Bonus FAAB if you catch this reference.

In the Razzball Writer’s league, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups:  The ones who make the Finals, and the ones who need to get better to make the Finals.

These are their stories.

PB and The Geordies:  The Champion with a Weird Name

The secret to my success is very simple: You need to draft the top per-game contributor (Embiid), select another top-three player in the fourth round (SGA), and draft the player whose fantasy game will receive a huge boost from a trade four months in the future (Bridges). Do these things, and you too can be a champion.

Needless to say, luck is a factor in every fantasy championship run, but you have to do the work up front to attract some of that luck. In my case, the championship was won when SGA fell to me at pick 47. Though I had a great draft overall, it was SGA’s consistent overperformance throughout the season that compensated for a multitude of mistakes and allowed me to hold players through long-term absences (Kawhi, Booker, MPJ, WCJ). If you look at my final roster, only two players are missing from my original draft board (Stewart and Aldama – WCJ was dropped on the last weekend for insurance) … that’s the best end-to-end run I’ve had with any team in my 15+ seasons of fantasy hoops, and it was made possible by the fact that I always had at least a couple top-ten category league performers to throw at the opposition. To my point about attracting luck, I had a plan going into the draft, and my picks through three rounds set me up with the confidence to “take a chance” on SGA in the fourth (a laughable sentence now). As for lessons learned, I have just one from this run:


My experience tells me that you can’t win a fantasy league in the first two rounds, but you can definitely lose one if you get those picks wrong. With that in mind, I don’t typically take chances in those rounds. After that, however, the mindset should shift in favor of more risk. I played two other leagues where I could have had SGA in the third round, but chose Kawhi and Nikola Vucevic instead. They aren’t bad picks, but Kawhi had several missed games baked into the cake and Vuc never had the upside that SGA flashed in the final weeks of his 2021-22 season.

We can all be forgiven for passing on SGA in the first two rounds. After all, he failed to reach 60 games in consecutive seasons and was questionable for the season opener. At the same time (puts 20/20 hindsight lenses in), his 2021-22 end-of-season performance should have been enough to shift the risk calculus back in his favor and boost his ADP into the third round of 12-team drafts.

While I undoubtedly followed my own good (and bad) streaming advice on occasion and bagged some fringe categories in key matchups, the league was won on draft day in this one. It’s not often that you get to say that! Signing off until next time…


My team – 2nd overall pick in the draft.

1. Embiid (2)

2. Booker (23)

3. Kawhi (26)

4. SGA (47)

5. Myles Turner (50)

6. Mikal Bridges (71)

7. MPJ (74)

8. WCJ (95) (dropped for Christian Wood on final weekend)

9. Buddy Hield (98)


The Oracle

This was my first time playing 9-CAT and, while I knew the general strategy, I definitely struggled out of the gate and built up my team as I learned with some luck along the way.
A few big things changed my season. Coming out of the draft I expected to be punting FG% and TOs, but what I didn’t realize is that I had inadvertently built a punt FT% team as well. For the whole season I was last in FG%, second to last in FT% and last in TOs. I knew I needed to either fix this to not punt one of those, or lean in hard and win counting stats every week. I decided to go with the latter when we made our Ant + Mitch rob for Poeltl and Tre Jones. That trade saved my season, Ant’s counting stats and Mitch’s blocks were a big reason I got to the playoffs, and I didn’t care about Ant’s poor percentages due to my build.
A few other things went my way, I took JJJ late and he ended up being one of my top 3 players and a top 24 player season long. Porzingis stayed healthy the majority of the year and had a career year. Jabari Smith finally stepped it up during the playoffs, and I had a few very lucky streams that went my way in crucial games. All in all, my main guys stayed relatively healthy (Harden, Porzingis, Ja, JJJ) and it worked out.
I also got incredibly lucky, Porzingis had a 7 stock game in the semis and I won the semifinals by 1 assist 5-4.
Overall as the season went on I adjusted my streaming strategy from “best available” to “what categories do I need to win THIS week” and that made a difference as well.