The 10 Best Fantasy Basketball Seasons in Recent History
Lately, superstar players have been dropping big stat lines and triple-doubles on a nightly basis. And with those have come big fantasy nights for both daily and season-long owners.
Recent stat monsters include Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry, to name a few. You can include many others in that list, and we'll probably continue to add or substitute others as the years roll on.
But recency bias can make us forget about those players who have come before and made a name for themselves by accruing monster games and positioning themselves atop fantasy rankings everywhere. So, with an eye toward the immediate past to as far back as 13 seasons ago, which players have put together the best and most valuable individual fantasy seasons in years past?
Thanks to Basketball Monster, we can find the answer to that question. Among many things, the site assigns each player a value based on how they produce in each of the standard nine categories -- points, three-pointers, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and turnovers. A rating of 0.0 for an individual category is league-average, whereas 2.0 is very good and -2.0 is very bad.
These categories add up to an overall player value, which is broken down per game, per 36 minutes and total for a season. A per-game player value of .8 or higher typically leads the league. The same goes for total value. As for value on a per-36 basis, the best players are usually around .45 or higher.
For the purposes of this article, the qualifications to make the top list were to have a per-game value of 0.8 or better and an overall season value of 1.0 or higher. The latter helps us determine which players held up throughout the season and provided fantasy owners value on a weekly basis.
Back to 2003-04 (as far back as Basketball Monster's data allows), a total of 19 player seasons made the cut. I sorted by overall season and ranked them accordingly. First, we'll look at those fantasy seasons worthy of honorable mention then move on to the top 10, ending with the most valuable fantasy basketball season in the last 13 years.