May 20, 2018, 1:09 am
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.
This week we talked about the players who ended as disappointments. For clarity’s sake, the exact question I posited was “Which player who you believed in let you down the most?” I purposely avoided using the term “bust” here because we could all do a pretty quick cross match between the final rankings and ADP. That said, the traditional interpretation did give us a few busts, so those of you looking for that will still find some nuggets here.
As for myself, Myles Turner is definitely atop the list. I was very bullish on his prospects of finishing as an easy top-20 guy, but injuries and fairly milquetoast play crushed those dreams early on. He’s no longer The Guy for Indiana’s future but should still be a key cog in their next steps, so my very-early hopes remain higher than they have right to be after this season. Time will tell if I get sucked in at the draft table.
In deeper leagues I was bummed out by Norman Powell’s enormous steps back. He was supposed to parlay his shiny new contract into a major role on the second unit at the very least, with the starting small forward spot his to lose headed into training camp. Norm lost that and a whole lot more, falling out of the rotation as Toronto’s other young players lapped him with ease. Mercifully he wasn’t attached to a major investment in any format. I’ll also toss out Rodney Hood, Moe Harkless and Alex Len if you want some other names who I liked as roster fillers.
Onto the experts!
Kawhi Leonard. It wasn’t that I believed in him the most it was that I believed things couldn’t be this bad. And they weren’t just bad they were ‘worst fantasy pick of all time’ bad. When we go back and look at the B150, his high ranking will leave a mark.
I’d say Myles Turner, but I never truly believed in him. This one has to be James Johnson. He was supposed to be a pick near 75-85 that could supply a nice, steadying dose of money-counters on good FG% with a splash of points, boards and assists. And while he did finish the year strong, no one could have possibly held on for 4.5 months. He finished as a top-115 asset on a per-game basis, and that’s just not good enough.
George Hill – I was expecting him to have a massive season with the Kings but it was quite the opposite. He ended up getting traded to the Cavs and I, along with everyone else, believed he would turn it around. We were all bitterly disappointed. Rough season all around for Hill.
Myles Turner, hands down. He finished last season ranked No. 25 and looked to be in the Porzingod mold of a big that could block shots and hit 3s (though rawer on offense, Turner had better efficiency if less volume). I’m lucky I only drafted him in one league where I took him and Unicorn at the 2/3 turn. He finished ranked No. 57 per game.
He started off meh, was banged up and ended up closing the season even worse, dragging home only top-170 value over the last month when he was need most in H2H. What a letdown.
Honorable mention to Carmelo Anthony who had a late-early/early-mid ADP of 33 (ESPN) and 45 (Yahoo) and got you barely top-125 value on the year. Hood Melo =\= Olympic Melo.
Richaun Holmes. This guy can flat out play and has all the heart in the world, but for some reason the Sixers are dead set on letting Amir Johnson run out there. He’s still only 24 years old and is versatile on both ends of the floor. If things break the right way, I can see Holmes bouncing back on a different team.
Kawhi Leonard – Ruined my season. AD & LeBron were both on the board still, didn’t see AD playing this many games and I thought the King would be able to coast this year. That being said, I’d still draft Kawhi in the first round next year.
I hate to say this but Steph and his multiple injuries throughout the year killed my chances to even make the playoffs in my hometown league. It’s a 14-team league with experienced managers and after also losing Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season there was clearly no room for errors. Don’t get me wrong, Curry was still a top-3 asset at the end of the year but I just couldn’t afford him missing 31 games which translates to 8-9 weeks of fantasy season.
This is probably unpopular but I’ve always been higher on Carmelo than most. He just kind of fell off the fantasy radar playing third fiddle this year. He was still “fine” but obviously not close to what he was at his peak as the main guy in Denver and New York, just a really volume-driven player. It wasn’t a major letdown because the expectations were muted behind Russ and Paul George but top-75 was what I had in mind.
Myles Turner, C.J. McCollum, Gorgui Dieng.
D’Angelo Russell. Sigh, I was so high on Russell this year. He was taken in the fourth round of my draft with the pick right before mine so thankfully I dodged a bullet. I ended up taking Aaron with that pick so I guess it was just meant for me to take an underwhelming player in the fourth round. I was big on Russell when he was on the Lakers so when he got moved to Brooklyn I figured it would be all systems go, and it kind of was before he got injured. Funny story, I actually offered his owner Victor Oladipo for Russell early in the season and he declined, safe to say he’s definitely regretting that one.
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson and Russell seem to have a great relationship but the Nets have a ton of depth and if Russell isn’t playing well they don’t necessarily need to rely on him. He only played in 48 games this year and started in only 35 of them while averaging 25.7 minutes, the least of his three-year career. He finished this season as the 187th ranked player and he just hasn’t managed to put all of that talent to good use yet. I still believe in Russell, but this year he really let me down.