Category Archives: I’ll Be Damned

Fantasy Playoffs Draft, or How I Learned to Take Chris Paul in the 7th Round and Love the Grizzlies

Get ready for this, America.

On Thursday night, I organized and participated in a Fantasy Playoffs Experts Draft that featured the finest minds in fantasy hoops who also happened to be free that night and not clipping their toenails or something. Many jumped at the chance, actually, the idea of having a draft – a fantasy basketball draft no less – too good to pass up. The final 10-man roster was as such (in draft order):

1. Steve Alexander, Rotoworld
2. Justin Phan, Yahoo!
3. Jason Hahn, fBasketballBlog
4. Ryan Lester, Lester’s Legends
5. Matt Buser, Buser Sports/Yahoo!
6. Jeff Andriesse, Damn Lies & Statistics/RotoExperts
7. Tom Lorenzo, Damn Lies & Statistics/RotoExperts
8. Greg Fox, Damn Lies & Statistics
9. Eric Wong, RotoEvil
10. Patrick Madden, Give Me the Rock

The rules: Draft eight players (2 G, 2 F, 1 C, 3 Flex); No transactions or bench; Accumulating points – categories are Points (1), Rebounds (2), Assists (2), Threes (3), Steals (5), Blocks (6), Free Throws Made (1), Turnovers (-3).

The strategy was obviously to pick the best players from the teams you thought would go the farthest. This worked for a round or two at most, as all the relevant Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Heat and Spurs were gone quickly. The choices from there were either to take scrubs from those teams or studs from the teams that were going to be one-and-done. Let’s go through the rounds and take a look at everyone’s picks. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Cry the Beloved Bubbly

Bubbly had previously sworn off John Kuester-coached players, but had success with Greg Monroe.

The fantasy season is coming to an end, and for many of us in head-to-head leagues, it has already ended. This year was a headache-to-headache experience for me as I lost in all my H2H playoffs, first as the No. 3 seed to Tom Lorenzo in the RotoExperts In-House League, and then as the No. 1 seed last week after earning a bye in another league. I had Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo and a whole lotta trouble, not to mention a few terrible lineup decisions at key times such as James Harden over Eric Gordon when Gordon went nuts and more. So my ridiculous team crapped the bed in the final week and the season’s done. Kaput.

Meanwhile, in the Damn Lies league, I’m clinging to a tie for second-place despite bobbing and weaving around every little injury under the sun. I’m in another roto league where I’m stuck in fifth place and could conceivably get to fourth. Whoopie. In another H2H league with no playoffs, I’m in like 10th place or something.

All in all, a disgusting season and one I don’t really care to talk about anymore. Time to bring in Bubbly!

Bubbs is our resident commenter extraordinaire. He has joined us on occasion throughout the year as a semi-poster as we like to hear the thoughts of our readers. Plus he’s a funny dude. He and I talked on Monday night and parts of Tuesday, and it’s here for your enjoyment (my comments in italics)… Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: The Shallow End of the Pool

Jim Burr reminds Memphis coach Josh Pastner that he should check his fantasy lineup as soon as his team is eliminated.

You’ll have to forgive my absence last week, dear reader (and by dear reader, I mean Bubbly). But Greg and I were on a mission to construct the single worst NCAA Tournament bracket in history and needed total concentration. We were so sure our first two rounds couldn’t have gone worse that we called the Guinness Book of World Records, but of course dialed the wrong number. It was that kind of week.

Between the debacle that was our bracket (we had Pitt winning it all, Temple and Washington in the Elite 8, etc., etc., ad nausea) and a week from hell at work, I really lost track of the NBA at the absolute worst time of the year. My absence can absolutely be blamed for an embarrassing loss in the RotoExperts In-House League playoffs. I earned the No. 3 seed but performed like Purdue against VCU in falling to Tom Lorenzo’s squad last week. Season over. Did I mention I hate head-to-head leagues?

Yeah, I know that’s what a lot of you guys play. I’m in several, even as the No. 1 seed going into the semifinals this week in one league (I had a bye last week, and of course guys I own like Kyle Lowry and Dwight Howard went nuts). Everyone is flipping out about the fantasy playoffs. But in the league format I prefer, rotisserie, you play until the end of the season. There are still several weeks of work to be done. Let’s take a look at some players who can help down the stretch in roto formats, particularly players who shine in either field goal or free throw percentage, or both, plus at least one other category. If you want to push for that elusive roto championship, now’s the time to hope for a foul at half court on a desperation inbounds play with time running out and you falling out of bounds. In other words, like the end of every NCAA game. Between the quick whistles, botched five-second calls and lack of a charge circle, these college games must make Tim Donaghy blush. But if you are going to win your league, you’ll need a little help from the refs. Consider me your Jim Burr for the week. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Gonna fly now

Is Jeff just blowing smoke?

Greg and I can never figure out if the phrase “take a flier” should be “take a flyer” or not. I think both are correct, since they are colloquial sayings. I see the former more often, but according to the dictionary both mean sheets of paper, both mean a person or thing that flies in the air, but only ‘flier’ means taking a chance on something. So I’m going with  ‘flier’.

Where I’m headed with this has to do with – you guessed it – fantasy basketball. The game we love. At least in the offseason. During the season it’s a never-ending gauntlet of injuries, wacky coaches tinkering with lineups, and sporadic, confusing news coming out of various media outlets. I hate it. I would love to just play my 10 best players every week without a care in the world, but that’s not how this works. To make things worse, many leagues feature daily lineup changes and pickups at any time of the day, basically rewarding people who are on-line more than others regardless of their fantasy acumen. As someone who fancies himself having a profound acumen (at least that’s what I tell the ladies), this frustrates me to no end. I’m often left choosing between various piles of crap on the waiver wire and making lose-lose decisions.

Most fantasy analysts will examine recent trends and make recommendations from there. So-and-so has had three good games in a row so they make a good pickup. Fine. But in the cut-throat world of daily-lineup pickups and streaming, this often isn’t good enough. Which is why I’m going to use this space this week to suggest some out-there fliers for your perusal.

The twist: most of these players are going to be coming off bad games. My motto is: you never get a player’s previous stats, only his future ones. With desperation time setting in for owners trying to make their league playoffs or make that final push to a roto title, chances are going to have to be taken. I’ll take a look at some players who have been bad lately but could provide quality production in the next few weeks. Fliers, if you will. Come fly with me. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Deadline Winners

It was a ridiculous trade deadline this year, one that will be analyzed for a while with ramifications still ramificating and stuff. We haven’t seen where all the bought out players will sign, nor have we even seen every traded player suit up for their new team. Folks have analyzed each deal extensively, so for this post I’m just going to concentrate on players who weren’t traded and whose values are rising based on last week’s upheavals.


Kris Humphries (PF, NJN) – Humphries is going to put up a lot of double-doubles the rest of the way, as I don’t see Brandan Wright making inroads into the rotation. Should be owned in all leagues.

Chase Budinger (SF, HOU) – A no-brainer pickup now that Shane Battier is gone. Budinger has had one great game and one bad game, and that might continue for a while. He’s very talented, though, and he’ll at least help you in three-pointers.

Gerald Henderson (SG, CHA) – With Gerald Wallace in Portland, Stephen Jackson shifts to small forward and Henderson is the team’s new ‘2’. He probably won’t make a huge impact in shallow leagues but is definitely worth a speculative add right now. Perhaps he can become a poor man’s DeMar DeRozan.

James Harden (SG, OKC) – Harden can’t help but pick up more playing time with Jeff Green traded away. He’s good for threes, steals and great percentages for a shooting guard. His teammate Serge Ibaka is another huge winner, but he’s still not a complete guarantee to receive the big minutes we all want him to play. If Ibaka played 35 minutes a game he’d be ridiculous. For now, we’ll have settle for really good. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Carmelo Anthony is a Knick

A group of guys that is slowly starting to make me root for the owners this offseason.

Carmelo Anthony. Just seeing that name in print triggers an attack on my nervous system even an alarming amount of beer can’t cure, and believe me I’ve experimented. He’s everywhere. Everything’s “Melo”. Melo this, Melo that. And now that we’ve gone through an All-Star Break of Melo Mania, with four straight days without a real NBA game, I’ve had it. Melo has harshed my mellow.

Well, he’s now a Knick. Finally. Shamefully (really, did he want to get his cash that badly that he made NY trade away all of their assets?). And he’ll probably praise himself at his press conference for how he handled all of this.

How I handled all of this was similar to how I handle a day-long hangover, which is writhing around in bed and finally forcing myself to vomit. Only this was every day for like six months.

We can finally vomit. Here are the specific chunks:

The Knicks get Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer. The Nuggets get Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Donnie Walsh hiding in the luggage compartment. The Timberwolves get Anthony Randolph, the right to negotiate with Ricky Rubio over ice cream, cash, and Eddy Curry‘s body for medical research. In a widely-unreported off-shoot of the blockbuster, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger Tom Lorenzo, a long-time Gallinari shill, has been traded to the alternative Denver-area publication Rocky Mountain High, where he will cover Gallinari full-time, probably literally. In return, we receive an ounce of the copy desk’s finest “bubbly” and cash considerations, pending a Lorenzo physical.

Let’s examine the fantasy fallout (grades based on a five-Melohead system, five being the best fantasy situation). Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Losing the Trade

Hey, it's Enrico Pollazzo!

Greetings, fantasy basketball junkies. It’s February, the Super Bowl is over, and you’ll notice most of your buddies shifting their focus to baseball. I don’t blame them. There’s nothing better than preparing for your fantasy baseball draft. I’d much rather be doing that than writing another hoops article.

But we still have two-plus more months of basketball, and gosh darnit I can multi-task. I live, breathe and puke up this stuff, so by now I’m operating on hoops cruise control. If you are as committed to winning your league as your presence at this website probably attests (just go with it), you will stick to your routine and see this season through.

This week I’m going to chit-chat about trades, and what kind I think you should make. The intro above matters, in that you can probably pull the wool over the eyes of anyone in your league whose brains are on baseball cheat sheets. These people can be your fantasy friends, and you should deceive and take advantage of them like any good friend would. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Got MLK?

Unsurprisingly, Darren Collison has thrived since Jeff traded him to Tom a month ago.

Martin Luther King Day is typically a wonderful day in the NBA and Monday was no exception, featuring games all afternoon and into the night, several of them excellent or at the very least interesting. This feels like a good time to ponder where we stand in mid-January.

It’s typically time to take stock of your team and make some bold moves to get in position for the stretch run of the season. In fact, this next month will be one of the craziest of the season, leading up to the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline. I guarantee you have dropped someone or will drop someone who will end up being amazing in the final two months. I usually have about three or four of those guys a year. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t be afraid to be bold. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to lose a trade if you have to. By that I mean giving up a little bit more than you get back to secure some categories. As long as you trade your good players to teams that can’t hurt you down the road, pull the trigger. It’s a harder strategy to follow in head-to-head formats, where the goal is to sneak into the playoffs somehow and hope to have a healthy team that gets lucky. Reminds me of fantasy football. That’s why I’m a rotisserie league guy. May the best team win, I say.

Let’s pore over the box scores from Monday and take a look at some of my favorite stat lines as well as the more bizarre or interesting ones from the 13-game slate. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Bubbly Has a Roof Over His Head

Not Bubbly.

Every once in a while an underdog success story goes viral and becomes an overnight sensation, like Susan Boyle or Cigar Guy. Last week it was Ted Williams, a homeless Ohioan who was obviously very bright and talented. Naturally, the crack staff here at Damn Lies & Statistics wondered aloud if Mr. Williams was perhaps the mysterious and reclusive Bubbly, this blog’s No. 1 commenter and fan. A self-proclaimed homeless man from Cleveland with a sharp wit, musical talent and a love of fantasy hoops, Bubbly has been providing the most comprehensive fantasy analysis from a homeless perspective on the web right here at Damn Lies for a while. No other blog comes close.

We caught up with Bubbs on Monday to get some of his thoughts on his team and to find out if he was indeed Mr. Williams with the golden voice. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Torture Fantasy

Jeff always feels claustrophobic around the holidays.

Happy New Year! I’ve been away for a few weeks tending to matters of the holidays. While visiting family I sat down to write a column, but just when I’d begin typing everyone would enter the room and commence an intervention. It turns out I have the type of family that doesn’t appreciate me checking my phone every seven seconds for Andris Biedrins injury updates. Since I love spending time with my family, and also since they ended the intervention by placing me in an iron maiden, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to fantasy basketball as I would have liked. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve broken free of all familial obligations, however, and am back with a laser focus on fantasy hoops. The intervention worked only temporarily. Turns out I can’t do without those Biedrins updates. I NEED them Biedrins updates. Do you know a guy?

In all seriousness, I’m glad to be back. There’s nothing like the turn of a calendar year to make you take stock of yourself, by which I mean your fantasy team. Is there anything else? A man who spends more time scouring the waiver wire than grooming is a man who obviously has the rest of his life figured out. I must admit, though, that fantasy basketball often has me puzzled. Just when I think I’m out-smarting the competition, I drop a DeMarcus Cousins hours before he embarks on the best three-game stretch of his career. Ouch. This game forces you into tough decisions and tests your patience daily.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on 2011.

This week, I’m damned about the following players who’ve been the unsung heroes of 2010, steady and reliable uncovered gems that make up the backbone of championship roto teams. After I pay homage, I’ll look ahead at some players to keep an eye on for 2011 who have a chance to fill that role in the future. Continue reading

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