• *I hadn’t planned on doing another musically themed article but the cool weather and time of year kind of perfectly aligned so this mostly what I was listening to anyway last week- New-Wave.

    After drawing his first start for Steph Curry in the last game of Week 4, Quinn Cook dropped 27 with three 3s, five dimes and a steal. He was subsequently picked up for his five-game week. After a 7-point dud on Monday, my (generally useless) Yahoo Roster Alerts told me that 1000s of teams had dropped him without even waiting for the Tues back-to-back. Quick trigger.

    I’m as impatient as the rest but I’m not Rasputin (not a New Wave track but seriously, you have to watch this) so I also play the averages. And it’s not like Cook is an unknown- he had two stretches of mid-round fantasy value last season while starting for Steph. How could I not ride him for him five-gamer when some teams were only playing one or two games?

    The guys that dropped him on Monday missed the 18 points, two 3s, six assists and four boards he put up on Tuesday. He still has a Sunday game and so far over four games this week he gave us 12.8 points, 2.3 threes, 3.0 assists and 0.5 steals on 48.8 percent from the floor. Those aren’t mid-round numbers, but certainly helpful. He has one more game this week and it looks like we can roll with him at least for the beginning of next week – he only has three games.


    There is a light that never goes out.

    Mannn, what a tough week for Caris LeVert. There were so many reports over the summer of Caris busting his hump trying to get better and the results this season matched expectations.

    Luckily, he seemed to have dodged a major injury and could return this season. Hope my man heals up fast and makes a full recovery but I’m not sure I’m expecting him to be that good when he returns; there are so many variables after returning from injury plus the Nets will be unlikely to push him as they’re finally keeping their own first round draft picks. Of course, if you have an IL spot or in roto you can just hold him, easy peasy.

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    So, I’ve been cranking ‘em out there as usual but reception has been cooler than usual.

    But I finally got one to go through in H2H. This is what I did:

    On this team, I already had Barton and Dunn on IL (and John Collins just chillin’ on my active roster) so it was (and still is) imperative I clear up space for when my guys get back.

    After a week-long, wordless consideration of my Zach Collins and Zach LaVine for his Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker, the other guy rejected it – probably after Collins stopped blocking shots and hitting 3s. I still wanted to try to sell-high on LaVine, so I looked at teams neat the bottom of the rankings who might be getting desperate to make a move.

    I settled on Paul George and picked the worst guy on his roster to make it a faux 2-for-1 trade. That happened to be Glenn Robinson. It’d be nice to get a guy I can attempt to use but whatever. If he had Glenn Robinson, I reasoned he was really desperate, so I sent the same initial offer of the two Zachs with a note telling him to tell me who he liked or make a counter-offer.

    Within the hour, he countered with my Jrue and Sabonis for his PG and Glenn. Can you smell the desperation?

    After a day or so, I explained to him that Jrue was my biggest assist guy and couldn’t trade him, but would he go for Zach and Sabonis?

    He did.

    I hate to give up my lone share of LaVine and Sabonis but neither will come close to the first round value George is putting up now. If his percentages ever get even a little closer to mean, he could hold down steady top-10 value all season.

    And he has two more games than LaVine come H2H playoffs.

    Also, now I have an open spot to stream until whomever of Barton/Dunn comes back first.  I’d love to pull another faux 2-for-1 for lower ranked targets just to clear space, but all in due time.


    It was actually two days after that trade I found myself resubmitting offers for Otto Porter. In one league, I noticed that it was the same guy that I got Paul George from. I didn’t think he’d go for it but what the hell.

    All the other Porter offers were turned down within a day except for that same guy. It turns out he didn’t want my Markieff Morris for his Dwyane Wade as secondary pieces, so he countered with his Otto Porter for my Jeremy Lamb straight up.

    I had to accept. I know Lamb is playing better now (I’ll miss his fantastic FT shooting especially) and there’s some risk that the dysfunctional stink in Washington sticks to Porter all season long, but I was gaining two more games for the H2H playoffs, diversifying my three Lamb shares and getting some upside surprise in the process. I’ll take that any day of the week in H2H.

    Team Floppy Divac is falling in love.

    The moral of the story isn’t that I got a smooth trade to go in my favor. It’s that it took so many offers and counter-offers, so many friendly and polite little notes, so much time before one got done.

    Some days I literally will spend over an hour looking over all the teams’ rosters in all my leagues, hoping for a new angle or thought on a trade I can try now or maybe one for the future. You’ve got to put in the work to get the results. I know, a radical concept.

    Week 6 Schedule

    Unlike last week when there was as much as a four-game disparity between teams, this week every team plays three or four times.

    The bad thing is there are no games being played on Thanksgiving, so it’s sandwiched by 13 games on Wednesday and 14 games on Friday. That means you’ll probably have a lot of guys sitting.

    All other teams play 4 Games.

    Monday has 9 games: Celtics at Hornets, Cavs at Pistons, Jazz at Pacers, Suns at Sixers, Clippers at Hawks, Mavs at Grizz, Nuggets at Bucks, Spurs at Pels and Thunder at Kings.

    Tuesday has 4: Raptors at Magic, Clips at Wiz, Nets at Heat and Blazers at Knicks.

    Wednesday has 13: Pacers at Hornets, Pelicans at Sixers, Raptors at Hawks, Knicks at Celtics, Lebron at Cleveland, Suns at Bulls, Pistons at Rockets, Blazers at Bucks, Nuggets at Wolves, Nets at Mavs, Grizz at Spurs, Kings at Jazz and Thunder at Warriors.

    Thursday has 0: Me at my mama’s house.

    Friday has 14: Wolves at Nets, Grizz at Clips, Rockets at Pistons, Celts at Hawks, Pelicans at Knickerbockers, Cavs at Sixers, Wizards at Raptors, Spurs at Pacers, Heat at Bulls, Hornets at Thunder, Suns at Bucks, Magic at Nuggets, Blazers at Warriors and Jazz at Lakers.

    Saturday has 7: Rockets at Cavs, Pels at Wiz, Bulls at Wolves, Nuggets at Thunder, Celts at Mavs, Spurs at Bucks and Kings at Dubs.

    Sunday has 8: Magic at Lakers, Suns at Pistons, Hornets at Hawks, Sixers at Nets, Heat at Raps, Knicks at Grizz, Jazz at Kings and Clippers at Blazers.

    For My Streamers

    *all lighter schedule days in bold- Tues, Sat, Sun

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


    Sun (of Week 5)/Mon: MEM, SAS
    Mon/Tues: LAC
    Tues/Weds: BKN, NYK, POR, TOR
    Weds/Thurs: none
    Thurs/Fri: none
    Sat/Sun: SAC
    Sun/Mon (of Week 7): CHA, ORL, UTA

    3 games in 4 nights: none, again, Thanksgiving.

    Tu & Sa/Su+ BRK, MIA, NYK, ORL, TOR, WAS

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    Shai Gorgeous put up two duds in a row but I won’t let go at any (reasonable) price.

    Collin Sexton actually gave us standard-league value over his last three high-volume games with 20.0 points, 2.0 threes, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. The 48 percent shooting isn’t sustainable but the 33-plus minutes a game might be. Cleveland plays 4 times if you’re looking for popcorn stats.

    Shelvin Mack is still hot and pumping out top-100 value with 11.3 points, 1.3 threes 4.0 dimes and 1.8 steals last week. Run him out there as the Grizz play 4 times.

    Jeremy Lin has been picking up extra burn with the starters with rookie Trae Young struggling and has 13.6 points, 1.6 threes, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals over the last two weeks which looks pretty good. Atlanta plays 4 times.

    J.J. Barea finally hit some shots which gave him top-125 9-cat value over the last week. He’s prone to put up duds and has been especially inefficient this year but if you need some assists with some scoring, Dallas goes 4 times so he might be worth it as a stream.

    Tyler Johnson put up top-120 9-cat value over the last two weeks and has scored at least 10 in five straight while playing almost 30 minutes off the bench. He seems to be taking some of Rodney McGruder’s minutes and his line of 13.5 points, 1.9 threes, 3.9 boards, 2.3 assists and over 1.5 stocks looks usable while he’s hot. James Johnson is coming back soon and while he isn’t a guard, he’ll complicate the rotation. Plus, Dwyane Wade (personal) isn’t with the team currently. Miami has 3 games.

    Bryn Forbes is still scoring and hitting 3s (12.1 and 2.1 over the last two weeks) and Patty Mills is doing the same with some assists (11.6, 2.3 and 3.4) as Derrick White has struggled in his return. The Spurs have 4 games (for three straight weeks).

    Pat Beverley continued his low-end run and he’s had standard-league value the last two weeks with 9.2 points, 1.8 threes, 4.7 assists and 0.7 steals. He’s splitting time with Sweet Lou and SGA and Doc will ride the hot hand but he’s widely available if you want to try him out. The Clippers go 4 times.

    D.J. Augustin has been low-key playable over the last two weeks with averages of 12.8 points, 2.0 threes and 5.5 assists. Orlando has 3 games.

    Ryan Arcidiacono was top-175 over the last two weeks and is really for very deep formats or #Bullstwitter. The Bulls go 3 times.

    Trey Burke started second half over Frank Ntilikina, then got DNPed for Mudiay, then was resurrected in favor of Ntilikina’s minutes. Are you going to pick one of them up in a weekly league? There’s a ticket awaiting you on the ship of fools.

    Shooting Guards

    Terrence Ross has been picked up in all leagues so he’s probably not available in yours. And he shouldn’t be. The Magic play 3 times for the next six weeks.

    Wayne Ellington is Wayne Ellington. A chucker off the bench who the Heat really, really need for spacing. He’s getting consistent minutes in the mid-20s which is enough for him to get the 11.8 points and 3.3 trifectas he got last week on 36 percent shooting. There’s a good chance he reprises his role as the best 3-point shooter on your waivers. The Heat go 3 times.

    Jordan Clarkson was very inefficient over his last few games (3.7 turnovers and 43.2 percent from the field) which made his empty 16.0 points and 1.0 threes look worse than usual. Rodney Hood is also right there with 15.3 points and 1.3 threes over his last three. They go 4 times if you’re streaming for points or in a deeper league.

    Allonzo Trier was reinserted into the starting lineup on Friday and had 11 points, a three, five assists and three steals. It seems coach Fiz likes his aggressive game but outside of him keeping a neatly trimmed beard, who really knows anything about the real Fizdale. He is truly an enigma of our times. The Knicks go 4 times if you want to crack that nut.

    David Nwaba has been getting some run and Larry Drew is on record saying he intends to keep the man formerly known as The Demolition Man in the rotation. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 11.3 points, 0.7 threes, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 stocks in 24.2 minutes. The stocks and minutes look high and we’ll see if Drew keeps his word, but the Cavs have 4 games for you guys with dry wires.

    Guess who has put up a very quiet top-100 9-cat roto line the last two weeks? That, my friends, would be Pat Connaughton. He’s barely inside the top-175 on the season but over the last two weeks he’s averaging 8.6 points, 1.1 threes, 4.6 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.0 blocks. Of course, his best cat is lack of turnovers (0.4) which make him better for roto, but even deeper-league streamers might find his 4 games useful this week.

    Langston Galloway’s been shooting the ball extremely well over the last two weeks (52.9 percent) which makes the 14.2 points and 3.0 treys he put up that much sweeter. Can he keep it up? Detroit plays 4 times.

    Allen Crabbe can’t hit the broad side of a barn (25.8 percent shooting coming into Saturday’s game) and is firmly outside the top-300 in 9-cat but he’s still a starter and hit 5-of-11 shots for 15 points, three 3s and four boards on Saturday. The Nets go 4 times this week. You feeling lucky?

    Small Forwards

    E’Twaun Moore got picked up in a lot of leagues as he was en fuego last week. Nawlins goes 4 times this week and the next two so give him a shot if he’s still available.

    You might not know it from looking at his numbers, but rookie Mikal Bridges has been top-100 over the last two weeks with 3s, steals and good efficiency. He’s starting in place of Trevor Ariza (personal) and had 14 points, threes 3s, four steals and two blocks in 30 minutes on Sunday vs. the Thunder and I think he’ll start trending for adds. I was trying to hold off for as long as possible on Mikal and he’ll probably be benched when Ariza returns but I picked him up in two leagues anyway just to see. It helps that Phoenix has 4 games this week.

    Tyreke Evans has been pretty limited this year – barely top-150 9-cat value – but led Indiana’s bench mob in a win over the Heat on Friday. He scored a season-high 23 points with five trey bombs, 10 boards, two dimes and a block. He also played a season-high 25 minutes but he’s at 20.1 minutes per game on the season which means his scoring outburst feels a little fluky. Then on Sunday Victor Oladipo left the game five minutes with knee pain but Reke couldn’t get more than 11 points in 24 minutes. The Pacers have 3 games this week and somebody’s going to pick him up but I’m not the one.

    James Ennis had a nice week with 10.3 points, 1.0 threes and over 1.5 stocks in 28.9 minutes a game. With Melo gone, somebody has to give ‘em some production. It could be Ennis or it could be…

    Gary Clark has put up low-end money counter for two weeks – 1.3 threes, 0.6 steals and 1.4 blocks over the last two weeks. Deep-leaguers needing those stats should scoop him because even though his usage is very low, he seems to have a consistent role in a Houston rotation needing defense. The Rockets go 3 times.

    Jeff Green and Kelly Oubre are still hanging on to top-150 on the season, with Green playing better recently at top-100 over the last two weeks. Pretty uninspiring but they’re (especially Oubre) getting minutes at the expense of Otto Porter which is just sad. The Wiz go 3 times.

    Instead of a regression to the mean in a positive way, Evan Turner’s shooting (25.0 from the field, 0.0 from the line over his last three) got even worse. His 4.0 dimes, 4.3 boards and 1.0 stocks couldn’t salvage that efficiency anchor. The Trail Blazers go 4 times this week.

    With Wes Matthews (hamstring) in and out of the lineup, Dorian Finney-Smith put up stats worthy of standard leagues – 10.7 points, 2.0 threes and 2.0 stocks in a too-high 32 minutes a game. Dallas plays 3 times.

    DeMarre Carroll is back and while he hasn’t made much noise yet, he could get more run if RHJ’s ankle still hurts. The Nets play 4 games.

    Power Forwards

    Jerami Grant got 12.6 points, 1.3 threes, 5.9 boards and over 1.5 stocks over the last two weeks and he’s not been so bad with his FT% (79.2). He’s been pretty consistent since joining the starting lineup a few weeks back. OKC goes 4 times.

    Al-Farouq Aminu has been rolling over the last two weeks with 9.0 points, 1.9 threes, 7.3 boards and over 2.0 stocks on 42.3 percent shooting. The 3s and stocks are too high but that’s pretty much classic Aminu. Portland plays 4 games.

    Juancho Hernangomez is now starting and has averages 22. 5 points, 3.0 treys and 10.0 boards over his last two. I don’t know what to say or even how to rate him. Denver has 4 games and here comes the rain again.

    Kevin Knox displaced Noah Vonleh in the starting lineup – killing his value in the process – and managed 11 points, three 3s, five boards, two assists and a steal with bad efficiency. Except for the three triples, that sounds about right. NY has 4 games.

    PJ Tucker has cooled off over the last few weeks, especially with the steals, so maybe somebody dropped him. I can use him in at least half of my leagues were that to happen. The Rockets play 3 times.

    Justise Winslow puts up stats – 9.4 points, 0.9 threes, 4.9 assists, 5.6 boards and 0.9 steals over the last two weeks but his shooting (34.5% from the floor, 71.4% from the stripe) leaves him outside the top-250 in 9-cat, which makes him a horrible choice for roto.

    Also for Miami, James Johnson (hernia) is probable for Sunday. I’d rather take a shot on Bloodsport than Winslow, but he’ll probably take a few weeks to get up to speed and it’s getting awfully crowded in South Beach. The Heat play 3 times.

    Wilson Chandler is still on a minutes restriction but coach Brown loves him at the 4. That’s not my interpretation as Brown literally said: “At the 4 spot, I really love a healthy Wilson Chandler.” Despite this it seems like he might be in a timeshare with Mike Muscala but we’ll see as the Sixers are still integrating Jimmy Butler into what they do. Philly plays 4 times.


    So many guards and wings out there and so few centers; you see why people pay a premium on draft day.

    Tristan Thompson is still averaging a double-double on the season but has doing it even better over the last two weeks with 13.2 points and 13.3 boards plus a stock. That’s in top-100 9-cat range so he should be owned. Cleveland plays 4 times.

    Zach Collins is not getting blocks or threes so I kicked him out, head over heels – the stream stops for no man. It’s gotten so bad, Meyers Leonard is outranking him over the last two weeks. Yuk. Portland has 4 games.

    Mitchell Robinson continues to start and block shots and has pulled his season ranking into the top-130 in 9-cat. He’s been in the top-100 over the last two weeks with 5.1 points (on 53.8% from the field), 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 0.7 steals. He’s a hold in my book (or an add if he becomes available). The Knicks go 4 times.

    Bam Adebayo put up top-150 9-cat value last week but most of his value came from his FG% (65.2) and low turnovers (0.8). He also only played 15.5 minutes a game. That makes him better for deeper roto formats which might not even hold up with the imminent return of James Johnson.  Miami plays 3 times.

    Ed Davis is averaging 8.3 rebounds in 17.4 minutes. It’s what he does. He plays 4 times.

    Random Observations

    You should always be surfing your wires. In Yahoo public leagues last week, I got 2 shares of Mitchell Robinson off waivers and 1 of RHJ. Someone else dropped Larry Nance the Younger. I tried to get him with a low waiver priority (after Big Meech), but you bounced.

    Following up with streaming, if you stream aggressively you have to take into account that you won’t get 100% of the best waiver guys. If you missed a Paskal Siakam or a Shai Gorgeous, I know it sucks. But you can’t keep holding on to that stuff – it really weighs on you psychologically and gunks up your decision-making facilities. There will always be someone else.

    In one leeg this week, I noticed after Friday’s games that I was close in 3s, assists, steals, TOs and percentages. Not remotely close in rebounds and blocks. I played the averages and benched my non-3 shooting bigs and didn’t have one regret.

    Maybe the reason Jamal Murray was benched for Monte Morris on Wednesday was that in their 9-1 start, the Nuggets were No. 2 in the league defensively. Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Hawks, they were second to last.

    Continuing with the defense, the Jazz roared into the playoffs last season with the top-rated defense. They’re barely inside the top-20 now and the team is floundering. Sometimes, correlation is causation.

    John Henson (out 3 months – wrist) gave Brook Lopez the nickname Spash Mountain after his eight trey bombs in a game last week. That’s an uber fantastic nickname if you’re aware of the Lopez brothers’ life-long affinity for all things Disney. I’m changing one of my Bro-Lo team’s name. The basketball gods will be very pleased and there was nothing in the world that I ever wanted more.

    The basketball gods also noticed an anguished cry from Kevin Durant supposedly telling them ‘That’s why I’m out’ after his dust-up with Draymond.

    -ESPN noted that Derrick Rose was on the court for Caris LeVert, Gordon Hayward and Paul George’s gruesome leg injuries. Talk about bad juju.

    And talking about bad juju: “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.” -William Gibson

    Enjoy the silence,

    I’m in the Hoop-Ball Forums on Monday and Tuesday. You can also find me on the interwebs.

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