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.