June 10, 2018, 2:21 pm
Welcome in HoopBallers! As we’ve gotten a little distance from the end of the season and the emotional highs and lows of the fantasy campaign have evened out, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year that was. I asked some select members of our tremendous HB staff, from feature writers to blurbers to podcasters to people in our journalism and scouting arms, to answer a handful of questions about another fun year of hoops and what went right or wrong in their fantasy endeavors. We’ll be bringing you those answers in the coming weeks.
So far it’s been mostly good news in our Season Reviews, but this week we’ll talk about the big mistakes that plagued our seasons — or at least made them more difficult than they needed to be. Yours truly burned a fourth-round selection in a 30-team league on Willy Hernangomez, only to watch the Knicks bury him for the entire year. By the time the Hornets decided to let him play it was far too late. There weren’t a ton of players I was enamored with in the range that Hernangomez was selected, but any active player might’ve changed the season dramatically. Onto the experts.
My biggest regret is the Kawhi thing. I finished fourth or fifth in a bunch of leagues in which I drafted Kawhi, killing a good prediction season for me. But other than that I’d say not reacting to the Taj Gibson reunion in Minny. I didn’t have a big season in store for Gorgui Dieng but I didn’t expect him to get wiped out and I should have known Thibs couldn’t control himself.
Accidentally dropping Zach LaVine in a keeper format where his price would have only been a 9th round pick next year. I got two of my money leagues confused – I had LaVine in both, but only one was a keeper format. I dropped Zach in the wrong league and dropped Greg Monroe in the other one. Oops.
#NoRagrets – This season couldn’t have gone better for me. Going back-to-back as champion of the Hoop Ball league is something I’ll brag about for the rest of my fantasy career. Bring on the three-peat!
My biggest transactional regret was dropping Brook Lopez. I drafted him in the fourth round and while he wasn’t gangbusters to start the season, he was at least all right. The he started sliding out of the top-80, top-120, top-150 and I think he kissed top-200 a few times. So, when he hurt his ankle around Christmas, I pulled the plug. He missed eight games and was still meh upon his return when I could have reacquired him.
Well, coach Walton finally gave him more tic and he seemed to develop a little rapport with IT3. While he never made it back to his usual, lofty rankings, he was ranked top-60 for the last two months of the season. This was also on my squad that was missing Kawhi so talk about compounding my errors. I really Cheddar Bob’d myself in that league.
Not snagging Donovan Mitchell and dropping Lauri Markkanen. I’m a HUGE skeptic when it comes to rookies and this year we happened to have the most loaded draft class in terms of fantasy impact. Things just went right for all of these guys, Utah was in desperate need of offense, Boston lost their primary wing, and the Bulls frontcourt punched each other out. Don’t get me wrong, all of these rookies are talented, but under normal circumstances we wouldn’t have had so many rookies inside the top-75.
Not buying enough Donovan Mitchell stock. Even after an impressive Summer League performance Mitchell is the breakout star that nobody saw coming. He was just the No. 13 pick in the Draft and a lot of teams are definitely regretting passing up on him. Credit the Jazz and coach Snyder for his development but again I can’t stop emphasizing the importance of the right fit since Mitchell could have been picked up by the Hornets and stayed on the bench for the entire year.
Not picking up Josh Richardson when he hit the wire briefly early in the season because of a terrible shooting stretch.
Not drafting AD anywhere.
My biggest regret of this season, a lot like other owners’, was believing in Marquese Chriss for far too long. I took Chriss in the tenth round ahead of players like Lou Williams, Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell. Even once it became clear that Chriss would be a bust this season I still held on to him instead of dropping him and streaming the position. Thankfully I won the league because the rest of my team was able to carry the load but eventually I had to drop him. He wasn’t able to put that talent to good use and ended as one of this season’s biggest letdowns.