Alright, we already looked at the players who put themselves on the map in 2016-17. The unexpected heroes. The unsung wonders. The remarkable revelations.
Time to visit the opposite side of the spectrum. The disappointments. The tear-jerking letdowns. The “I can’t believe I drafted this dude with that pick” clan.
This segment harks back to our preseason projections. If we expected you to have an incredible year (fantasy wise), then having a solid one probably wasn’t enough to escape this list. That obviously isn’t fair to the players, as they never asked to be thoroughly scrutinized and valued based on statistics alone; but hey, life isn’t always fair, and fantasy sports are fun.
Along those lines, I want to reiterate that this is a fantasy recap, so it’s not concerned with whether or not X player was an extraordinary screen setter or brought essential veteran leadership to the table. To be blunt, veteran leadership ain’t winning me match-ups.
One important point: Guys who suffered season ending injuries, like a Justise Winslow, were exempt from the list. Yes, they were disappointments in the literal lack of production sense. But let’s not go down that road.
I drew the line at 45 games. If a player appeared in more than 45, he qualified.
Let’s get it.
2015-16 numbers: 19.6 points, 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 3PM, shooting 42% from the field and 85% from the line.
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 71st
Current numbers: 11.0 points, 2.4 assists, 2.2 rebounds, and 0.8 3PM, shooting 40% from the field and 86% from the free throw line
Analysis: Few fantasy owners expected Knight’s playing time to decrease as drastically as it did, even with Devin Booker on the rise. The Suns shut him down for the rest of the season a few weeks ago. Overall, he appeared in just 54 contests, averaging 21.1 minutes compared to 36.0 last season. His name is always in trade talks, so monitor that moving forward.
We’ve been waiting for Kenneth Faried to have that breakout season for awhile now. We’re still waiting.
2015-16 numbers: 12.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks shooting 56% from the field and 61% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 74th
Current numbers: 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks, shooting 55% from the field and 70% from the line
Analysis: Hampered by injuries and Jokic’s ascendance, Faried has lacked the consistency that fantasy owners covet. He’s shown flashes of greatness, especially at the end of January, but hasn’t been the reliable double-double machine we anticipated.
After back-to-back impressive seasons, we looked forward to big things from Derrick Favors. Injuries/minute restrictions got in the way of that.
2015-16 numbers: 16.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks, shooting 52% from the field and 71% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 24th
Current numbers: 9.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks, shooting 48% from the field and 62% from the line
Analysis: Favors has appeared in just 47 games this year, so he barely qualifies for this list. As of now, he’s out with a bone bruise in his left knee, but the Jazz are hopeful that he’ll be good to go for the playoffs. Let’s see if he makes any noise there.
Prior to the season, many considered Butler, Wade, and Rajon Rondo to be Chicago’s new “Big Three.” That didn’t exactly pan out.
2015-16 numbers: 11.9 points, 11.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals, shooting 45% from the field and 58% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 50th
Current numbers: 7.8 points, 6.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals, shooting 41% from the field and 60% from the line
Analysis: People tend to overlook how statistically solid Rondo was last season in Sacramento (besides from the line). We knew the move to Chicago would change things, but several thought for the better. Nah dude. Remember the Instagram post?
Several people predicted Andre Drummond would make the All-Star game this year, and that his Detroit Pistons would be a dangerous team in the East. Both were misses.
2015-16 numbers: 16.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals, shooting 52% from the field and 36% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 70th
Current numbers: 14.0 points, 13.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 1.6 steals, shooting 53% from the field and 39% from the line
Analysis: Drummond has been a force on the boards again, but his numbers have decreased in most categories and the improvement from the line has been negligible. As long as he’s shooting 39%, the fantasy value isn’t outstanding.
The cherry on the sundae was the 20-game suspension Noah is serving now.
2015-16 numbers (only played 29 games): 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.0 blocks, shooting 38% from the field and 49% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 124th
Current numbers: 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.8 blocks, shooting 49% from the field and 44% from the line
Analysis: Returning after an injury-plagued year and relocating to New York, we expected Noah to have a big bounce back season. He seemed revitalized in the Big Apple and it got us excited. But more injuries and now the suspension have kept him sidelined, and he hasn’t produced like we hoped when out on the floor.
It was a complicated year for big men in Philly.
2015-16 numbers: 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks, shooting 51% from the field and 69% from the line
When he was drafted in my fantasy league: 88th
Current numbers: 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks, shooting 51% from the field and 67% from the line
Analysis: To be fair, this was mostly about playing time. The combination of Embiid rising into a star and the Sixers being loaded with frontcourt guys (especially before trading Noel) led Okafor to receive just 22.7 minutes per compared to 30.0 last season. The stat line reflects that diminished role.