We saw many fantasy leagues this season where Isaiah Thomas wasn’t even drafted. Then there were some others where he spent weeks on the free agent list. Sacramento’s lead guard started the year as a backup before eventually earning all of the minutes after Greivis Vasquez was traded, and by that point, if you were lucky enough to have him, you reaped some huge benefits.
After giving you the biggest disappointments of the season, today we’re outlining which players offered the best value this season in fantasy basketball.
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PG – ISAIAH THOMAS (20.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.8 threes, 1.3 steals)
If you played in a Yahoo! league, odds are Thomas wasn’t even drafted, but he’s currently the site’s eighth-ranked point guard. Despite trading for Vasquez in the offseason, the Kings had no choice but to hand him the keys to the offense. A hot start forced Thomas into more minutes, and his time on the floor was increased even further when the organization felt comfortable enough with his abilities to trade away the aforementioned Vasquez. Thomas contributed to every category except for blocks and if the Kings weren’t near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, he’d be getting much more recognition as the league’s Most Improved Player.
Honorable Mention: Michael Carter-Williams
SG – GORAN DRAGIC (20.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.6 threes, 1.3 steals)
Dragic was one of the biggest All-Star snubs this year, but those who drafted him at his average draft position in the mid-60s surely didn’t leave him off their list. Shooting guard eligibility turned his 5.9 assists per game into fantasy gold, and he also managed to average 20.5 points while taking just over 14 shots per game. Thanks to Dragic, the Suns have been a surprise team this year, and thanks to guys taken before him, like George Hill and Jose Calderon, he’s also been a surprise fantasy player too.
Honorable Mention: Lance Stephenson, Arron Afflalo
SF – DeMAR DeROZAN (22.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 threes, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
Speaking of surprise teams, who had the Raptors winning the Atlantic Division this year? Toronto currently sits at 14 games over .500, and it’s been on the shoulders of an improved DeMar DeRozan. The fifth-year swingman has been able to keep the team in contention even while trading away Rudy Gay. His point, rebound, assist, steal and block totals are all career-highs, and with average draft positions of 91.2 in Yahoo! and 98.7 in ESPN, DeRozan was a draft day bargain. What’s scary is that at 24 years old, his game can only get better. It certainly won’t be nearly as cheap to take him next year.
Honorable Mention: Trevor Ariza, Kyle Korver, Gerald Green
PF – DeMARCUS COUSINS (22.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, 50 percent FG, 1.5 steals, 1.2 blocks)
Cousins made owners who passed him up because of his behavioral issues pay dearly, putting up his best statistical season to date. By boosting his field goal percentage from 47 percent to 50, he raised his scoring average by 5.3 points, while also putting up career-highs in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. There were some minor bumps along the way, but through four seasons, Cousins is finally piecing everything together. Despite being snubbed from the All-Star Game, Boogie earned high praise from his peers, and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones
C – ANDRE DRUMMOND (13.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 62 percent FG, 1.2 steals, 1.6 blocks)
As predicted by yours truly, Drummond broke out in a big way over the course of this season. The sophomore was a beast on the glass, averaging a league-high 5.3 offensive rebounds, making for plenty of easy putbacks, which is good because his offense is still pretty limited at this stage of his career. Still, Drummond managed to put up 13.2 points per game while shooting over 60 percent from the field. His defensive averages made him a head-to-head nightmare, and there’s still plenty of room to grow. When this guy develops a post game, he’s going to be one heck of a player.
Honorable Mention: DeAndre Jordan
Who were this year’s valuable sleepers?
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