So the regular season is halfway done and my secondary applications and teacher trainings are all finished so now’s probably as good a time as any to get back to the blog game. I’ll start with bball and recap fb in a later post. Starting from the draft, my need for Wiggins and subsequent overdrafting of him left me in a pretty big hole. Streaming to try and fill the void led to me add/dropping a lot of guys that I regret like Avery Bradley, but the one that probably hurts the most was dropping Porzingis. Mostly a novelty I took at the end of the draft, so much for him needing time to get eased into the NBA game :P. Here are the big moves Ive made so far:
- LeBron/Bosh/KCP for Lillard/KAT/Carroll
Why’d I do it?: Wanted to move LeBron b/c I was worried about his back/him just taking games off to rest; Bosh’s stat lines felt too empty, KCP filler 3-and-D player in the trade. Lillard’s FG% lowish for my liking, but didn’t fit Alee’s team that well and thus the bit of a discount; KAT didn’t rly fit my team either, but a big that can get DDs without hurting %ages was something I valued; Carroll was slumping, but I thought he’d be an upgrade over KCP.
What happened?: Probably an unmitigated disaster for me haha. Lebron and Bosh actually had super-hot Decembers leaving me even more regretful since I had drafted them (ok, LeBron kind of reluctantly, but I was a believer in a Bosh comeback). I moved Lillard in a trade I’ll detail below. KAT was fine, but I spent probably the entire time he was on my team involving him in every single one of my trade offers. There were too many drains on FG% on my team for him to overcome. Carroll got hurt…and then hurt again. That last part of the trade probably was the worst part imo, I thought I was upgrading from KCP and it was the exact opposite. Pretty much a total loss for me on this trade.
2. Lillard for Bledsoe
Why: I was still trying to build my team around Wall and AST/STL. Lillard is stronger at 3PM/PTS/FT% but Bledsoe better at FG%/STL. Bledsoe also had the advantage of being on my preseason targets so I was willing to overpay a bit in the interest of having fun as one of my favorite players carried my team.
What happened?: Sadly Bledsoe was only on my team for about a week before he went down to a knee injury. There was a moment after news broke that he hurt his knee where the initial prognosis was a 6-8 wk injury (or was it 4-6?) where I thought about offering him for someone like Ish Smith (who had just been traded to PHL), but then it was reported that he was out for the season. Lillard did miss like 2 wks with planter fasciatits, but he’s back to ballin now sooo yeah…definitely lost this one though it was out of my control.
3. Ellis/Redick/Monroe for Harden
Why: At this point of the season, I was something like 15 games out of 4th place and pretty pessimistic/tilted with how the season was going so I started chasing players I really wanted. Shubh was one of the few teams below me in the standings so he was looking to make a move as well. He had Harden and Drummond but Drummond dictates a punt FT team and Shubh opted to build around him instead of Harden. He also has Draymond/Gobert so punt FT% was even more appealing. Pretty devoid of talent throughout the roster, a top-25 (Monroe), top-50 (Ellis) and top-75 (Redick; maybe higher…) player was a nice haul. Redick is probably the best source of 3PM without hurting FG% after Curry, Ellis is one of the top sources of STL while chipping in AST/PTS, and Monroe bolsters Shubh’s aim of building around Drummond’s FG%/REB/DD.
What Happened?: Pretty much as you’d expect it to. Harden is a top10 player even after slumping a bit. Monroe has been a DD machine, Redick bombing away from 3 and while maintaining his efficiency as LAC relies on him to score more with Blake out, and Ellis looking more comfortable in IND’s offense and over his earlier nagging injuries.
4. KAT/RoLo for Lebron/Myles Turner
Why: Yeah…LeBron’s back lol… Alee had just pulled off a huge trade for Curry so I thought he’d be interested in building around a Curry/Lebron/Whiteside core, but then he approached me and expressed interest in my big men and was offering Lebron. Hungry for AST, I accepted.
What happened: This one’s still less than a week old, but Im sure it’ll work out for both of us. KAT should only put up fatter lines down the season as he plays teams gearing up for the playoffs and as MIN tries to develop him. RoLo should continue to be a solid fantasy C who doesn’t hurt %ages as long as he’s not bitchslapping superstar PGs. Lebron probably still a top15 player, but the risk of him resting some games or CLE blowing out eastern conf teams remains. Turner is interesting since he’s been so hot while Mahinmi has been sidelined, but what will happen when he returns?
Slow starts from Wall/Lebron/Wiggins/Ellis/Gallo put me in a pretty deep hole only to be exacerbated by me hemorrhaging value in trades. After 4 straight losing weeks, Ive managed to go 7-2 in the next 9 wks. With a lot of those weeks just being 5-4, Im still facing an upward climb to try and make the playoffs though. The returns of Gallo and Elfrid from injury have actually had a lot bigger impact than I thought they would. The 3PM production of Hood/Booker/BobCov have been welcome augments to Harden’s own. I actually dropped BobCov during his GoT-winter cold spell, but got him back when he showed signs of life again. Though I keep trading away my big men, the trio of Taj/Tuner/Len isn’t too bad considering Ive basically punted REB and depending on the opponent, BLK/DD. My roster is kind of full right now so anyone reading this that wants to make a trade…. J
A little update on the other 9 teams in the lg:
- Team Lopez
A case study in what NOT to do in H2H, with absolutely no synergy amongst his players, Team Lopez finds itself at the bottom of the standings. Loose synergy with early picks Melo/Klay, he totally pivoted with picks of Love/Al Jeff/Howard/ZBo. Crowder and Otto Porter have been nice pickups, but staying loyal to Mudiay/Parsons/Chandler during long droughts left big holes that a roster without any clear strengths couldn’t afford. Maybe it is unlucky that his players have rarely performed well simultaneously, but even if that were the case, it’s hard to see where this squad would have a clear advantage over another team.
- MILL$AP ROCKY
If you were curious as to how far Steph Curry could carry a team, here’s your answer. With a core of Curry/Mill$ap, Jeremy could have gone a myriad of different directions. With STL/BLK god Nerlens, it looks like he opted to chases the defensive stats. His aggressive trades landed him Blake/Reggie Jackson for Batum/Wes Matthews and Ryan Anderson for Jah. Unfortunately, Blake broke his hand and is presumably out for the rest of our league’s regular season; even when he was gotten at a discount, the loss of a top25 player hurts. Even bigger than those trades was the gutsy move of trading Curry for Kawhi/Bosh. Bosh/Kawhi are arguably fair value for Curry as top-10 and top-25 players respectively, but have slumped a bit since the trade. Their jack-of-all stat lines are a little more suited for roto leagues than H2H, but with a team also boasting Mill$ap, Giannis, and Noel, there’s a solid core of top50 players on this roster. To do more than break even most weeks however, this team will probably need to try chasing one or two more cats and dictating the matchup instead of taking what their opponent gives them….and setting their lineup helps too.
- Team Varma
Dat Drummo 5th round value (#45 overall). With the loss of Jack, struggles of Teague, and trading of Harden, Shubh’s squad has slipped in the AST category. Having pretty much held serve in the big men categories (FG%/REB/BLK/DD), Shubh’s team actually seems primed to seize and even stronger hold on those categories with the return of Gobert. His season will hinge on his ability to find a way to win 3PM, STL, or PTS in addition to the categories he already dominates.
- Bench Spot #5
Ya boi, hollaaaa. Still built around AST/STL/PTS, now with 3PM gunners in BobCov/Hood thrown in for good measure. We’ll see if Harden/Wall/Lebron can carry me to the playoffs while the development of young bloods Booker and Turner give me something else to root for.
- The Squad
Not gonna lie, I was surprised to find JL’s team at the top of the standings in FG%/REB/BLK, but with Durant/Ibaka/M Gasol/Gortat and strong REB guards in Rondo/Barton/MCW, I see why. Built off the backs of some of the strongest specialists in the game in Rondo, Gortat, and Ibaka, I think it’s Durant that stirs this team’s milkshake with his godly all-around game. Barton and McCollum feasted while Gallo/Nurk/Lillard were out in December/Jan, carrying The Squad in those weeks. The dip in production with return of their teammates coincided with a rash of injuries to smaller parts of this team in Beal/Zeller has made recent weeks a bit of a struggle. Showing off that DFS acumen all year with hot pickups like Barton and Goodwin, what will this team need to make a push for the playoffs?
- sassa fras
The recipient of Curry, this team was originally built upon the pillars of Hassan/Favors. Trades and pickups have added KAT/Zaza/Rolo/WCS into the mix. With so many of the rare bigs that don’t hurt your FT%, that category isn’t necessarily the auto-loss it is for most teams that rely on big producers in the big men cats. Injuries to Hassan and Favors have slowed the team’s big man-roll, but with KAT in tow, look for FG%/REB/BLK/DD to return to being among this team’s strengths. Outside of KCP, relying on Barnes/Dipo/Casspi/4nier to help Curry in the 3PM department seems a bit dicey, but at least the category is easily streamable.
- MILFFAP ABBY
Im not sure if there is another team that has more of its value due to injuries to other players.
- CP3 – no Blake
- Butler – no Rose
- Holiday (and Evans, sort of) – no Gordon (or AD often)
Consistent in the %ages, a refusal to make pickups has left this team stagnant. As the 2nd half of the season begins, Dirk and Duncan (and LMA) have predictably missed games to rest. Seemingly destined for a middle-of-the-pack finish, if heavy-usage stars CP3 or Butler were to miss time, this team is probably doomed.
- Pride leads to destruction
If this team wins, I feel like I should at least get a cut considering how I helped them by dropping Porzingis and trading them Lillard for Bledsoe. Amusingly, they’ve been able to overcome the antisynergy of pairing DeAndre/TT/Thad with DWill/Lillard/Kyrie/Kemba through sheer volume of counting stats. An undying loyalty to old farts Kobe and JJ makes me wonder what Aria is actually doing, but hey, what do I know I am just 7th place pleb ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Team Reffe
Probably my favorite team in the league. Built around their two stars in PG13 and Boogie, they do pretty much everything but FG% and AST well. 3PM/STL wings in Hayward/Ariza/Hill (and Knight?) accentuate PG’s production while Boogie is backed up by Pau and Bropez. Amid age/injury concerns, Wade/Pau/Bropez came at discounts on draft day but have produced fat statlines all season.
- Team Chandra/Pops
Our first place team, built around AST/STL/PTS/DD and now 3PM, this team is force to be reckoned with. Skinny Lowry, IT, and Middleton have balled all season, outperforming their draft positions and synergizing perfectly with RWB. Sending away most of their big men to Jeremy, netted them huge boosts to 3PM in Batum/Matthews/Anderson. Players like Ilyasoa/Sullinger/Randle are certainly unsightly, and on weaker teams, their lows may make them intolerable, but with such a strong core, this team can afford to weather their rough patches and reap the benefits of their highs.
Six short weeks remain before the playoffs begin and hopefully, Ill have my own playoff matchups to write about 🙂