Razzball Hoops Nation! It’s officially the offseason! Well for fantasy… And for the Knicks and the Lakers. And the Pacers! Haha, sorry matt, just joshin’…
And what better way to look back on the 2013-14 season than to reflect on the rankings. Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it! Dammit, that means I can’t ever rank Ricky Rubio highly again even though I know I’ll want to!
So I reflected back on my ranks, and patted myself on the back or immolated myself on what I was thinking so long ago. Rankings are based on my final updated top 200 and eesh! Looking back on these some are rough! I then compared them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues for the season. I had Slim come in and grade each of my picks, and man, he’s a harsh grader! And unfortunately he doesn’t take too kindly to giant pasty men flashing their teetans at him either, so I got no extra help. Here’s a look back at the Top 20 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:
1. Kevin Durant
FantasyPros Draft Rank #1
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #1
Whoopty whazoo! He was #1 everywhere and finished #1 everywhere. Drop the confetti! Did anyone see his and-one, falling out-of-bounds 3 last night in game 2 v. the Grizz?! Normally the Brewers play-by-play guy Brian Anderson flipped out!
Slim’s Grade – A - He’s the best player on the planet and it should no longer be debated. Congrats you randomly got the top pick in the draft and didn’t mess it up, you get a shiny gold star.
2. LeBron James
FantasyPros Draft Rank #2
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #3
Another “no-surprises here” pick, and he played 77 games – one more than last year – while missing a few throughout the season. So the worry about late-season sit-for-playoffs didn’t bite ya!
Slim’s Grade – A – If you took LeBron ahead of Durant then you did just fine, however the loss of a half a block from LeBron compared to last year means you should have taken Durant.
3. James Harden
FantasyPros Draft Rank #3
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #8
After the big two, things got a little more interesting. I liked Harden the best with a whole offseason with the Rockets (as I mentioned in the pre-season, I thought it was easily looked over he was traded less than a week before 2012-13 tipped off) and I saw him having a little more upside. Well, he ended up being pretty much the same, and gave you a solid season. The one RCL league I ended up with him in, he did not disappoint.
Slim’s Grade – B - With nearly identical numbers as last year, Harden turned out to be a solid, and relatively safe pick.
4. Chris Paul
FantasyPros Draft Rank #4
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #10
Early in the season, it looked like Paul could end the year the #2 overall player when he was getting big dimebags every night. But the shoulder injury hurt his overall value… Regardless, I was with the norm again and think you did fine.
Slim’s Grade - B – Across the board improvements from last year but health continues to be an issue with Paul missing 20 games. If you traded for him when he was hurt or if you survived the absence then you get the ‘A’ instead of JB.
5. Stephen Curry
FantasyPros Draft Rank #5
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #2
Well I obviously wish I had him higher, damn hindsight! And yes, I was boring, my top 5 resembled the averages. I was a teensy bit worried about Steph’s ankle, but he killed it in 78 games. It’ll be interesting to see where he’ll get ranked next year, but certainly top-4 seems likely.
Slim’s Grade - A - It took some cajones to draft Curry this high but if you did you were handsomely rewarded. Solid improvements in FG% and assists, but really you’re just glad you took him over Kyrie Irving.
6. Serge Ibaka
FantasyPros Draft Rank #15
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #9
Finally, a detour from normalcy! Ibaka was one of my big calls this year, and man, feels good it worked out! I got him in virtually all of my leagues – including REL – and was handsomely rewarded with a flourishing offensive game, dominant blocks, and the occasional triple. All with great ratios. I probably won’t have him 6 again next year, a fuller season of Russell Westbrook I think will take some shots and opportunities, but he’ll be in the first round again in 14-15 on my board.
Slim’s Grade - A+ - Not too many ‘perts had Ibaka in the 1st round but JB nailed this one. Across the board improvement in nearly every category and back-to-back years playing 80+ games. Maybe he doesn’t rebound or score like other elite centers but do they block 2.7 shots per game?
7. Kyrie Irving
FantasyPros Draft Rank #7
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #30
Whelp… Sorry, that was the sound of me throwing up a little bit. I thought Kyrie was in for a big year, the Cavs were building around him, and I was going to roll the dice he could stay healthy. Well, even before the late-season biceps injury he was mightily inconsistent – as were the Cavs as a whole. This one is certainly a never again. Rough bust for everyone, as I was no different from the industry masses with this rank.
Slim’s Grade - D - Owning Kyrie this year was difficult. His stats turned out to be similar to last years but we drafted him this high because we expected improvements and we received none.
8. John Wall
FantasyPros Draft Rank #11
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #14
Back to the good! I got a lot of flack ranking Wall so high all throughout the many iterations of my ranks, but the industry aggregate seemed to like him too and we all got paid with handsome rewards. I completely bought the expanding perimeter game we saw in the final couple months of 12-13 and he just went into another gear after the All-Star that year. Had a few ups and downs, but gave you 82 games and if you got him around the 15ish ADPs he was in most drafts, you were happy.
Slim’s Grade - A - I had no idea Wall was going to shoot this many 3s. FG% stayed about the same but with those 3s and a nice uptick in both assists and steals Wall actually lived up to JB’s very lofty expectations.
9. Marc Gasol
FantasyPros Draft Rank #10
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #83
You know, I’m not too mad at this rank as I should be… Gasol was playing pretty bad early on before having a lengthy knee injury, but down the stretch he went back to pretty much Marc Gasol. I love the all-around game, but the Grizzlies struggled to be as good as they were in 12-13 with Joerger replacing Hollins, and it didn’t end up working out. I actually think he’ll be a good value in next year’s drafts. Not at 9 overall though!
Slim’s Grade - D - Even if he gave us the same numbers as last year, top 10 would have been too high. Both percents down, boards and blocks down. Is he even a 2nd rounder next year? Not for me.
10. Kevin Love
FantasyPros Draft Rank #6
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #4
Yup. Got chased away by the injury history. Love didn’t end up on any of my teams, and he turned in a huge 77-game season. There’s something to be said for safety in the first round, but man, having Kyrie ranked ahead of him makes me feel worse than Mike D’Antoni at a Kobe Bryant house party.
Slim’s Grade - C - I know the injury history was scary but we did not give Love enough… yeah. Career highs in 3s and assists. FT% back to being elite. Love should have been a top 5 pick.
11. Derrick Rose
FantasyPros Draft Rank #13
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank N/A - We all know what happened here – I thought he was going to have a huge comeback based on my above-census ranking – but shizz happens. Will be really tough to rank next year.
Slim’s Grade - I - Only 10 games played is an incomplete year. I don’t know where we rank him next year but I bet it’s lower than everyone else.
12. Paul George
FantasyPros Draft Rank #8
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #11
I think more than any other ranking during the pre-season, I got more hate for Paul George out of my first round. Everyone saw unquestioned elite, but I saw an up-and-down season coming. He was still pretty good, and I think a solid early second-round pick again next year will be where I’ll have him, but for those who reached at pick 5 or 6 – you got a little burnt.
Slim’s Grade - A - Some people thought George was a slam dunk 1st rounder. But not JB and it turned out he was right! Sure a few more points but on a poor FG% and boards, assists, and blocks all came down. Paul George is a 2nd rounder. You will sleep better at night if you just accept it.
13. Deron Williams
FantasyPros Draft Rank #16
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #72
I hate my life right now. What’s sad/funny is I didn’t like him at all and he wasn’t close to any of my teams, but I still thought this was the right rank. This is a nice reminder to have D-Will in like the 12th round next year haha.
Slim’s Grade - F - I hated this ranking and I didn’t even rank Deron in my personal rankings. It was easy to see the end was coming, maybe a little faster than expected but his days as a top-50 player appear to be over.
14. Ricky Rubio
FantasyPros Draft Rank #25
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #33
Rubio is my crack. I don’t understand why I light it up every time thinking about ranking him as a sleeper, fully knowing I’m going to crash hard. I thought the offense was going to come around, instead he got benched late in games throughout the season for J.J. Barea. Talk about the total opposite happening! I’m still going to have him above the consensus next year, but I’ll be less crack-y about it.
Slim’s Grade - C – I didn’t have Rubio in the 2nd round but there was some hype. However we saw almost no improvement. The assists and steals are great and made Rubio ownable. Was he worthy of top 25 consideration? Nope.
15. Al Horford
FantasyPros Draft Rank #19
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #187
Big Al – the Atlanta version – was playing pretty damn well before he tore his second pec. The injury-prone label is now in full effect. Maybe now that both have been surgically repaired, he’ll be a value next year! Tough injury, this was one of the most brutal last year. At least with Rose you knew you were playing with a little bit of fire.
Slim’s Grade - A - Horford was having a career year before the injury. I believe due in large part to the exodus of the labradoodle king Josh Smith. I’ll have Horford ranked in the top 20 again next year. Not the sexiest pick for sure but absolutely a top-5 center.
16. Dwayne Wade
FantasyPros Draft Rank #21
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #102
Yeah, this was bad. In my defense! He was 20th in overall value last year in only 69 games. He had a really solid resurgent season after a bad 11-12, and I thought he might be able to get his GP in the 70s “Wait, that’s your defense?! Wade looks like HE’S in his 70s!” I rolled the dice a little bit here and lost, but didn’t end up with him anywhere anyway – even though I really did draft using my rankings in the early rounds. So it’s not like I was on an island. Which is where Wade is about to retire.
Slim’s Grade - F - Why JB? WHY?!? We knew he wouldn’t help in the fantasy playoffs and he’s been trending down for years. Wade is no longer a top 50 player. Hell, I don’t think he’s been a top 50 fantasy player for a few years now.
17. Anthony Davis
FantasyPros Draft Rank #14
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #5
I liked the Brow coming into the season, but was slow to see how big others were on him. I don’t like to have too much outside influence! A mere week or two into the season, I said Davis would be a top-5 pick for 14-15, and I thought that was pretty bold. If only I had two weeks of the season before my final ranks! You got great value here, and he was #5 in total value in only 67 games. Turning into a monster.
Slim’s Grade - B - This grade was an ‘A’ until I looked at the 4 guys ranked before him. Davis went before each of them in every draft I was a part of but still we can all agree The Brow wasn’t drafted high enough in any of our leagues.
18. Al Jefferson
FantasyPros Draft Rank #17
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #16
Well it looks like all three of the rankings we’re comparing were spot on, but it’s easy to forget just how bad he was early on with the ankle issues. I pumped out buy low after buy low on his blurbs through the first few weeks, and you got a fantastic final 4 months. This plantar fascia he’s got during the playoffs – along with the ankle injuries early in the season – will have me not go too crazy for Jefferson in 14-15. But he will be the face of the new Charlotte Hornets… Oh man, can’t wait!
Slim’s Grade - B - This ranking is actually lower than most had going into the year. We know exactly the kind of player he is and he didn’t disappoint. The early injury meant you may have traded for him cheaply. For that you deserve an ‘A’.
19. Damian Lillard
FantasyPros Draft Rank #20
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #17
Another one that looks solid across the board. I thought some improvements were coming, but Lillard was virtually the same guy. Another ranking around 20 is coming for 14-15.
Slim’s Grade - B - The ranking turned out to be just about right. Unfortunately Lillard barely improved over last years stats. However he was very good early and then faltered along with the rest of the team late in the year. If he can replicate his 1st half for the entire year then Lillard will be a top 10 player.
20. Carmelo Anthony
FantasyPros Draft Rank #9
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #7
Hmmmm, this didn’t go so well, huh? The fact the Knicks were so much worse than anyone could’ve anticipated actually helped Melo out, as I thought the boards would go down. Turned out he set a career-high there, big thanks to Tyson Chandler getting hurt and Andrea Bargnani starting at center some of the time. Turned out to be a big boost to Melo’s value. The %s improved, upped the steals and blocks marginally, and just everything worked out and I wasn’t on the bandwagon. We’ll see where the offseason takes him, but this is one where I’ll probably be doomed to repeat my mistakes as I don’t see a top-10 finish coming again.
Slim’s Grade - C - JB whiffed on this one. Melo played in 77/82 games, career highs in boards and blocks, and nearly career highs in 3s and steals. An argument could be made than Melo had his best season this year. To tell you the truth a ‘C’ feels generous.