Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! The All-Star break officially begins on Friday morning, so I wanted to do a lighter topic this week and poke some fun at some of the most annoying and frustrating players to own in fantasy basketball this season. I’ll start things off…
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
Aaron Gordon- He was the ultimate tease at the beginning of the season, shooting lights out from deep and hovering around a steal and block per game while consistently scoring in the high teens and lower 20s. Since the new year, he has a total of two blocks and has turned into Josh Smith from long range, hitting 20.5% from deep on 6.6 attempts. He went from carrying my fantasy team to dragging it down, and I haven't even mentioned his durability yet. I think I'll be taking a break from him next season.
Marquese Chriss- He's probably on everyone's list and for good reason. He's immature, picks up more cheap fouls than anyone I know and sometimes I'm not even sure if he wants to be out there. He's an incredibly gifted athlete and we know the upside is there, but I'm tired of waiting around for him. The funny (and sad) thing about this is that he'll rope me back in the next time he has two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers. I need help.
Isaiah Thomas- I waited several months for this? Not only was he run out of Cleveland for historically bad defense, but he proceeded to Titanic my team's FG% in the process, shooting 36.1% from the field and 25/3% from deep. He did show signs of life in his Lakers debut, only to pick a fight with Rajon Rondo in his second game. It's cool though I'm sure he'll get along great with Lonzo, LaVar and BBB nation.
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Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
Many of us fell for coach Stan Van Gundy’s summer optimism. After Boban flashed enormous upside to close out the 2016-17 season, SVG hyped up Marjanovic in August and September, promising to unleash the Boban on helpless NBA frontcourts throughout the land. If Marjanovic were allowed to log just 16-18 minutes a night, he’d surely provide fantasy owners with plenty of production. This was the year. Instead, Boban played only 12 minutes over the first six weeks of the season. However, Marjanovic was dealt from Detroit to Los Angeles before the deadline, sparking hope once again. If the Clippers traded DeAndre Jordan, Boban would have a path to major playing time! Alas, Jordan wasn’t moved, and Boban is still stuck on the bench. #FreeBoban
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 4,080 times, shame on me.
Noel seemed like a good bet for a solid season in Dallas. The rebuilding Mavs didn’t have much depth up front, and Noel would be supremely motivated after opting to sign a one-year tender, allowing him to hit free agency unrestricted in July 2018. After Nerlens posted a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double on opening night, it seemed he was ready to fulfill his potential. However, he hasn’t scored more than eight points or grabbed more than eight rebounds in any game since then. He quickly worked his way into Rick Carlisle’s doghouse, and then the injuries started piling up. He’s been a complete waste of a pick.
Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)
PG Ricky Rubio - He was awful to start the season and he was en fuego just a week ago. Well, now he's hurt. Hopefully, he won't be terrible again upon his return, but we have to say he's been a tough player to own with undeniable upside.
SG Rodney Hood - Another guy who can tear it up, but he can also be hurt all the time. He's also prone to some serious slumps and that's tough to deal with because he's so scoring dependent.
SF Robert Covington - Lord Covington has been a mess lately. He's gone through numerous slumps in the past three seasons and he's in one right now. Hopefully, Marco Belinelli doesn't cut into his minutes, but I can definitely see it happening.
PF Marquese Chriss - He could be on the Mt. Rushmore of most annoying fantasy players I've ever seen. He's the captain and mentioning him makes my blood boil. Admittedly, one of my worst misses as a fantasy analyst.
C Myles Turner - It's never fun when your second-round pick is hurt and he has trouble earning closing minutes. Still, his upside is sky high and that's what makes it even more annoying. For what it's worth, he should have a big finish.
Sixth Man Taurean Prince - All season we've been waiting for a usage bump because the Hawks were going to sell off guys. Well, that didn't really happen and it's been Tyler Dorsey stepping up. He's probably someone you should cut. The same for Avery Bradley.
Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)
Marquese Chriss - Enough has been said about him that I needn't pile on, and yet...I wrote a column about consistency on Jan. 25 and Chriss ranked 160th out of 165 players, with 46.8% of his value swinging up or down on a given night. His owners never want to hear or read the word 'upside' ever again.
Taurean Prince - Speaking of consistency, or lack thereof, Prince has been all over the place. In that same column on Jan. 25, he had a bad-but-not-terrible consistency of 59.9%. Just three weeks later, and he's already fallen to 53.7%. A player we thought would get better as the season progressed has instead gotten worse, including past-month averages of 11.3 points on 37.0% shooting, 2.4 rebounds, and more turnovers (1.9) than assists (1.7).
Brook Lopez - I anticipated Lopez fading after the break with L.A. likely out of the playoff picture, but didn't realize he'd be this limited all season long. The 29-year-old has averaged just 21.3 minutes per game and never quite found a rhythm, shooting 43.6% from the field and 70.5% from the line. Those are easily career lows, and his scoring has also bottomed out at a career-low 11.9 points per game.
A few more quick hits...D'Angelo Russell's injury knocked his owners for a loop and (unlike, say, Zach LaVine) it's been a struggle since he returned...Jusuf Nurkic is a guy I regret drafting in multiple leagues...Avery Bradley has been a thorn in the side of anyone who drafted him or picked him off the waiver wire, and things aren't looking much better in L.A....Jae Crowder looks like a nice fit in Utah, but he flamed out badly as a Cavalier...I expected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to sneak into top-100 value in roto leagues, but he's coming nowhere close and has really stagnated in recent weeks (single-digit points in seven straight games, zero blocks since Jan. 20)...too many options to list them all!
Steve Alexander (@Docktora)
Holding D’Angelo Russell for all that time is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in fantasy.
Brandon Ingram - is he hurting me or helping me? Like, I can’t even tell.
Aaron Gordon - Same question!
Taurean Prince & John Collins - As if its not punishment enough just to be a Hawks fan, watching Prince’s Jekyll & Hyde act and the stuff the coaching staff has done on Collins’ minutes is pretty infuriating- especially if you own them in fantasy.
Kawhi Leonard. I love this man. And I kinda hate him. Nah, it’s still all love with me and Kawhi and I’m just super thankful that I didn’t draft him in more then one league. There are lost seasons and then there’s this season with Kawhi.
Nicolas Batum. C’mon man. Let’s go!
Ricky Rubio. Obviously I’m loving the NBA’s version of Puxatawny Phil right now, but why do you make us suffer through 2.5 months of garbage to see your shadow in January?
Boban. Gallagher made me include him. Nah, just kidding. But...
Myles Freakin’ Turner. He might be approaching “never again” status, but somehow I’m still trying to keep the faith.
Lonzo Ball. It’s like owning a member of a circus with bad knees. And he’s another “is he helping me or hurting me?” guy.
Kevin Love. Stay healthy much, bruh?
Robert Covington. Why can’t you perform somewhat consistently so I don’t have to question myself for owning you every single week.
Pick a King. Any King. Seriously. Any of them.
Delon Wright. Watch him play. The ultimate tease.