• The holiday and New Year’s celebrations are done and it’s time to get back to life, back to reality.

    The reality is that there are only 8 more weeks (scoring periods) left for standard Yahoo leagues. Man, that flew by so fast.

    For those with a FAAB or a waiver limit, how is it looking?

    Have you been checking your schedule, working the trade market, tracking the waiver trends? Have you been doing it consistently?

    How are your team builds working out? Do you know which cats you’re focusing on in H2H and which cats you need to make moves on in roto?

    In H2H, how does the playoff picture look? I’ve seen a few guys’ rosters where they’re at or near the bottom and holding Jon Isaac, Mikal Bridges, Richaun Holmes in addition to their Slo Mos, Darren Collisons and JJJs. You are not going to win an H2H league like that unless you have a Steph Curry, etc. to give you a high-volume percentage boost to make up for that low usage and compete for cats even when injured.

    Not that those are bad players but even a stacked team will usually have one or two, maybe three. Why are you holding all of them when you’re obviously not competitive? Even worse is if you are holding non-producers that don’t fit your build. Mostly, by blindly holding, you’re missing out on other guys like Thomas Bryant, Derrick White, etc., guys that can actually help you win. Opportunity cost is a bitch.

    Other guys will be seemingly collecting injured players off the wire (Barton, Love, LeVert, Boogie) but losing every week. Some won’t even be using all their delegated IL spots. Smh.

    If you’re not doing well, how many games back from a playoff spot are you? If it’s a lot, you need to be making moves now. You shouldn’t be holding 5 or 6 top-100-120 guys like Danny Green or Nic Batum (FYI it’s a mortal sin if you’re holding Allen Crabbe in an active spot. The basketball gods will smite you good). You need to be streaming to gain extra cats when facing weak opponents – yes, if your team is not that good, you need to get these extra wins to hope to sneak into the playoffs. 5-4 every week when you’re down 15 games usually won’t cut it.

    You need to be considering less than ideal trades (not bad trades, mind you), trades that can help you to strengthen a core category, free up a roster spot for streaming, etc.

    Most importantly: you need to be doing something; you need to be proactive. Resting on your laurels won’t help you move up 4 or 5 spots.

    If any of the above applies to you, you’re not doing it the easy way; you’re doing it the (Penny) Hardaway.

    Week 13 Schedule

    5 Games: DEN

    Monday has 8 games: Spurs at Pistons, Nets at Celts, Nuggets at Rockets, Jazz at Bucks, Grizzlies at Pelicans, Lakers at Mavs, Knicks at Blazers and Magic at Kings.

    Tuesday has 8: Pacers at Cavs, Wiz at Sixers, Nuggs at Heat, Hawks at Raps, Wolves at Thunder, Kings at Suns, Knicks at Dubs and Hornets at Clippers.

    Wednesday has 10: Pacers at Celtics, Sixers at Wizards, Hawks at Nets, Bucks at Rockets, Spurs at Grizz, Cavs at Pels, Suns at Mavs, Magic at Jazz, Bulls at Blazers and Pistons at Lakers.

    Thursday has 4: Celts at Heat, Clips at Nuggs, Thunder at Spurs and Pistons at Kings.

    Friday has 9: Hawks at Sixers, Bucks at Wiz, Pacers at Knicks, Nets at Raps, Cavs at Rockets, Mavs at Wolves, Lakers at Jazz, Hornets at Blazers and Bulls at Dubs.

    Saturday has 8: Pistons at Clippers, Grizz at Heat, Celts at Magic, Pels at Wolves, Spurs at Thunder rematch, Nuggs at Suns, Bulls at Jazz and Hornets at Kings.

    Sunday has 7: Sixers at Knicks, Raps at Wiz, Bucks at Hawks, Rockets at Magic, Dubs at Mavs, Blazers at Nuggets and Cavs at Lakers.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold but check your schedules because most of you will have the majority of the 8-game days open. You should be doing it every week. If you’re not, that can be your New Year’s resolution.

    ATL: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    BRK: 3- M, W, F
    BOS: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
    CHA: 3- Tu, F, Sa
    CHI: 3- W, F, Sa
    CLE: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    DAL: 4- M, W, F, Su
    DEN: 5- M, Tu, Th, Sa, Su
    DET: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
    GSW: 3- Tu, F, Su
    HOU: 4- M, W, F, Su
    IND: 3- Tu, W, F
    LAC: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    LAL: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MEM: 3- M, W, Sa
    MIA: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    MIL: 4- M, W, F, Su
    MIN: 3- Tu, F, Sa
    NOR: 3- M, W, Sa
    NYK: 4- M, Tu, F, Su
    OKC: 3- Tu, Th, Sa
    ORL: 4- M, W, Sa, Su
    PHI: 4- Tu, W, F, Su
    PHO: 3- Tu, W, Sa
    POR: 4- M, W, F, Su
    SAC: 4- M, Tu, Th, Sa
    SAS: 4- M, W, Th, Sa
    TOR: 3-  Tu, F, Su
    UTA: 4- M, W, F, Sa
    WAS:  4- Tu, W, F, Su


    Sun (of Week 12)/Mon: BKN, LAL, ORL
    Mon/Tues: DEN, NYK, SAC
    Tues/Weds: ATL, IND, PHI, PHO, WAS
    Weds/Thurs: BOS, DET, SAS
    Thurs/Fri: none
    Fri/Sat: CHA, CHI, MIN, UTA
    Sat/Sun: DEN, ORL
    Sun/Mon (of Week 14): HOU, POR

    3 games in 4 nights

    Mon/Tues/Thurs: DEN, SAC

    Mon/Weds/Thurs: BOS, DET, SAS

    Tues/Weds/Fri: ATL, CLE, IND, PHI, WAS

    Weds/Thurs/Sat: BOS, DET, SAS

    Weds/Fri/Sat: CHI, UTA

    Thurs/Sat/Sun: DEN

    Tu/Thurs+: DEN, LAC, MIA, OKC, PHI, SAC

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    The Derrick White train has left the station and you were so damn lucky if you got on – he’s largely gone in competitive leagues but there’s a chance he’s floating around on non-competitive waivers. Over the last few weeks he’s provided top-15 9-cat value with 14.8 points, 1.3 threes, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.8 turnovers a game. Over that span he’s been hitting over 65% of his shots (including an insane 82.8% last week). No comment. The Spurs go 4 times this week and next.

    D.J. Augustin was on fire last week with 17.0 points, 2.0 threes, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals on 53.3% from the field so use him while he’s hot (will probably cool off the game after you add him but that’s why he’s always on the wire). Orlando has 4 games.

    Marcus Smart
    got a little bit of breathing room with Kyrie Irving missing time with an eye injury and put up 8.5 points, 1.5 threes, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals. That was good enough for top-100 value but when his shooting relapses (52.0%) he’ll go back to a steals specialist. Boston plays 4 times this week and next.

    Tyler Johnson is still getting about 26 minutes a game but couldn’t hold standard league value with 10.7 points, 0.7 treys, 3.7 dimes and 2.0 stocks last week. Dion Waiters (ankle, fat) has only played in one game so far and thus, isn’t fully involved in Spo’s rotation. Will he ever be? Miami slogs 3 times this week and next.

    Kyle Lowry (back) is still out and Fred VanVleet was top-100ish in 9-cat last week – 12.8 points, 2.3 threes, 4.8 boards and 5.5 assists on 42.5% from the floor. The Raptors go 3 times.

    Austin Rivers started for Eric Gordon (knee) and played over 42 minutes a game last week and got 17.0 points, 3.7 threes, 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals which was boosted by one really good game and wait til his shooting regresses. That makes him better for points formats or deeper leagues or if you’re not worried about shooting percentages. The Rockets play 4 times. LOL, almost forgot about this, too.

    Emmanuel Mudiay keeps chugging along with 13.4 points, 0.8 threes and 6.2 assists over his last five on a typically inefficient 36.8% from the floor and 63.6% from the stripe. Like Austin Rivers, he’s better for points formats.

    Frank Ntilikina will miss the next few games with an ankle sprain so Fiz will dust off Trey Burke and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a good game or two. New York plays 4 times this week, then just once next week.

    T.J. McConnell’s assists were down (3.8), steals were up (2.5) and he still doesn’t hit threes (0.3). Still good enough for standard league in 9-cat, but just barely. Philly goes 4 times, followed by a month of 3-game weeks.

    Dante Exum was once again outside the top-200 in 9-cat last week. He also sprained his ankle on Saturday and didn’t return to the game so that makes our decision easy for now. Utah plays 4 times.

    Shabazz Napier has emerged with standard-league value over the last week, allowed by the 26.8 minutes he’s been getting. I don’t think he’ll be able to keep up the heavy run with Dinwiddie and Russell healthy, but there it is for you deep-leaguers. The Nets play 3 games for three weeks.

    Jeremy Lin is only useful in deep leagues when he’s not hot or getting extra burn as his 9.0 points, 0.9 threes, 4.0 assists and 0.9 steals can attest. Atlanta goes 4 times this week.

    Tyus Jones filled in admirably (top-50 in 9-cat) but Jeff Teague is finally back so it’s time to move on. The Wolves go 3 times.

    R.I.P. Monte Morris (outside the top-300 last week) which is really a shame considering Denver plays a league-leading 5 times. The same can probably be said for Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Trey Lyles. Will Barton will be back at some point to relieve Torrey Craig of his starting duties.

    Shooting Guards

    Go west young man.

    Bryn Forbes stayed a top-90 play with 13.3 points, 3.3 treys, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals a game. The Spurs play 4 times this week and next.

    Josh Hart continues to rack up stats with no LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (hand) and his 13.7 points, 1.7 threes, 9.7 boards, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks would look a whole lot better if not for his 36.6% from the field and 60% from the line.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had better efficiency and also put up some nice counting stats last week- 23.3 points, 4.7 threes and 1.3 steals with incredible usage (24.0 vs. 16.5 on the season). Good luck trying to repeat that. The Lakers go 4 times followed by 3 times four weeks in a row.

    Terrence Ross got 11.8 points, 2.3 threes and 5.5 rebounds in 23.6 minutes last week which means he’s worth a stream. It’d be nice if he hit more of his shots (38% last week). Orlando has 4 games.

    Tyreke Evans is averaging 12.3 points, 1.5 threes, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals over the last two weeks but he couldn’t hit his free throws (55.6%). His 19 minutes a game gives me pause. Indy plays 3 times.

    Kevin Huerter had 12.8 points and 2.3 threes in 37.0 minutes last week but couldn’t hit a lick (39.2% from the floor, 40% from the line). Atlanta has 4 games this week.

    Cavs report: Last week, Matthew Dellavedova (foot) and Rodney Hood (Achilles) were hurt so Alec Burks got plenty of run last week (30.9 minutes) but still couldn’t crack the top-150. That makes him a deep-league guy at the best. The Cavs go 4 times.

    Reggie Bullock is still in pole position for Detroit’s lead gunner with 13.3 points, 3.3 treys and 2.3 assists last week but not much else and since he shot 38.6%, he also placed outside the top-150, thus deep league or plug-and-play for triples. Detroit plays 4 games this week and next.

    Devonte’ Graham has been starting for Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) and landed himself in the top-120 in 9-cat with 10.0 points, 2.0 threes, 4.7 assists and 1.7 steals over his last three in 28 minutes per game (12.8 min on the season). His rank would be even higher if not for the 30% shooting from the floor.

    Malik Monk had top-130 also over his last three with 12.3 points, 1.7 threes and a stock, and did it in typical fashion with 21, 0, and 16 points. Lamb should be back soonish so best to move on unless you’re in a deep league. Charlotte has 3 games.

    Small Forwards

    Moe Harkless stayed with it and I absolutely love his stat set from the 3 spot 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.3 blocks along with 7.7 points and 0.7 threes last week. His shooting sucks but he’s a low-volume guy so the bite is manageable. What’s more worrisome to me is the fact that his left knee is still balky and he’s sitting back-to-backs; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take some maintenance days off in addition to the B2Bs so he’s not the best fit for weekly leagues; if his knees hold up, you can party all the time. Portland goes 4 times (no B2Bs).

    Good job if you went with Danuel House while he’s hot (57.9%) and his 11.8 points, 2.2 threes and over 1.5 stocks in 30 minutes a game over the last two weeks was good for top-50 in 9-cat (top-70 in 8-cat). It’s not like PJ Tucker (top-250 in that span) was doing anything to impede him. The Rockets play 4 times.

    Kelly Oubre (top-220 last week) only played 20 minutes a game despite Phoenix only getting blown out once.  Mikal Bridges is still the guy to own even with the rookie growing pains – 8.8 points, 2.0 threes, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks last week. I’ll repeat what I said last Sunday: “if he has a few bad games and is dropped, I will be first in line to scoop.” The Suns have 3 games.

    You lucked out if you rode Jeff Green’s top-40 9-cat value last week – 15.0 points, 1.7 threes, 6.3 points, 5.3 assists and over 1.5 stocks in 36.5 minutes. His low-end game gets a boost with all the burn but good luck if you expect that this week. The Wiz go 4 times this week, then once the next.

    DeAndre’ Bembry’s fantasy returns took the expected bump with no Kent Bazemore (ankle) and his 11.3 points, 0.8 threes, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks was enough to nullify his bad shooting (43.9%/66.7%). Atlanta goes 4 times.

    Kevin Knox was gawd-awful from the field last week (37.5%) but still ended up inside the top-150 in 9-cat. How? Well, his biggest value came from a mere 0.3 turnovers, then the 2.3 threes. The 14.7 points is neutral, and he has negative value in every other category. Yay. Still a points league/punt-FG guy. He chucks it 4 times but then once the week after.

    Cedi Osman had 13.0 points, 1.4 threes, 4.9 rebounds and 0.6 steals over the last two weeks and still couldn’t crack the top-175 in 8/9-cat, i.e. deep league fodder. The Cavs have 4 games.

    Rodions Kurucs’s flame burned out, Allen Crabbe (ankle) still hasn’t returned and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s groin still hurts so DeMarre Carroll got busy last week – 19.0 points, 4.0 treys and 5.3 rebounds in 30 minutes a game. How long will the other guys miss games and how long can he stay hot (54.5% from the field)? He’s stream-worthy in 14-16 deep. Brooklyn goes 3 times for the next few weeks.

    Power Forwards

    Justise Winslow’s hot shooting evaporated last week (34.3% from the field). We’re left with 11.0 points, 0.7 threes, 4.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals. That was top-160ish in 8/9-cat and that’s the lowdown.

    James Johnson
    was also okay last week with top-120 value while Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo were top-150 on low-volume efficiency. You can likely find better than the latter two while Bloodsport deserves a look if you don’t have to cut anybody better. Miami goes 3 times this week and next.

    Luke Kornet wasn’t going to average 4.5 treybombs and 5.0 dimes (or 30+ minutes) forever, but he still put up 12.5 points, 2.5 threes, 5.5 boards and a stock last week. You can roll with him if the stats help (top-100) but beware the schedule – the Knicks play 4 times this week, once the next.

    Al-Farouq Aminu is hot and has passed 50% ownership but Jae Crowder hasn’t. Jae had himself a nice week with 16.7 points. 2.7 threes, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals (top-50). You gotta play him while he’s rolling. The Jazz go 4 times.

    JaMychal Green wasn’t particularly impressive but the 10.0 points, 1.0 threes, 7.5 boards and over a stock he got last week are certainly usable. The Grizz play 3 times, then 4 times for three weeks.

    Bobby Portis (ankle) aka Beaker looks like he’s ready to play on Sunday, and while we don’t know how he’ll fit with Robin Lopez now getting (too many) minutes, we do know Beaker can rack up points and boards with a smattering of 3s in limited minutes. The Bulls play Boylen-ball 3 times.


    Thomas Bryant was even better last week with 13.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 31.3 minutes a game (top-30/35 in 9/8-cat). Ian Mahinmi isn’t going to take his minutes so Bryant good to go for the next month-plus; he’s got so much to give. The Wiz run 4 times this week but only 1 time the following.

    After not even playing during a blowout to the Dubs (flu szn), Richaun Holmes broke out with 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.0 blocks over his last two which I’m sure made Bruski very happy. The Suns have 3 games.

    Willy Hernangomez was unsurprisingly pedestrian sans Cody Zeller with 8.7 points and 7.7 in 15.8 minutes a game, and despite his rebounding prowess, his defense is so bad, he still can’t get a consistent run of 20-22 minutes a game. Coach Borrego brought Bismack Biyombo out of mothballs – over his last three, Biz is getting 9.3 points, 7.0 boards and over 1.5 stocks in 17.2 minutes. Both are less-than-ideal options but give ‘em a look if you’re in deeper leagues with no other options. Charlotte goes 3 times.

    Mason Plumlee is still (somehow) starting even with Paul Millsap (toe) back and he got 9.3 points, 6.7 boards, 3.7 assists and over 2 stocks last week. He has 5 games to do his thing if you can handle the FT shooting (46.1% on the year).

    I regret to inform you that Alex Len is back. He put up 18.3 points, 0.7 threes, 8.7 boards and 1.7 blocks last week as Atlanta continues to get spanked almost daily. Shazam! I have no idea why he’s getting 25 minutes a game; maybe that’s part of the tanking strategy. Atlanta has 4 games if you can handle the 38.9% from the line he had last week (No. 1 worst volume weighted FT hit last week) or if you don’t mind him going back to sucking.

    Ed Davis was extra boss last week with 10.5 boards and 1.5 steals but was decidedly not boss with his FT shooting (0% lol). He goes 3 times for three weeks.

    Nerlens Noel, the Ed Davis of defense, got 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals over the last week in 12.7 minutes OKC runs 3 times this week and next.  

    Mo Bamba is blocking 2.0 shots over his last four games and is a plug-and-play option (maybe Sat/Sun B2B) if Noel is not available. Orlando splashes 4 times.

    Mitchell Robinson (ankle) looks like he’ll be back sometime this week and *Hubie Brown voice* “while we know Robinson can block shots, you also know he can’t stay on the floor.” We’ll see how Fiz works his rotations but non-floor-spacers Kanter and Meech can’t both come off the bench, right? Right? N.Y. has 4 games this week, one the next.

    Random Observations

    In the West, I’m watching the following teams duke it out for the last few playoff spots, but really, the Clippers and Grizzlies; I don’t think there’s a big change if the Wolves, Pelicans, Jazz, or Mavs fall out of the playoff hunt that early and if the Kings do, only Nemanja Bjelica would lose time.

    The team I’m most worried about is the Grizzlies (hopefully their addition of Justin Holiday – who stunk in 21 minutes off the bench – will help) because Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are banged up. They’re really %&#*ing old, too. If they end up out of the playoff hunt, I’m worried about the two vets. JJJ would obviously go nuts if Gasol sits but probably not if Conley sits – who’ll get hm the ball?

    For the Clippers, they’re hanging in there for now, but slowly falling in the standings. I think they’ll be competing down to the last few weeks but if not, Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari are at risk for missed games/shutdown. SGA would be the main beneficiary in terms of increased usage.

    In the East, I’m most looking at the Hornets, Pistons and Magic – Washington is already in subtle tank mode but I think Coach Brooks will let Bradley Beal and Otto Porter put up numbers to try to accelerate a trade; either could still be moved.

    As for the big three, they all have some distance from the bottom feeders, so I expect all to be in it down the stretch but if anyone (Kemba, Blake, Vooch) is hurt for a decent stretch, this scenario can’t be ruled out (cough, Hornets).

    Coach Tom Thibodeau is back to incessantly shouting from the sidelines all game long. Good to have you back, Thibs.

    In Thursday’s game against the Lakers, Steven Adams jumps for rebound and injures his ankle coming down on an opponent’s foot. As he falls, Adams doesn’t grimace let alone shout out in pain. He slowly reaches for the injured ankle as if registering a defective body part. He was hobbled for a minute, but he stayed in the game as his ankle regenerated during a timeout.

    Working the night shift (as always),

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