Some players we daft early, just knowing they will lead our team to victory. But when these top picks lose their mojo, it can mean the demise of your championship hopes. That is unless you drafted a few late rounders who have a surprise breakout season, a surprise to the owners who didn’t draft him at least. Here are the players that disappointed and have pleasantly surprised us the past 30 days in fantasy basketball.

Top 5 Demise Players

1. Derrick Rose, Chi PG

Anyone who watched team USA win gold this summer expected that it would take Rose some time for to get his game back on track, and we’re still waiting. His horrible shooting from the summer has continued going 41% from the field, and he’s not looking to make the easy assist, only 4.9 assists per game with 3.1 turnovers per game, or go for the steal averaging 0.5 steals. The former MVP has a long way to go to get back on top, so for now rose’s really smell like boo-boo-boo.

2. Joakim Noah, Chi PF/C

The arrival of Pau Gasol has had a drastic impact on Noah’s game. The third round pick has fallen out of top 100 value for the month and shows no signs of turning it around. The man who averaged close to 2.0 steals and 3.0 blocks, is below 1 and 1 for the month, while shooting only 49% from the floor and 62% from the line. Ouch.

3. Kevin Love, Cle PF/C

A first round pick is expected to carry your team, not bury them. Kevin is below his output in Minnesota by 1.0 three, 10 pts, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. We knew LeBron would hurt Kevin’s production, but that’s like taking a player out your lineup.

4. Jeremy Lin, LAL PG/SG

Just like his career, Lin’s season has been a series of highs and lows. Some nights he looks good, others, just awful. Scoring only 7.5 points per game on 36% FG shooting while handing out just 4.3 assist for the month, would be on of those lows.

5. Dwight Howard, Hou PF/C

Most people assumed that playing with Harden would help Howard’s game. Wrong. The 17.3 points and 11.9 rebounds are not bad for the big man, but his defensive numbers have been disappointing with only 0.6 steals and 1.4 blocks per game in December.

Honorable mention: Thaddeus Young, Min SF/PF

Drafted near the fifth round, Thad was expected to help fill the void left by Kevin Love, not get lost inside it. Averaging only 14.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32 minutes per game is not getting it done. His 1.9 steals per game in December are a nice bonus and keeps him out of the Top 5.

Top 5 Surprise Players

1. Jimmy Butler, Chi SG/SF

Move over D. Rose, looks like there is a new sheriff in town. Jimmy boy has been heating up like Jimmy Dean sausage, averaging 21.7 points, 1.2 threes, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks. Drafted near the 6th round, Jimmy boy has given his owners all they could ask for and then some which makes him the biggest surprise of the season… so far.

2. Draymond Green, GS SF/PF

Green is on track to not only win most improved player of the year, but defensive player of the year as well. Drafted outside the top 100 in most leagues, Green has returned top ten value for the month. The high I.Q Spartan has been stuffing the stat sheet, posting averages of 1.2 threes, 9.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game. Look for more triple doubles in the Spartans future.

3. Robert Covington, Phi SF/PF

This is a case of being at the right time at the right place. Philly was desperate for some more outside shooting and Covington fit that role perfectly. The sharp shooter has averaged 15.8 points, with 2.8 shots from deep, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks for the month.

4. Tim Duncan, SA PF/C & Paul Gasol, Chi PF/C

The future hall of famers are having throw back seasons and might even meet up in the NBA finals this year. Both were drafted after the 4th round, but are returning 2nd round value. If there aging bodies can handle the NBA grind as well as their minds look for more 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks games from two of the best the game has seen.

Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks
Photo credit: Keith Allison

5. Jeff Teague, Atl PG

The Hawks are clicking on all cylinders and Teague is a big reason why. The point guard has been playing some very efficient ball with 16.1 points on 49% field goal and 85% free throw shooting, with 6.6 assists, and a nice 2.1 steals per game. Giving the 5th round pick 2nd round value for the month.

Honorable mention: Gorgui Dieng, Min PF/C

The former Louisville Cardinal has been forced to elevate his game with Nikola Pekovic out, and has responded with averages of 10.8 points on 51% shooting with 8.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal, and 2.1 blocks for the month. Very solid production for a player drafter after the tenth round in most drafts.

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