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By Jordan Hall
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The 2011 NBA Draft has come and went and were left to try to pick up the pieces work on our eastern European pronunciations. Every year some teams really help themselves while the Knicks take someone that will never play in the league. Teams are not the only ones who win and lose in the draft, however. There were several established NBA players that gained or lost fantasy value based on what happened. Here are some of them:
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Winners
Tyreke Evans, Kings
Adding Jimmer Fredette to the mix will not only add much intrigue and interest in the floundering franchise, it will create a lot more assist opportunities. Though Jimmer will start from day one at the point, his shooting ability will allow Evans to penetrate and kick for more assists and score more effectively as the defense will no longer be able to jam the paint.
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John Wall, Wizards
In his breathtaking rookie campaign, the NBA’s Prince of Swag, John Wall averaged a solid 8.3 assists per game. He did this while setting up a less than stellar supporting cast. However adding Czech forward Jan Vesely to the mix will make all the difference in the world. Vesely is a transition monster that can run the floor with Wall. I would expect Wall to boost both his scoring and his assists heavily this season.
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Ben Gordon/ Rip Hamilton/ Rodney Stuckey, Pistons
This trio struggled through the majority of the 2010-11 campaign as the Pistons limped their way to the finish. All played out of position at the point on occasions and never had a reliable playmaker to set them up. With the addition of Brandon Knight that will no longer be an issue. I would look for all to increase their scoring averages as long as they are still with the club.
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New York Knicks Backcourt
Although I don’t think that they particularly gained any value through the draft, they certainly didn’t lose any value. Iman Shumpert was a disaster of a pick that will face an uphill battle to see the floor. Billups and Landry Fields should feel no pressure on their job at this point.
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Losers
DJ Augustin, Bobcats
With the arrival of Kemba Walker, Augustin’s days may be numbered, and his minutes may be gone. Although I personally believe that Walker will be a bust, the first round commitment means that he will get every oppurtunity to be the guy at the point, and if he’s the guy, Augustin isn’t.
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Wesley Johnson and other Timberwolves SF’s
Derrick Williams is the man in Minneapolis Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson have just been put on notice. While Johnson likely still has a future with the team, Beasley will either be traded or ride the pine for the foreseeable future. Both will take a backseat to the Arizona product, potentially as early as this season.
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Baron Davis, Cavs
This one is pretty self explanatory. The Cav’s have their point guard of the future and Davis is known throughout the league as a toxic hazard in the locker room. They will try to keep him as far away from Irving as they can and hope that he wont rub off on him. I would be surprised if Davis had a major role in Cleveland this season, and if he is traded, there is no other club in the league that he is good enough to play for. The
window for Davis has closed.
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J.J. Hickson, Cavs
With the Cavs drafting Tristan Thompson with he fourth overall pick, they signified that they are very high on him. Considering the fact that he is an overall better version of Hickson, it really limits what you should expect from the original Hickson in the days coming. It seemed like he was starting to come into his own, but there will be few minutes to go around now.
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You can follow Jordan on Twitter @ twitter.com/#!/lefthandsmoke23


By Adam Holtz
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Note: This column and the one that follows next will be a two-part installment. This column will focus on how a Commissioner should act. The next column will focus on how fantasy league owners should act.
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Part One: Conduct Befitting a Fantasy Commissioner
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Who are you? Are you just one of the guys in your league who play fantasy football? Are you just some guy who collects money from the rest of the league owners and pays it out at the end of the season? Are you just the guy who runs the draft and then fades off into the sunset for the rest of the year? Of course not. As the commissioner, you are the “point man” for anything that takes place in your league. That includes dues money and draft night arrangements to be sure (as I have mentioned in previous columns), but it also includes other things like mediating disputes (over scoring, trades, etc.), penalizing owners when necessary, and even things like moderating the league message board and congratulating owners when their teams win.
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You’ve probably read in other places some kind of “Ten Commandments for Commissioners” list that says what one may or may not do as a commissioner. I won’t try to parody that sort of list, but I will give you some tips on how a commissioner would conduct himself if his goal is to garner respect from the league’s owners.
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Treat the league owners with respect. Remember that (in most cases) you are an owner as well. Don’t talk down to them as if you’re the U.S. President or had any kind of authority that actually mattered in real life. As commissioner, there might be times where you need to show some authority (i.e. discipline), but if you do not at all times show the others that you respect them as partners in your league, why should they respect you in return?
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Be consistent in all your decision-making. This includes things like scheduling (both games and the draft), vetoing trades, handing out penalties, changing or implementing rules, chastising or praising others on message boards, and the like. If anyone feels like you are playing favorites, guess what: he’s also lost a lot of respect for you as the commish.
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Maintain open lines of communication. Before you decide to up and change the draft to an auction or go from waivers to a free-agent bid system, run the idea past the league owners. Let everyone bat the idea around for a while. Let the owners know that you care about their opinions. They need to know they can drop you an email if they think a couple of owners might be colluding. If they have a concern that a certain rule might unfairly penalize a team, they need to know that they have an open line to your “office.”
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Give the league owners a stake in the league itself. This is sort of like the last point. Let them vote on rules changes. Maybe you let the league owners vote on whether or not to veto trades. Let everyone decide together how to divvy up the prize money (probably best to do that before the season starts!). Things like this show the owners that you’re not out to be a dictator and that you value their input on important details.
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The most important thing to remember here is that as the commissioner, you don’t necessarily need the rest of the owners to like you, but you want them to respect you and the (somewhat limited) authority you have. You can win a lot of respect by simply doing the things mentioned above.
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Some other ways to earn kudos from the rest of the league:
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  • Be a back-patter. If you notice that a bad fantasy team (or even a good one) is having a surprisingly good day, let them know about it: “Hey D., great game from Jahvid Best today! I was wondering when he’d finally be back in form after that injury.” Let them know that you observe what’s going on with all the teams, even theirs.
  • Make a periodic message board post about goings-on in your league. Try to sound like a reporter getting a hot scoop: “Will the recent signing of suddenly-hot Peyton Hillis give D.M. Infinity the boost they need to finally make it to the playoffs this season?” Or post a Power Rankings list. Everyone seems to love those – they tend to get some discussions going. And it shows the league that you follow everything going on in the league.
  • When the league champion is finally determined, be the first to congratulate them (as long as it’s not your own team – that would be tacky), just like the commish does in real sports. Get on the message board, or send an email to the entire league announcing your personal offering of congratulation.

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As always, comments are welcome. Let us know how your commish has earned your respect.
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Coming in the next installment of Commish’s Corner, Part Two: Conduct Befitting a Fantasy Owner.

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Adam Holtz is a former college sports information director living in southern Minnesota. His 15 years of playing fantasy sports – as well as 15 years of commissioner work – have given him a wealth of experience on which to draw. For the record, his wife’s signing of Peyton Hillis did give her team the boost it needed to make the league playoffs, while the Commish’s team languished in the Toilet Bowl playoffs.
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Email the Commish: adam.holtz(at)gmail.com or check out his blog at champguy.blogspot.com.


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A new fantasy sports site, FantasySoup.com, has sent us some invitation codes. They are still in closed beta, but the code will allow any LestersLegends.com readers who respond to this post access to the site. Leave a comment on this post or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll send you the link to gain access to Fantasy Soup.
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Here is some background on the site from Fantasy Soup:
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Fantasy Soup is a free question and answer site dedicated to fantasy sports. The site is entirely community driven and is comprised of fantasy sports enthusiasts. Fantasy Soup welcomes first time fantasy players and seasoned vets, alike. Discussions can range from specific moves for your team (should I drop this player or that?) to broad strategic questions (what effect would a football lockout have on draft strategies?). Fantasy Soup is the place to debate and discuss all of these fantasy sports questions and more. Fantasy Soup is currently open by invitation only. However, during their closed beta period, they are sending out a limited number of invitations which grant access to the site before the general public.


By Adam Holtz
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When you pay your annual dues for a fantasy league, what happens to that money? Is your commissioner almost too happy to accept cash from you? Does he make a comment about how he can pay his rent now? Or mumble something about a gift for his latest girlfriend? Or maybe he goes straight to the vending machine, using one of your singles to buy himself a refreshment.
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The truth is that not many fantasy players actually know what happens with their dues money. All too often, commissioners will either deposit it in their bank account or spend it straight out of their wallet (that is, if you pay your dues with cash – which is probably your own fault to begin with). Then, when the season ends, the commish either struggles to pay the winner(s), or flat out doesn’t pay winnings (“I guess I forgot – I’ll take care of it soon”) at all.
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Worse yet, when the commissioner does actually pay prizes, he probably pays out less money than the winner is expecting, using an excuse of, “Well, a couple guys never paid the dues this year, so the prize money is less.”
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Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? They shouldn’t, but you know they do. They happen all the time. Commissioners are imperfect people with good intentions (or sometimes bad people with nefarious intentions) who can (and do) make mistakes and poor decisions. People get away without paying in for the year, and commissioners get away with paying out less than they take in, as well as paying in an untimely fashion. And while these people are seldom penalized for such laziness and/or selfishness, the people who do things the “right” way are likewise never rewarded for having done so. Not cool.
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Your dues money – or more exactly, the league’s dues money, once paid – should be collected on time, kept safely in reserve, and paid out promptly. Those three points are not negotiable. No exceptions. Your commissioner owes it to your league, and all people playing in the league owe each other the respect of prompt payment. Put most simply, it is a matter of character: do the owners in your league have enough character to respect each other in this way – and if not, does the commissioner have the character to enforce these hard-and-fast rules?
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While the mode of collection and payment – as well as method of keeping the money – is open to discussion, the three main points are simply absolute. If your commissioner cannot follow those three rules for you and your league-mates, you have the following options: (a) get a different commissioner who will make sure they do follow those rules, (b) make your league a no-money league, or (c) leave the league.
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There are no excuses here, commissioners. Collect the dues money on time. Don’t insult the courtesy of those people who pay dues on time by allowing others to skate by. Enforce the deadline. Announce it weeks – even months – in advance. Threaten penalties – monetary, or maybe points, if necessary. And if someone cannot or will not pay, it’s simple: find someone else to run that team. It sounds brash, but look at it from this perspective: others pay promptly, so allowing someone a free pass for not paying on time (or at all) does those good people a disservice, and makes your life more difficult as well. Fix the problem by eliminating it. Don’t let any faux friendships get in the way, either (“Aw, c’mon, man, we’re buds – you know I’m good for it!”). Everyone agreed to pay the dues; they know the score. Now it’s time to pay the piper. However you collect the money is up to you and the people in your league – cash (not recommended), check, Paypal, bank transfer, etc. – just make sure everyone knows how they can pay, and when they need to pay.
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When it comes to holding other people’s money, it is a responsibility that cannot be taken seriously enough. It makes no difference what the amount is – it’s not your money! What belongs to the league must absolutely be kept separate from one’s personal spending money. (For a real estate broker, such co-mingling of personal and business money would land you in jail.) Whether you open up a separate bank account, put all the money in a jar in your closet, whatever. But don’t you dare use that money to buy anything for yourself – or anyone else! Not even for the cute girl who’s flirting with you from across the room at the bar (besides, you’re tipsy anyway – who knows if she’s flirting with you or with the other guy sitting at the very next table?); trust me, that money is much better off being kept in your pocket than being spent on drinks for her (this advice goes double if you are married). Again, just remember, it’s not your money!
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If you do your job on steps 1 and 2 (collecting and keeping), then step 3 (paying out) will be a breeze. Everyone who has prize money coming will know that you have it and will be able to pay them promptly. It’s not your money anyway, right? You collected from everybody, right? You’ve kept it separate from your money…right? So now you’ll pay them all immediately after the season ends…. RIGHT? So do it! Easy! ‘Nuff said.
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Now, here is where we get into the disclaimer portion of the column. No one is advocating for or against any of the companies named below. I am simply mentioning some of the most widely used companies, and I encourage readers to go and check for themselves which one they think is best for their league(s). There, disclaimer done.
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The commissioner’s job can be made much, MUCH simpler (not to mention more transparent and trustworthy) with the help of an online dues service. There are a couple of sites out there offering these services; the ones I hear mentioned most often are LeagueSafe and Fantasy Sports Vault. With services such as these, your members can securely pay dues online with a credit card or e-check, or even with paper checks to the commish or the service’s home office, who then submit electronic payments on those owners’ behalf (these options vary depending on provider and specific league settings). Then, the money is held securely by the service provider’s bank on your behalf, with a detailed accounting of who paid in what and when. After the season, prizes are paid out according to your league’s specific rules. Pretty straight forward.
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Using a service such as this will make the commissioner’s life easier in a number of ways:  Everyone gets the exact same notifications to pay their dues; everyone can see when the deadline is, and what penalties apply if they fail to pay on time; everyone knows where the money is kept; everyone knows the winner(s) will be paid promptly. And best of all, most of the services provided by these sites is completely FREE. (Some options are provided for a fee, but there is always at least one “free option” for paying dues and receiving prize money.)
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Commissioners: Your job is not always easy, but you know that. You do it anyway. There’s no problem in looking out for yourself, as well as for your league’s integrity. I’m not necessarily advocating for the use of an online dues management service; however, I am advocating for the three firm rules I mentioned above: on-time collection, legitimate safe keeping of dues money, and prompt payouts. If a commissioner can do all three without the online help, then by all means, feel free. But I don’t see a situation where using such a service makes the commish’s job more difficult. If there is one, I’d like to hear about it! Comments or emails are welcomed, as always.
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—–
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Adam Holtz is a former college sports information director living in southern Minnesota. His 15 years of playing fantasy sports – as well as 15 years of commissioner work – have given him a wealth of experience on which to draw. In fact, he’s probably a better commissioner than he is a fantasy player: his wife’s team swept him in two head-to-head games last football season. He is very eager to get some revenge – and to sleep on the couch.
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Email the Commish: adam.holtz(at)gmail.com or check out his blog at champguy.blogspot.com.

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Here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.
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Toney Douglas, New York Knicks
Douglas scored 17 points with three rebounds, two assists, and a block. He’s averaging 15.8 points in his past five games.
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Paul George, Indiana Pacers
George scored 23 points with six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. He could get some extra run as the season winds down.
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Reggie Evans, Jerryd Bayless, and Sonny Weems, Toronto Raptors
Evans scored 15 points with 13 rebounds. He won’t usually score like that, but he can help you in the rebounding category. Bayless scored 28 points with two rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Jose Calderon returned, making him a risky play. Weems added 17 points with four rebounds, four assists, and a steal. He’s been in double-figures for three straight games.
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Brandon Bass, Orlando Magic
Bass scored 19 points with eight rebounds and an assist. He’s averaging 13.8 points in his past five games. continue reading »

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |


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Here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.
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Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
Turner scored 21 points with three rebounds, five assists, and a steal. He should get some run down the stretch with Louis Williams out with a hamstring injury.
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Dante Cunningham, Charlotte Bobcats
Cunningham scored ten points with 11 rebounds and two steals. He’s an inconsistent option. Gerald Henderson added 15 points.
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Ryan Hollins, Cleveland Cavaliers
Hollins scored 16 points with two rebounds, a steal, and a block. Look elsewhere.
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Anthony Randolph and Martell Webster, Minnesota Timberwolves
Randolph scored 20 points with ten rebounds, a steal, and two blocks. Kevin Love is going to try to play again this year, but Randolph is a solid play any game Love misses. Webster added 16 points with five rebounds, but he’s too inconsistent to trust. continue reading »

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |


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Here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.
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Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns
Dudley scored 12 points with ten rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block. He’s averaging 17.0 points and 6.2 rebounds in his past five games.
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George Hill and Gary Neal, San Antonio Spurs
Hill scored 29 points with a rebound, four assists, and a steal. Neal added 15 point with a rebound and four assists. They both should be decent plays down the stretch as the Spurs limit their starters minutes.
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Will Bynum, Detroit Pistons
Bynum scored 20 points with an assist and three steals. He’s not a good fantasy option.
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Erick Dampier, Miami Heat
Dampier scored ten points with 14 rebounds and two blocks. He’s not a strong play. continue reading »

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |


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Here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.
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O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies
Mayo scored 20 points with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. He’s averaging 11.8 points in his past five games.
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Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless, and Leandro Barbosa, Toronto Raptors
Davis scored 17 points with 11 rebounds, an assist, and three blocks. He’s averaging 13.0 points and 9.4 rebounds in his past five games. Bayless scored 26 points with four rebounds, eight assists, and a steal with Jose Calderon out. Calderon could miss today’s game as well making Bayless a nice spot start. Barbosa scored 18 points with a rebound, an assist, and two steals. He’s averaging 16.6 points in his past five games.
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Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls
Gibson scored 15 points with nine rebounds and an assist. He’s a decent desperation play with Noah out.
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Shawn Marion and Jose Juan Barea, Dallas Mavericks
The Matrix scored 21 points with eight rebounds, a steal, and three blocks. He hasn’t been as productive of late, but he’s been a steady contributor most of the year. Barea added 13 points with five rebound and 11 assists. It was his third straight game in double-figures. He’s averaging 12.2 points and 6.2 assists in his past five games.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |


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Here’s a look at some fantasy basketball players that blew up the box score last night.
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Chuck Hayes, Houston Rockets
Hayes scored ten points with 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block. He’s averaging 9.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in his past five games.
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Dante Cunningham, Charlotte Bobcats
Cunningham scored 19 points with six rebounds, a steal, and a block. He gets some extra run with Stephen Jackson out, but he’s not an option that I would rely on.
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Brandan Wright, New Jersey Nets
Wright scored 15 points with 11 rebounds, an assist, two steals, and a block. Not I guy I would trust in the fantasy playoffs.
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Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta Hawks
Pachulia scored 15 points with ten rebounds and a steal. Look elsewhere. continue reading »

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |

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