Five months have passed since the 2014 PEERS Pantasya Liga ended. It was a fun season of fantasy basketball as usual; my team, Heisenberg, made it to the playoffs as the number two seed, and managed to eke its way to the finals.
By the time our league’s fantasy finals was underway, I was in Rome with my family for the first leg of our Europe vacation that included Milan and Paris. I could only watch helplessly as my team got slaughtered for a week and half. My adversary, alldayteam, was dominant in all the categories I was weak in, so he predictably jumped at me from the get-go. From the first day of the weekly matchup alone, his category leads were insurmountable, and no matter what tinkering I made to my lineup, all I could do was play catch-up in vain.
Of course, it didn’t help that two of my top players went down with injuries right before the finals: Anthony Davis and Goran Dragic. I couldn’t drop them–I didn’t have the balls to cut the two players who carried my team the most with their incredibly versatile stat lines. I guess I’m not that dedicated to winning as I thought I was.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t too bummed out from falling short of a championship again. This marks my third straight podium finish in this league (which gets more competitive every year): I finished 2nd in 2011, 3rd in 2012, and 2nd again this previous year. I feel like Kevin Durant, with his “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” chip on his shoulder.
While I still hold Red’s Army as my favorite team (I still can’t believe that team finished 3rd), I must say that I really enjoyed this year’s edition. I feel like I drafted well, although I think I made it hard on myself for trading some of my top picks–Carmelo Anthony, Josh Smith and Arron Afflalo–for less upside but more efficient players. It still worked, and that just gives me some ill-advised confidence heading into next year.
For this post, I just want to commemorate some of the players that gave me both joy and frustration during the course of the season. Without further ado:
The “YEAH BITCH” Player of the Year: Anthony Davis
Supplanted Paul George as my favorite fantasy player. Without a doubt, Davis was one of the most fun players to own during the season, surprising you with crazy lines like 25-14-3-6-6 or 32-10-3-2-3. He’s an 8-category player (his only weakness being assists), and will definitely be a top-3 pick next year behind Durant and LeBron. I count myself incredibly lucky to have nabbed him in the second round(!), and that’s not happening again unless I get to pick in the top 3 next year (fingers crossed).
The One that Got Away: Terrence Jones
I plucked this guy off the waiver wire when he became a starter in Houston, and went on to produce terrific versatile lines. Unfortunately, I dropped him when he hit a dry spell, ignoring the fact that he had no competition in the PF spot whatsoever and he was bound to produce again. Tsk. T-Jones, I regret giving up on you. I really do.
The Player I Love to Hate: Trey Burke
Burke was part of the Marc Gasol-Melo trade I did at the start of the season (I was debating whether to include him or MCW in the deal…now I want to kick myself in the nuts again). Because he was a rookie, he frustrated me to no end with his inconsistency (he was consistent with turnovers, though) but I held on to him for the lone fact that he was a starter in Utah. This decision would eventually bear fruit, as Burke had a 15-assist game in the last day of the semis that was crucial in landing me in the finals. Up to this day, I still can’t believe it.
Honorable Mention: Gordon Hayward
The “Machine Gun Hidden in the Trunk” Award: Damian Lillard
In Breaking Bad’s finale, Walt killed off the Neo-Nazis with a DIY machine gun set-up hidden in the trunk of his car. That’s how Lillard operated for the entire season: he kept popping out with guns a-blazin’, scorching the board with threes and racking up points. He didn’t do much in the other categories, but this guy was fun to own as he was always in danger of lighting up the opponent like a bunch of unsuspecting Neo-Nazis.
The “I Knew He Would Break Out” Player: Thaddeus Young
Did you see Philly’s team this season? Sam Hinkie did a good job undressing the Sixers, stripping them of any productive players he could think of–except Thad Young. While poor Thad toiled away with a bunch of scrubs and rookies flanking him, he was able to live up to his “putting up fat stats on a bad team” role that I pegged him for from the start.
The Manna from Heaven: Reggie Jackson and Lance Stephenson
At the start of the season, two teams surprisingly dropped players I believed would have breakout years: Reggie Jackson and Lance Stephenson. Of course, I quickly gobbled them up and incorporated them in my lineup. Stephenson would go on to have a career year (he’d lead the league in triple-doubles), and Reggie Jackson would flourish as the starting point guard for OKC when Westbrook went down again. I had to drop them during the finals, but these guys were core pieces for my team for most of the season.
The Goran Dragic Award for being Goran Dragic: Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic. Need I say more?
It was a fun season, and I look forward to another one. Can’t wait for the NBA season to roll around.