• Well, my friends, for most of us the season is over.

    We struggled through maintenance days, injuries, “Fiz” being used as a verb, tanking, the Bulls’ and Pels’ special brand of tanking and had a new phrase introduced to our lexicon – “load management” (AKA I’m really healthy but I’m a diva and I want the LeBron treatment if I’m to re-sign in %*^@#$! Canada, so I’ll take the day off), brought to you by Kawhi Leonard (I mean, he’s a robot – how hard is it fix a faulty pump or replace a wonky motherboard?).

    I know many of you overcame this increased randomness – and it does seem to be getting worse – and many of you succumbed (both for some of you in multiple leagues). Compliments are due to those who won and my word of encouragement to those who didn’t, especially the inexperienced, is to not be disheartened. The randomness that did you a disfavor this time can just as easily bless you the next time around – even the basketball gods are subject to sovereignty of the great random.

    Getting my Mr. Rogers on: No matter what the outcome, I hope you enjoyed our time together and moreover I hope you learned something about fantasy basketball. I also hope you accompany me by using the offseason to decompress and put fantasy as far from mind as possible. I’ll enjoy the playoffs (I hope) and after that, there are a few basketball books I have but have yet to read – When the Game Was Ours and Breaks of the Game (though I might acquire and read Seven Seconds or Less first). While I’m deliberating, I can always catch up on some short-from exposition and get my ‘memberberries on from when Bill Simmons used to dominate ESPN, way back from when people used to read. I realize the irony seeing as I write this column weekly but I’ve increasingly been feeling like a vestigial tail (his Book of Basketball is a must-read imo; I’m waiting for an update/sequel).

    Outside of that, I’m ready for sleep, the sun and la pachanga. It’s been cold as we roll into April (literally snowing outside now in Chicago) so it looks like we might blow right past spring love and get straight to summer love.

    We live in crazy times and I can just about guarantee a crazy summer no matter where you live. I’m too old to be tryin’ to get into $#*! so I’ll be extra chill except when I have to get some exercise.

    I didn’t mean to gloss over those of you still in it – it’s just that we’re in Silly Season and there’s no rhyme or reason as to what kind of foolishness might go down. I have a Warrior song but this one might be more appropriate. Embrace the randomness; play the game.

    THE SILLY SEASON (Weeks 25 & 26: 4/1 – 4/10)

    4 Games: LAC, NOR, WAS
    5 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHI, CLE, HOU, IND, LAL, MEM, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHX, SAC, SAS, TOR
    6 Games: CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, MIA, MIN, NYK, PHI, POR, UTA

    Monday has 9 games: Motors at Racers, Fire at Leprachans. Deer at Twine, Bovines at Manhattanites, Illusions at Dinosaurs, Hipsters at Canines, Bells at Horses, Insects at Quarter Notes and Royalists at Ra.
    Tuesday has 4: Bodies of Water at Sound of Lightning, Birds of Prey at Cowboys, Space Cruisers at Royalty and Miners at Pugilists.
    Wednesday has 12: Racers at Motors, Manhattanites at Illusions, Bovines at Sorcerers, Bells at Birds of Prey, Dinos at Twine, Leprechauns at Fire, Insects at Fish Hunters, Canines at Horses, Cowboys at Miners, Quarter Notes at Ra, Ursidae at Hipsters and Space Cruisers at Boats.
    Thursday has 3: Deer at Bells, Royalists at Royals and Pugilists at Bodies of Water.
    Friday has 13: Dinos at Insects, Birds of Prey at Illusions, Cowboys at Sorcerers, Leprechauns at Racers, Manhattanites at Space Cruisers, Fire at Canines, Motors at Sound of Lightning, Ursidea at Horses, Royals at Quarter Notes, Water Birds at Ra, Hipsters at Miners, Royalists and Pugilists and Bodies of Water at Boats.
    Saturday has 2: Twine at Deer and Bells at Bovines.
    Sunday has 14: Fire at Dinos, Cowboys at Royalists, Sound Clap at Canines, Insects at Motors, Twine at Racers, Horses at Ursidae, Birds at Deer, Illusions at Leprechauns, Sorcerers at Manhattanites, Ra at Space Cruisers, Boats at Pugilists, Miners at Hipsters, Water Birds at Royals and Quarter Notes at Bodies of Water.
    Monday has zero games.
    Tuesday has 11: Bugs at Royalists, Ursidae at Motors, Leprechauns at Sorcerers, Bells at Fire, Manhattanites at Bovines, Dinos at Canines, Pugilists at Water Birds, Ra at Horses, Miners at BeBoppers, Propulsion at Sound of Lightning and Hipsters at Water.

    Wednesday has 11: Racers at Birds, Fire at Twine, Slight of Hand at Bugs, Motors at Manhattan, Bovines at Bells, Pugilists at Ursidae, Sound at Cervidae, Equidae at Cowboys, Avant Garde at Sailors and Emperors at Rip City. 

    For my Streamers

    *all light schedule days in bold: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The lightly scheduled days are really light while except for Monday, the heavily scheduled days are really loaded with 11-plus games, which means you’re likely to have a bunch of full/overbooked days. Check your schedules and stream accordingly. Some days are so stacked it’s like tacit acknowledgement that a bunch of young guys, G-leaguers and 10-dayers will be playing a bunch.
    ATL: 5- Tu, W, F, Su…W
    BRK: 5- M, W, Sa, Su…W
    BOS: 5- M, W, F, Su…Tu
    CHA: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    CHI: 5- M, W, Sa…Tu, W
    CLE: 5- M, Th, F, Su…Tu
    DAL: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    DEN: 6- Tu, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    DET: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    GSW: 6- Tu, Th, F, Su…Tu, W
    HOU: 5- Tu, W, F, Su…Tu
    IND: 5- M, W, F, Su…Tu
    LAC: 4- W, F, Su…W
    LAL: 5- Tu, Th, F, Su…Tu
    MEM: 5- W, F, Su…Tu, W
    MIA: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    MIL: 5- M, Th, Sa, Su…W
    MIN: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    NOR: 4- W, F, Su…Tu
    NYK: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    OKC: 5- Tu, F, Su…Tu, W
    ORL: 5- M, W, F, Su…W
    PHI: 6- M, W, Th, Sa…Tu, W
    PHO: 5- M, W, F, Su…Tu
    POR: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    SAC: 5- Tu, Th, F, Su…W
    SAS: 5- Tu, W, F, Su…W
    TOR: 5- M, W, F, Su…Tu
    UTA: 6- M, W, F, Su…Tu, W
    WAS: 4- W, F, Su…Tu

    Back-To-Backs

    Sun of Week 24/Mon: CHA, DAL, MIL
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: ATL, DEN, HOU, SAS
    Weds/Thurs: PHI
    Thurs/Fri: CLE, GSW, LAL, SAC
    Fri/Sat: none
    Sat/Sun: BKN
    Sun/Mon: none
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, MEM, MIA, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, UTA

    3 games in 4 nights

    Mon/Weds/Thurs: PHI
    Tues/Weds/Fri: ATL, DEN, HOU
    Tues/Thurs/Fri: LAL, SAC
    Weds/Thurs/Sat: PHI
    Thurs/Fri/Sun: CLE, GSW, LAL, SAC
    Thurs/Sat/Sun: MIL
    Sun/Tues/Weds: CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, MEM, MIA, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, UTA

    Tu/Thurs+ GSW, LAL, SAC.

    Random Observations

    I though of a new fantasy setting/format- some H2H leagues give a bonus to the regular season winners in addition to the playoff winners. What if instead of (or in addition to) the regular season payout, there was an NBA playoffs payout. Basically, whatever players you have on your roster that make it to the NBA postseason record stats.

    At the end of the Finals, whoever has the most points wins. All playoff-eligible players would remain eligible for all teams on waivers.

    I wonder how this would affect the draft and streaming strategies late season – are you sever streaming your P.J. Tuckers or Fred VanVleets, knowing they’re likely to advance deep into the playoffs?

    Are you keeping your Kuzmas and Bogis knowing that they won’t?
    My sole roto team is looking like it’ll finish No. 10, my worst finish ever in rotisserie. With Kawhi and CP missing so many games in an unlimited games, weekly format, I had no chance. I’ll say it for the last time since I’ll never play in this format again -a weekly roto leeg with a no games-cap is garbation.

    H2H Team update:

    Team Splash Robinson – my assists and efficiency squad – is going agains John’s Algo Team and I knew going in that I needed to get steals and one of the %s to win. Kawhi and Pat-Bev missing games have not helped. Delon Wright is the only one keeping me at 4-4-1 rolling into Sunday we have an equal number of games. I could really use Jrue right about now. >>> Lost by 5 points, 1 steal and a few percentage points- basically a game of Kawhi. Damn that basketball robot and damn John and his algos. First time I lost a third-place matchup since 2009. FOURTH PLACE

    Team Floppy Divac is going into Sunday with both me and the No. 1 team having a full lineup. It’s a lot closer than my 6-3 advantage would suggest – one game of Kawhi (and no Jrue) will do that. >>> WON

    Team The Brothers Curry (formerly  ‘and then there was 1’) is down 4-5 going into Sunday with an even games count. Losing Zach, Lauri and having Love and Conley miss games could be the nail in the coffin despite my streaming. >>> WON

    In the Hoop-Ball league, Team Jake’s Affliction is up 7-2 and my opponent dipped after his Semifinals loss. There’s no thrill of the win since he wasn’t competitive but I guess this’ll help my Yahoo ranking stay diamond  and I’ll take the bronze trophy so I’ll stop complaining. >>> THIRD PLACE

    In the home league,Team Diva – is 4-4-1 and Kawhi and Love have killed me since I ran out of moves. Still, there’s not much of a difference between a fifth and sixth place finish and it’s not looking like the fifth with me at a games disadvantage and Luka sitting. >>> SIXTH PLACE

    I’ll drop a final update all of my H2H results after the remaining games but I’ll be too excited or depressed tonight, and either way I’ll probably have some beers and be so drunk either way, so very late Monday is what I’m thinking (and is it just me, or does Kyle Kuzma look like an early Simpsons character?)

    LeBron was on pace to move past Kobe for the No. 3 spot on the All-Time Scoring list – all he had to do was average a measly 22-23 points a game since his return from the groin injury. As the great random would have it, the Lakers were hit by other injuries and were eliminated from playoff contention fairly early so they went to late-season tank mode and started giving LBJ games off before declaring him out for the season. We’ll have to wait until next year to see it happen though the cynic in me notes that LeBron would presumably get booed by many Lakers fans if he passed the venerated Bean Bryant in a season he didn’t make the playoffs; he’ll now get a fresh season, one pregnant with hopes, before he takes down Mamba.

    May your spring and summer be ever wonderful,
    Chef

Fantasy News

  • Dennis Smith Jr.
    PG, New York Knicks

    Dennis Smith Jr. will start at point guard in Wednesday's preseason game vs. the Hawks.

    DSJ is in a competition for the starting point guard role with Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton. Kevin Knox, Bobby Portis, R.J. Barrett, and Marcus Morris will join DSJ in the starting lineup. Wednesday's game will give coach Fizdale an opportunity to see how DSJ runs with the starting unit.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Kelly Olynyk
    C, Miami Heat

    Kelly Olynyk (right knee bruise) is probable for Thursday's preseason finale against the Magic.

    This would be great news for fantasy owners who drafted Olynyk towards the end of drafts as it seems more likely that he will be healthy for the start of the regular season. Olynyk might have a starting role in the frontcourt next to Bam Adebayo.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Luke Kennard (knee) and Derrick Rose (undisclosed) will not play in Wednesday's preseason finale vs. the Hornets while Markieff Morris (illness) will be available.

    Preseason is a time of caution. None of these injuries are believed to be serious so expect Kennard and Rose to play in the season opener. Morris will likely play limited minutes in tonight's preseason finale.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Blake Griffin
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Blake Griffin (left hamstring soreness) will not play in Wednesday's game against the Hornets.

    Griffin will be ready to roll once the games count. However, he does have a history of being "injury prone" so this is something to monitor when drafting, although it is probably not serious. Andre Drummond has the opportunity to breakout in DFS lineups tonight.

    Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter

  • Reggie Jackson
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    Reggie Jackson (back), Luke Kennard (knee) and Markieff Morris (illness) are all questionable for Wednesday's preseason matchup vs. the Hornets.

    The Pistons are likely exercising caution while the games don't matter. They will be ready once the regular season rolls around. Monitor their status ahead of tip-off for DFS lineups.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • Amir Hinton
    PG, Free Agent

    The Knicks have waived point guard Amir Hinton on Wednesday.

    Hinton was unable to play in either of the Knicks' first two preseason games before being waived. Hinton may end up playing in the G-League and is not on the fantasy radar.

    Source: Knicks PR on Twitter

  • Tyler Cook
    PF, Free Agent

    The Nuggets have waived Tyler Cook who signed a two-way contract earlier this offseason.

    With Cook waived, the Nuggets now have one two-way contract available. They are likely to give this contract to a training camp invitee who has impressed. One name that has come up is P.J. Dozier. This transaction doesn't impact the fantasy landscape.

    Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter

  • Marvin Williams
    PF, Charlotte Hornets

    Marvin Williams (illness) has been ruled out of Wednesday's preseason game vs. the Pistons.

    Williams had a doubtful tag previously so it was never expected that he would suit up. Williams should be fine to play once the regular season rolls around but is likely going to see his minutes and production decline as the Hornets focus on developing their young talent. Look for Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington to get a lot of run in this preseason finale.

    Source: Hornets PR on Twitter

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Terry Rozier (left knee) will not play in Wednesday's preseason finale vs. the Pistons.

    Rozier is dealing with some tendinitis that will force him to miss the last game of the preseason. It is likely that the Hornets are being extra cautious as the regular season is around the corner. Expect Rozier to start at point guard once the regular season begins. Devonte' Graham and Malik Monk are two guys to look at for DFS lineups on Wednesday with Graham having the higher upside.

    Source: Hornets PR on Twitter

  • Maxi Kleber
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    Maxi Kleber is probable to start in Thursday's preseason finale vs. the Clippers.

    Kleber is likely to be joined by Luka Dončić, Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee and Delon Wright. With Powell hampered by a hamstring strain, Kleber is a strong candidate to look at in DFS lineups for Thursday's slate. Kleber could provide fantasy value at some point this season. He is someone to look at at the very end of drafts. Kleber should be on watch-lists if he is a free agent in your league.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter