The 2022-2023 Fantasy Basketball Awards: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Takes the Spotlight on Tip-Off with Titus
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Titus explains why Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is his fantasy basketball MVP and highlights Utah's Lauri Markkanen as this year’s most improved player.
DAN TITUS: Can you believe that we're at the end of the fantasy basketball season? I know time flies, but before I get out of here on this episode of Tip Off with Titus, I'm going to go over, or at least provide a sneak peek of my fantasy awards.
- I'm in a glass case of emotion.
DAN TITUS: And to kick things off, let's start with MVP. Not the real life MVP discussion between Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, but the fantasy MVP. I'm rolling with SGA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. And not to discredit Nikola Jokic and his phenomenal season, he is the one on one in fantasy. But what SGA did is even more impressive this season. He is rostered in over 30% of the top teams in Yahoo Public Leagues, that's over 10% more than Nikola Jokic.
And to add to an even more historic year, he is the only person since Michael Jordan to average at least 30 points, four rebounds, five assists, shoot 50% from the field, and average at least one steal and one block in a season. Truly epic performance by SGA. Not only is he a real life all-star, he is now ascended into the elite of fantasy basketball status. He should be a bonafide top five pick going into next season.
- I am Bruce almighty.
DAN TITUS: And another player that took a huge leap this fantasy basketball season is Lauri Markkanen.
- Hey, Lauri. Lauri.
DAN TITUS: Now, I didn't expect Lauri Markkanen to do all this. This guy came in with a preseason ADP of over 90. And now while he was on my sleeper's list to start the year, I did not expect him to end up finishing as a top 20 player. He's currently 19th in per game value and he's been carrying fantasy managers all season. And going back to a similar point with SGA, you can find Lauri Markkanen on 20% of the best teams in Yahoo Public Leagues.
That's slightly more than Jokic and the only other person that's ahead of them is Jalen Williams. So to me, Lauri Markkanen is easily the most improved player. I mean, just look at the stats. He made a jump in points per game from 15 on the Cleveland Cavaliers, to 26 this season. And he also set up career highs in assists, field goal percentage, and three-pointers made, and put up the most assists in five years.
All around, great season for Lauri Markkanen and he's another player that I would prioritize next season as a second round pick. It might seem like it's a bit much in a bit rich, but this guy is going to be the alpha of a Utah Jazz team that's surprised a lot of people this year. And is probably going to be in a very good position to be successful next year.
DAN TITUS: All right. So I know that I provide a sneak peek of my fantasy MVP and most improved player, but for even more, make sure you check out my article on Monday where I'll go over the rest of the fantasy awards from the 2022-2023 NBA season. Until next time, on Tip Off Titus. Peace.