Your fantasy basketball season is over. Despite the tedious task of trade negotiations, waiver wire additions, boxscores and waiver wire adds, it should have ended with new hardware. And if it wasn’t your time, that’s ok — there’s always next season.
It’s the last Sunday of the NBA regular season. This is the perfect time to present fantasy awards that recognize the best performers from the past few months.
Let me tell you about some of the most notable achievements in 2022-2023.
I agree with the argument. Nikola JokićSGA is better, though, given where he was drafted as well as how he ended up. His preseason ADP of 44.9 was his highest, and he placed THIRD in per–game value and THIRD overall. I expand on my reasoning for vaulting SGA into the fantasy elite on my latest Tip-off with Titus, But it is not really a debate when you consider the draft capital and year end results.
The Thunder are loaded with talent, and at only 24 years old, we still haven’t seen SGA’s ceiling — but he’s a top-5 pick next year, believe that.
This is a very obvious choice, as he posted career-best results in five categories: points (25.6/g), field goal percentage (49.9%), three pointers made (3/g), free throw percentage (87.5%), assists (1.9/g). He averaged 8.6 rebounds per game over five seasons. He, too, was featured in my latest Tip-off with Titus This will be a strong selection in the first three fantasy rounds next season. He was 19th in per-game and 16th overall value for this year, despite an ADP of just 90.
I was a candidate between two for most of the season. I hoped that one would break up down the stretch but that was not the case. Both candidates were excellent fantasy managers and Jalen Williams was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2022-2023.
Yeah, I know, I took the easy way out — but it’s not without precedent; Recall Elton Brand and Steve Francis in 2000 or Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in 1995.
I shared my thoughts on why Williams’ ascension was one of the biggest surprises of the Year, Consider his ADP and his growth to a top-20 fantasy players since the year 2000. I won’t bore you more with stat-heavy justifications. But if you look at his monthly production, you’ll see that he was among the most efficient rookie players in recent years. J-Dub starred on Yahoo public leagues’ best teams more often than any other player (34.8%)
Kessler, who was on 26% (fourth) of the best teams in Yahoo Public Leagues, was just behind Williams.
Kessler, who was only the starting Jazz centre in January, was a popular draft and-stash because of his elite shot blocking. He still managed to be a serious double-double threat. From January 10, he averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds, and was the 21st-ranked player for 9-cat leagues.
It’s quite ironic that Jazz was shipped out Rudy Gobert He essentially drafted the rights for a younger, more offensively-sounding version of Gobert.
I’ll be drafting Kessler next season, instead of Gobert.
Honorable mention: None
Jackson Jr. was the undisputed stock (+blocks + steals) king. Jackson Jr. was the undisputed stock (steals + blocks) king and was the favorite to win his first DPOY award.
Stathead says it’s been 15 year since NBA fans have seen a player make at least three baskets with a steal per match (Marcus Camby). JJJ is, with several other talented defensive players, tied for second with those numbers (he’s 23 years old).
JJJ missed the first 14 games of the season recovering from a meniscus injury but was one of the best-valued draft picks this season — finishing 13th in per-game value with a preseason ADP of 102.4. He’s been in 60 games, so he should be an easy second-rounder heading into next year.
Honorable mentions Myles Turner, Nic Claxton, Walker Kessler And Brook Lopez
Comeback Player Award: Kawhi Leonard
The year began frustratingly for fantasy managers, who created the self-imposed “Fun Guy.” But slowly but surely, The Claw has returned to form.
Leonard has been among the top 5 players in total and per-game values since January 1, scoring 28.6 point, 6.4 rebound, 3.8 assists, 2.5 3PM, 1.5 steals, and 0.7 blocks, with 53/47/90 shot splits. Leonard even participated in his first back to back set since April 2021. This should give fantasy managers more confidence when drafting Leonard for next season. He was 12th in per-game values in 49 games through Monday.
Although he’ll be downgraded for his load-management program, his performance on the court is flawless for 9-cat leagues. While availability is important in fantasy sports, his combination efficiency and high production on both ends gives fantasy managers first-round upside.