Quarterly Review: Bottom Third of the League

Can any of these teams make the fantasy playoffs?

(Originally published on 12/10/18)

We are at the quarter point of the season. At this point, we are familiar with our teams strengths and weaknesses. Luckily, even the bottom third of the league is active on the free agent wire. No signs of tanking in our league ... yet. Below is a quick analysis of the bottom four teams in he league and their potential paths to a playoff spot this year. Two of the teams (THE LONG RUN and DRINKING GAME STRONG) are former league champions, another (RICKY'S OLE' OOPS) has been a consistent playoff team. These managers know how to win. They can dig themselves out of their early deficits. 

RICKY'S OLE' OOPS, 21 games out of a playoff spot 
Last place is decieving. RICKY'S OLE' OOPS has been engrossed in every major NBA controversy to-date. First, Chris Paul and Rondo got suspended for throwing studio punches. Then, KAT/Wiggins were held hostage by a bully. Caris Levert shattered his leg. John Wall yelled at his coach. Yes, RICKY's OLE OOPS owns all those players and their associated conroversies. On top of that, he's waiting on Boogie Cousins to return from injury. It's like he perfectly constructed the most combustibe team with the asummption that it was impossible for them to all combust at the same time. Then, much to his surprise, it all blew up before it got started. All has settled since their tumultous start. Now, let's see if they can start making up some ground in the coming weeks. 

FLI CITY, 18.5 games out of a playoff spot 
Injuries and loyalty are killing FLI CITY. First, the injuries. Draymond Green and TJ Warren have barely played this season. Al Horford is now mysteroiusly missing games as he's only played in four of the last seven games. Next, the loyalty. Yes, Miles Bridges and Monte Morris are from Flint, but no, they are not viable fantasy players yet. Trae Young is shooting 24.3% from three on 5.5 attempts-per-game, which is by far the worst the in the league based on the number of attempts. Kevin Love and Donovan Mitchell are the only two other players shooting less than 30 percent on 5.5 attempts or more per game from three. All three players are shooting worse than Carmelo Anthony from three this season. Without consistent minutes from Draymond and Horford, the team is 0-8 in the rebound category and 2-6 in blocks for the season. Reason for optimism: FLI CITY still has LeBron. 

THE LONG RUN, 13 games out of a playoff spot 
THE LONG RUN has four of the top-nine league leaders in turnovers this season -- Giannis is 3rd, (4.3), Booker 4th (4.1), Zach Lavine 7th (3.9) and Blake Griffin is 9th (3.7). The team is 1-7 in turnovers on the season, yet only 3-5 in assists. The all-time worst record for turnovers in a season is 1,430  held by OCCUPY THE PLAYOFFS in 2011. THE LONG RUN has already committed 739 turnovers as a team this season. That record might be broken by Christmas. There is a strategy here. Booker, Mitchell, Lavine and Dennis Smith Jr. is the greatest collection of volume shooters in the league but the team is only 5-3 in 3PTM and 6-2 in points. Those margins need to increase if this team is going to make a playoffs and restore its championship pedigree.  

DRINKING GAME STRONG, 11.5 games out of a playoff spot
This team is loaded with the most frustrating type of players -- the eight or nine rebound guy who kills you in the double-double category. Taj GIbson, Jonas and Serge Ibaka have been one or two rebounds short of a double-double on eight different occassions this year already. Thaddeus Young has yet to have a double-digit rebound game this season. DRINKING GAME STRONG is 0-6-2 in the double-double category this year. That should improve when Kevin Love returns from injury. The team has been consistently average without excelling in any one category. They are 4-4 on the season in five different categories (3PTM, 3PT%, Points, Steals, Turnovers). At some point, they will have to decide to double-down on categories they can win each week rather than trying to remain competitive in them all.  

Correction on the December 3, 2018 Newsletter
It was incorrectly stated that PRIMETIMEPLAYASCLUB! had the best record during the 2017-18 regular season. The best record last season in fact belonged to A TEAM HAS NO NAME.