• What a season.  For us, it was the beginning of a new endeavor here at Hoop Ball.  For all of us, we were treated to a truly historic season and it was capped off with a 73-win team being upstaged by a 37-year old in his 20th year scoring 60 points on his final night.

    To borrow a line from Grant Napear in Sacramento — if you don’t like that you don’t like NBA basketball.

    I want to thank all of the writers here at Hoop Ball.  I always envisioned a site where content was king. A place where creativity and drive would rule the day.  Along the way I’ve met some incredible people who are already doing great things as we grow through our infancy as a site.

    And yes, there is no other crew I’d want to go to war with, which is saying something considering my esteemed colleagues and friends Doc, Ryan and Ethan at Rotoworld might have a thing or two to say about that!

    Without further ado, our writers have weighed in on the 2015-16 Hoop Ball Fantasy Awards.  Leave your comments below, click the links to follow them on Twitter and THANK YOU for a great site launch.  Let us know what we can do better.  And we’re not stopping anytime soon because for us, this is Opening Night for 2016-17.  See you at the finish line.

    –AB

    Fantasy Player of the Year

    Ace Tran: Stephen Curry – With almost 400 3-pointers made in a year and averages of 29.9 PTS, 5.5 REB, 6.7 AST, 2.1 STL and 5.0 3PM per game on 50% shooting from the field and 90% shooting from the line (five attempts), he tops the list as the #1 fantasy player of the year. Russell Westbrook kept things interesting with his NBA record tying performance in total triple doubles but the Billion Dollar Under Armour man takes the cake all the way.

    Riaz Dhanani: Steph Curry. Not only a season for the ages, but the chase for 73 wins kept Curry playing every game during the fantasy playoffs.

    Shakha Vasdani: Stephen Curry had arguably the greatest single season in NBA history using advanced metrics and fantasy sports is all about advanced metrics! Steph should be the unanimous real world and fantasy MVP.

    Zain Dhanani: Stephen Curry was the No. 1 ranked fantasy player in 8-cat and 9-cat leagues. Curry was top-3 in six categories for his position. The only position he hurt in this season is TOs.

    Jake Cousins: Giannis Antetokounmpo.  Look, if this category was best fantasy player there wouldn’t be a conversation, as a certain baby-faced jump-shooter from The City ought to be considered the unanimous MVP in fantasy and reality.  That said, my player of the year vote goes to Giannis, who emerged in ’15-’16 as the jack-of-all-trades dynamo that the internet has long begged him to be.  The Alphabet went from a perfectly fine fantasy option (drafted at the end of the 6th or start of the 7th round in most leagues) to a legitimate top-20 player over the last two months of the season.  After being handed the key’s to the Bucks offense Giannis was a nightly triple-double threat with great defensive stats.  He’s already staked his claim to first-round status next season, and in dynasty leagues he might soon be locked in as a top-three option.

    Dan Besbris: Steph Curry would be the easy pick, but he was drafted first or second in almost every league so there’s no real skill, there. Heck, the team with Steph won my Roto league. I’m going to give my Player of the Year award to Kemba Walker, mostly because he so dramatically crushed his ADP and likely helped teams win even if they didn’t have Steph.

    John Sill: Stephen Curry is the Fantasy Player of the Year by a HUGE margin.  Curry put together a season that is not only the top ranking stat set, but one of the top season-long fantasy stat sets in the modern era.  The way Curry contributes in just about every category sans blocks is just absurd.

    Mike Yusko: The soon to be back-to-back MVP is easily fantasy’s player of the year. Chef Curry cooked his way to #1 overall status on the back of averaging 29.9 points (leads the league), five treys (leads the league), 2.1 steals (leads the league) and joining the 50/40/90 club on 20 shot attempts and 11 3-point attempts per game. To put his value into perspective, the distance between Curry and fantasy’s number two player (Kevin Durant) is the same distance between the number two player and the number eight player.

    Roberto Munoz:  Stephen Curry. With all due respect to everyone else, Curry dominated this year from start to end. He’s the best player on the best team in the league. The Warriors have broken so many records this year that we’ve lost count at this point. Curry offered owners excellent FG% for a back-court player, exceptional FT%, the most points, above average assists and elite steals. He also threw in the odd game with double digit rebounds. Yes Russell Westbrook may have had more triple doubles, but when the dust settled, Curry was easily the better overall fantasy player.

    Giovanni Musa:  Steph Curry. 30 points. 50-40-90. 400 threes.

Fantasy News

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Coach Steve Kerr said that Stephen Curry will play this season once he is healthy.

    Kerr said that "It's important for Steph and Andrew to get to know each other and to play together". It sounds like Kerr has no problem with playing Curry once he is fully recovered so he can get used to his new teammates. Curry should be on a roster in all 12-team leagues since he's a proven fantasy stud and could be an early-round player during the fantasy playoffs.

    Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter

  • Robert Williams III
    C-F, Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams (left hip edema) will not play in the upcoming four-game road trip but hinted that he would return on February 29th vs. the Rockets.

    Williams said there are "No limitations on anything I'm doing" and said that he wants to "windmill every time" but has to "play it cautious a little bit". Williams looks to be ramping up and is likely to return in the next two weeks. Williams has low upside behind Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis in the rotation but can be a streamer for blocks when he returns.

    Source: A. Sherrod Blakely on Twitter

  • Dario Saric
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    Dario Saric (left ankle) participated fully in practice on Wednesday and is hopeful to return on Friday vs. the Raptors.

    Saric is outside the top-150 in both 9-cat and 8-cat leagues this season. Mikal Bridges has been on a roll the past month, producing top-60 value in 9-cat leagues. Saric entering the rotation could cut into Bridges' minutes and it will be worth watching the Suns' rotations the next few games. Bridges is a hold in standard-leagues and Saric is a low-upside option in 14-team leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Aron Baynes
    C, Phoenix Suns

    Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) participated in practice on Wednesday.

    Coach Monty Williams said he's hopeful Baynes will return on Friday vs. the Raptors. Baynes is unlikely to get back to producing standard-league value with Deandre Ayton in the lineup, who is also expected to return on Friday. Baynes could carve out late-round value in 14-team leagues for big-man stats.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) practiced on Wednesday and Coach Monty Williams says that he's hopeful Ayton will be able to play on Friday.

    Ayton missed the past two games with an injury but looks ready to return the next game. Ayton is a top-15/30 player in 9/8 cat leagues on the season and should remain in that range the rest of the way. This kills the small amount of value that Cheick Diallo had and he can be left on waiver wires outside of 20-team leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Robert Williams III
    C-F, Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams (hip) participated in practice on Wednesday and felt good.

    The Celtics are encouraged by Williams' progress and plan to ramp him up in practice over the next 1-2 weeks. Williams will be behind Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis in the rotation and will only have appeal as a block specialist. Kanter and Theis will lose value when Williams enters the rotation. Theis is a top-70 player over the past month in 26 minutes per game while Kanter is outside the top-175 in 19 minutes per game. Theis will likely hold standard-league value and Kanter will remain a low-upside option in 16-team leagues.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Norman Powell
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Norman Powell (finger) is about a week away from his next check up.

    Nick Nurse made the comment on Wednesday and a check up does not necessarily mean a return date. Powell should be expected to miss at least one more week. He was producing top-90 value for a month before he was injured, so it may be worth grabbing him if you have an open IR spot and can afford to hold him until he returns.

    Source: Laura Armstrong on Twitter

  • Marc Gasol
    C, Toronto Raptors

    Marc Gasol (left hamstring) is a possibility for Friday's game.

    Gasol has been out since late January and it sounded like the All-Star break was going to be the final stretch of rehab that he'd need in order to return. Even if his return doesn't come on Friday, it sure sounds like the big man will be back in action soon enough. Make sure Gasol isn't on your waiver wires.

    Source: Eric Koreen on Twitter

  • Will Barton
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    Will Barton (right knee inflammation) was limited at Wednesday's practice.

    The Nuggets didn't give a formal update but Barton did less at the session than Denver's other injured players, so fantasy GMs might want to look elsewhere in the short-term. Gary Harris and Torrey Craig should absorb Barton's minutes for as long as he remains out.

    Source: TJ McBride on Twitter

  • Mason Plumlee
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Mason Plumlee (right foot injury) was able to participate in most of Wednesday's practice session.

    Plumlee went down in late January and was set to miss 2-4 weeks, so a return should be coming soon. The Nuggets have rolled with smaller groups while Plumlee has been shelved, though he was a defensive anchor for the second unit when healthy. Expect his return to eat away at the workloads of Jerami Grant and Michael Porter Jr.

    Source: TJ McBride on Twitter