April 13, 2020, 7:48 pm
This Monday’s version of the Weekly Report will be a look back at some of the best weeks in fantasy throughout the season. Since the season came to an abrupt halt, we can assume that the regular season and most fantasy seasons (should) be done. Here are the top 11 (Fred VanVleet’s week was only one game) fantasy weeks, we’ll go through each of them from the 11th best to the best.
Week Player Rating Date 14 Damian Lillard 2.93 1/20-1/26 6 James Harden 2.5 11/25-12/01 11 Anthony Davis 2.41 12/30-1/5 15 Damian Lillard 2.35 1/27-2/2 3 D’Angelo Russell 2.13 11/4-11/10 8 James Harden 2.13 12/9-12/15 13 Fred VanVleet 2.11 1/13-1/19 5 Anthony Davis 2.07 11/18-11/24 13 Kawhi Leonard 2.06 1/13-1/19 15 Anthony Davis 2.06 1/27-2/2 7 Anthony Davis 1.93 12/2-12/8
No. 11 – Anthony Davis, Week 7, 35.0 PTS, 0.8 3PT, 8.0 REBS, 2.5 ASTS, 1.8 STLS, 2.0 BLKS, .633 FG%, .860 FT%
You’re going to see Anthony Davis a lot on this list because he was the No. 1 fantasy player overall this season, so naturally, he’ll have the best weeks plenty of times. What really inflates his ranking is the blocked shots, but for Week 7, he only averaged 2.0 blocks a night. During this stretch of four games, Davis scored 26 points on .818 shooting to start the week off hot and two games later, he dropped a 50-piece against the Wolves on .690 shooting. Davis owners were salivating in head-to-head leagues as they got his best total scoring stretch in a fantasy week while actually improving on efficiency.
No. 10 – Anthony Davis, Week 15, 29.0 PTS, 2.0 3PT, 9.5 REBS, 6.0 ASTS, 1.5 STLS, 3.0 BLKS, .613 FG%, .889 FT%
Davis comes in at the No. 10 spot again, this time getting it done across the board. The scoring was more in line with his average, but the defensive numbers helped boost his line. The down side for this week was that it only had two games for his owners, but he did enough damage to make up for that.His five blocks against Portland salvaged what could have been a down week for any other player.
No. 9 – Kawhi Leonard, Week 13, 38.0 PTS, 3.7 3PT, 4.7 REBS, 5.0 ASTS, 2.7 STLS, 1.0 BLKS, .587 FG%, .875 FT%
Yes, the rest days are annoying, but Kawhi Leonard finished the year as a top-6 player in overall value and put up top-3 numbers on a per-game basis thanks to his insane efficiency and improved passing. This stretch of three games in Week 13 had him scoring above 30 points in all three contests while shooting above .600 in two games and above .500 in the other game. It was the beginning of a nine-game stretch where Leonard would drop at least 30 points a night and the Clippers only lost one game, to the Nuggets, during that time.
It’s a shame the season ended early as the Clippers were rounding into form with Paul George and Leonard finally clicking after spending the first half finding their footing.
No. 8 -Anthony Davis, Week 5, 29.7 PTS, 3.3 3PT, 7.3 REBS, 4.7 ASTS, 2.7 STLS, 2.3 BLKS, .509 FG%, .913 FT%
The season started off with skepticism after a loss to the Clippers in the opener, but the Lakers quickly recovered, going 17-1 in their next 18 games. Anthony Davis’ three-game stretch in Week 5 was in the midst of a 10-game win streak where the Lakers would absolutely steamroll lesser teams. The stat line you see here is on par with his season averages, except the 3s.
Davis is just so good on a regular basis that there weren’t many games that stood out during this stretch. In fact, none of the games during this span would be in his top-5 games during this season.
No. 7 -Fred VanVleet, Week 13, 29.0 PTS, 7.0 3PT, 4.0 REBS, 2.0 ASTS, 4.0 STLS, 0.0 BLKS, .688 FG%, .000 FT%
In Week 13, Fred VanVleet only played one game, but he played. He was returning from a five-game absence and had the best fantasy game of his career with a Z-score of 2.37. The Raptors had all of their guards available as well, Norman Powell and Kyle Lowry both logged over 24 minutes and VanVleet led all Raptors players with 28 minutes. FVV only missed one triple and owners who had him for this Saturday game definitely remember the thrill of seeing him light up the Wolves.
No. 6 -James Harden, Week 8, 39.0 PTS, 6.8 3PT, 4.5 REBS, 8.0 ASTS, 1.8 STLS, 1.5 BLKS, .521 FG%, .963 FT%
James Harden had an insane 2019 calendar year in fantasy sports. He’s put up some of the biggest fantasy games in NBA history and the stretch in Week 8 solidified him as one of the best scorers in fantasy hoops. The Rockets were playing sluggish on the road against the Cavs and Harden popped off in the fourth quarter, dragging the Rockets to a win with 55 points, 10 triples and eight dimes. In the next game against the Magic, he dropped 54 points with 10 more triples.
Combine those two games with two more average Harden games and you got 156 points from one player with the bonus of dimes and defensive numbers, which are above average even though his reputation might lead you to think otherwise.
No. 5 – D’Angelo Russell, Week 3, 41.0 PTS, 5.5 3PT, 6.0 REBS, 6.0 ASTS, 2.5 STLS, 1.0 BLKS, .518 FG%, .929 FT%
Russell had his week cut short because of an injury that forced him to sit out the first two games, but he made up for it when he played. He dropped 52 points on his future team, the Wolves, with seven triples to go with three steals and two blocks. The Warriors lost the game, and with the team chalking up the year as lost due to the injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, it was the perfect scenario for Warriors fans. He followed up by pouring in 30 more against the Thunder with seven dimes.
Russell gave fantasy owners and Dubs fans some hope because of his ability to still put up big numbers while simultaneously not being good enough to outright win games, but he’d eventually go through a rough patch of injuries which would cause some inconsistency issues until about mid-January when he started to pick up his mid-round pace again.
No. 4 – Damian Lillard, Week 15, 45.0 PTS, 7.3 3PT, 7.0 REBS, 11.0 ASTS, 1.3 STLS, 0.0 BLKS, .563 FG%, .885 FT%
Damian Lillard was the best player in basketball for a two-week stretch from the end of January to the beginning of February. The fact that this week wasn’t his best fantasy week speaks volumes to how insanely hot he was.He started off the week with a 36-point triple-double with six treys against the Rockets in a win, then followed it up with 48-9-10 with seven treys in a win against the No. 1 seed Lakers on the road and he capped it all off with 51 points, 12 assists and nine triples in a win against the Jazz. Lillard gets better every year and is reliable as they come in the middle of the first round of fantasy drafts.
No. 3 – Anthony Davis, Week 11, 32.0 PTS, 1.7 3PT, 11.7 REBS, 1.7 ASTS, 2.0 STLS, 3.3 BLKS, .585 FG%, .935 FT%
Davis’ best fantasy week was in Week 11. This week had three games and two of them were in his top-5 games this season in terms of fantasy score. It’s a perfect week that highlights how versatile he is and why he’s taken off draft boards by pick No. 2 everywhere. His first big game of the week had 46 points on .714 shooting with 13 boards and three steals in a win against the Pelicans. He followed it up two days later with only 24 points, but also added 11 rebounds and a season-high eight blocks. The Lakers were moving into the new year, but kept all of their momentum as they continued to dominate the regular season.
Lakers fans definitely lose the most if the season doesn’t have a real conclusion as the pairing of Anthony Davis and LeBron James was shown to be enough to overpower any team on any given night.
No. 2 – James Harden, Week 6, 47.0 PTS, 7.5 3PT, 4.5 REBS, 6.5 ASTS, 2.0 STLS, 1.0 BLKS, .532 FG%, .879 FT%
It was only a two-game week for Harden, but it was during the time where he was unguardable. He dropped a 60-piece bomb on the Hawks with eight triples, eight dimes and .667 shooting. During this time the Rockets were still trying to figure things out with Russell Westbrook which meant Harden’s usage was even higher than it was last season. The Nuggets had employed the double-team and trap strategy as soon as Harden crossed half-court and it flustered the team. The Nuggets would win the game and the Rockets dropped three in a row. The Hawks, for some reason, didn’t implement this strategy until it was far too late.
After his 60-point explosion in a 47-point win, it became the norm to trap Harden. In some ways, his massive performance in this game would lead to a snowball effect of trading Clint Capela and him having a lower usage post-All Star Break.
No. 1 – Damian Lillard, Week 14, 52.7 PTS, 9.0 3PT, 7.3 REBS, 9.3 ASTS, 1.0 STLS, 0.0 BLKS, .534 FG%, .949 FT%
Lillard checks back in with the best fantasy week of the season and the best scoring output on a per-game basis. It all started with his 61-point explosion against the Warriors. The Blazers were without C.J. McCollum and Lillard drilled 11 3-pointers in total as he willed the Blazers to a win against his hometown team. Three nights later, he followed it up with 47 points, six boards, eight dimes and eight more triples in a loss against the Mavs. Three nights later he played against the Pacers and scored 50 points with eight triples and 13 assists on .609 shooting. He was heaving bombs and his range at this point was anything near half-court. This would continue to snowball into Week 15 as well, bringing the best two-week stretch of fantasy play this year.
The Blazers were fighting for life and trying to cling onto the 8-seed despite myriad injuries, which added to the heroism of Lillard’s play. Even though you know how it ends, if you go and rewatch his play during these games, you won’t believe what you see as he’s knocking down shots from everywhere.
All of this talk is just making me miss basketball even more. Hopefully we get some action soon so we can close out what had been an amazing regular season.