• I didn’t have a music theme in mind for this week but over the past few weeks I’ve been mostly playing older tunes, so I’ll keep it to new school for this one. Why? Sometimes you just want to do something nonsensical like order sushi from Japan and kick it (like) Jackie Chan.

    For me, modern music means after I stopped recording and doing shows, after I stopped trying to be a professional rapper– so, post-2010. That means largely unknown to older segment of my audience to memberberries for the younger ones. This’ll be fun.

    Since this is the retro era, there are some similarities between many of this week’s songs and last week’s. If you listened to the tracks in last week’s WTW you might recognize the New Wave influenced ambient, eerie background sounds, the 80’s Roland 808 drums, synth-heavy melodies and occasionally basslines. From pop/alt-rock, to hip-hop and R&B, much of the commercial modern sound includes these elements (with a large contribution from Canadian arranger Frank Dukes).

    There are also some differences of course (aside from the quantized drums) most noticeably the off-beat, non-musical mumble rap -I swear when I first heard this basic-ass song I though it was satire- like a new Short Bus Shawty.

    What’s not new is the Auto-Tuned vocals made famous by T-Pain, because Roger Troutman had been using the vocoder to alter his vocals in the 80s.

    Just recently I’m starting to hear a few more upbeat feel-good sample based songs (an 80s sample that was also the basis for a classic ol’ school hip-hop track), which to me indicates a coming change in hip-hop (and thus, pop music) and to the world at large during the next 10-20 years. In the unlikely event they go back to letting studio musicians and house orchestras shine, I will be one very happy camper.


    We all know the usual guys that are cat killers and outside of a punt build, we went out of our way to avoid these players. Aside from obvious predators like Andre Drummond and James Harden, you might be surprised by who is killing your cats this year.

    No longer can they hide; time to expose their transgressions and take the mask off (another fine use of a 70s sample).


    The top-7 volume-weighted free throw drags include many of the usual suspects, including a few whose percentage noticeably dipped from last year: Drummond (worst), Adams, Whiteside, Gobert, Cauley-Stein, Giannis and Dwight Howard.

    The No. 8 worst is a bit of a shock despite last year’s drop off — Russell Westbrook. Brodie actually has a slight positive value in FG% which pretty much flips his career averages.

    For Nos. 9-11 we have Ben Simmons, Clint Capela and John Wall.

    If we expand the list to the top-20, we get Favors, Fox, Portis, Thad Young, Julius Randle, Montrezl, backup guard Shaq Harrison, a very disappointing Jarrett Allen and Jerami Grant.

    DeAndre Jordan has improved his stoke a ton and is no longer an offender and has a very small positive impact on the season.

    The players that have helped the most are the usual suspects — KD, Gallo, Lou Will, Dame, Harden, Curry, LaVine, KAT, DeRozan, Middleton, Kemba and Redick,


    I would have guessed Trae Young is the worst offender for bricklaying, and I would be wrong — the worst is Kevin Love, who started out frigid and got hurt before he could bring it up.

    Eric Gordon is No. 2 and is followed by Young, Crabbe, PG, Wiggins, R. Jax, Rubio, THJ, Sweet Lou, Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Tyreke, DAR, Saric, Teague, Harry Barnes, LaMarcus, Crowder and Melo.

    Conversely, the guys that boost your FG% the most are all bigs — Capela, Giannis, Sabonis, Gobert, Ayton, Montrezl, JaVale, Adams, Siakam and Ibaka and Vooch. I’d think Sabonis, Siakam, Ibaka and Vooch regress some, but they have been a big help so far.


    The Nos. 1-4 for turnovers are to be expected — Harden (worst), Giannis, Booker and Westbrook, but it’s a bit of a surprise to see Blake Griffin at No. 5 with 3.9 per game — over a full point over his career average. Other guys among the worst offenders include Jrue Holiday and KAT (surprise) and Trae Young, LaVine, Doncic and Wall (not a surprise).

    Rounding out the top-20 we encounter some other guys that you were expecting and maybe some guys you weren’t: Simmons, Fox, Bron, Draymond, Embiid, CP3, KD, DSJ and PG/Rubio.

    Low usage guys get the fewest turnovers so it’s a bit harder to gauge positive impact relative to percentages, but if we look at guys in the top-160ish for 9-cat, the following players get the fewest turnovers: Mitch Rob, Pat Connaughton, Nerlens Noel, Maxi Kleber, Marvin Williams, Iman Shumpert, Monte Morris, MKG, Jon Isaac and Jae Crowder.


    It sucks if you have any of these efficiency bombs built into your core, especially if you didn’t intend on a punt build. It happens. Sometimes we can make a trade, sometimes we rework our build based on situational realities and sometimes, as it happens, we find love in a hopeless place.

    Week 7 Schedule

    2 Games: DEN, OKC, SAC


    All other teams play 4 games.

    Monday has 7 games: Bucks at Hornets, Wolves at Cavs, Rockets at Wizards, Spurs at Bulls, Celtics at Pelicans, Pacers at Jazz and Magic at Warriors.

    Tuesday has 5: Knicks at Pistons, Hawks at Heat, Raptors at Grizzlies, Lakers at Nuggets and Pacers at Suns.

    Wednesday has 10: Hawks at Hornets, Knicks at Sixers, Jazz at Nets, Mavs at Rockets, Bulls at Bucks, Spurs at Wolves, Wiz at Pels, Cavs at Thunder, Magic at Blazers and Suns at Clips.

    Thursday has 3: Dubs at Raps, Pacers at Lakers and Clips at Kings.

    Friday has 11: Cavs at Celts, Jazz at Hornets, Bulls at Pistons, Wizards at Sixers, Grizz at Nets, Pels at Heat, Hawks at Thunder, Rockets at Spurs, Magic at Suns, Mavs at Lakers and Nuggets at Blazers.

    Saturday has 7: Bucks at Knicks, Warriors at Pistons, Nets at Wiz, Raps at Cavs, Bulls at Rockets, Celts at Wolves and Pacers at Kings.

    Sunday has 6: Suns at Lakers, Pels at Hornets, Jazz at Heat, Grizz at Sixers, Clips at Mavs and Blazers at Spurs.

    For My Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold- Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat & Sun.

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


    Sun (of Week 6)/Mon: CHA, ORL, UTA
    Mon/Tues: IND
    Tues/Weds: ATL, NYK, PHO
    Weds/Thurs: LAC
    Thurs/Fri: LAL
    Fri/Sat: BKN, BOS, CHI, CLE, DET, HOU, WAS
    Sat/Sun: none
    Sun/Mon (of Week 8): LAC, NOR

    3 games in 4 nights

    Mon/Tues/Thurs: IND

    Tues/Weds/Fri: ATL, PHO

    Tues/Thurs/Fri: LAL

    Weds/Fri/Sat: BRK, CHI, CLE, HOU, WAS

    Thurs/Fri/Sun: LAL

    Tues & Thurs + Sat/Sun:  IND, LAL, TOR

    Working the Wire

    Point Guards

    I had the pleasure of watching a few quarters from one Aaron Holiday, and I was pretty impressed. The rook really gets after it and just looks like he’s having so much fun on the court; makes me remember back when, but we are young no more. While he doesn’t look like either of his brothers, his game is more like a young Jrue — attacking and energy — and he’s already probably a better outside shooter at his age. He’s only getting 20.2 minutes because Victor Oladipo (knee) is out for Indy but watch out if they’re ever eliminated from playoff contention or if one of the middling Tyreke Evans or Darren Collison is moved. Indiana has four games this week if you’re in a deep-league and feel your stars are aligned.

    Jeremy Lin is far from young but has been the main beneficiary of Trae Young going from amazing but inefficient to pedestrian and unplayable. Lin has put up 14.3 points, 2.0 threes, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals over the last two weeks and should be used while he’s hot (56.1% from the field). Linsanity is on deck 3 times.

    Collin Sexton continues his great play with 20.5 points, 0.8 threes, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists last week on an even better 53 percent from the field. Cleveland plays 4 times if you need points and a FG% boost from the guard position.

    J.J. Barea is hot which means he’ll probably go 3-for-14 after you add him but he’s been pretty steady with assists. The Mavs have 3 games.

    Bryn Forbes is still scoring and hitting 3s (12.8 and 2.9 over the last two weeks) and Patty Mills is doing the same with some assists (8.8, 1.4 and 3.0) as Derrick White continues to have a rough go of it. The Spurs have 4 games this week and next.

    Patrick Beverley has been usable with low-end numbers over the past two weeks — 8.6 points, 1.7 threes, 4.7 assists and 0.7 steals in 25.4 minutes. His upside is capped with Shai Gorgeous and Sweet Lou on the team, but he’s locked in his role. The Clippers go 3 times.

    D.J. Augustin is still low-key playable with 10.1 points, 1.9 threes and 5.4 assists over the last two weeks. If only his schedule would cooperate — Orlando has 3 games per week for more than a month.

    Ryan Arcidiacono continues to be a low-volume top-175 play for deep formats (until Dunn gets back). The Bulls go 4 times.

    Trey Burke started second half over Frank Ntilikina, then got DNPed for Mudiay, then was started, then benched, then picked up en masse, then stunk on Friday as Emmanuel Mudiay started and got the hot hand. LOL. New York has 3 games.

    Quinn Cook did a decent enough job — 13.3 points, 2.3 threes, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.6 steals over the last two weeks — but Steph is nearing a return so the writing’s on the wall.

    Shooting Guards

    I’ve seen Joe Harris get dropped since Allen Crabbe got hot last week and I’m not sure that’s prudent.  Crabbe somehow hit 46.7 percent of his jumpers last week and that still just left him at 31.5% for the season. He struggled for large parts of last season but did have some decent shooting stretches with standard-league value. Can he keep it (15.3 points and 3.8 threes) up? The Nets go 3 times this week if you want to find out.

    Wes Matthews (hamstring) is back. He’s been a top-100 9-cat play on the season with 16.1 points, 2.6 threes and 0.9 steals. Dallas plays 3 times.

    Wayne Ellington is Wayne Ellington. He’s averaging 2.7 triples already which would put him at No. 12 in the league had he played enough games. He’s still strangely averaging double the number steals he should be getting, but that’s just a bonus. You want him for the 3s. He gets to jack treys 3 times.

    Reggie Bullock has broken out of his shooting slump (38.3% on the season) and has been getting 13.0 points, 3.0 threes and 1.6 steals over the last two weeks. If you remember he had very strong play to close last season. The Pistons have 3 games.

    Jordan Clarkson is still there with his 18.0 points and 1.3 threes over the last two weeks. Rodney Hood is almost right there with 13.5 points and 1.8 threes. They go 4 times.

    Terrence Ross hasn’t gotten as much run with Jon Isaac back (21.8 vs. 24.5 mpg) but still managed 10.7 points and 2.0 threes last week. The Magic play 3 times for the next five weeks.

    Allonzo Trier played under 16 minutes for three straight games then got 34 minutes on Friday and broke out with 25 points, three 3s, eight boards and four dimes in a win over the Pelicans. I have no idea what to make of anything in the N.Y. backcourt so your guess is as good as mine. The Knicks play 3 times.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is still shooting it bad (39.2 percent over the last two weeks) and returned 11.8 points, 2.0 threes and 1.2 steals. He’s also ruing Josh Hart. Booo. Smells like a timeshare and the Lakers go 4 times.

    Alec Burks got 17 points, a three and a steal on Friday and while we’ve seen this flash in the pan thing before, Donovan Mitchell sat the second half with a rib contusion so maybe deep-leaguers can give him a look as a stream if Spida has to miss additional time. Utah goes 4 times.

    Small Forwards

    Mikal Bridges’ shooting and usage has cooled off, but his money counters still allowed him top-100 value over his last four games. He’s No. 19 in the league in steals per game and that’s on the season with 20% fewer minutes than he’s getting now. He’ll have his ups and downs but I’m holding on; you don’t have to, but you probably should unless you’re really in a pickle. The Suns play 4 games this week.

    Kelly Oubre was bumped up to the starting lineup and had some mixed returns which averaged to 11.8 points, 1.3 threes, 3.8 boards and over 2.0 stocks over his last four and certainly seems to have an easy path to value. Jeff Green is also a lower-upside option. The Wiz go 4 times.

    Return of the Cedi — Osman is back on the floor and back to his old ways of streaky shooting. Over his last five games he’s getting 12.4 points, 1.6 threes and 5.2 rebounds which is certainly usable in standard leagues, especially with him having 4 games.

    Even with no Dipo, Tyreke Evans still stunk. In fact, he was even worse (outside top-200 in 9-cat on 27.3 percent from the field). The Pacers go 4 times this week if you want to throw some crap at the wall and hope something sticks.

    James Ennis kept up the 3 & D stats last week — 1.7 threes and 1.3 steals in 30 minutes a game and, due to his heavy run, has separated himself from Gary Clark (1.7 threes and 0.7 blocks) and they really aren’t disparate youths. Houston plays 4 games.

    DeAndre’ Bembry got a little extra run with Taurean Prince (Achilles pain) hurting and put up sufficient counting stats- 7.8 points, 0.3 points, 5.0 boards, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks- to overcome his bad shooting. He’s like a tornado on the court so his stats come in fits and starts but he’s worth a look as a stream as long as Prince is out. Atlanta goes 3 times.

    Evan Turner’s shot is broken (39.3% last week) and that’s pushing his value outside the top-200. The Trailblazers play 3 times this week.

    Dorian Finney-Smith is still putting up defensive stats — 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks to go with 1.0  threes — but the rest of his line has kind of fallen off. Dallas also plays thrice.

    David Nwaba is still starting but has been mostly pedestrian, returning 8.3 points, 0.5 threes, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 stocks in 28.4 minutes. The Cavs have 4 games for you deep-league guys with dry wires.

    DeMarre Carroll hasn’t been doing much except ruining it for RHJ, leaving both of them with sub-par returns. It kind of looks like they both might end up as waiver wire recyclables. The Nets play 3 games.

    Power Forwards

    Noah Vonleh and Kevin Knox traded places again with Noah Vonleh moving into the starting lineup (again) and killing Knox’s already-limited value. Vonleh should be added and deployed as long as he’s starting as he can contribute all over the board. NY has 3 games.

    JaMychal Green is back and posted low-end numbers last week with 9.5 points, 1.0 threes, 7.3 boards and 1.5 stocks in 22.1 minutes. JJJ is entrenched as a starter but those minutes look pretty doable for Green going forward if you need something near his line. The Grizz go 3 times.

    Al-Farouq Aminu had been rolling but cooled off and settled into more typical 100ish value with 8.6 points, 1.4 threes, 8.3 boards and 1.5 stocks on 39.1 percent shooting. Classic Chief. Portland has 3 games.

    P.J. Tucker has climaxed and 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 4 times.

    Juancho Hernangomez is still starting but obviously couldn’t keep up that torrid pace. Over the last two weeks, he has averages of 12.3 points, 2.3 treys and 7.0 rebounds. Denver plays only twice which makes him lame for a simple weekly stream.

    The return of James Johnson (who looks like he ate Dion Waiters) hasn’t hurt Justise Winslow, who still put up stats last week — 8.7 points, 1.3 threes, 6.0 boards, 1.3 assists and 0.6 stocks — but his shooting (38.9% from the floor, 66.7% from the stripe) still leaves him around the top-250 in 9-cat which makes him a bad choice for roto. Miami only has three games, too, so he should be limited to deeper H2H formats.


    Tristan Thompson should not be available in standard-sized leagues.

    Cody Zeller has been a top-100 9-cat play on the season but his low-usage makes him a better asset in roto formats. He’s recently stepped it up a bit as the team deals with some injuries: top-75 over the last two weeks with 10.8 points,0.2 threes, 5.3 boards, 2.8 assists and 1.6 stocks with his usual fantastic efficiency. Charlotte has four games.

    Markieff Morris moved to the bench as Oubre got promoted to the starters and put up three straight with 10-plus points. Last week he averaged 11.5 points, 1.8 threes, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 stocks. Washington has 4 games.

    Mitchell Robinson got Fizzed and returned to the pine. Who told you to pick him up? Oh, right, that’s on me baby. I’m sticking with him ‘cause big men are rare and where else am I going to find 2-plus blocks? On my team where I acquired Paul George for LaVine and Sabonis, I placed a No. 5 waiver wire claim for Big Meech. Yes, I love the blocks. The Knicks go 3 times.

    Jordan Bell seems like he’s been let out of Kerr’s dog house (it might just be that he’s gotten in shape) but if Saturday’s career-best from Damian Jones shows us anything it’s that Kerr will still play the matchups and ride the hot hand which makes Bell a somewhat risky add. The Dubs go 3 times.

    Bam Adebayo comes out to about top-175 9-cat value over the last two weeks but he’s still playing in for fewer than 20 minutes a game which is less than idea for even 14-deep. Miami plays 3 times.

    Ed Davis is averaging 8.1 rebounds in 17.3 minutes. Boss goes 3 times.

    Richaun Holmes hit double figures three times in a row in a slightly higher than usual 17.7 minutes per game. That still feels a bit fluky but has a history of per-minute production and returned top-150 value last week so very deep leagues should be watching him if you’re not already. The Suns have 4 games.

    Random Observations

    Good things I have so many injuries and am forced to stream. When my teams are rolling, I get itchy standing pat. I have to force myself not to trade it away, I dropped it away, I streamed it away, away…

    If you hadn’t heard, Markelle Fultz, at the discretion of his attorney, will not be practicing or playing with the team until after an examination with a shoulder specialist which is scheduled for early this week. That news was followed by a Shams bomb reporting that Markelle would also be getting his wrist checked out and is looking for a change of scenery.

    If you forgot, Fultz had a mysterious shoulder ailment last season (disputed by some in the Sixers organization) that supposed caused him to change his shooting form. This summer he was trained by renowned shooting coach Drew Hanlen and we saw some encouraging videos of Markelle looking more comfortable shooting the ball. Fast forward to this season, and Fultz form might even be worse, working its way to an infamous video of Markelle almost pump-faking a free throw. He’s no longer speaking to Hanlen and there are many various possible legal issues that have arisen from this situation.

    What a mess. And to think, Philly could have had Jayson Tatum instead.

    J.R. Smith also dipped and expects/hopes to be traded- he might be waiting ‘til December 15th, when newly signed guys are eligible to be traded unless the Cavs just buy him out.

    The Wizards look destined for self-destruction and the management tries to work a trade that shakes the team up. To me it seems Bradley Beal is the most desired asset, although probably the player the Wiz brass would most like to keep. Will Beal be moved? Or will it be Wall or Porter? Whoever it is will lose H2H playoff games which will suck (unless it’s to the Kings which looks very doubtful).

    The Warriors have regained the top seed in the West but Nos. 2-7 are all separated by a game or less. I expect that jumbled pecking order to clear up appreciably over the next few weeks.

    With all the tinkering Coach Fizdale is doing out in N.Y. you’d figure he’s working on a unified field theory or at least a rebuttal to the theory of relativity [song]. But he’s not. What he’s probably doing is rapping with his buddy Coach Spo in Miami and they’re making bets on who can come up with the wackiest rotation.

    Fiz says “I’ll start all three rookies and Trey Burke, how ‘bout that.”

    Spo counters “I’ll start Justise Winslow and have him run the offense.

    Fiz goes “I’ll bench Burke and all the rookies and start Vonleh and Mudiay..again!”

    All Spo could think of was to start James Johnson and Wayne Ellington so he clearly has his work cut out for him if he wants to win this battle.

    Looking at a postcard from 1952,

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