Fantasy Basketball: Players to Drop Right Now!
To be great is to be bold. You have to know when to cut your losses and identify players to drop. General managers must be cold and calculated with their decision-making. Identifying players to pick up is much easier than identifying players to drop. General managers form emotional bonds and create visions of potential for players on their roster that are sometimes never fulfilled. When this happens, we must take inventory and make quick adjustments to ensure our core players – the ones who produce for us – are supported by well-rounded contributors and specialists.
A Tough Pill to Swallow
It is painful to draft a quality player only to see them shut down towards the end of the season. Al Horford is a prime example. A backbone contributor for many teams, shut down for the remainder of the season while healthy. General managers that hesitated and kept Horford on their roster most likely lost out on his direct replacement Moses Brown or other rising players. It’s a tough pill to swallow, giving up on productive players with high ceilings for the unknown.
At the root of this problem is endowment bias. We value an item more when we possess it. As general managers, we have invested draft resources or perhaps trade resources to acquire a player. We value their production more than we would other players with similar stat profiles. This pesky bias slows us down when we need to make quick and emotional-less decisions on our player personnel. The best way to avoid this bias is to start mentally prepping for a transition from certain players that could face a sudden drop-off.
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Players to Consider Dropping
Let’s take a look at a few of these players that have high expectations but could be facing uncertain playing time in their near future.
Malik Beasley – MIN – PG/SG/SF
Malik Beasley has had a great year for Minnesota averaging 19.6 points, 3.5 threes, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, on 44% shooting from the field. This dude has been good! Additionally, he is eligible for multiple positions and he most likely didn’t cost you a high selection on draft day. Legal troubles cost him 12 games. While many general managers decided to stick it out during his suspension, rookie Anthony Edwards took the team by storm, becoming the apparent lead alpha with Karl-Anthony Towns. Since Beasley’s return from injury, his usage rate has dropped to 17.9 from 24.1. To add injury to insult (I flipped it), Beasley suffered an injury to his hamstring, with a projected return in early May. To now add more insult to injury, D’Angelo Russel is set to return to the lineup. Any way you stack it, Malik Beasley’s gem of a fantasy season is most likely over. If you need a streaming spot or have an opportunity to snag a key contributor, don’t hesitate. Drop Beasley and make your move.
John Wall – HOU – PG
We all know it’s coming. It is only a matter of time before John Wall fades into shutdown oblivion to prepare for next season. Wall has provided gaudy counting stats, averaging 20 points, 2 threes, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1 steal, and .8 blocks per game. He has been relatively healthy playing 32 games up until this point. Wall is in a great position to put up massive (albeit inefficient) production for the remainder of the year. But I just can’t help notice that feeling in the air. While Wall could finish out the season, there is little incentive to do so for the Rockets. He has demonstrated he has all the athleticism he had prior to his Achilles surgery so he has nothing left to prove this year. Houston has also hinted towards a knee procedure Wall will need this offseason. With Kevin Porter in need of NBA reps, look for Houston to start sitting Wall more often and eventually shut him down. Don’t drop Wall yet, but start thinking of a transition plan and be ready to execute before you drop games during your playoff run.
Kevin Love – CLE – PF/C
Kevin Love had high expectations entering the season. After immediately getting injured after two games, Love became a fixture on fantasy team’s Injured Reserved slots. Love has finally returned and after three games is averaging 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. While modest, these numbers are healthy and may trigger you into thinking Love is deemed for a bigger role down the stretch. Enticing, but with Larry Nance and Jarrett Allen returning soon, Love could be playing a bit role in supporting the young Cleveland Cavaliers. His value was always in elite points, rebounds, and threes. In a limited role, he will have a hard time living up to expectations. Feel free to see if Love can bring you fantasy gold, but don’t hesitate to drop him if he does not meet expectations after a few games.
Paul Millsap – DEN – PF/C
Paul Millsap has been a fantasy fixture in lineups since 2012. It is hard to ignore his game, both in fantasy and real life. Millsap in Denver has been a good fit, seemingly a perfect place to ride out his career. Once Jerami Grant left for Detroit, there was hope he could continue his front-court role even with Michael Porter Jr.’s rise looming. Millsap never got rolling this season, but that is not reflective of his ownership throughout leagues. With the addition of Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee, Millsap’s role will be limited moving forward. As the season progresses, treat Millsap as a streamer. Do not hesitate to move off him to round out your team with a hot or rising player in a better position.
For more help in making that final playoff push check out the latest Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire.
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