FUNBA - 10 more things

Hey B-Ballers,

There were some items I overlooked, undercooked, or left off my latest update, so here they are;

10. I had said that Dan's team had 4 superheroes and a pile of dreck. That's not quite true, they do have a 5th player doing very well lately - Tyreke Evans. In the last couple of weeks the Pelicans (LOVE that team name) have decided to make Evans the teams 6th man (which means he is the 1st guy off the bench) playing him in a variety of roles (PG, SG and SF) depending on need. Evans has always been a multi-tool player and the uptick in floor burn could bode well for his stats moving forward.

9. I had also said that Evan Turner was playing a big role for the Goodfellas as a depth scorer. Which was true - until he got hurt a week or so ago.

8. I suggested that LeBron James and Kevin Love were duelling for NBA MVP. I should add that Chris F*cking Paul has more fantasy points than either of them at the moment. I'm cool with that, because, just wait, Paul's knees won't last the season.

7. If you aren't listening to the podcasts with Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe at Grantland.com, you absolutely should. They are the easiest way to get the full Bob Mackenzie style lowdown on what is going on in the NBA. Also, Simmons is both brilliant and hilarious (he used to be a joke writer for Jimmy Kimmel - among other things).

6. Ricky Rubio might be the most exciting playmaker since Steve Nash in his prime, but he is also historically bad at shooting the basketball. Like, worst in recorded history bad. Literally. He's battled injuries two years running, and his position and skillset don't demand he score often, but it is disconcerting that a guy so amazingly talented can't sink a basket to save his life.

5. Andrew Bynum has been suspended by the Cavaliers for 'conduct detrimental to the team' - which just about closes the book on the giant douche-bag's relevancy. That said, 7 footers essentially get lifetime jobs in the NBA no matter how bad their attitude or how much cartilage they are missing from their knees. Some GM looking to save his job with a Hail Mary will take another shot with Bynum. Afterall, Greg Oden somehow still has a job in Miami.

4.  One guy I completely gapped out in mentioning for the Goodfellas is rookie Michael Carter-Williams. The out-of-nowhere PG missed a chunk of time with injury, but whenever he has played he's been absolutely lights out - possible future FP.

3. The collapse of the Brooklyn Nets is only rivalled by the disaster unfolding with the Knicks. The Nets Russian billionaire owner is paying an insane amount of luxury tax this year (on the order of $80M in extra tax) for guys like Pierce, Garnett and Deron Williams, and the team has responded by utterly crapping the bed. Which reminds me, does anyone need a SG? I have Joe Johnson from the Nets available. Cheap.

2. How screwed up are the Knicks? They offered a player with the last name 'Smith' a tryout contract in the pre-season that pays the guy to come in and try to make the team. The thing is that this guy 'Smith' isn't an NBA calibre player, he was only offered the pay day/tryout because he is JR Smith's younger brother. The reasoning appears to be that they are trying to create a 'family' atmosphere. I guess you do things like that if the 'family' is the 'Sopranos' and you get your cousin a job at the docks he doesn't need to show up for. Just further proof that James Dolan has way, way, way more money than brains.

1. It's the 'Know Your Nikola' Update!

In my draft analysis I mentioned there are two big Cs named Nikola; Pekovic in Minnesota, and Vucevic in Orlando. So how are the indistinguishable foreign big-men doing vs each other? I'm glad you asked!

First here is Pekovic:

17.5ppg, 9.1reb, 1assist, .5stls, .4blks = 29.9fantasy points per game

Now Vucevic:

13.7ppg, 11.4reb, 2assists, 1.1stls, 1.2blks = 32.4fantasy points per game

So....Pekovic is the bettter scorer, but Vucevic gets more rebs, assists, steals, and 3x as many blocks. Still, pretty close.

Here are there overall totals for the year;

Pekovic = 774
Vukevic = 682

And we have a clear winner! As it stands, the best Nikola is..Pekovic!!!!

This has been your 'Know Your Nikola' Update.


FUNBA update

Here's a look at our current FUNBA standings;

1. Goodfellas, 8-0

2. Flatlanders, 6-2

3-5. Chumfeeders, Pirates, and Ball-Bearings, 4-4

6. Murderball, 3-5

7. Sharpshooters, 2-6

8. Skywalkers, 1-7

So, once again, Darrell is blitzing the league with a perfect record, and once again, the Skywalkers are garbage, largely the result of another season ending injury to FP Derrick Rose. Sigh.

Here's a breakdown (in reverse order) of what is going on;


Most nights LeBron is the best player in the world, and on those nights he isn't the title belongs to Kevin Love. Unfortunately, you have to look pretty hard to find anyone else providing decent/consistent production for the team outside of them. Tony Parker has been good, but Iguodala has been hurt, and Andre Drummond oscillates between fearsome and invisible depending on the game. Really, really missing an elite 3rd option. Also, there are some scheduling effects that have worked against the team, as it seems that the Skywalkers have been on the short end of 'man games' in just about every match (teams have scored over 8000pts against the Skywalkers, whereas the Ball-Bearings have only had 7000 scored on them - eventually this discrepancy will resolve itself - right?).

The Sharpshooters:

In contrast to the Skywalkers, the Sharpshooters do have three guys going full bore; Harden, Josh Smith, and...Dirk Nowitzki! Rudy Gay and Dwyane Wade have been nice depth players, making for a decent top 5. After that....crickets. The key is really Wade. If he can re-elevate back to elite numbers the Sharpshooters would win more games.


Three excellent FPs: Carmelo Anthony, Monta Ellis and Blake Griffin. Sadly, the bet on Kobe Bryant being an actual player with knees that aren't shredded like confetti didn't last.  The issues lie with the rest of his roster, which goes from 'ok' (Lance Stephenson), to replacement level waiver wire guys (Crawford). As it stands, the team is underperforming, and has a real risk of plummeting in the standings if Melo's Knicks continue the white-hot meltdown they are in (which I predicted for last year, but got this year).


Dwight Howard, MONSTROUS BEAST. Isaiah Thomas, Jrue Holiday and Tim Duncan - above average to very good, with Mike Conley holding his own. Sadly, Derron Williams is struggling yet again to find his game. Two years in a row the PG has failed to live up to his talents.


Unlike the other teams reviewed so far, the Pirates don't have a group of 2-3 mega-stars carrying the mail. Instead, the team is above average almost across the board. Paul George is the best of the crew, but he is closely followed by Gordon Hayward (?!?),  David Lee, Ty Lawson, Nic Batum, Klay Thompson, Greg Monroe and Serge Ibaka. If there is any team that can afford to do a 2 or 3 for 1 deal, it's the Pirates.


The opposite of the Pirates, the Chumfeeders are built around 4 awesome talents, and a bunch of dreck. At the top, arguably the greatest 3 point shooter of all time (and he is just getting started), Steph Curry, with fellow PGs speed-demon Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings and Kyrie Irving right behind him. Dan may be playing 'small-ball' vs the rest of the league, but so far it's working (more or less). On the downside, Paul Pierce has been absolutely AWFUL so far, and should be benched forever more.


Chris F*cking Paul. Destroyer of Worlds. But that isn't all, the Flatlanders also have good depth in Cousins, Lillard and Teague, and guys like Milsap, Pau Gasol,  Lowry and Parsons are all contributing. Paul should be getting MVP consideration, but the rest of the roster is very, very good. (except for Aaron Aflalo, he's junk).


Has the best top end in the league; Durant, Aldridge, and Wall are ripping it up, and all have over 1000fantasy points so far. Secondary scoring in the form of Al Horford, Kemba Walker, and even the misunderstood Evan Turner has helped keep them at the top. Unlike the Flatlanders or Pirates, the depth drops off after the top 5 pretty hard, but that top 5 is soooooo good, they may not need it.



Week 11 Stats

FUNH: Week 12 Line-ups

As we hit the fact that some teams are slowing down and others are creeping up stronger than ever!

Contenders and Pretenders - or is it YET still to early to make that conclusion during a 27 week season...

Hence the theme of the pictures for this week's line-ups!

Please post your Week 12 rosters here!


Week 10 Stats - as of Sunday's Games

Post-WD1 FUNHL Week 11 Line-ups

Now that WD1 is over, DID you get the guys you needed?  Too late to Think Again...

Good Luck as we hit the 2/3 of the season until the Olympic break!

Please post line-ups here!


Week 9 Stats - (WD1 Draft Order Edition)

Hi all, again work has been particularly crazy so my appologies for the delays.  I know that at least one GM wanted me to double check their line-up but it would appear that the spreadsheet seems to be the same as the line-up as entered on the Blog.  That said, if anyone notices an issue with their stats please let me know ASAP so I can make the corrections before this weekend's WD.

FUNHL Week 10 with prov.drops

Well, As we are ALL after the Glory of the Predator Cup, WD1 is this Sunday, Dec 8th at noon MST.

Please post your Week 10 rosters here with your provisional drops if possible.

Finalized Drops are due by Sat. Dec 7th by noon MST or they shall be auto-bob'd.

Week 9 Final stats determine the WD1 order of picks.

Again, pls submit your Wk 10 line-ups here...

Good Luck.


FUNHL News and Notes (plus FUNBA and other stuff)

- I listen occasionally to PuckDaddy's podcast, and a recent episode made me laugh out loud. Marek and Wyshynski were talking about the Winnpeg Jets and Marek pointed out the absolute greatest scoring summary in NHL history;;

'Wheeler, Little, Clitsome'

*snicker*, just typing it makes me giggle like a 6 year old talking about farts.

- Ten+ years ago the Severed Heads had a triad of Penguins (Jagr, Lemieux, Kovalev) that elevated them to the Predator Cup. This years team has a similar near-fistful (Malkin, Neal, Letang, Jokinen) and now that Letang and Neal are healthy the 'Heads have stopped their freefall in the standings and begun the slow climb back to the top.

- In my last N+N I took a crack at the Barbarians set of pivots, a shot that Mike took exception to. So, yeah. I got it wrong. When assessing the roster I missed on Tyler Seguin - total whiff. Obviously a top tier guy like Seguin improves a below average set of guys into something much better. My bad.

- That said, everybody pointing at Nielsen's scoring stats can shut up. They are an unsustainable mirage and I'd be shocked if he crests 60 points on the season.

- Speaking of unsustainable, Alex Steen is on pace for 68 goals this year. Which, is just not going to happen. He might get to 40 though, and with a UFA contract is in line for a ridiculous pay day.

- So we are four games in to the FUNBA season and the Skywalkers are 1-3, and have not one, but two injured all-star point guards (Rose, Rondo). Sigh. At least we have Lebron-Love.

- One major difference this year in the FUNBA is that everyone plays every week. Holy crap that is making a huge difference to my attention span for basketball.

- The Reto Berra 'round-the-world' save is an absolute jaw dropper. Just sick. For a guy who was reviled as being a 'throw-in' in the J-Bo deal, he's proving that he may well have a future. He's big (6'4"), athletic, and aside from some rust and growing pains, appears to be a legit NHL starter caliber guy.

- Even with decent goaltending, the Flames are now having too many injuries to be competitive. Losing Giordano was a serious blow, but having Wideman and Monahan go down after blocking shots is pretty much the coup de grace for the Flames season.

- Another pleasant surprise for the Flames, Kris Russell. Not big, not a burner, but solid and productive with a crisp pass and a nice shot. He's a keeper.

- If I were a GM I would invest in at least one player (Jusi Jokinen, I'm looking at you) who is a shoot-out 'specialist'. Finding a guy who is money in the shoot-out is about the most efficient method possible for creating points in the standings. A guy like Jokinen might make the difference between missing the playoffs and making them - and given Jokinen could have been had off the waiver wire last year, the investment to get those extra points is actually quite small.

- Feaster traded a 3rd rnd pick to get Corban Knight, and a 4th rnd pick to get Joe Colborne. These are flat out ridiculous deals in Feaster's favour. Knight and Colborne are big, young pivots on entry level deals and both have very legitimate shots at long NHL careers. The picks represent a collective 15% chance of producing a single NHL player. To recap, two useful centerman with size, youth and high ceilings for the 15% chance of an NHL player. Massive. Win.

- Malkin is entering 'beast mode' with 19 points in his last 12 games and the league lead in assists.

- Watch out for the Lowlanders in the FUNBA, they've been a roll lately, and show no signs of slowing down. Also beware of Darrel's Goodfellas, they finished 2nd last year and are looking to make another run at the top.

- The Oilers won three in a row recently, but that may have more to do with a soft spot in the schedule than with an actual improvement in how they are playing. Once Chicago showed up in Edmonton the blowouts returned.

- Tyrion Lannister is my favourite character on TV right now, with a solid second place to Johnny Lee Miller's recovering heroin addict Sherlock Holmes on 'Elementary'. Game of Thrones blows me away. First because it is just so very good tv, but also because it represents the living embodiment of all those hundreds of hours of D+D I played through my teens and early twenties.

- Watch for the Leafs to go into a major tail-spin despite their very good record. The advance stats (especially Corsi and PDO) indicate they have been getting outplayed in almost every game (often by a wide margin), and living off unsustainable shooting %s, hot goaltending, and horse shoe shaped suppositories. With the recent spanking by Columbus (6-0) and a followup SO loss to the Penguins where they blew a 4 goal lead and didn't record a shot in the 3rd period or overtime, the advanced stat chickens are coming home to roost.

- My son and I invented a new chess variation, 'Hilton Chess'. Oliver starts with; a King, a Rook, a Bishop, and a Knight, while Dad gets a King and three pawns. Oliver has to checkmate Dad before he advances a pawn to Oliver's home row. I love this because it gives Oliver a chance to experience a very good chance of killing Dad, while stressing the differences in how Rooks, Bishops and Knights move on the board. I think this game could catch on. Watch for it at your local game stores.

- It doesn't look to me like there is any way possible for Jason Spezza to make the Canadian Olympic team. Too many pivots ahead of him, and Spezza doesn't bring anything extra to the table outside of his playmaking.

- So Rogers just dropped $5.2B on NHL hockey rights and then turned around and made a deal with CBC to keep Hockey Night in Canada on CBC while all the revenue from those games goes to Rogers. Total. Victory.

- Does Bob MacKenzie jump to Sportsnet now? Please? TSN will be dead to me without wall to wall hockey coverage, and Bobby-Mac is by far the best analyst in the business, so while everybody moans and wails about what will happen to Don Cherry, I'm actually more concerned about a MacKenzie deficit.

- I like Brent Seabrook at ton, but I wouldn't put him on the Olympic roster ahead of PK Subban.

- If I were the Capitals, I'd be very, very, interested in finding out what the cost of acquiring Ryan Miller would be.

- I'd take Claude Giroux ahead of Eric Staal for the Olympic team.

- I checked out the Grey Cup for a bit while it was on. It was never on doubt, and with Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady on the other channel it wasn't a close choice as to what to watch



Week 9 Line-ups (last week for ww bids)

To the favourite for Coach of the Year - Roy of the Avs at the Quarter point of the Year

Please post Week 9 line-ups here...

Last week for ww bids.

WD1 to be on Sunday, Dec 8th at noon  mst

Good luck and Good night!

Week 8 - Final Stats


FUNHL News and Notes

Hey everyone,

Ok, I know, I didn't do a draft review, and I haven't posted a N+N in forever. My bad.

I believe somebody captured Bladerunner's mgt at the precise moment they heard about Stamkos breaking his leg;

- The Wolves are dressing three prospects (Jones, Silvferberg, and J.Schultz), and have an FP in the QMJHL. So how come they aren't in last place? Answer; Tukka Rask.

- Flames play the Oilers tonight, with Calgary 5 points ahead of their northern rivals with 2 games in hand. Sure it is early as we are only at the quarterpole of the season, but damn am I looking forward to the big ass bottle of Scotch that will be heading my way at the end of the year. By my reckoning the Oilers are missing; a #2 C with size and face-off ability, 3 top 6 D-men, and a legit starting goaltender. Sure Ilya Bryzgalov might be the missing goalie, but even if he is balls-out awesome there are just way too many holes on this roster. Also, Bryzgalov got shelled by the Abbotsford Heat in his AHL debut, so expecting his Vezina calibre #s from a few years back would be unlikely.

Watching the Oilers completely meltdown in the middle of their rebuild is all kinds of awesome. Kevin Lowe's off-season speech about how 'he knows a little something about winning' is even more fun than watching Rob Ford explain in a live interview how he wouldn't drunkenly proffer oral sex to a staff member because he eats enough pussy at home. Good times. Go Flames!

- One of the stats from last night that stood out for me; Nail Yakupov selected 1st overall a year ago has 4 points and is -10,146 (and has his agent publicly requesting he be traded), Thomas Hertl selected late in the 1st rnd by SJ has 18 points in 20 games and is a +4. Magnificent Bastard my ass. ;-)

- Bob's got his Shadowmen near the top of the league right now, but isn't riding just a few hot guys to do it. Toews and Kopitar have both been OK, but not amazingballs, so the credit has to go to the depth he has on the team. That said, losing J-Quick for a month might make those shadows a little less terrifying moving forward.

- Speaking of goaltenders lost to injury, the Severed Heads lost both goaltenders within 20 minutes of each other in the same evening when Rinne and Ward were carted off the ice. Add to it that the 'Heads lost theiir top 2 picks (Letang and Neal) to injury prior to the season even starting, and that Brent Burns has gone from unstoppable force to 'week to week' with 'dental issues', and I'lll say this about the Injury Gods - they have a sense of humour.

- If I'm the Highlanders my biggest concern is A) Crosby might get hurt, and B) that LW looks a little shakey. Can't do anything about A), but a trade for someone at Left better than Andrew Ladd would be my top priority.

- It's funny but Dan's Great Whites seem to collect D-men prospects the way Dan's Chumfeeders collect point guards. I'm not saying it's wrong, just funny.

- While I'm on the Great Whites, what the hell is going on with Claude Giroux? Two years ago the guy was in the conversation for 2nd-3rd best player in the world (after Malkin ;-), but now can't even reach a ppg and is falling out of Olympic consideration (Stamkos' injury helps him a ton though).

- I really thought that the Vanek-Moulson trade would elevate Tavares' scoring #s into the ultra-elite category while making Vanek a legit 50 goal threat. Turns out, not so much.

- I see that the Edge are in last place, and I seriously don't know why outside of some subpar goaltending. OV and Kane are both doing well, and Duchene gives them a legit 1st line C to go with what looks like an above average D (at least on paper). My only advice would be to trade for a real goalie and hang in there. And maybe get some legit TG's.

- Looking over the Barbarians roster, I'm reminded of Team Donut - no centers. B. Richards is...ok, I guess, and Lecavalier (when healthy) could be a below average #2, but is really best suited as a #3. Overall, I'd say their Achilles heel is pretty glaring.

- That said, there is definitely hope for the Barbarians team composition, as one has only to look at the PV to see a sucessful team that is even worse at C than the Barbarians. Datsyuk is a legit #1, but Plekanec is not a legit #2 and M.Richards is borderline terrible as a #3. However, Darrell's team is pretty boffo everywhere else, especially at LW. Seriously though, I believe he's doing it with smoke and mirrors.

- The Knights Templar are the other team with three prospects on the active roster; Landeskog, Hodgson and Wheeler. Of them, I have a strong fear that Hodgson is in real trouble to produce #s in Buffalo (cuz the Sabres are flat out terrible), and that Landeskog's stats have been bouyd by the very hot start the Av's have had - at some point, they will cool off. Still, some very nice pieces for the future.

- Last but not least, my vote for best defense corps in the FUNHL goes to Chris, his quintet of; Pietrangelo, Doughty, Phaneuf, Visnovsky and Dekeyser is I believe tops in the league. Lots of weakness at the forward spots, especially after the top line.

Week Seven - Friday Night Games