Eight days into the new year and it is already becoming clear which players will shine above the rest in the year two thousand and eight. These are the top 5 players in 2008 so far–through January 8.
(5) Brad Miller
2008: 21.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1 bpg and a 91.7% FT%
Team’s record: 2-2
Miller helped lead a depleted 13-20 Sac-town to a close home victory over the Orlando Magic (22-14) last night. Has performed at this high level without Artest, Martin or Bibby in the lineup. Expect his stats to remain inflated until Martin and Bibby return next week, at which point they should begin to steadily decline.
(4) Mo Williams
2008: 19.0 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.3 spg, 51.9% FG%, 90.5% FT%
Team’s record: 3-1
On New Year’s eve, he missed a game against the Detroit Pistons because of tendinitis in his left Achilles’ tendon. Since then, he has dropped the ridiculous numbers you see above. Williams has been a versatile and consistent fantasy scorer all season long. Additionally, with Michael Redd out the past three games with a thigh bruise and his timetable for the return uncertain, Williams has been able to get more touches and be more involved in the offense.
(3) Dirk Nowitzki
2008: 27.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.7 bpg, 51.8% FG%, 95% FT%
Team’s record: 3-0
Only shot 36% from the field in the three games leading up to 2008, but many have noted that he seems to have found his groove. The 7-footer may be expected to log more minutes in the absence of Erick Dampier. His first real test in a while will come against Rasheed Wallace and the Detroit Pistons tonight on ESPN.
(2) Allen Iverson
2008: 33.0 ppg, 4.5 apg, 52.4% FG%, 87.2% FT%, 47.6% 3PT%, 3.6 A/T ratio
Team’s record: 3-1
If there were any doubts after he left Philadelphia as to whether he would be able lead a Denver Nugget team laden with existing fantasy super-stars (Camby and ‘Melo), he has certainly quieted them. Fantasy-wise, at #8 overall on the season, he is far superior to his counterpart Carmelo Anthony (#44 overall), and has finally edged in front of his multi-dimensional teammate Marcus Camby (#9 overall). A.I. is as explosive as he has ever been in the lane, has been absolutely on-fire from downtown, and refuses to let the struggles of an 82 game season wear on him. He’s only getting better.
(1) Lebron James
2008: 30.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 6.8 apg, 2.3 spg, 48.3% FG%
Team’s record: 4-0
“The Chosen One” has been on a magnificent run as of late. From being heckled by Chris Bosh’s girlfriend and cousin and dropping 24 in one quarter to receiving #2 Facial Dunk of the Year honors, King James has been spectacular this season. Having fallen behind to #12 in the season rankings, Lebron is off to a tremendous start in 2008. He has single handily–as always–brought the Cavs back over .500 and looks to be becoming the clutch shooter they’ve always needed him to be. He’s one of the only players in fantasy basketball that can get you production in nearly every category on any given night. With 7 of the Cav’s next 10 games being on the road, Lebron will need to be as dangerous as ever. We predict he will be.
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