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  • Dicky Fung

Players You Need to Avoid Drafting

Throughout the summer heading into the season, fantasy owners want to know all about the breakout prospects with minimal risk. However, we also get carried away with the hype sometimes and draft a player who doesn't live up to those hefty expectations. For example, I drafted Rudy Gobert as my 2nd round pick in one of my leagues last season and it still haunts me to this day. That 2nd round-pick could’ve been a stud in Paul Millsap or a monster in Hassan Whiteside. It was a rookie mistake to draft Gobert so high. He hadn't proven himself in the past to warrant such a valuable pick ,so don’t be a sucker into making foolish picks! It was a risky gamble at the end of the day, especially when you factor in Gobert’s offensive arsenal and the amount of touches he gets in the paint is VERY minimal. So how exactly do we determine players to avoid? I factor in [Opportunity + Role on Team + Age + Playing Time + Injury History/Risk + Average Draft Positions]. These players are either not in the right situation, or just on the decline in their careers due to injuries and age. These are the very reasons why you avoid them unless you get them at the right price.

We explore some of the players I believe will be risky this season.

Anthony Davis PF/C NOR – Make no mistake, Anthony Davis is a monster and a true stat-stuffer. Of course that is only true when he stays on the court. He has never played more than 68 games in a season. A lot of his injuries are either knee or shoulder related. I also factor in that he is the face of the franchise of the New Orleans Pelicans and they have no reason to play him when he is less than 100%. So do you want to invest your first round pick on a gamble? After all, sometimes winning a league involves taking risks. I will risk taking AD if he falls in the draft (picks 13 – 15 range) simply because he’s THAT good. But I will not use my first round pick on him. Keep in mind 24.3 PPG 10.3 RPG with 2 blocks and great percentages don’t grow on trees. Risk Factor 4 out of 5

Eric Bledsoe PG/SG PHX – The talented combo guard from Phoenix had a disappointing year after playing 81 games back in 2014-2015. He lasted only 31 games before being ruled out for the rest of the season due to a torn meniscus. He did however hold 2nd round-value (rank 24) in 9 cat leagues according to “Mini LeBron” has reportedly corrected his late night habits and lost more weight to minimize further injuries. He has great upside and can provide very nice stocks from a guard position. Keep in mind in his 6 seasons with the NBA, he played an average of about 59 games. Knee injuries in the NBA are no joke, and it’s enough for me to warrant a DND (Do Not Draft) label. Risk Factor 3 out of 5

Marc Gasol C MEM – There’s no denying that Marc Gasol is a skilled and talented Center in the NBA. However, he is coming off a broken right foot and is now 31 years of age. Seven-footers tend to be slow healers, and that he wasn’t even eligible for the Rio Olympics this summer is a huge red flag to me. To make it even worse, his once solid FG% dipped to 46% last season. Not good if you need a good foundation from your big guys in fantasy. Risk Factor 5 out of 5

Tyreke Evans SF/SG NOR – Tyreke Evans was once a very skilled player, but I believe that his best days are behind him. The injury-prone guard has been dealing with knee issues the past couple of seasons and attempted to play through it. He only lasted 25 games last season and never displayed the promise he did when he won Rookie of the Year during the 2009-2010 season. His best statistical season? The year he won ROY. That alone, should tell you enough. Risk Factor 4 out of 5

Dwight Howard C ATL – Coming back to his hometown of Atlanta will give Dwight Howard fans (if there are any) some hope of a resurgence. He is still a dominant force on the defensive end and can easily average a double-double every night. However, that doesn’t always translate to being good in fantasy. His awful free-throwing shooting with his uncanny career average of 3 turnovers are liabilities to stomach in standard leagues. Howard hasn’t averaged over 2 blocks the past 3 seasons and It is hard to draft a player who can self-destruct if things aren’t going his way. Risk Factor 3 out of 5

Chris Bosh PF/C MIA – Blood clots are not good for a professional basketball player. Worse considering the Miami Heat are one of the most tight-lipped organizations regarding their player’s news. We still have many unknowns and questions regarding to Bosh’s health and availability for opening night. Fantasy stud when healthy, but it’s best to stay away. Feel better, CB. Risk Factor 5 out of 5

Deron Williams PG DAL – Deron Williams played a respectable 65 games last season before shutting it down due to a sports hernia. He was once considered a top, perhaps the best PG in the league. Unfortunately, it is 2016 and his best days are behind him. Let someone else deal with the headache and you can easily pluck another point guard with more upside in the middle-later rounds. Risk Factor 4 out of 5

Bradley Beal SG WAS – Beal has $128 million reasons to smile after landing a gigantic contract back in July. Beal is a fantastic young player who has the upside to be one of the best shooting guards in the league. It just has not happened yet due to some fluky injuries. Stress reaction injuries are rare and can become a lingering component during a player’s career. I don’t think Beal will ever eclipse into the top 25 conversation in fantasy, so his ADP (Average-Draft-Position) does not seem to have much appeal. I like my chances elsewhere in the middle rounds with less risk. Risk Factor 3 out of 5

Derrick Rose PG NYK – DRose is excited to be a Knick and we are all anxious to see what he can offer after being shipped out by the Bulls. I just rather watch it on TV than to hope every night he does not get injured. Knee injuries are one of the worst injuries in basketball and he has some pretty unlucky circumstances with his knees and ankles. Rose’s inability to dish assists and hit three-pointers also limits the upside of your fantasy team. Stay away fantasy owners. Risk Factor 5 out of 5

Dirk Nowitzki PF/C DAL – The future hall of famer has been a stud for many years both in actual play and in fantasy. Dirk surprises us every year with his “wine gets better with age” play at the age of 38. (!!!!) He finished last season with a rank of 31, pulling in 3rd round-value. It is impressive to say the very least, but this may be the last season where Dirk averages more than 30 minutes per game. I expect somewhere in the 25 – 27 min. range for Dirk and Mavs will want to play this with caution. They will not be very competitive this year and last thing they want is for Dirk to get hurt and suffer a Kobe Bryant ending to his historic career. I’m not saying don’t gamble on the German, but my advice is to avoid unless he falls to you at a bargain. Risk Factor 2 out of 5

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