Honorable Mentions: Jason Kidd, who is ageless; Stephen Curry, who fit into the Warriors system like Hope Dworaczyk fits on the pages of GMTR, Gerald Wallace, who stayed healthy and hit the boards; Josh Smith, who stayed healthy hit the blocks; and Kobe Bryant, who missed 9 games, but powered through injuries to become the Lakers’ all-time leading scoring leader (yay).
The Top 5
5. Dwyane Wade – Wade might not be able to get the Heat into the second round of the playoffs by himself, but Miami’s lack of star power other than D-Wade makes him one of the biggest and most consistent fantasy performers during the regular season. In his seventh year in the league, he averaged 26.6 points, 4.8 boards, and 6.5 assists with a three and a block per game. And the one knock on him earlier in his career (his inability to stay healthy) has mostly been erased – he played 77 games this year after playing 79 last season.
4. David Lee – At the beginning of the year, if you had told me that Lee would end the season as a top five player in the league, I would have told you to put down the David Lee paraphernalia and get your hands out of your pants. Fifty-three double-doubles later, we can definitively say that Lee was just about the only thing that worked for Mike D’Antoni and the Knicks this year. With Lee a free agent this offseason and the Knicks looking to sign some big name players, Lee’s future with the Knicks is in doubt and his fantasy value next year will really depend on the situation end ends up in.
3. Dirk Nowitzki – At the beginning of the year, if you had told me that Dirk would end the season as a top five player in the league, I would have said… yeah that makes sense. Dirk, who is one of the most consistent fantasy players of the last decade, notched the best fantasy line of the year and continues to provide some of the best scoring and percentage numbers in the league while also adding plus boards and blocks. Considering he also played 81 games this season, there is not much left to complain about in his game.
2. Lebron James – James has one goal this year and unfortunately it was not to personally help you win your fantasy league, as he sat out the last 4 games of the year (the peak of fantasy championship week) and missed 6 games overall. On a per game basis, LeBron was the best player this season and was the first player to average at least 29 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in a season since Michael Jordan in 1989. In roto leagues, that’s the equivalent of being able to print your own money. But he likely wrecked a good number of H2H teams during their championship run by resting up for the NBA playoffs over the last week of the season. That’s kind of a big deal and enough of a reason not to rank him number 1 overall.
1. Kevin Durant – He finished the year slightly below LeBron on our per game rankings, but his 82 games played pushes him over the top of LeBron for overall value. The 21-year old saw a big improvement in his game over his sophomore season, averaging a league best 30.1 points a game on 48% shooting. Durant was also the best free throw shooter in the league BY FAR for fantasy purposes, hitting 9.2 free throws a game at a 90% clip. And if he can increase his assists by about 1 a game next year, he has a shot at becoming the first fantasy guy since Larry Bird to really define what it means to be an across the board category filler. Can be actually be better than LeBron next season?
Agree or disagree with my top 5? Am I too now drinking the David Lee love juice? Let us know your top 5 fantasy players for the season in the comments.
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