Fantasy basketball: Who were this season's most valuable and least valuable players?

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the fantasy basketball season has come to a close, we reached out to five of our experts for their take on the Most Valuable and Least Valuable players in fantasy this season.

Who exceeded their draft-day value the most? And who failed to live up to the lofty expectations?

Here are Andre Snellings, Eric Karabell, Eric Moody, Steve Alexander and Jim McCormick with their MVPs and LVPs.

Who is your Most Valuable Player this season?

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs: Wembanyama was the No. 15 pick in ESPN ADP, and he is going to finish among the top 10 points format scorers playing half the season as a teenager. Incredible! Each of the players ahead of him were also drafted ahead of him. What an amazing success story and perhaps not the last time he is fantasy's MVP. Kudos to the Knicks' Jalen Brunson, also, since the No. 26 pick in ADP ended up with first-round value. -- Karabell

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks: I'd agree with Karabell, who spoke eloquently about my fantasy hero Wemby, who single-handedly won me my 30-team league, but I'll take it in another direction and go with Doncic. He has averaged 33.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 9.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 4.1 3-pointers and just 4.0 turnovers (not bad for a guy who has the ball that much), all while shooting nearly 49% from the floor and a career-high 78.6% from the line. He not only may be the fantasy MVP, but thanks to a late run by Dallas, might win the real thing, as well. -- Alexander

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers: Not just to offer some answer diversity, but for the actual gap between ADP and outcomes, I am nominating Leonard. After all, the two-way superstar played 68 games, his most since 2016-17, finishing ninth overall on the Player Rater after being drafted in the mid-40s based on ESPN ADP data. Even teammate Paul George (11th on Player Rater, 40th in ADP) has a bid for this honor, but Leonard's awesome stocks (2.5 combined blocks and steals) and elite scoring efficiency combined to create a top-10 fantasy campaign at a massive discount based on his draft stock. There was clear risk in drafting Leonard this year, yet the rewards were truly realized. -- McCormick

Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers: After the Lakers signed Reaves to a four-year, $56 million dollar contract last summer, his fantasy value was skyrocketing. He averaged 13.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 3.4 APG during the 2022-23 season. Reaves' playmaking ability was expected to be leveraged this season, and that's what happened. He averaged 16.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.5 APG and 1.0 SPG. Reaves performed well for fantasy managers this year, considering his average draft position. -- Moody

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers: My bold prediction from our mid-October roundtable was that Wembanyama (or Zion Williamson) would produce more fantasy points than Kevin Durant this season, and I caught flack for that on Twitter. When I see Wembanyama did in fact outscore Durant with the eighth-most fantasy points in the league this season, and that he somehow outproduced all the sky-high expectations with an even better rookie season than LeBron had 20 years ago, I would make him my fantasy hoops MVP. But, since Karabell got there first, I'll give a shout out to Anthony Davis, who stayed healthy enough this season to produce the fifth-most fantasy points in the league. -- Snellings

Who is your Least Valuable Player this season?

Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards: Poole is the obvious answer, as the No. 28 ADP pick finished well outside the top 60 points league scorers, inexplicably failing to increase his numbers despite tremendous opportunity. He struggled much of the season. However, fantasy managers don't get asterisks for the injured players. 76ers C Joel Embiid was a first-round pick and missed half the season. Third-rounder LaMelo Ball missed 60 games. Durability matters. -- Karabell

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets: Dang it, Karabell, stop taking my guys. But I can pivot and tell you that while Andrew Wiggins' dismal first half for the Warriors was disturbing, Simmons is still the low-hanging fruit here. Especially after the hype he was getting during draft season. Simmons just underwent back surgery for the second time in three years and has played in just 57 games since the Nets got him from Philadelphia back in the 2021-22 season. What a disaster. -- Alexander

Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz: He didn't live up to my expectations this season. Kessler finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting last season, averaging 9.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 2.3 BPG. His averages in those statistical categories didn't increase this season, averaging only 8.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 2.4 BPG. Last season, Kessler started 40 games but only 22 this season. All of these factors combined with his average draft position make him my least valuable player. -- Moody

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets: While he still finished 52nd on the Player Rater, the sizable regression in scoring volume, efficiency and approach from last season's hot finish with the Nets left fantasy investors needing more. Making a far lower clip of his shots from the floor while seeing his free throw attempt rate cut nearly in half reads like Bridges' leap to No. 1 option last season was a mirage. After being drafted in the top 25 on average this past fall, his descent back to the Phoenix trajectory of production created a sizable gap in production and outcome. I am sure there are bigger busts, but this was a particularly disappointing outcome for a player who appeared to be on a path to fantasy stardom. -- McCormick

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets: I'm gonna make a note to turn in future roundtable answers before Karabell. I figured I could say either Poole, who I both touted and drafted early in way too many leagues, or Embiid whose injury cost me both a fantasy hoops and a betting parlay loss. Instead, I'll pivot to another superstar whose season was cut short by injury...again. LaMelo Ball was set to make the leap last season before injury got in the way, then this season was his opportunity to bounce back... before injury got him again. I projected him to average 47 FP/game and score over 3000 fantasy points on the season. His scoring average was right there at almost 46 FP/game, but he only played 22 games and was unable to help either the Hornets or fantasy hoops squads compete this season. -- Snellings