John Wall (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
As much as we love to talk about the sleepers and the busts, fantasy championships are won by the stars. Just as in real life, if you have a Kevin Durant or a LeBron James or a Dwight Howard, you can ride them deep into the playoffs.
This year was no different for most of the big-name stars. A few, like Steph Curry and Durant, had career-years. Some just kept on truckin’ and put up numbers every single night. With the fantasy season winding down, here is this year’s All-Fantasy Basketball Second Team.
[RELATED: This year’s All-Fantasy First Team]
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PG – JOHN WALL (19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.3 threes, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks)
The only thing missing from Wall’s fantasy game heading into the season was a consistent three-point shot. Last year, he took just 0.9 threes per game, but he upped his attempts to 3.8 this season and made 1.3, shooting a career-high 35 percent from behind the arc. Wall made his fourth professional season his best, putting up career-highs in points, assists, threes, steals, and both field goal and free throw percentage, while appearing in his first All-Star Game and leading the Wizards to their first playoff berth since 2008. Wall will be a fringe first rounder next year, and at only 23 years old, he’s only going to get better.
SG – JAMES HARDEN (25.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.4 threes, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks)
Things got off to a rough start when Harden battled injuries at the beginning of the year, but once the dust settled, he still came out as one of the league’s elite. Harden put up numbers that were eerily similar to last year’s campaign, coming within 0.5 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 threes and 0.2 steals of last season’s numbers. While other Houston guards, like Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley, were in and out of the lineup and inconsistent with their hot streaks, Harden provided some stability for the Rockets backcourt. As Beverley and Dwight Howard hold down the defense, you can expect The Beard to keep anchoring the offense next season, and he should be off the board early in the first round once again.
SF – PAUL GEORGE (21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 threes, 1.9 steals, 0.3 blocks)
Last year’s recipient of the Most Improved Player award got even better in the 2013-14 campaign, averaging career-highs in points, threes, steals and free throw percentage. Indiana was much more dependent on him to score the ball, and put the official seal of approval on his talent when they traded away their former star, Danny Granger. The only thing missing in his path to superstardom is a cool nickname. George will be off the board in the mid-late first round next season, which might be a steal because believe it or not, George can still get better.
PF – LeBRON JAMES (27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.5 threes, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks)
Given his versatility, it feels like King James should have eligibility at every position, but unfortunately he’s only available as a small or power forward. (And honestly, we probably could’ve counted him at PF for the first team instead of Kevin Love.) This season, we were all “witnesses” to a statistical drop in LeBron’s counting numbers, but his percentages were some the best of his career. James shot an amazing 57 percent from the field on 17.6 attempts per game and ended up shooting 37.9 percent from behind the arc, good for the second-highest finish in his career. It’s hard to say that his numbers will continue to plummet next season, but it may be safe to think that he’s past his statistical prime. I won’t be willing to find out next season, and I’ll still be taking him after only Kevin Durant on draft day.
C – DeMARCUS COUSINS (22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks)
Cousins boosted his field goal percentage for the fourth consecutive season, and it did wonders for his fantasy game. The improved efficiency boosted his points per game average up by 4.6, and he put up career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, steals and blocks. There were the usual headaches to put up with, including ejections and suspensions, but that was a small price to pay for someone who helped out in every single statistical category except for threes. Boogie won’t come nearly as cheap next season, and will probably be off the board in the late-first or early-second round.
What do you think?
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