May 5, 2018, 6:50 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.
Today we’ll cover the most straightforward question of the bunch — Who was your Fantasy MVP? I left the question open to a little bit of interpretation, and you can see below that some of us chose to go with the straightforward numbers answer and provide a “true numbers” MVP while others offered up their own personal selections or value-based answers. Quite frankly, 10 guys just saying “Anthony Davis” doesn’t make for a great read.
As for me, I’d have to say that my personal MVP would be Tobias Harris. I really cut down on my leagues this year and wound up in only 30-team formats, which may or may not have been a good call. It really warped my perception of the average waiver wire if nothing else. Harris is a guy that I ended up with on every team (literally), and that wasn’t too surprising since he’s a player that I’ve really targeted in the past. Last season he was a shade overhyped, especially in leagues with lots of die-hard fantasy players, but this season I was able to grab him around 70th overall if not a bit later. For a guy who settled inside the top-30 (total value) with 80 games played, that’ll play. Now onto the rest of the crew.
Anthony Davis. During the first half of the season, Davis was known more for not getting hurt than he was for the season he was about to have. When DeMarcus Cousins went down everybody assumed he was about to go off but the injury concerns lingered and then they never came. Davis had an historic run and surged up to the top spot in both 8- and 9-cat leagues, leaving both Roto and playoff owners happy.
Thad Young? Kidding. It’s Anthony Davis and no one is close.
Victor Oladipo – Can’t say enough about Oladipo and how valuable he was for me this season. He was a steal for so many people out there, and he carried me to victory in multiple leagues. He finished as a top-10 guy in 9-cat leagues, something no one thought he could do prior to the season. What a year for Mr. Oladipo!
It sure wasn’t Kawhi. I’d say it has to be the Brow. Anthony Davis had an average ADP of 7 and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 per game and for total cumulative value (almost 35 percent more valuable than No. 2 KAT) on the season. Then take his battling for the playoffs down the stretch: he didn’t miss random games for maintenance like James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and was No. 1 for that period, too. He tied a career high with 75 games played and was ranked first in blocks, second in points, fifth in rebounds, fifth is weighted field goal percentage and fourteenth (tied) in steals. And he didn’t shave the unibrow! Just a splendid all-around season from the homeboy from Chicago.
The runner-up would have to be Victor Oladipo. He blew away his average ADP of 55 and completed the season at No. 10 per game, No. 7 on the season. Dipo led the league in steals, was ninth in scoring (both career highs) and played in 75 games. That’s. What. I’m. Talking. About.
My personal fantasy MVP has to be Nikola Jokic, was able to snag him in multiple leagues. He didn’t blow away expectations like last year, but he delivered right around his ADP, stayed healthy and helped lead a bunch of my teams into top-3 placements (which is all you need to get paid in Yahoo! Pro Leagues).
I’ll give my fantasy MVP vote to LeBron for grinding out 82 games at the age of 33 and finishing the season as the No. 6 player in 9 cat leagues. If you play in competitive leagues you really have to reach/gamble at the early rounds of the draft as most managers are well prepared and there are really no “sleepers.” Selecting LeBron ahead of Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard was the right move this year and kudos to everyone that had the courage to do so.
From a value standpoint, it’s Will Barton for me. Josh Richardson gets a lot of hype as a fantasy MVP because he’s flashier but Barton actually finished above him by just being generally solid all-around.
Anthony Davis. It was between James Harden and Anthony Davis for this one, and while Harden will likely take home the real NBA MVP Award, Davis will be bringing home the fantasy one. When I think of the “Fantasy MVP” I think of the best fantasy player this season, and that was Davis. He finished first in total and per-game value in both eight- and nine-category leagues and his owners were likely able to get him outside of the top-5 in most drafts as FantasyPros has him at an ADP of 7.0. He played the most games of his career with 75 this season, which is more than Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant as well as “Iron Men” Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson. The man averaged 29.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 blocks on 52 percent shooting in the last 27 games of the season, what more can an owner ask for? He didn’t require a top-5 pick in most drafts, he put up videogame like numbers for most of the season and contributed in almost every category. That sounds exactly like a fantasy MVP to me.
August 25, 2019, 11:25 pmCaris LeVertSG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets and Caris LeVert have agreed to terms on a three-year, $52.5 million contract extension, as per Adrian Wojnarowski.
This makes sense for the Nets, who have long extolled their love for LeVert's long-term outlook. This sounds like they're fully committed to making him a core player. Enjoy his upside this season, as he will likely take a usage hit when Kevin Durant returns to full health and takes the floor.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 11:18 pmEvan FournierSF, Orlando Magic
In an 82-80 win by France over Italy on Sunday, Evan Fournier posted 29 points in 19 minutes of action.
This was nice showing for Fournier, who is coming of a relatively lackluster 2018-19 campaign. He will have to fend off an emergent Terrence Ross for those minutes at the wing this season and will need production-per-minute on this level if he wants to stay on the floor for the Magic.
Source: Orlando Magic Daily on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 8:29 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo had little to say about his rehab process (ruptured quad tendon) at his basketball camp in Indiana.
We weren't expecting earth shattering details while Oladipo was busy overseeing his basketball camp, but more information about the Pacer would be most welcome. It is hard to know what you will get from Oladipo on draft day, but you have to figure someone in your league will be interested in taking a gamble on him. He is still not scrimmaging with other players, and whenever he does return to game action this season, it is unlikely he will resume being a top player in the early going.
Source: The Athletic
August 25, 2019, 8:08 pmBriante WeberPG, International
Briante Weber, after spending the end of last season with the Greek club Olympiacos, is joining the Metropolitians 92, based in Boulogne-Levallois, France.
Weber attended free agent mini-camps in June with the Raptors and Wolves, and spent time in the G-League last year, but has never been able to catch on long-term with an NBA team. He has had brief stops with several NBA squads over the years, so it is possible he could return to a roster at some point this season. There is nothing to see here in terms of fantasy though.
August 25, 2019, 7:54 pmRui HachimuraPF, Washington Wizards
Rui Hachimura showed off his scoring prowess with 31 points in Japan's comeback victory over Germany on Saturday.
After a nice string of Summer League performances, Rui Hachimura is continuing his strong play in FIBA World Cup exhibition games for Japan. He can clearly get his own look in the mid-range, and the rookie should get a chance to perform for the Wizards this year. Keep an eye on Hachimura's preseason opportunities, as the competition for the Wizards' power forward minutes isn't fierce. He could be worth a late-round flyer in standard league-drafts.
Source: Mike Schmitz on Twitter
August 25, 2019, 6:50 pmRobert CovingtonSF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington (right knee) is not expected to have any limitations heading into training camp.
Covington had arthroscopic surgery in April after missing 47 games last season due to a bone bruise on his right knee.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 25, 2019, 6:32 pmJeff TeaguePG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jeff Teague (left ankle) is not expected to have any restrictions for training camp.
Teague had a left ankle debridement procedure in April to help alleviate inflammation. Teague's ankles have given him trouble throughout his career and he only played 42 games last season. With a clean bill of health Teague will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing season.
Source: Chris Hine of the Star Tribune
August 24, 2019, 11:09 pmDerrick WhitePG, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White has reportedly passed the first concussion test after taking a nasty fall in Team USA's tuneup game vs. the Australian Boomers on Saturday.
This is good news. White has worked hard for his Team USA roster spot and should provide some guard depth for them once he clears concussion protocols. He was an eye-opener last season and should still hold some fantasy value despite the return of a now-healthy Dejounte Murray.
Source: Tom Orsborn on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 10:27 amKyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma (sore left ankle) will not take part in the FIBA World Cup as Team USA announces its final roster.
Kuzma sat out Team USA's final tuneup against Australia on Saturday as Marc Stein reports that he is flying back to Los Angeles to get treatment. We should still expect him to be ready for training and congrats to Mason Plumlee for making the team as many speculated that he would be the final cut.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
August 24, 2019, 8:58 amKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker scored 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with four rebounds with two assists as USA Basketball had it's 78-game winning streak in tournament and exhibition games snapped on Saturday.
Walker continues to assert himself as the team's best player but USA losing to Australia was the much bigger story in this one. Harrison Barnes also played well as he chipped in 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. USA will take on Canada on Monday in their last exhibition before taking on the Czech Republic in the first official match of the tournament on September 1.