spasms to missing AT LEAST the next two months with a stress reaction. Nice spending, Detroit! Can Obama bail out the Pistons? Anyway, this all but assures KCP a starting gig and Meeks is out of my top 200 and droppable in all leagues. BUT! KCP is ailing with a knee strain himself. And even in a big starting role, KCP really only brings you 3s/Pts/Stls/very low TO. I’m not sure exactly what this will do to KCP’s ADP (acronym overload!), but he’s still one spot behind Rodney Stuckey (who I like a ton) for me. Both just out of the top 100. Still should price me into getting KCP in a lot of remaining drafts.
Reggie Jackson – Dealing with a bruised wrist, and sat out last night’s preseason game. Reportedly bruised his wrist when he was massaging Durant’s feet, and the foot oil made his wrist slip, breaking Durant’s foot for a harsh wrist-on-footbone accident. RJax should be back in preseason action in another game or two, I moved him up to 85 with no Durant.
Steven Adams – Fueled by the haka ritual! 9-11 FG last night for 22/6/1/1/1 in only 21 minutes. Butttttt, no Marc Gasol on D. Still, having a pretty ridiculous preseason, shooting 25-28 from the field in three games and averaging 2 steals and 2 blocks a game. The moral of this story is if you draft him and he starts slow, send him a tweet being ignorant of his rituals.
Jeremy Lamb – Another Thunderite having a pretty unreal preseason, capped off by 23/6/4 last night. He’s always had some pretty good tools, especially a nice rack. As in, good at driving to the rack! I mean, like a rack of lamb joke! Ahhhhh! This Thunder turmoil is destroying my brain cells more than senior year of college!
Ty Lawson – There’s been a lot of concern about Ty’s poor ol’ Ank’s, but hey, he’s still playing in the preseason! Sure wouldn’t be if it was that big an issue… Got 7 dimes in 24 minutes against the Bulls Monday – think he’ll be fine.
Rudy Gobert – Holy elbow! 11/20, and despite getting no blocks did register 2 steals Monday night against the Clips. Meanwhile, awful Enes Kanter played 19 minutes, shot 2-9, and had only 3 rebounds. Frenchy doesn’t need big minutes to be useful!
Dante Exum – Played 22 minutes as well. And did about the polar opposite! 8 turnovers and nothing else that good. Aussie doesn’t need big minutes to rack up TOs!
Terrence Jones – Seems like rankers everywhere are catching up with Razzball! Lines like Monday night’s 18/7/2/3/1 with nary a TO in 27:34 isn’t going to help me get him as a sleeper! But disappearing in 18 minutes like he did last night will! Preseason is meaningless… Like how Adam Silver is making a preseason game 44 minutes just to see what it’s like. Next thing you know, the NBA is using the court from SlamBall, or use the MTV Rock N’ Jock system of two baskets with one 15 feet high. Gimme a break, Silver!
Kemba Walker – Bruised his knee, but doesn’t sound serious. In other news, he better be OK because Brian Roberts is terrible! Go Hornets!
Elfrid Payton – Got 31 minutes in a start Monday, and got lots of stats on his shelfrid! Eh, a stretch there… 14/6/5/1/0, hit a trey, but it comes with the bad – 5 TOs and 1-3 FT. Those are gonna eat into his value. 8/5/5 the game before, only 1 TO in that one which is purdy, but 0-2 FT. Luke Ridnour wins the “scrub quote of the week” award by saying Elfrid on the Shelfrid is “beyond his years” at PG. White Chocolate is a better PG than you at 38, Ridnour!
Tobias Harris – Looking really good this preseason, in a sneaky way. I moved him up to 95 in my ranks, and as I mention there, I think the sour taste of bad-ankle-itis that ruined his first half of 13-14 is still lingering. Plus Channing Frye is still hurt with his sprained MCL, and is like, 67 -years-old. Harris has shot 50% or better every game this preseason with 14 or more points. Chipping in boards, mix in a steal and a block, and baby you got a stew goin’!
Andre Iguodala – 8 assists leading the 2nd unit on Monday night. When will the Warriors official-ize this?! Shaun Livingston is still recovering from a bad toe, and Iggy needs to facilitate to the second unit. And Draymond Green needs to start!
Jameer Nelson – Dimebag alert! In 25 minutes racked up 10 dimes on Monday. Raymond Felton slipped on a banana peel, and has a high ankle sprain. I know what you’re thinking. “Why the hell was Felton near healthy food?!” It was at Ben & Jerry’s for a banana split OK! And he ordered it holding the banana! High ankle sprains can linger in a bad way, especially for NBA players with the body type of Fat Albert, so hey, hey, hey! to the top 100, Jameer!
Greg Monroe – On Sunday against the Wizards, went 17/10/1/2/1. Gives Monroe two monster preseason games sandwiched with a 10/9 performance in-between. Interesting; he might be playing with some fire after he went all Gone Gone Chasin’ Waterfalls at the Detroit PD…
Marcus Smart – Still looks bad. 5/1/1/2/0 with 4 TOs and 1-5 FG (all from behind the arc) in his last game on Saturday. Weird. Friday the game before, 1-8 FG 1-7 3PTM. Did get 7 assists to 3 TO, but 4-8 FT in that one. Stevens is like “aight Marcus, only shoot 3s. It might make you put up awful stats across the board to try to be a player you’re not, but what the hell, I’m gettin’ paid more than bein’ at Butler!”
Mario Chalmers – Missed again last night with a hip pointer. Here’s a pointer! Don’t draft Chalmers. Norris Cole had started the last two preseason games anyway, and while Cole is the furthest thing from interesting, it’s a backcourt I want nothing to do with.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Deep league alert! Gerald Henderson has a hurt hammy that could linger right until opening night, and is really an unnecessary guy to start for the Hornets. Kemba/Stephenson/Marvin Williams/Al Jefferson can all score (well, Marvin can camp behind the arc and hit a trey), so offense-only Hendo (and barely at that!) makes no sense to start. I think MKG is going to surprise. Near rainbow on Monday (14/4/1/2/3) and while his shot is still awful, can rack up the defensive stats on the starting 5.
Ramon Sessions – He’s good in China! 18/3/4 in an exhibition against the Nets in Shanghai in 30 minutes. Darren Collison was fine too, with an eerily similar 15/3/4. Coexisting feels so nice! Confucius say, “JB move Nik Stauskas down!”
Giannis Antetokounmpo – As reported by Slim on the Pod yesterday, started at PG last night… And was… Dreadful. 0-5 FG and racked up 5 fouls in 23 minutes playing defense against… Matthew Dellavadova? A snowman could play better D! Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall both sat out, so I think the Antetok experiment at PG is now over.
John Henson – 24 minutes off the bench shooting 6-8, 13/6 with 2 blocks. Has 2 blocks in three of four preseason games thus far, but it is worth noting he had 4 TO yesterday. Larry Sanders sat this one out, so it sucks to see Henson still come off the pine for a walking totem pole like Zaza Pachulia. Not going to alter any ranks yet though, still a Henson puppetaholic.
Nerlens Noel – Captain N! Huge game against the Knicks last night for 12/11/3/4/1, shooting a great 6-8 from the stripe. Four steals?! There hasn’t been that much theft the Oceans crew broke up!
Michael Carter-Williams – There’s still a big disconnect with his surgically repaired shoulder and when he’ll be ready. He says he feels 100% and would’ve been playing had it been the regular season weeks ago. But the medical staff is cock blocking him like a chick’s ugly friend! I’m still one of the highest on him, and just crossing my fingers they’re playing it cautious for now so he’s 100% healthy 95% of the year. 0% worried about the news they tried to trade him – the Sixers try and trade everyone! 45% worried I used too many percentages in the past few sentences.
Al Horford – Welcome to the hardwood! Which may be more related to my relief than you may think… Since I have him ranked so erectly ya know… 11 minutes of really nothing. But good to see him out there!
Paul Millsap – 23/5/2/1/1 shooting 9-14 with only 1 TO last night. Beast.
James Ennis – Only got 19 minutes against the Hawks, and only shot 3-9 for 10 points. But this guy always finds a way to impress! 5 steals! Count em! Five! In 19 minutes! Gave the Hawks bird flu. Hit a couple treys too. Ennis should be a deep sleeper for you. You’re my boy, Blue!
Jrue Holiday – Speaking of rhymes with Blue, Jrue almost posted a rainbow last night in 18 minutes! 14/1/4/2/2 with two treys. This sleeper PG is looking better for me than MCW!
Austin Rivers – Played 30:30 off the bench while Russ Smith, who the Pelicans claimed had won the backup PG role, played under 4 minutes. Rivers hit some cats (7/6/4/1/0), but only took 2 shots and had 3 TOs. Pretty boring. There goes my Russ Smith call though…
We’ll do another preseason wrap-up early next week, then we’re into daily updates as the season starts October 29th! May your final drafts go well, and thanks for reading!