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2014 Fantasy Basketball Awards
Already gave out the fantasy MVP and fantasy rookie of the year awards in previous articles. Here are the rest of the award winners for this fantasy basketball season.
Most Improved Player- Definitely did not see this coming, which is usually the case for the M.I.P award. This season I am giving it Isaiah Thomas because he improved in every category and was forgotten about in most fantasy drafts. In the 2012-13 season he averaged 14 points, 1.5 3PM, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 0.8 steals, and shot 44% from the field, per game. This season he went HAM on the NBA by posting 20.3 points, 1.8 3PM, 2.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Those are almost identical numbers to what Kyrie Irving averaged this season…I’ll let that sink in. There will be no question next season who the starting PG will be in Sacramento and drafting him after the fourth round will be robbery.
Surprising Player- Not gonna lie, I thought this player would be good this year, but didn’t expect him to be great. DeMar DeRozan is my surprising player of the year because he has established himself as an All-Star caliber player and surprised all of the owners that drafted him. Granted, his value increased dramatically when the Raptors traded away Rudy Gay and gave Double D the opportunity to be the man in Toronto. Always known as just as scorer, he produced 4 rebounds/assists while scoring almost 23 points per game this season (finished 7th overall in total points scored in the NBA).
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year- This is always a tough award to give out because waiver wire players differ in all leagues, but I tried to go with a player that wasn’t drafted in any league. The waiver wire pickup of year is Gerald Green. Not only is he fun to watch, like the time he literally went in NBA JAM mode by scoring 41 points (25 points in the third quarter) in a game vs Thunder earlier this season, but he was also fantasy gold at times. The Green Machine( that’s what the Suns announcer calls him and I’m stealing it) exploded when Eric Bledsoe was out a couple of months with a knee injury. He ended the season averaging almost 16 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.5 3PM per game this season.
Biggest Disappointment- This one was an easy decision as Derrick Rose wins this dishonorable award. He was a first round pick in most leagues and ended up missing most of season with a knee injury for the second straight season. The other huge knock on D-Rose is the fact he averaged 16 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists on a brutal 35.4 FG% per game when he actually was on the court. Sad to say it, but we have already seen the best of Derrick Rose as his production will never be the same. I don’t care how great he looks heading into next season, I am staying far away from him because Rose is going to be a thorn in the side of fantasy owners.
Breakout Player- Will pat myself on the back for this call because I drafted Lance Stephenson, A.K.A “Born Ready”, in almost every league I was in. He was one of four players in the NBA to average seven plus rebounds and 4.5 assists per game (Durant, Batum, and Noah are the other three). Add in the fact he literally came out of nowhere to average 13.8 points with a 49 FG% and led the NBA with five triple-doubles this season. Those are amazing stats for a player that was unknown to most fantasy owners before the season started. Believe “Born Ready” is going to continue his success and will be ready to carry fantasy squads next season.
Underrated Player- Gordon Hayward wins this award, especially since he has been underrated his entire basketball career (kicked ass when he played for Butler). He averaged 16.2 points (41 FG%/ 81.6 FT%) 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and one plus 3PM/steal per game this season. Those number are really good especially since Durant , LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook were the only other players to average 16+ points, 5+ rebounds/assists, and 1 3PM/steal per game this season. If he can raise his shooting percentage closer to 45%, then we would be talking about an elite all-around player. The Jazz believe in this kid so he will continue get plenty of minutes which will lead to him flourishing and great fantasy numbers.
Overrated player- Thought this player was overrated preseason and still feel like he is overrated because he does two things great, but doesn’t produce in any other category. The player I’m speaking of is Ricky Rubio. He is definitely fun to watch and will be great in a few years, but is so overrated right now it boggles my mind. The good: averaged 8.6 assists (ranked sixth in the NBA) and 2.3 steals ( second highest rate in the NBA) per game. The Bad: averaged a whopping 9.5 points per game with a .38.1 FG%. Those are brutal numbers and it hurts rotisserie teams so much. His average stat line is comparable to Kendall Marshall’s. The same Kendall Freaking Marshall who was is in the NBDL earlier in the season. Believe he will always be ranked/drafted too high in rotisserie leagues until he shoots better and scores more points.