The 2015-16 NBA Season is in full swing for teams around the NBA as well as for fantasy owners. As NBA teams rotate their starting rosters, fight through key injuries and navigate their way through their long 82 game season, daily fantasy owners continue to build a daily strategy to take home cash prizes.
This gives us a chance to take a look at the highest paid players in the NBA and how well they are performing for their fantasy owners. While many might expect these ten players to be the top fantasy producers in the NBA but that isn’t the case due to some key incidents or situations that have taking place.
The top of the list features one of the best players of our generations and a key member of the Los Angeles Lakers. That star is Kobe Bryant who is making a league high $25 million dollars. Unfortunately the future Hall Of Famer signed that contract before suffering an ACL tear that ended his 2013 NBA season.
Just a year later Bryant would suffer another season ending injury to his shoulder that would require shoulder surgery. These two injuries have played a key role in not only the Lakers success on the floor but Bryant’s success for his fantasy owners this season.
Top 10 highest paid NBA players and their 2015-16 fantasy production.
Kobe Bryant ($25,000,000): Bryant’s injury history has shown up this season limiting his fantasy production on the floor. The Lakers star has dealt with soreness to both his Achilles as well as his shoulder. These injuries have played a key role in January as Bryant is averaging just 12 points a game. Overall, Bryant has only two double digit scoring games in the month of January. While Bryant has showed at times his ability to post some solid fantasy numbers he is a player that is not living up to the leagues highest salaries.
Joe Johnson ($24,894,864): Just a few seasons back the Brooklyn Nets handed Johnson one of the highest contracts in the NBA. Fast forward to now and that contract looks to be one of the biggest busts in the NBA. While Johnson holds the second highest salary in the NBA this season, his fantasy production on the court has been a big disappointment till late. Johnson entered Monday carrying a $5,200 salary on FanDuel and the Nets star rewarded his fantasy owners with 36.5 fantasy points. If Johnson can continue his recent success he is worth the risk going forward if he continues to carry the low fantasy salary. In the end Johnson’s big contract on the court isn’t rewarding his fantasy owners on the court.
LeBron James ($22,970,500): James might not be the games top fantasy scorer but he continues to be one of the best players in the NBA night in and night out. James is averaging 25.3 points a game this season to go with six assists and seven rebounds a game. For fantasy owners James has been pretty consistent for most of the season but at times those owners have been disappointed that the NBA top player fails to deliver 50-60 fantasy points a night.
Carmelo Anthony ($22,875,000): Much like Bryant, Anthony has dealt with injuries over the past few seasons including one that shut him down last year. Those injuries have shown up at times this season as well as the fact the New York Knicks aren’t relying on Anthony to score 30-40 points a night. Each of these situations have led to Anthony’s scoring average to drop to just 21.5 points a game. While Anthony has seen his big fantasy numbers drop based on his points per game, but he has delivered some solid games with his ability to add both rebounds and assists.
Dwight Howard ($22,359,364): When Howard elected to join the Houston Rockets with the big contract he landed the money but he also became the teams second scoring option with James Harden as the number one option. That has shown up as Howard’s points per game has not reached the 20 plus per game he had posted before joining the Rockets. Despite not delivering the points per game, Howard continues to post double doubles night in and night out helping delivering solid fantasy numbers to his fantasy owners.
Chris Bosh ($22,192,730): The trend continues down this list with Bosh as he continues to be a solid fantasy option but not a top fantasy option night in and night out despite being one of the highest paid players in the NBA. Looking at Bosh’s last ten fantasy games, the Miami Heats power forward has delivered three games under thirty fantasy points, six fantasy games with at least 31 fantasy points and one game with nearly 50 fantasy points. As long as Bosh’s fantasy salary stays below $8k a night he is a solid option but he has not lived up to the franchise contract he signed.
Chris Paul ($21,468,695): While Paul has bounced around based on his fantasy production since signing the big contract. That being said, Paul is posting a double double nearly every night of the week making him one of the top fantasy options night in and night out. Along with averaging over 20 points a game in the month of Janaury, Paul is averaging over five rebounds and eleven assists per game. His latest performance came on Monday Night against the Houston Rockets as he finished with 62.2 fantasy points to help carry some of the top fantasy performing teams.
Kevin Durant ($20,158,622): Durant is one of the faces of the NBA and he has been one of the top fantasy producers in the NBA despite carrying one of the highest fantasy salaries in the NBA. Durant is averaging over 26 points as well as four assists and seven rebounds per game. The Oklahoma City Thunder small forward has lived up to his high salary on the floor for both the team and his fantasy owners outside of battling a few injuries. The only concern with Durant each night is the concern that it might be Russell Westbrooks night to shine.
Derrick Rose ($20,093,064): When Rose signed the big deal with the Chicago Bulls he was well worth every penny. Now fast forward through a few key knee injuries and the Bulls point guard is just an average option night in and night out for not only the Bulls but for his fantasy owners. Rose is averaging just 15 points a game this season while averaging less than five assists a game. The Bulls point guard while not only failing to produce as an elite fantasy option is also a concern night in and night out missing three games in the month of January. Luckily Rose is only 27 years old so he could find a way to return to his elite status but at this moment he is not delivering top tier fantasy numbers based on his high NBA salary.
Dwyane Wade ($20,000,000): You can’t blame the Miami Heat for paying Wade the big money after delivering multiple championships to the town. The downside though is Wade is 34 years old and it has helped slow him down on the floor while being a game time decision at multiple times this season. Wade is a hit or miss at this point of his career and it has shown up in his fantasy performances. Wade has delivered less than 25 fantasy points in five of the last nine games he has played.
In the end while all of these stars are making a ton of money to play each game, the money doesn’t however guarantee each of them will be a top fantasy performer.