It’s feeling fresh outside, winter is fast coming, and so is the basketball season. Just 80 hours away from tip off, at time of writing, and boy has it become an exciting time in my sporting life (well viewing anyways) with my Astros up 2-0 in the ALCS and the imminent start of the hoops season. Oh, did I mention that I have a nice 16-day autumn break holiday starting too?
I am sure you guys, Razzball Nation, are just as anxious for the start of the season and, in preperations for your final drafts, I thought I would share my list of players I won’t be buying any shares of due to their ADP. So let’s get jiggy with it and get the ball rolling with my Do-Not-Draft list.
Marcin Gortat, Washngton Wizards (Fantasy Pros ranking: 78, High – 46, Low 121)
Once upon a time, in a land far far away (well Poland anyways) came a man, a myth, a legend (well in my own lunch break anyways) with a mohawk and a great nickname to boot. After learning his craft while backing up the once impressive Dwight Howard, the Polish Hammer showed us his fantasy potential in Phoenix and then Washington, where he could be relied upon for double-digit points, 1.5 blocks per game, and a FG% north of 55%. So what has changed? Well, in Gortat’s defense he is still somewhat the same player, but basketball waits for no man and the game has changed and diminished the usefulness of the traditional big man. Washington, along with many other teams, has moved with the times by not relying on the pick and roll with John Wall/Gortat. Now, they are more reliant on the three-point shooting from Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Junior, diminishing Gortat’s fantasy value. But, he still blocks shots, right?….Wrong. Last season he could only muster a career-low 0.7 per game, a number which dropped to 0.4 post all star break.
Bottom line is that Gortat is now a dated commodity in fantasy hoops and his post all star numbers of 8.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, and o.4 blocks look to be the norm. Sure, the easy looks will be there for efficient shooting, but there won’t be enough volume for it to make a difference.
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks, (Fantasy Pros ranking: 113, High – 78, low – 299)
I get it, draft Jabari Parker as a late round flier and stash for later in the season. Others in some drafts I have participated in don’t get it. Investing a 7th round pick on a player that is likely to see the court in February at the absolute earliest is ludicrous. IR spots are valuable and I do not want to be filling mine from the get go on a player who I know is out for a long time, is coming back from two ACL tears, and is in a situation where the Bucks are likely going to be very conservative. On talent alone, Jabari is a player who oozes with immense potential and has a fantasy-friendly game. I for one will not be reaching to see if he can stay healthy. ACL tears are no joke and have been career breaker in the past.
Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacer, (Fantasy Pros ranking: 44, High – 35, Low – 62)
This is likely to be a controversial choice, as many fantasy players and experts are all in on Dipo following his move from Russell Westbrook to that of the rebuilding Pacers. The former Magic and Thunder guard is not listed here because I think he will be a bust this season. I just don’t feel that he will come close to returning the value from a 4th round selection. Although I agree that Dipo has found himself in a better situation, I still have big question marks about whether Oladipo really has the offensive tools to thrive in his new higher usage situation. It is possible that he gains a few extra points per game and likely adds to his mediocre assist totals from last year (2.9 per game), but his 75% FT shooting last year and FG% could regress without a true superstar on the team. When you look at the players around his ADP (Kris Middleton, Otto Porter Jr., Demar DeRozan, and Jrue Holliday) do you really want to be that guy relying on a breakout to return draft day value?
To finish off this week, I thought I would leave some guys I find myself being aggressive on. Feel free to post below if you want to know why, or if there are any guys you find yourself avoiding in drafts this year.
- Lamarcus Aldridge FPR – 52 (bounceback potential looks real)
- Myles Turner FPR – 18 (Legit shot at first round value come seasons end in the post-Paul George era)
- Aaron Gordon FPR – 67 (Vogel showing trust as a ball handler. Check out his post all star numbers last year)
- Ben Simmons FPR – 66 (Light years ahead of Markelle Fultz in development and the primary ball handler in Philly)
- De’Angelo Russell FPR – 55 (Gonna chuck up a ton on of brcks, but will rack up a ton of stats, too)
- Avery Bradley FPR – 57 (Vastly improved offensive game since debuting. Now has an opportunity to shine)
- Dennis Smith Jr FPR – 77 (Legit rookie of the year favourite)
- Donovan Mitchell FPR – 221 (Expect a slow start, legit second half breakout candidate)
- Lauri Markkenan FPR – 185 (Started alongside Mirotic last night and thrived. Great opportunity in Chicago)
- John Collins FPR – 195 (Gonna be hard to keep the super athletic kid off the floor, especially with mediocre frontcourt options in Atlanta)
That is a wrap from me. Enjoy the start of the season and join me next week for the next addition of Dynasty Deep Dive.