Fantasy basketball: How to improve your roster following the All-Star break

The dust has settled from a seismic NBA trade deadline. Now, you can tell yourself that the season almost is over. You have fewer options to make changes to your fantasy leagues.

There's only one place you can start to strategically align for the stretch run. Have a look at the NBA standingsAsk yourself the following question: “Who is tanking?” (And then, right after that: “In two weeks…who else will be tanking?” You need to take it with you. Playing with ping-pong balls.

“Tanking,” is a horrible word. Sam Hinkie lover, I prefer the better-known “Processing”.

(With these Sixers post-deadline, we are now in the final game of O.G. Processing. Safety tip: Should these Sixers win it, make sure you lock your wedding crystal. The sound of the analytic acolytes from sleep=deprived coast-tocoast will be shocking. Yes, I will hit high D over C#.

The Process is respected by me. As a teambuilding philosophy… and late-season fantasy gamechanger. Refusing Process: Relying on the annual bromide “we play for win”, defiantly promising that your fanbase will “never tank?” You'll end up with generational mediocrity. For 10 consecutive years, you can pick 10th. Who hasn't won 50 games in the Carter administration? Last week, your team pledged for the first-gazillionth times to “never drop”: Washington Wizards.

Strategic, selective tanking can transform a franchise's fortunes. In the NBA, where one player can change everything and every team is different, short-term tanking plays a vital role. This is how you get Tim Duncan. Kevin Durant. Darko Milicic. (Okay. It's not foolproof.

Some analysts claim that tanking is dead after the Play-In Tournament was established (the NBA's version Squid Game). The NBA has disenfranchised The Process, by shifting the lottery odds to give three of the worst teams equal chances at winning.

The Process is alive. The optics are improved by the new Lottery odds, and the Play-In. Yes, there are more teams that have a chance to play their way into the 7th or 8th seeds. Let's say that 25 NBA teams are still trying to get into the postseason. Three teams are more likely to win the No. The overall No. 1 pick.

The middle ground is what has been smashed. The lottery has a flattened chance of winning for the bottom five to six teams. Fantasyland must focus on these teams. (Teams who are chasing the Play In will not wait until it's too late in order to increase their chances of winning the lottery.

Which teams respect The Process most? This question has a lot of fantasy import. Because they don't want to lose. They all start the race to the bottom by opening their benches.

Rotating their rotations. Resting veterans who may win an accidental few more games… and getting their young upside on court. They are allowed to play meaningful minutes in high-impact situations that go above garbage time.

Since time immemorial, all Processing teams have used this dynamic. Because it works*. The simultaneous processing increases their chances of winning and creates young talent.

(*It only really works if said Processing team drafts/trades/G-Leagues well and accrues consequential young talent.)

The Playoff Odds show us which five teams have the highest chance of falling (rising) to the bottom three: Thunder, Magic Rockets Rockets, Rockets, Rockets and Rockets.

Since the opening day of training camp, Thunder, Pistons, Rockets have been playing for pingpong balls. They are already showing their young potential on the court.

These three teams are important. Absolutely not. It is unlikely. All three franchises have been rebuilding since a while. This means that these young players will see significant minutes over the course of the season. You can make a little leap… and produce better fantasy production.

Don't believe my words? Do you believe my most-drafted player scored 28 points, 11 boards and had 12 assists? Josh GiddeyMadison Square Garden just received? Young upside + meaningful minutes = leaps. I hope you have read my season and Giddey is on your roster. OKC also has other options for you if you're not able to make it. Darius Bazley, Tre Mann, Luguentz Dort, Aleksej Pokusevski Kenrich WilliamsShould be on your collective radar (not Aaron WigginsNo player can do less with more.

These are the most prominent young stars (Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Isaiah StewartDetroit () This is unlikely to be available in leagues of medium size. The Pistons have two bigs who could provide endgame minutes. Marvin Bagley III Kelly Olynyk. They already supply the high-usage multi-categorical items Hamidou DialloWith the required 25-plus MPG.

Houston's Kevin Porter Jr., Christian Wood Jalen GreenAll season, have been on the roster of medium-sized leagues Jae'Sean TateDespite being inefficient, he has seen high usage. Tate is likely to have the greatest in-season ceiling of any young upside that's still available in your league. I believe Alperen SengunWill put together a nice selection of powerful fantasy box scores before Tax Day. But I am still waiting. Kenyon Martin Jr. to indulge in an endgame binge… but now only Garrison MathewsOur path is blocked by others.

Fantasy opportunities are also available for the remaining teams in our bottom-5, Indiana and Orlando.

Orlando is in the same boat with Detroit. Their young talent pool has a lot less high-end players. Unfortunately, many fantasy rosters already have their most talked-about names. However, if you have a roster spot to play with, I would think about adding Chuma OkekeLet's see how the next few games go. Okeke hasn't reached the “drop all and add him” level yet. However, he's showing potential for double-double, blocks+3s box scores. Okeke is a high-reward, low-risk add.

Indiana may shift their rotations to April. They are entitled to it. They deserve to spend all the time they need figuring out how to make sure. Tyrese HaliburtonCautionary Deadline Theft Tale will be used for the next 8-10 season.

Also, the monster 20-10s are back-to-back Terry TaylorYou should have placed a flag in your mind bank when you threw it down a few weeks ago. Two other less-rostered Pacers are ones I would like to add as soon as possible: Chris Duarte Oshae Brissett.

Take a break from me, and see if Brissett can be reached on your wire.

I will not be hurt. If we are in a long-term marriage? It's something that I recommend. The Current Mrs. Cregan takes strategic breaks from me, which is why she is pricing kaftans at In-N'Out Burger for our 22nd anniversary dinner.

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