• 90s HIP-HOP Edition

    It was 90s hip-hop that I grew up on and it’s what indirectly got me into the wider world of music. First, it was being exposed to so many 70s R&B and jazz samples and later, sample hunting on my own that opened the door. Further progressions into rock and world music helped me better latch on to more diverse forms of music that developed as music evolved into the new millennium.

    The homie Mike threw up a Biggie gif with the winning poll so I’ll start with Bigs, who didn’t create the new-type flow, but certainly blew it up. Everyone knows the popular Biggie songs but this is one of my favs.

    I’ll give a deeper history when I reprise this theme next year so I’ll focus on early-mid 90s and and try not to make anyone mad- East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Dirty South, backpackers, OGs, and revolutionaries.

    * * * * *

    I gotta start with a Chicago track featuring the only popular rapper from the West Side that still gets respect outside Chicago (most of the guys you know – Common, Kanye, Lupe, Chief Keef, Chance – are from the South Side). This is a classic where I’m from. He first got notoriety as the Guinness Book winner for fastest rapper – originally know as Tongue Twista.

    Of course, if you heard Aaron Bruski humming two Fridays ago on the podcast with Dan Besbris,  you might have heard a melody from another West Side group – Crucial Conflict – which was our countrified version of grimey rap.

    As for me, I’m old now; I used to love her.

    FANTASY ALGOS

    Are there really guys running algorithmic fantasy programs? Like a 27-inch Zenith, believe it.

    Doing my random trying to absorb by osmosis and I encountered an opposing owner on Yahoo, the guy who baptized Jesus’ Peerless Team. In two big (for me) money leagues, this team was first place in one and third in another. He has Dwight Howard on IL on both teams and streams constantly, so I checked out his profile.

    This is his first season playing fantasy basketball and he has 50 teams. LOL, I don’t have that many teams registered going back to 2006. To me that means unless he’s a savant (low probability), he’s a guy that developed or bought the rights to an algorithmic fantasy program.

    That means algo trading on the stock/commodity/currency markets has bled over to fantasy and has morphed into algo drafting and/or streaming. This is not good for the Average Joe nor the pro. The margins are getting cut thinner and thinner.

    From Investopedia, running an algo “is the process of using computers programed to follow a defined set of instructions (an algorithm) for placing a trade in order to generate profits at a speed and frequency that is impossible for a human trader.”

    In the financial world a simple algo might use a ratio of 50-day Simple Moving Average to the 200-day SMA to get in and out of trades. More complex ones might use advance-decline lines, money follows, or any bevy of indicators.

    In Fantasyland it could be programmed add/drop certain player based on some ratio of their season-long value vs. last 5 games, etc. It could be a more complex algo that uses team depth charts and injury reports as a basis for moves.

    Even in this technological age, it’s still all for the money.

    It’s not a small thing in the markets and it is not a small thing for anyone playing in public money leagues, and with the proliferation of basic algorithmic programming, if I think about it, it’s probably a bit of naivete on my part to not have suspected this has metastasized into the fantasy realm like the The Upside Down into this plane of existence.

    It’s bad enough that we’ve got to deal with the grinders; now we have to worry about programmers eating up all our sandwiches like Bruh Man from the fifth floor.

    I’ll have to keep tabs on his team and if this starts to look more like a trend in the years that follow.

    Week 10 Schedule

    2 Games: DEN
    3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, LAL, MIA, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI, TOR
    All other teams play 4 Games.

    Monday has 8 games: Bucks at Pistons, Suns at Knicks, Jazz at Rockets, Kings at Wolves, Bulls at Thunder, Sixers at Spurs, Grizzlies at Warriors and Blazers at Clippers.

    Tuesday has 4: Cavs at Pacers, Wiz at Hawks, Lakers at Nets and Mavs at Nuggs.

    Wednesday has 12: Cavs at Hornets, Spurs at Magic, Knicks at Sixers, Suns at Celts, Pacers at Raptors, Nets at Bulls, Wiz at Rockets, Pels at Bucks, Pistons at Wolves, Dubs at Jazz, Grizz at Blazers and Thunder at Kings.

    Thursday has 2: Rockets at Heat and Mavs at Clips.

    Friday has 10: Pistons at Hornets, Cavs at Raps, Pacers at Nets, Hawks at Knicks, Bucks at Celts, Magic at Bulls, Wolves at Spurs, Jazz at Blazers, Grizz at Kings and Pels at Lakers.

    Saturday has 7: Nuggs at Clips, Suns at Wiz, Raps at Sixers, Bucks at Heat, Spurs at Rockets, Mavs at Dubs and Thunder at Jazz.

    Sunday has 11: Hawks at Pistons, Wiz at Pacers, Hornets at Celts, Suns at Nets, Bulls at Cavs, Heat at Magic, Pels at Kings, Wolves at Thunder, Clips at Dubs, Mavs at Blazers and Grizz at Lakers.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold- a pretty standard Tues, Thurs & Sat.

    ATL: 3- Tu, F, Su
    BRK: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    BOS: 3- W, F, Su
    CHA: 3- W, F, Su
    CHI: 4- M, W, F, Su
    CLE: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    DAL: 4- Tu, Th, Sa, Su
    DEN: 2- Tu, Sa
    DET: 4- M, W, F, Su
    GSW: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
    HOU: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
    IND: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    LAC: 4- M, Th, Sa, Su
    LAL: 3- Tu, F, Su
    MEM: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MIA: 3- Th, Sa, Su
    MIL: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    MIN: 4- M, W, F, Su
    NOR: 3- W, F, Su
    NYK: 3- M, W, F
    OKC: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
    ORL: 3- W, F, Su
    PHI: 3- M, W, Sa
    PHO: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
    POR: 4- M, W, F, Su
    SAC: 4- M, W, F, Su
    SAS: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    TOR: 3- W, F, Sa
    UTA: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    WAS: 4- Tu, W, Sa, Su

    Back-to-Backs

    Sun (of Week 9)/Mon: NYK, PHI, SAC
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: BKN, CLE, IND, WAS
    Weds/Thurs: HOU
    Thurs/Fri: none
    Fri/Sat: MIL, SAS, TOR, UTA
    Sat/Sun: DAL, LAK, OKC, PHO, WAS
    Sun/Mon (of Week 11): none- no games on Monday, Christmas Eve

    3 games in 4 nights

    Mon/Weds/Thurs: HOU

    Tues/Weds/Fri: BKN, CLE, IND

    Weds/Thurs/Sat: HOU

    Weds/Fri/Sat: MIL, SAS, TOR, UTA

    Thurs/Sat/Sun: DAL, LAC, MIA

    Tues/Thurs/+: DAL

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    Monte Morris was fantastic over his last three with 14.6 points, 2.7 threes, 6.0 dimes and 2.7 steals. The 3s and steals look high, but he has an established role that’ll make it harder for Isaiah Thomas (hip) to make an impact whenever he returns. Unfortunately, Denver on plays twice so I’m not sure tonight’s the night (Eminem’s fav rapper).

    Tim Frazier isn’t a very exciting guy to own but is likely the best option for assists if he’s available. Over the last few weeks, he got you 7.6 assists and with about a steal and a trey a game, he’s certainly usable. The Pelicans go 3 times.

    Marcus Smart is still starting starting and last week’s appraisal still stands: “he’s useful with 1.5 threes, 4.5 dimes and 3.3 steals per game. His sub-40% FG on the year will hurt but he can help you with guard stats.” Good enough for top-65 over the last two weeks. Boston plays 3 times.

    Fred VanVleet is an option for however long Kyle Lowry (thigh contusion) is out. Even with Lowry, Steady Freddy had been getting heavy run off the bench – 30.6 minutes over his last four games. The Raptors go 3 times.

    Emmanuel Mudiay is not still the only point guard standing in New York and is worth using as long as that’s the reality, though Frank Ntilikina (ankle) and Trey Burke (knee) are both looking like they’ll attempt to play on Sunday. New York has 3 games this week and next.

    Tyler Johnson is looking like a stream while the dungeon dragon Goran Dragic (knee) and Dwyane Wade (old) miss games. He’s not the most consistent guy but the opportunity is there. Miami slogs 3 times.

    Jeremy Lin’s back in action and is worth a look as a stream if you can’t find any hotter guys. Atlanta goes 3 times.

    De’Anthony Melton has the job all to himself as Elie Okobo got demoted to the G-League (Why? Josh Jackson needs more ball-handling responsibilities?). Devin Booker (hamstring) returned and Melton looked okay in 21 minutes – nine points, a three, five dimes and two steals. Austin Rivers will be with the team shortly though. Phoenix has 4 games this week and we’ll see how much the rookie is impacted.

    D.J. Augustin cooled off but did fine one Sunday. He’s fine for a stream, too. Orlando has 3 games this week and next.

    J.J. Barea was still hot (50% from the field) last week but played reduced minutes (16.2) as he dealt with a bum ankle and managed 12.0 points, 1.5 threes and 3.0 assists. Jalen Brunson, son of Rick Brunson, got extra run with Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) missing time and put up 11.7 points, 0.7 threes and 2.3 assists in 25.1 minutes which makes him a possible deep-league stream until DSJ is back, which could be on Sunday. Dallas plays 4 games and fits most of your schedules nicely.

    Tony Parker is a last resort if you need some points and assists, but not threes. The Hornets play 3 times.

    Both Cory Joseph and Tyreke Evans suffered with Victor Oladipo (knee) back in the lineup and are only options in very deep formats unless either gets hot. Indiana has 4 games.

    Bryn Forbes, Derrick White and Patty Mills (in that order) are all competing for minutes and thus unreliable, but the Spurs go 4 times if you want to throw some volume at the wall in deeper formats.

    Shooting Guards

    I finally know why Terrence Ross and Wes Matthews aren’t owned in more leagues; they stunk last week. They’re still likely to hold better ROS value then the following 2s (unless Ross is traded to the Lakers).

    Kevin Huerter has been a 9-cat standard stud over the last two weeks with 12.8 points, 2.6 threes, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks with pretty good efficiency. Most surprising is the 31.5  minutes he got. He won’t keep hitting almost 54% of his shots and the defensive stats will also dip but he’s starting and Atlanta has 3 games.

    Instead of Matthew Dellavedova coming in for some Jose Calderon-like vet presence, he got 21.4 minutes a game and put up 12.0 points, 2.0 threes and 4.0 assists, good for top-100 in 9-cat. I don’t think the numbers will hold but the minutes might which is enough to impact the rotation.

    Rodney Hood and Alec Burks were the players more affected, with only Jordan Clarkson holding his spot as chucker-in-chief off the bench. They have 4 games to see what’s up. As always, the choice is yours.

    Allen Crabbe finally found his shot (44% over his last five) so his knee injury came at the worst time. Brooklyn has 4 games but it looks like he’ll miss at least a few of those which makes new starter Rodions Kurucs a possible deep-league stream until he returns.

    Langston Galloway was the best between himself, Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock, who just got back. Nobody has been able to sustain any separation but Detroit goes 4 times and I’m looking out.

    Furkan Korkmaz is a streaky guy but with Jimmy Butler is day-to-day and will be ruining Furkan’s Anatolian party any day now.

    Damyean Dotson (shoulder) and Allonzo Trier (hamstring) are both hurt so that makes your decision a lot easier in New York. #OneLove

    Small Forwards

    Kevin Knox isn’t hurt and had the best week of his young career with 21.7 points, 3.3 treys, 8.3 boards and over 1.5 stocks. He had such high counting stats due to the 38.7 minutes a game he busted. I don’t think he can maintain the minutes or improved shooting, but you play guys when they’re hot. He goes 3 times.

    Kelly Oubre was almost traded to the Suns for Trevor Ariza (Austin Rivers also went to the Suns in the deal) and aside from his Yahoo H2H schedule going from 4-4-4 to 3-3-3, there’s a lot more depth for him to contend with in Phoenix. I’m not expecting much from Oubre but you can hold him if you want to see how the rotation shakes out. When the ship goes down, ya better be ready.

    With Booker back, Josh Jackson lost minutes but Mikal Bridges didn’t (both with top-150 value in 9-cat last week). Myles has the best chance to preserve value when Oubre suits up but we’ll soon see. Phoenix has 4 games.

    Jeff Green is still in D.C. and will get more run and touches until Otto Porter (knee) returns. The Wiz go 4 times if you need a low-end play.

    Hurricane Bembry was downgraded to a tropical storm as Kevin Huerter went nuts. He keeps on passing me by. Bembry could return at some point so don’t forget about him. Atlanta goes 3 times.

    The Nets are clicking with four wins in a row and Joe Harris is back to his efficient, standard-value ways.  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had some nice lines but was barely in the top-150 in 9-cat while DeMarre Carroll played enough to be usable in some deeper formats. Brooklyn runs 3 times.

    Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still continue to be unimpressive as they cancel each other out. Hart’s been especially frustrating as he’s been unable to capitalize on his starting role. Rajon Rondo should be back before long and news is that the Lakers are looking for a wing so there’s a lot of moving pieces here. The Lake Show premieres 3 times.

    Cedi Osman is still getting his minutes but was just awful with his 23.1% from the field last week, dragging his already-low value out of the top-250 for the week. The Cavs have 4 games but he needs to get up, get out, cut that bull$#^! out (Cee Lo snapped).

    Garrett Temple is still plodding his way to 1.5 threes and 1.1 steals despite an off week for you deep, deep-leaguers. The Grizzlies have 4 games.

    Power Forwards

    Nemanja Bjelica is a must-add with Marvin Bagley (left knee bone bruise) and his 23 minutes a game gone for the next few weeks. The Kings need someone to man the front lines (a few NBA arena DJs are bumping this and it’s my fav Mobb Deep track, so you go whoever you are – also, a big shout out to dude slammin’ in Salt Lake). The  Crowns go 4 times this week.

    Al-Farouq Aminu cooled off from the field as expected but is still a hold due to his multi-cat contributions. Portland has 4 games.

    Marvin Williams’ old man game took a while to get going but he’s rolling now with top-80 9-ccat value over the last two weeks. Hopefully the Hornets stick in the playoff hunt because he’s not going to get heavy run if they don’t. Charlotte has 3 games.

    Last week: “JaMychal Green has top-100 9-cat value over the last two weeks and has brought his season-long rank into standard-league territory” Ditto. The Grizz go 4 times.

    Noah Vonleh is slumping and couldn’t hit his shots (39.1%) or free throws (42.9%) last week which really held down his value. He’s still starting and getting over 30 minutes a game.  NY has 3 games.

    PJ Tucker hit some 3s but stopped stealing the ball which makes him a PF-eligible player who hits threes. He’ll pick it up at some point but I dropped my single share for Vonleh. The Rockets play 4 times.

    Juancho Hernangomez stays delivering highly efficient usable lines while Trey Lyles stays bricking (36.4% last week) despite getting more run. I’m still waiting to see what happens when Will Barton returns. Until then, they’re safe to use. Denver only plays twice so they’re poor options for a stream.

    Kelly Olynyk was just as good last week (top-50 in 9-cat) but Justise Winslow (efficiency) and Bam Adebayo weren’t (Bam is still blocking shots though). Hassan Whiteside only played in one of those games and only was out there for 22 minutes, so the picture still isn’t fully clear. I’m still holding my Olynyks and Bams for now. Miami goes 3 times this week.

    Luke Kornet isn’t an add but in the one game that Mitchell Robinson left with an ankle sprain, Kornet played 24 minutes and got 13 points, three 3s, six boards, two steals and three blocks. I need a repeat performance to consider an add but at least we know the Kornet family can stroke it. The Knicks have 3 games.

    Center

    Markieff Morris is in a slump and while you don’t necessarily need to drop him, he should be owned in twice as many leagues as the next guy.

    Cody Zeller has been on fire the last two weeks (top-30 9-cat value). He gains a lot of value from good efficiency which is why he’s not the ideal big for all H2H builds but he still should be owned in more than 32% of leagues. Maybe he’ll never have mass appeal. Charlotte has 3 games this week.

    Richaun Holmes kept up value and I exchanged as many Mitchell Robinson shares as I could. He’s also criminally underowned. The Suns have 4 games.

    With no Paul Millsap (toe), Mason Plumlee started the last two games and got 9.0 points, 7.0 boards, 2.5 blocks and 1.0 steals. Small sample size, I know, and it’s skewed by the 35 minutes he played in one (almost double the 18 minutes he’s gotten on the season). I’m intrigued but not adding Plumdog as Denver’s two games this week isn’t going to cut it where I’m from.

    Daniel Theis and his arm sleeve was sneaky good over the last five games sans Al Horford (knee) with 12.4 points, 1.2 threes, 6.4 boards and 1.0 blocks but that’ll go away whenever Horford gets back (he, Gary Harris and Kawhi are killing me in my no-games cap weekly roto leagues).

    Another beneficiary of no Horford was Robert Williams, who has doubled his minutes and blocked 2.2 shots. He’s a blocks specialist who can be used if your Mitchell Robinson is still hurt. P.S. I’m insulted his nickname is Time Lord because a real Time Lord would never lose his wallet or miss a flight. Doctor Who is an exception as he’s a renegade Time Lord. If anything, Williams’ nickname should be Renegade. Boston has 3 games.

    Ed Davis is up to 8.3 boards in 17.5 minutes a game. Boss goes 4 times.

    Jakob Poeltl is part of the rotation now but isn’t getting enough tic to average more than the low-end 6.8 boards and 1.4 blocks he got last week. He’s a deep-league guy or for the desperate. The Spurs play 4 times.

    Nerlens Noel is getting even less run than Poeltl and is a defensive specialist as a streamer or for deeper leagues. He got 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in a mere 14 minutes a game and if the indestructible Steven Adams ever misses time…OKC runs 4 times.

    Thomas Bryant is slowly and steadily getting more action, but the rookie still hasn’t put it together enough for me to consider an add outside of super deep leagues. Washington has 4 games.

    Random Observations

    Remember when a young Jay Z used was on that 5%ers tip and used to rap fast?

    Caris LeVert is no longer in a walking boot and has been doing some on-court work so I added him every where I had an extra IL spot. His H2H playoff schedule isn’t good so hopefully I can pop off another 2-for-1.

    I know ABC hasn’t had any national games yet but I hope they don’t lose the Don’t Sweat the Technique instrumental loop they run when going to commercial.

    No disrespect to J. Prince, but it was NBA hopeful Percy Miller aka Master P that really brought southern rap to the mainstream and made ‘em say Uh (a hilarious Rembert Brown retrospective for those that witnessed Tank greatness (RIP Grantland)).

    I’ll have two servings of whatever Thad Young was eating last week.

    Every time I see Avery Bradley I think- Warren G! – do you seeee what I seeee, last week 263.

    LMAO at guys in Yahoo standard leagues dropping dudes instead of using the IL. It’s what they do.

    Serge Ibaka is strangely shooting worse from deep (28.2%) than he has in the last 10 years. But, from 16 feet out to the 3-point line, he’s shooting an orgasmic 69.4%. Notable mid-range marksmen like Chris Paul and LaMarcus Aldridge have never shot over 60% from there in any season and even the best shooter in history, Steph Curry, has never cracked 64% (Kevin Durant has only broken 50% once, in 2016-17). Something’s gotta give.

    Stakes is high so keep your head up,
    Chef

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