The fantasy basketball season is now over two months old and closing in on the half way mark, so what better time than now to look back on who have been the biggest surprises so far.
These are the players that make you go, “Damn, did you see Player X? That guy is going off!” The odds are, if you drafted these guys, you’re sitting pretty in your league.
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors (ESPN ADP 94, Y! ADP 69)
15.9 points, 2.3 threes, 4.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 42.9 FG%, 80.7 FT%, 2.2 turnovers
Kyle Lowry was already having a nice fantasy season in the early goings, but his play, and his stats, went through the roof when Masai Ujiri weaved his GM magic and sent Rudy Gay packing to the Kings. There were rumblings of a possible trade to the Knicks, but I imagine with the way Lowry is ballin’ out at the moment, Ujiri will hold off on dealing his new found star.
Spencer Hawes, C, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN ADP 119, Y! ADP 118)
14.2 points, 1.7 threes, 8.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.5 blocks, 48.7 FG%, 76.3 FT%, 2.2 turnovers
I never understood why Hawes was going so low in drafts in the preseason. With Nerlens Noel all but ruled out for the entire season, Hawes had absolutely no competition for minutes in Philadelphia. Combine that with the breathtaking pace the Sixers are playing at and Hawes has taken taken advantage of a prime opportunity to help himself and, more importantly, your fantasy team.
Isaiah Thomas, PG, Sacramento Kings (ESPN ADP 91, Y! ADP 139)
19.1 points, 1.9 threes, 2.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 0 blocks, 45.3 FG%, 85.7 FT%, 2.6 turnovers
Thomas is another guy that has benefited from the Rudy Gay
swindling trade. Before Gay brought his game to Sac-Town, IT2 was languishing on the bench behind new starter Greivis Vasquez. He was producing at a top 100 level in that sixth man role — and was probably the front runner for the NBA’s Sixth Man Of The Year award — but once Vasquez got his passport stamped and headed north of the border, Thomas really began to shine.
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN ADP 117, Y! ADP 124)
17.8 points, 1.1 threes, 5.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, 41.3 FG%, 70.3 FT%, 3.4 turnovers
I think we can all agree that this crop of rookies isn’t the strongest to come into the NBA. However, for those of you who took a punt on MCW in the late rounds have been rewarded handsomely. His shooting has been horrible as predicted, but you can’t pass up the elite steals and great assists, along with his decent scoring and rebounding as he directs the fantasy goldmine that is the Philadelphia 76ers offense.
Arron Afflalo, SG/SF, Orlando Magic (ESPN ADP 120 Y! ADP 122)
20.8 points, 2.0 threes, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0 blocks, 46.7 FG%, 85.2 FT%, 2.2 turnovers
Afflalo was a forgotten man in the preseason and subsequently found himself sitting on many a waiver wire, just waiting to be picked up. He started off the campaign on a hot streak that we’ve rarely seen from him during his six-year career. He was continually dropping monster scoring and three point numbers — and with great percentages, too. He has cooled off a fair bit recently and is always a danger to get traded by the rebuilding Magic, but so far, if you swooped in early in free agency or took a late round flier on him, you must be laughing.