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Rotoworld Rewind

Rotoworld's NBA Top 50

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Here are the Top 50 searched players on the Rotoworld NBA page from 2015. Some of them make sense and some don’t, but it’s an interesting look at how our search engine works and what information people were looking for last year. Click on any of the links below to see all of our top-50 player reviews:

 

Overall Top 50 | NFL | MLB | NBA | NHL | BPL | GOLF | NASCAR | NFL DRAFT

 

1. Kevin Durant OKC – What can we say about him, other than that he’s been a beast when healthy. He was highly searched over the summer as he recovered from his foot injury that cost him much of last season, and then missed six games in the middle of November this season. When you combine a serious injury and missed games with one of the best players in the league, it’s easy to see why Durant was at the top of this list.

 

2. Anthony Davis NOP – Davis has only missed (most of) four games, but has been banged up for much of the season, as well as underperforming – especially when compared to Stephen Curry, who many of Davis’ owners passed on in the draft. Owners are constantly searching for news to make sure they’re star draft pick is going to play, as well to find out why he’s not rolling like Steph. And yeah, it looks like we should have had him at No. 2 behind Curry, in hindsight.

 

3. Kyrie Irving CLE – Irving missed the Finals last year and the start of this season after suffering a fractured kneecap, but finally returned to action in December. He's looked pretty good at times, but is clearly not yet at full strength. He’s slowly working his way out of minutes and back-to-back restrictions, so he’ll hopefully be worth the wait once he's finally rolling at full speed.   

 

4. LeBron James CLE – LeBron has only missed one game and it wasn’t by his choice. He was ticked off that he was given a night off to rest on Dec. 5 and all signs are pointing to another monster season from LeBron. Owners just need to be worried about him sitting out during the fantasy playoffs, which has been the status quo for LeBron in March and April over the last few seasons.

 

5. Stephen Curry GSW – Curry won a championship and the MVP Award last season, and was on a massive tear this year, leading his team to a 23-0 record and looking like the best player we’ve seen since you-know-who. Unfortunately, a leg injury has kept him out of two straight games and he left Saturday, Jan. 2’s game early after aggravating the injury. That means that his search numbers are going to be through the roof after the last week, while the Warriors’ chase for a record-setting nine-loss season is now in some jeopardy.

 

6. Hassan Whiteside MIA – Whiteside hasn’t missed a single game and is a master of blocks. He had a triple-double with them on Nov. 17 and has blocked at least one shot in every game. I’m not sure why he’s so highly searched, but he’s come through for his owners on a nightly basis, and had another six-block game on Jan. 3.

 

7. DeMarcus Cousins SAC – Boogie’s owners are always concerned with him missing a game due to a nagging injury, the flu or a suspension, and he’s already missed eight games this season. He’s healthy and rolling right now, but as his technical fouls and injuries pile up, he should continue to be one of our most searched players this season. 

 

8. Ricky Rubio MIN – Rubio has missed six games with hamstring, ankle and knee issues, which has resulted in him being searched early and often. He also disappears on the offensive side of things at times and when you add that with his shaky injury status, he comes in at No. 8 on the list.

 

9. Derrick Rose CHI – Rose was holding his own on the injury front and had missed just a couple games until New Year’s weekend arrived. He’s now missed three straight, putting his total at five misses, and that number could grow due to a hamstring injury. He’s basically day-to-day, every day, in the eyes of his owners. And given his extensive injury history and knee surgeries, owners are wise to check on his status on a daily basis. Which is precisely what they’re doing.

 

10. Kobe Bryant LAL – Kobe has now missed six games after sitting out on Jan. 3 with a sore shoulder. And that’s about the same number of games he’s played well in. He got off to a horrendous start, but finally got his legs under him and started playing a little better. But his shot is still wild on most nights, his retirement announcement was big news, and his constant status of ‘will he or won’t he play’ means a lot more searches are coming his way.  

 

11. Dwight Howard HOU – Howard has missed six games thus far, but has been cleared for back-to-backs and had his minutes restriction lifted. He’s been on fire lately and looks like a new player, but whether his legs hold up remains to be seen. The Rockets will also be monitoring his minutes and games played as the season winds down, especially if they are in the playoff hunt.

 

12. Paul George IND – George missed last season with a gruesome broken leg and we were very concerned about his ability to stay healthy this year. But it’s been his amazing play, and not injuries, that have fantasy owners reading about him on a daily basis. He’s a top-eight fantasy player and the No. 7 scorer in the league, although he finally cooled off and went through a slump late in December. He has since righted the ship and looks good to go once again.

 

13. Dwyane Wade MIA – Grandpa Wade always seems to be the verge of missing a game, but has played in all but one thus far. Owners will continue to worry about him and you simply have to keep an eye out for news is you own him. But so far, so good with Wade.

 

14. Terrence Jones HOU – Jones is getting jerked around by P.J. Bickerstaff and missed several games with a strange eyelid injury, as well as more leg issues. Clint Capela has kind of ruined Jones and he simply can’t catch a break, or consistent minutes, in Houston. He’s also had a few really odd injuries over the past few years, which has helped boost his name in the search engine. But lately it’s been his disappearing act doing the trick, as owners are just trying to figure out what to do with him.

 

15. LaMarcus Aldridge SAS – He missed a couple games with an ankle injury and got off to a slow start this season, but started killing it in December. He’s played better than many of us thought he would alongside Tim Duncan and for Gregg Popovich, generating some excitement among his owners. And with Duncan missing a slew of games recently, Aldridge has been even better.

 

16. Carmelo Anthony NYK – Melo missed one game with an illness and has had an odd combination of several very good games, and several really bad ones. He hasn’t been in real jeopardy of missing games this season, but his surgically-repaired knee still isn’t right and it has been sore for much of the year. And as long as it’s not 100 percent, owners should keep checking in on his status. And if the Knicks fall out of the playoff hunt, there’s always a chance Melo will be shut down at some point.

 

17. Jrue Holiday NOP – Holiday only made it through 40 games due to a leg injury last season and has been on a minutes count for most of this one. He’s missed six games, mainly for rest and to protect him against wear-and-tear, and that trend could continue through the All-Star break.

 

18. Rajon Rondo SAC – Rondo missed his first game on Dec. 13 due to a one-game suspension, but has been sought out because of his bounce-back season, which we didn’t see coming. Rondo is easily leading the league in assists and has already racked up four triple-doubles this season.

 

19. Tyreke Evans NOP – Evans missed the first 17 games of the season after surprise knee surgery just before opening night, so owners were anxiously awaiting his return. He’s played pretty well since debuting on Dec. 1, but sat out on Jan. 2 with tendinitis in his surgically-repaired knee. Hopefully he won’t miss more time, but it’s possible.  

 

20. Jimmy Butler CHI – Butler hasn’t missed a game yet, as usual, and is on the list simply because he’s one of the best players in the league. He’s had some duds this season, but generally scores 21 points a night with a ton of fantasy goodies thrown in for good measure. He scored 42 points on Jan. 3 in his second best game of the season.

 

21. Russell Westbrook OKC – Westbrook has dealt with some injury nightmares in three of his previous four seasons, enduring a lot of knee surgeries along the way, but hasn’t missed a game yet this season. He’s a top-four fantasy player and puts up monster numbers nearly every night, resulting in a lot of search love.

 

22. Kevin Love CLE – Love hasn’t missed a game yet and has racked up 14 double-doubles and has improved his scoring, rebounds and 3-pointers from last season. He also missed most of the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder last year, but he looks happy and healthy in Cleveland this season.

 

23. Mike Conley MEM – Conley has been healthy all year but has dealt with some inconsistency in December, causing a rise in his name being searched. He’s still a reliable point guard and hasn’t had any injury issues, so I’m a little surprised to see him this high on the list.

 

24. Kevin Martin MIN – Martin had only missed one game this season (Nov. 7), but then fell completely out of Sam Mitchell’s rotation just before Christmas and has now been on the bench for six straight games. Prior to that he’d scored eight or fewer points in 10 games this season and hit 20-plus points four times. And that inconsistency had influenced the number of times he’s been searched, and his fall from grace is going to add to his name being searched.

 

25. Chris Paul LAC – Paul has missed five games with a combination of rib and groin injuries, and is also one of the game’s biggest names. His numbers were also down a bit after a slow start, but turned it around in December.  

 

26. Isaiah Thomas BOS –Thomas has been the most reliable Celtic all season and hasn’t missed a game. He’s just been so dang good that his name has been sought out a lot a lot this season. And for good reason, as he’s returning early third-round value.

 

27. Michael Carter-Williams MIL – MCW missed five straight games due to an ankle injury and was then benched in favor of Jerryd Bayless, and then O.J. Mayo. He got it together in December though, and has played at least 30 minutes in 12 of his last 14 games, and is holding off Bayless for the starting job currently.  

 

28. Jusuf Nurkic DEN – Nurkic finally made his debut on Jan. 2 after recovering from a knee injury and one of the big questions this season was whether he was worth holding onto or not. We still don’t know when he’ll be up to speed, or if he can flourish with Nikola Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne on the roster. While he’s arguably the best of Denver’s three centers, we also know that there is going to be an ugly timeshare here, but he was looking good as we edited this piece on Jan. 3.  

 

29. John Wall WAS – Wall hasn’t missed a game and has scored in double figures in all but three of his games. He’s been worth a late first- or early second-round pick all season and with Bradley Beal out, he’s been even better than advertised.

 

30. Rudy Gay SAC – Gay has missed two games (illness & shoulder) this season, but has otherwise been a very reliable fantasy player, offering solid fifth-round value. His questionable status surrounding the two games he missed resulted in a lot of frantic searching from his owners.

 

31. Deron Williams DAL – Williams missed the second game of the season with a sore knee and Dec. 12 with an illness, and then went down recently with a hamstring injury, that he aggravated on Jan. 2. He probably wasn’t owned in all leagues early, but became a must-own player once he got his sea legs in Dallas. He was playing especially well in December before going down, and now owners are constantly trying to figure out when he’ll be a meaningful piece of their puzzle again.

 

32. Brandon Knight PHX – Knight hasn’t missed a game and was great alongside Eric Bledsoe, that is until Bledsoe was lost for the season just after Christmas. Knight got off to a sluggish start without Bledsoe, but should be ready to turn it on again. He’s been a borderline second-round value and he’s garnered a lot of attention in our search engine as a result.

 

33. Jeff Teague ATL – Teague missed three straight games with a sprained ankle in November, but has been healthy for the rest of the season. An early, hot run by Dennis Schroder caused a minor scare for Teague’s owners, but he is not in danger of losing his starting job this season, especially with Schroder recently falling into the doghouse of Mike Budenholzer.

 

34. Robert Covington PHI – Covington (knee) played in just one of Philly’s first 10 games, causing a lot of searching for news on his status. Then, when he came back on Nov. 16 it only took him about three games to catch fire, making him the most sought after player on the waiver wire. But he then went from being one of the hottest pickups to a drop candidate, falling off a cliff starting on Dec. 18. He’s scored in single digits in eight of his last nine games, and no longer looks like he fits in Philadelphia’s tank job.  

 

35. Rudy Gobert UTA – Gobert’s lack of offense generated a lot of early searches, then his MCL sprain that knocked him out indefinitely on Dec. 2 struck. With owners desperate for information on when he might return, he continues to be one of the most searched players currently. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go in the near future, and he’s been spotted practicing and dunking in the new year. We’re getting close.

 

36. Chandler Parsons DAL – Parsons is another player I’m surprised by, as I would have guessed he was higher on the list. He missed the first two games of the season coming off knee surgery and has rested in five other games since. He’s also really struggled to get back to form, scoring in double figures in just eight games this season. His January is also off to a rough start, but he should get it going at some point.  

 

37. Ty Lawson HOU – Lawson has been benched by the Rockets and has not been startable since early November. He’s only missed one game, but his minutes and production have been way down and he’s just trying to work his way back into the mix in Houston. Expect the searching to continue, as he’s had a lost season thus far.

 

38. Kemba Walker CHA – Walker hasn’t missed a game and is one of the league’s most underrated point guards. He’s returning second-round fantasy value and was likely one of the steals of your draft.

 

39. Goran Dragic MIA – Dragic has missed just one game and hasn’t really looked like the player we all remember from Phoenix a couple seasons ago. However, he’s been heating up lately and his January is off to a nice start. Maybe he’s primed for a solid second half.

 

40. Andrew Bogut MIL – Bogut is a walking injury and can basically be considered day-to-day for the rest of his career. He’s only missed seven games, and just one since Nov. 9, but his constant day-to-day status and low minutes have owners scrambling on most days.

 

41. Bradley Beal WAS – Beal missed three straight games with a shoulder injury in November but quickly bounced back and was in the midst of a great season. Then news broke on Dec. 12 that he would miss at least two weeks, and maybe more, with a stress reaction in his right leg. This is not a new injury for Beal and has cost him in the past. And given how well he was playing, the loss is potentially devastating to owners. As long as his leg is an issue, his owners are going to be searching high and low for news about when he might be ready to return to form. And as of Jan. 3, he still doesn’t appear to be close to a return.

 

42. Mo Williams CLE – Williams was been a serviceable fill-in for injured Kyrie Irving, mixing big games with poor ones, but has disappeared since Irving returned. He also had to share time with Matthew Dellavedova while Irving was out, further clouding his value. Add all that up and it’s pretty easy to see why owners were reading everything they could get their hands on about Williams.

 

43. Jeremy Lin CHA – Lin is still one of the most popular NBA players of all time and his new haircut has probably generated some additional interest. He’s not really a big fantasy name as a backup in Charlotte right now, but people all over the world are still curious as to what he’s up to. And Lin has played well enough thus far to be owned in most fantasy leagues.

 

44. Tobias Harris ORL – Harris hasn’t missed a game this season, but left on Dec. 11 with a lower leg contusion and was iffy for a few games as a result. He’s not playing at an All-Star level, but has been good enough to be a consistent starter in all formats.

 

45. James Harden HOU – Harden hasn’t missed a game but is a top-six fantasy player, as usual. And as long as he’s playing crazy minutes and can score 50 or more points on any given night, people are going to read about him. Owners are also checking in to try to figure out why his shooting percentage has been down this season, but either way, Harden should continue to produce at a very high level for the Rockets.

 

46. Kyle Lowry TOR – Lowry actually sits at No. 7 on the fantasy rankings list, in front of several superstars including LeBron James, and most other players in the league. And when you’re that good, and weren’t taken until the second or third round of fantasy drafts, fantasy owners are going to check out his numbers.

 

47. Enes Kanter UTA – Kanter is averaging 11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game for the Thunder. He’s on the cut bubble in smaller leagues and his lack of scoring, minutes and blocks can cause headaches for his owners.

 

48. Draymond Green GSW – Green hasn’t missed a game, but was taken pretty high in drafts with booming expectations. And playing for a 23-0 team and scoring in single figures in seven games, owners were curious early about his offensive inconsistency. But things have changed since then and he currently looks like the best player in the league with Stephen Curry out. He’s had back-to-back triple-doubles twice this season, and went nuts for 29 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists, four steals, a block and five 3-pointers on Jan. 2. If we recalculated this list today, he’d likely be 10-20 spots higher after his great play over the last few weeks.

 

49. J.R. Smith CLE – Smith missed three early games with a sore knee and a game in December due to an illness, but injured or not, he’ll always generate traffic because you never what he’s going to say or do next. I’m just waiting for his next tweet that tries to break the Internet.

 

50. Greg Monroe DET – Monroe had plenty of question marks surrounding him coming into the season with a new team and role in Milwaukee, but he was reliable early, and was instrumental in handing the Warriors their first loss of the season. He went through a bit of a slump just after Christmas, but has righted the ship in his last two games. And while he’s returned late second-round value without missing a game, we do wonder if he would have made this list without his huge game against the Warriors.

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.