Our ninth fantasy basketball season has concluded. Below are some overarching thoughts on this past season.
A New Champion
In yesterday’s ode to Flint Boozers, I failed to mention PP 2020’s regular season and playoff dominance. PP 2020 has finished in the top-three for five consecutive years. He finished in second three times (2014, 2016, 2018) and won it all in 2017. PP 2020 is consistently a threat to win it all every year.
However, a new champion is a good thing. The league has had five different champions in each of the last five years. Parity is good.
Fantasy Championships All-Time
Bay Area Boogie - 3 (2011, 2013, 2015)
PP 2020 - 3 (2010, 2012, 2017)
Drinking Game Strong - 1 (2016)
Flint Boozers - 1 (2018)
The Long Run - 1 (2014)
What Happened to the Superstar Business?
I don’t get it. What the hell has happened to this business? LeBron (1st overall), Anthony Davis (3rd) and Kawhi (9th) will all play less than 60 games this season due to a variety ailments and issues. Stephen Curry (4th) and Kyrie Irving (8th) are unlikely to play 70. Anecdotally, superstar players appear to be playing fewer games overall due to the epidemic that is “load management.”
There’s no need to delve deeper into the strange Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis situations from the past two seasons. However, fantasy general managers should learn from their odd circumstances and attempt to anticipate the next disgruntled star that is willing to sacrifice an entire season in pursuit of future happiness.
Karl Anthony-Towns, Ben Simmons and Giannis are easy future candidates to identify but maybe they will surprise us. Fantasy basketball requires certainty but we are living in uncertain times.
Engagement, as a measure of league-wide transactions, peaked this season as there were nearly 100 more waiver-wire moves this year compared to last year.
Transactions Per Season
2018 - 378
2017 - 281
2016 - 245
2015 - 219
2014 - 299
2013 - 195*
2012 - 150
2011 - 198
This is an imperfect measure as it doesn’t account for the distribution of transactions across all 12 teams but it’s still an indicator of improved engagement over the years.
We are all Danny Green
Do you remember waking up on a freezing cold Sunday morning, checking your weekly head-to-head match-up, and discovering that you are within range of winning steals and three-pointers made? Maybe the points category was still in play but you needed a breakout game from one more guy to put you over? This year, Danny Green was everyone’s Sunday morning choice.
Danny Green was picked up eight times by seven different teams this year. He finished the season on PP 2020 where he made nine three-pointers on .692 percent shooting from three during the fantasy finals. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is how Green always plays in the finals.
The runner-up Sunday champion this year was P.J. Tucker. Tucker was picked up eight times by six different teams this season.
Other honorable mentions for Sunday’s best include Kevin Huerter and Taurean Prince.
Dunk Love Newsletter
The newsletter was a new addition this season. It began as an experiment to document our league’s history in a more organized and user-friendly format and has since transformed into my pet project to muse about all things hoop. This past season was an experiment. Overall, the content was inconsistent as I struggled to balance subject matter specific to our league, larger fantasy trends, and exclusively focusing on glorifying Pascal Siakam’s beautiful game.
The frequency of the newsletter was regular up until the all-star break but then waned until this week. That’s mostly my fault but partly the fault of the NBA for being only marginally interesting in March and April ever year.
One regret — I should’ve written more about the battle for the sixth and final playoff spot in our league this year. The back-and-forth struggle between Bay Area Boogie and PrimetimePlayasClub! deserved more coverage. I apologize to both of them for not appropriately documenting their hustle to earn a coveted playoff spot.
The newsletter will continue next year in this format. I’m open to any and all suggestions on how to improve it. All comments are welcome. I will develop a content strategy over the summer to determine appropriate subject matter, frequency, and balance between focusing on our league and fantasy basketball in general. As for the rest of this season, I promise that you will only receive one more from me this week. Stay tuned.