Fantasy Basketball 2012: Top 20 Players on Santa’s Naughty List
This fantasy basketball season has been a breath of fresh air compared to last season’s injury riddled mess that started with a lockout. However, there have still been several things that have frustrated fantasy owners to no end so far in 2012. This list will go over some players that have been nothing but headaches for their fantasy owners in 2012.
Several players this year have been suspended for various reasons, and any player that is suspended during the regular season certainly has an impact on the fantasy community. This has been one of the worst seasons for suspensions, which can easily be attributed to the reign of terror orchestrated by NBA Commissioner David “Suspension” Stern.
Also there have been a handful of elite fantasy players that have yet to even play this season. Last year’s injuries were an epidemic, but this season has seen its fair share of All-Stars getting injured. Critics may always seem to say that injuries are “a part of the game”, but sometimes it can be too much to handle. After all, it is hard to fill a quality lineup when all of your top flight picks are either done for the year or coming back soon.
Countless players have burned fantasy owners or teased them with a couple healthy games only to miss over a month. Danny Granger had surgery right before the season began, but unfortunately it was after most fantasy leagues drafted. The same thing happened to Los Angeles Lakers new point guard Steve Nash. Nash was injured in one of the last preseason games and thousands of unlucky fantasy owners ended up drafting him in the top five rounds as well. Injuries like these can ruin fantasy seasons and leave a bitter taste in the mouth of owners all over the world.
Here are the top 20 fantasy basketball players most likely to find coal in their stocking in 2012:
20. C Fab Melo, Boston Celtics
C Fab Melo, Boston Celtics – The 2012 first round pick has not even played a minute in the NBA this season, and now has been sent down to the NBA D-League. Talk about a project.
19. PF Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings
PF Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings – The highly touted rookie was supposedly going to give the Kings some power along side DeMarcus Cousins. However, Robinson is only averaging 4.5 points, 4.1 boards, and 0.4 blocks in 16 minutes a game.
18. PG Derek Fisher, Dallas Mavericks
PG Derek Fisher, Dallas Mavericks –All off-season the NBA world raved about Darren Collison’s potential as the starting point guard. However, a couple weeks into the season the Mavs signed Fisher to split time at the point, all but ruining the chances of Collison to have sole control over the position. When Fisher gets backs from injury next week, expect it to be a complete timeshare at the point in Dallas.
17. C Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors
C Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors – In an utter OCD meltdown, Johnson tried to wrestle a ball away from a referee after the team’s 92-74 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers to do his post basketball ritual of bouncing the ball. After the ref refused the ludicrous request, Johnson tried to forcefully grab the ball and as he was escorted away by teammates, but Johnson threw his mouthpiece at the official.
Johnson was thrown out of the game after only playing ten minutes and suspended for another game. He only grabbed four rebounds, scored four points, and blocked one shot before the psychotic meltdown. .
16. PF Rasheed Wallace, New York Knicks
PF Rasheed Wallace, New York Knicks – Sheed was ejected just one minute and 25 seconds into a game against the Phoenix Suns this month after complaining about a foul he received for slapping Suns forward Luis Scola. Even worse was that he didn’t register a single point, rebound, assist, or block for fantasy owners, making him completely worthless as a starter on one of the NBA’s off days. This was his 30th time in his career being ejected from a game, and it has taken a toll on the fantasy community every time. .
15. PF Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Clippers
PF Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Clippers – Odom has always been a reliable fantasy option, but his 3.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 66.7% from the charity stripe has not helped anyone this season. Odom now has less fantasy value than his show has viewers, and has become a complete afterthought in fantasy leagues. Odom was a complete waste of a pick this season and as a result should get bales of coal in his stocking.
14. PF Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls
PF Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls – Everyone was expecting Gibson to have a monster season with star point guard Derrick Rose out for an extended period of time. However, at this point he is only averaging 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds a game.
13. HC Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
HC Greg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs – He may be a coach, but he deserves to be on this list for the pure fact that he has benched Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to rest several times this season. The last thing fantasy owners need is their players getting days off for rest.
12. PF Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
PF Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers – This was supposedly going to be the year that Thompson finally took that step forward, but after only averaging 7.6 rebounds a game, it may not be this season. Instead, Thompson has watched teammate Anderson Varejao grab 14.6 boards a game and completely dominate the fantasy paint in Cleveland. .
11. SG Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
SG Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets – Gordon averaged 20.6 points in his nine games in 2011 before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury. This preseason Gordon hurt his knee yet again and has not even started practicing yet. Right now Gordon is just another sitting duck for the Pelicans.
10. C Andrew Bogut, Golden State Wariors
C Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors – Bogut claimed to be healthy heading into the season, but as we close out December, the center has only played in four games. Bogut has once again burned fantasy owners.
9. PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics – Rondo is averaging a league best 12.7 assists per contest, but he has been suspended for two games and missed a handful of others due to injury. Rondo is a headache each year for fantasy owners, so why should 2012 be any different.
8. PF Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
PF Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers – Amidst the Lakers struggle, Gasol is posting a meager 12.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, both well below 18.2 points and 10.6 boards a game over his last three years. He also has missed eight games already with sore knees and has killed fantasy owners so far throughout the 2012 season. He needs to put on his big boy pants and play some basketball!
7. C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers – Howard may be averaging close to his 18.4-point career average, but his 11.9 rebounds this year is down significantly from his totals over the last couple years. Also, his 49.8 % from the free line is simply embarrassing and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
6. PF Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves –Love broke his right hand on October 18th, ironically right before the fantasy season started. He was said to miss around six to eight weeks as he recovered from the injury, but he suddenly returned to the court in under a month. He went from a potential first overall fantasy pick to falling completely out of the first round. Love tricked fantasy owners with his sudden return to the court and he certainly belongs on the naughty list this holiday season.
5. PG John Wall, Washington Wizards
PG John Wall, Washington Wizards – Even though the Wizards were likely to struggle this season, many pegged this to be Wall’s official breakout fantasy season. However, he has been mending a knee injury all year, costing fantasy owners their fair share of assists.
4. SF Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
SF Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers – Granger’s injury was kept very quiet this off-season and thus many fantasy owners were unaware he was even injured before their draft. He has yet to play and will be sidelined until at least the All-Star break.
3. PF Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks
PF Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks – Amare was drafted in the top two rounds in some leagues this fall, but due to surgery on his left knee the six-time All-Star has yet to play a game. His injury has hobbled fantasy owners all season long and now may be coming off the bench.
2. PG Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
PG Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers - The Lakers have played 25 games and Nash has yet to play a minute in the regular season. Not what fantasy owners expected from him in his first year in LA.
1. C Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers
C Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers - Bynum was a first round pick across the board this off-season and the franchise center has yet to play a game. Bynum is easily the frontrunner for Fantasy Bust of the Year and is the number one player on Santa’s Naughty list this fantasy season.