Fantasy Basketball Busts
By: Steven Rawnsley
Fantasy drafts have started. However, most drafts have not happened yet. Here is my advice on who to avoid. Part two will be guys I am targeting and that will come out later this week.
please note: These rankings are based upon yahoo’s preseason rankings.
1. Paul Millsap
Sooner or later Derrick Favors will be starting. He was the main part of Utah’s trade with Brooklyn involving Deron Williams. Playing time does not fluctuate in other sports like they do in basketball, and that could be the problem for Millsap. Now, if he comes off the bench, I still think he gets very close to thirty minutes a night. He will get time at SF like he did at the end of last year, and there will not really be any backup SF’s he cannot match up with.
He is also better in rotisserie leagues then head to head, and most people do head to head. He gets great all around numbers, but most people like to specialize in a five or six of the standard nine categories. If you like to specialize, like me, he is great in steals, but nothing else jumps out. In the second round I am still looking for guys who are awesome in two or three categories. Great all around numbers, but the potential downside outweighs the upside.
Okay, I know I will get blasted for this one. I have a few concerns though about his health. His preseason rank is sixth. However, he finished twenty-sixth last year. I know he battled injuries all of last year. However, he is coming off of knee surgery at thirty years old. As players get older, those surgeries usually become harder to come back from.
That age is worrisome for another reason. His saying has always been “fall down seven times, get up eight.” All of those falls, and hits in the lane are not good for him. The one stat that concerns me, (and we are talking about fantasy) is his free throw attempts. His free throw attempts have declined the past four seasons, and went down dramatically to 6.1 attempts per game last year. This could be an indication that his style of play is taking its toll. To me, taking him in the middle of the first round, has very little upside, while having a ton of downside.
3. Kobe Bryant
He is one of the all-time greats. No argument here. However, his career is coming to an end here soon. However, somebody in just about every league will take him in the first round or early second round. Last season he was ranked 25th in total rank and 23rd in average rank. He will keep sliding ever so slightly. Right now, his average pick is 11.5. Now, if he falls outside of the top 25 picks, okay, I start putting him on my draft watch. However, it is hard to find a league where there is not a bandwagon Lakers fan drooling to pick him very early in the draft.
4. Deron Williams
He was bothered by a bad right wrist most of last year. That is a major reason why he only shot 40%. However, this was not the first time he has been bothered by a bad shooting wrist. This injury has cost him games in the previous four seasons. My concern for him is that this is more of a chronicle injury, which will last his whole career.
He was ranked 39th last year. I think he will play better, especially with a much improved supporting cast. That supporting cast also means less fga’s which means that if he does struggle shooting again, the percentage does not hurt you as much. Much like Wade, I feel like taking him gives you little upside, but has a ton of potential downside.
What is his best stat? When you think of him, you think of shooting. However, his shooting is probably overrated in terms of fantasy. He was not in the top fifty average three pointers per game last year. Okay, he can score right? He averaged just under fifteen points per game last year. We have eliminated what he is known for.
His best stat is his free throw shooting, where he shoots 87% on just under five free throw attempts. So, here he can make a big difference. His average rank last year was 52nd. He is averaging to go 60th in the draft. However, you throw in the fact he has missed over twenty game in three of his four seasons, and you are paying an awful lot for a guy who gets you little in return.