No, no, no, we never root for injuries. It’s terrible fantasy karma. But as one of the main cliches as fantasy lays out – injuries are the great equalizer. They end campaigns and create opportunities. Fortunately the torn ACL to Jarrett Jack isn’t going to end anyone’s campaign! But the opportunity for Shane Larkin is monumental.
Last Saturday night, we saw the dreaded non-contact knee buckle from Jack against the Celtics, and we got the somber news yesterday afternoon that he has a torn ACL and meniscus. “Wahhhhhh, I bet I never start a game again!” Meh, the Wahhhh gag just seems too mean right now… And if you listen to the Pod, you know I’m a Jack supporter and of course everyone in Razzball Nation wishes him a speedy recovery. But with the starting job open, Larkin-the-Herald-Angels-Sing immediately steps in as the no-question starter. While he’s looked mad impressive to me the few Nets games I’ve watched and he’s certainly a must-add, I’m not banking on top-50 value or anything. His skill set should make him more valuable than Jack as the starter with more 3s and STL, but I imagine he’ll have fewer AST with the same bad TO. Add Larkin everywhere, and if he starts absolutely gangbusters then sell high. I also could see Donald Sloan having a bigger role than most envision – after that nice run he had in Indy to start last year, I was really impressed with him as a player. Here’s what else went down over our first weekend of 2016, and The 7 Ahead for Week 11:
Stephen Curry – I mentioned it on our last Pod, but if there was any question Steph isn’t the MVP, we squelched those questions again on Saturday! The Warriors were up 21-2 against the Nugs, then Curry leaves with a shin bruise and the Nugs come all the way back to bring it to OT. Can there be a “Super MVP” award?! This shin contusion is minor, but even Curry has admitted the Warriors might be cautious and give him tonight off against the Hornets. Maybe he can hop in and commentate with Dell.
Draymond Green – Just plain ridiculous. 29/17/14/4/1 with 5 treys carrying the Curry slack in that W. He puts the “W” in “GSW”! #Occupy baby!
Will Barton – Almost as equally ridiculous, as he was an afterthought to virtually everyone coming into the year. But right when you thought you could trust him and he could co-exist with the return of Danilo Gallinari (Barton 21/13/7 on Saturday with Gallo putting up 24/6/2 as well), only 5/2/2 on 2-10 shooting last night. I’m not reading too much into it other than it’s a dud, but keeping an eyebrow raised.
Jameer Nelson – 20/8/7 and 17/4/7 over the weekend. I know the Nugs are rebuilding and all-a-dat, but I wonder if they try and keep Nelson starting when Emmanuel Mudiay is back. At the least they might be able to get a trade, unless he’s giving a solid mentorship behind the curtain.
Jusuf Nurkic – The Jamba Jus is back! After a 5 minute dud debut on Saturday, 12/8/0/0/1 in 15 minutes last night, although only 4-9 FT shooting. The rotation/minutes are going to be really annoying, but I think he needs to be owned in 12ers.
Kenneth Faried – Manimal took a rough fall on his neck, but the Denver vet was able to get the Manimal healthy right away and get him back on the court.
Arron Afflalo – A-R-Ron! Got NBA Jam on fire hitting his first 7 treys yesterday, scoring a season-high 38 Pts on a ridiculous 14-17 shooting with 7-8 3PTM. He’s available in about half of Yahoo leagues, and while he’s still a little ThrAGNOFfish, I think he could be worth a spec add.
Robin Lopez – The terrible Rolo might need to be in the fomo pickup class! 16/11/5/0/3 (although he has no business committing 5 TO!) last night, with a meh 4/6/2/0/2 on Friday sandwiching an awesome 11/7/2/1/6 breakout last Tuesday. If you’ve been streaming bigs, it might be time to give Rolo a few games at C.
Jimmy Butler – Maybe would’ve been the lead if I hadn’t shown initiative and already written the open by the time he went nuts! Broke Michael Jordan’s record of Pts in a half by dropping 40 in the 2nd half for 42/4/5/1/1 on 15-23 shooting and 10-11 FT and leading the Bulls to a come from behind win. Godzilla angry!
Bobby Portis – Everyone’s favorite sexy-upsidey-uber-athletic-PF played 18 ho-hum minutes last night after a big Friday against the Knicks, going only 4/6/1/0/1 on Sunday. 10ers I think need to do better. 12ers he needs to be owned, as he’s at least doing something while being a high-ceiling stash. I do worry that Joakim Noah is going to make it even more annoying though…
Otto Porter – After 3 straight 20+ Pt games (with a huge multi-cat 20/11/3/4/1 against the Magic on Friday), only 6/6/3/1/0 last night. The Porter was flat!
Zaza Pachulia – Had faded a bit in mid-December, but 14+ Pts in 5 straight with 14/13/1/1/1 and 14/9/2/4/1 lines with over 50% shooting over the weekend. Zaza shoulders!
J.J. Barea – Mas frio! After being muy caliente! Was killing it from deep lately, until he was 1 for his last 8 the past two games. At least he still chips in dimes for deep league owners, but if you streamed for some ThrAGNOF you can let him salsa his way back to the wire.
Hassan Whiteside – The Mavs interior D is so so soft, with Hassan killing em for 25/19/0/0/1 on 12-16 FG last Friday. Then 6/13/1/1/6 with no TO last night, although he did shoot only 3-9 with 0-2 FT. Tough to complain about anything from Strong Side this year! Remember the Hassan…
Dwyane Wade – Came off the bench Friday while suffering flu-like symptoms (it’s crazy that athletes almost never catch the flu… Just something “like” it!), but started Sunday. Only 8/4/3/1/0 in 25 minutes, but it was a blowout and he didn’t need to do much.
Nerlens Noel – I had to do a lot of fantasy-therapy for Noel owners, maintaining a hold status and hopefully my patients stayed patient. Killing it as the starting center with Jahlil off the bench, tearing apart the soft interior Lakers for 15/12/3/3/3 1.5 rainbow on Friday. Cooled off a little as the Clip dismantled the Sixers on Saturday, but 13/8/1/0/1 in only 22 minutes is still mad usable…
Jahlil Okafor – …Okafor isn’t mad usable right now, he’s just making you mad! The past three games – since coming off the bench -he’s been doing what I thought he’d do coming into the league: low blocks (1 in 3 games), horrible FT% (5-11), and bad TO (4 in 3 games. Aight fine, that’s not that bad). He did put up 23 off the bench Saturday, but it was a lot of junky junky scoring in a blowout loss. You’re likely holding, but I might sell off the high-scoring game.
Ish Smith – The Ish 2.0 giveth and the Ish 2.0 taketh away. After 3 tantalizing games back in Philly, 9/4/3/0/0 and 4/1/10/1/0 over the weekend, with 5 TO and a team-killing 5-28 from the field. One of these games was against the Lakers too! He still needs to be owned in all leagues, but maybe he’s more Jarrett Jack than a top-50 PG. “Wait, what did JB say?! Wahhhhhhhh!”
Lou Williams – Playing nuts right now, destroying the terrible Suns D for 30/7/4/2/0 last night after 24/5/4 against his former Sixers on Friday. Sweet Lou has been a sweet pickup for me where I got him! Although if anyone is buying for much, now is the time. The Lakers will eventually go with their young G playing a ton of mins.
Larry Nance Jr. – Grabbing a bajillion REB. 15/14/0/1/0 and back-to-back 14 REB games. I would make a Lance cracker joke here, but that could be taken soooooooo wrong…
T.J. Warren – Got a few starts with P.J. Tucker at the other F start going uber-small, but they went back to Jon Leuer starting at the 4 last night. It didn’t matter much, as the Suns got romped by the… Lakers? Eesh. Suns are a dying star, to say the least! Warren was awful off the bench (0 Pts in 21 mins), while Tucker maintained some usability going 5/8/0/1/0 with a trey in an otherwise awful game for all the Suns not named Brandon Knight. Tucker is the guy I’d super want to own.
Devin Booker – 21/1/3/4/0 on Friday trying to shake being a ThrAGNOF, but only 5-13 FG with 0-3 treys last night for 10/4/1/1/0. I think he had way too high a rookie-nookie pickup phase, and is only a streamer in 12ers.
Marco Belinelli – 28 then 19 Pts over the weekend. It was pretty barren and very ThrAGNOFfy, but that’s why there’s ThrAGNOF! Stream when hot! Slippery when wet…
Darren Collison – In that Suns meltdown (pun police!) giving up 142 regulation points to the Kings, 21/2/6 in 29 minutes. I’ve always liked Collison and he’s playing so well that I have no question he would’ve been a monster value if Rajon Rondo hadn’t shown up. I hate Rondo.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – I just need to get back to my KCP addiction to numb all the emotional trauma Rondo has caused! 16/10/1 against the Pacers, salvaging a 6-16 shooting night when hitting only 1-7 from deep.
Kevin Durant/Serge Ibaka – Both with 4 blocks (more surprising to Durant) and had 10 FTM (definitely more surprising for Ibaka!) against Charlotte on Saturday night. The Hornets interior presence has just been terrible lately.
Frank Kaminsky – Culprit #1! Had been fine for fantasy for a 6 game stretch, but 6/6/2/0/0 on 2-11 FG and 2-4 FT with 2 TO against OKC last time out shows the downside. And that was in a season high 33 minutes! Frank the Stank!
Cody Zeller – Culprit #2! Also was on a nice stretch before the Thunder romped em and he had a bad one. I think C-Zell is the guy to own between the two, but I guess if it was so close and you needed treys I could see going Stank.
Kemba Walker – Only Hornet to show up against OKC, going 32/3/5/3/1 and continuing to have a breakout season. Well, he’s always been pretty good, I guess it’s more “one small step for man” than a “Will Barton giant leap forward for mankind”.
Jeremy Lin – Returned from his kankle for a big 15/1/4/1/1 game with a trey and no TO in 34 minutes. No lingering kankle for Jeremy! I think he should be owned in most leagues.
SKIIIIILES! – Arrrghghghghghhhhhhhh! The Magic were getting creamed by the Cavs, but Skiles and his big white bald head waived the big white flag and benched everyone. My Tobias Harris (22 mins) and Nikola Vucevic (13 mins) RCL team sure had a fun Saturday! Even Victor Oladipo, who was off a nice game, got only 14 minutes and Skiles played scrubs. Credit Rotoworld for their blurb saying Vuc could be in the Skiles doghouse. I think the whole team is the Skiles doghouse. SKIIIIIIILES!
Jerryd Bayless – Back-to-back decent games as O.J. Mayo gets worked out of the rotation. The Bucks and I have similar New Year’s resolutions. Less Mayo.
Norris Cole – Power of the flat top! Does he still have the flat top? I’ve made it a point to boycott the Pelicans with their blatant disregard for player health as Gentry played everyone well past their minutes restrictions. Three straight great games for N-King-Cole, culminating in his best of the season for 16/12/4/4/0 against the Mavs. Did have 5 TO, but hard to complain. I still think he’s well on the outside looking in for 12ers though. But if you’re playing with an open roster spot, sure nab him and hope for the best.
Danny Green – Better late than never! 18/4/3/3/1 with 6 treys Saturday night against the Rox. Must-add? Nah. 10ers I think you look the other way, in 12ers I think he’s worth scooping up if you’re not losing a solid piece. Rather Green than Cole!
Boris Diaw – Had an odd “breakout” game alongside D Green as well for 20/8/2/2/0, but Diaw has actually been pretty usable over his last 7. Tim Duncan on the other hand has not gotten enough slammage from me in the Daily Notes. He’s been terrible or DNPible. I might even drop Duncan for Diaw in deeper leagues… Either way, Duncan is out in 12ers.
Rodney Hood – He’s just so Hood! I’ve always wanted to make that joke, but it’s super Michael Scott from The Office… 32/8/0/1/1 against the Grizzlies, hitting 5 treys. I’m glad I said Hood over Trey Burke as an add! Even with Rodney Hood, Jr. born yesterday, it looks like Hood Sr. is playing tonight. That’s so Hood! Uggghhhhhh, sounds so bad…
Jeff Withey – He’s still only a very short-term add while Derrick Favors‘ back is wonky, but damn if Withey isn’t proving us something… 12/10/2/1/4 on Saturday night, giving him 5-straight multi-block games with 4-straight games scoring in double figures.
Austin Rivers – Philly garbage time alert! 26 Pts in junk time, and while he did have a 22-pt game against the Hornets a few ago, he’s otherwise been the garbage himself. “Daddy, we’re winning big, let me play!”
The 7 Ahead
- 5-game week: Utah Jazz
- 4-game weeks: BOS, BKN, CHA, CLE, DAL, GSW, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NY, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, TOR
- 2-game week: Phoenix Suns
- Weekly League Streamers (by Y! ownership percent/games this week): Trevor Booker (3%/5), Cody Zeller (29%/4), Raymond Felton (15%/4), Bismack Biyombo (29%/4)
- Stream days: Tuesday, Thursday
Overall Thoughts: Ugh, we get another 5-game week, but it’s the Jazz with virtually no good streamers! Hood and Burke are owned in too many leagues, but if they are out there for some reason, both are great scoops in weekly and really for any league while Alec Burks is out. The only Jazz player deeper than that that I’m rolling out there is The Bookworm, who is assured a decent role for the 5 games. If we knew Favors would be out, Withey could be a streamer too, but it seems like Favors is close to returning with the back spasms.
Lots of teams on 4-game weeks, so you should have a pretty nice set of players to set your weekly leagues. I highly doubt you’re playing any Sun in weekly with only 2 games. With the NFL regular season wrapped up, the NBA is coming on strong on Sunday, so I might do more streaming earlier in the week this time out. The Hawks are the interesting team to monitor for your weekly-max daily moves. They play on Tues/Thur/Sat, all 3 light-schedule nights. I mention Shelvin Mack a lot – I’m adding him in a lot of RCLs for the off-schedule starts.
Monday: Week 11 starts strong, with 10 games and 2/3 of the league in action. MIA, POR, and TOR come in on back-to-backs from yesterday, so be sure your vets are active. Looking at you, D Wade! GSW, MIL and SAC head into b2bs – maybe Harrison Barnes sits Tuesday as he’s probable tonight.
Tuesday: Only 4 games on Tuesday, so I could see using a stream move or two early this week with a fairly full weekend. DAL & NY are you only teams on b2bs, but that could impact a lot of your Mav vets. A big streamer of mine thus far has been Dennis Schroder, but he’s had two straight DNPs in favor of Shelvin Mack. It’s super low end – and comes with risk as Coach Butthole could flip flop again – but maybe you give Mack a start. At the time of this writing, Afflalo is only 48% owned which should go up after his explosion last night, but he could be available for a stream. As mentioned above, Bayless has been playing decent in a low-end way. I wouldn’t quickly assume [email protected] will be a bad blowout – Curry might sit that one too which could keep the score close.
Wednesday: As per usual, Wednesday is a full slate with only 8 teams off. Only BOS and UTA head into b2bs, so keep an eye on your banged up guys there. If Favors is back on the court, maybe he sits Wed or Thu. Other than that – playing your regulars.
Thursday: With a full Fri/Sat/Sun, I might be using 2-3 of my 4 allotted RCL moves by Thursday this week. Only the Lakers head into a back-to-back, which means it could be a DNP for you know who. We’ve got [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] I actually could see adding Mack for Tuesday and holding until Thursday to get two light slate games. There’s like 5 Sixers worth streaming if you have an open move and a lottery ticket-frame of mind, but I dunno how great you can feel about any of them. Bobby Portis is likely owned in most active leagues for the upside, but maybe he’s available for a stream if he has another dud at the beginning of the week. Kelly Olynyk is always a dart throw, but can produce a huge line in any game. Marco Belinelli had a huge weekend as mentioned above, if he stays hot early this week, you gotta like him against the Lakers. In daily moves, I love Trevor Booker against the Rockets who play big line-ups. Terrence Jones has been so enigmatic this year that he could be available in your league – his upside could be worth a stream at the least.
Friday: Another night with 10 games and 2/3 of the league in action, with BKN, GSW, MIA, ORL, and TOR heading into b2bs. It’s another full slate where you’re likely using your regulars and not relying on too much streaming. Plus, it’s the weekend and who has time to groom their fantasy lineups when it’s Friday Happy Hour!?
Saturday: I always wake up Saturday and do a hungover fantasy line-up check in the morning… We’ve got 7 games on Saturday, and with Sunday so full, I’m maximizing my moves before the NBA takes up Sundays with the NFL regular season in the books. We’ve got CHA, LAC, PHI and UTA on back-to-backs, so four teams to possibly do a weekend stack. But before you get giddy thinking you’ve made an efficient move, 18 teams are active on Sunday, so you could already have a full line-up on the final day of action. Obviously we’re back to Booker as a weekend stack if he fits, and Zeller is a weekly play for me as well. Zeller, Kaminsky, and Lin are all nice Sat/Sun stacks for the Hornets. I doubt Austin Rivers can do that much, but he had a nice game this weekend and could be an option if daddy lets him play in garbage time. Then those damn Sixers – Isaiah Canaan ThrAGNOF, Jerami Grant for some blocks, etc. etc. could all be streams. The Sixers do get Toronto after they’ve played @WAS the night before – they might be a little exhausted after that blooming rivalry. And then there’s yet another light schedule day for Mack, and your Hawks in general as mentioned above.
Sunday: Wow, one of the busier Sundays we’ve had this season ends with a 9-game slate. Hopefully you can max out your line-up, especially if you nabbed some Sat/Sun stack guys. No teams go into b2bs, as next Monday is only a 4-game slate. PHI I think gives TOR a good game on Saturday, so once CLE gets in town, it should be blowout city. [email protected] should have a ton of pace and be a lot of fun, and that 5-game week for Utah ends @LAL. Should be a fun finale if you own any Jazz guys in weekly.
Good luck to everyone in week 11, and thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone in Razzball Nation is ready to get back into the full work-week grind in 2016!