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NBA Roundtable

Most Overrated Fantasy Players

by Jonas Nader

Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! For this week’s topic, I asked the Rotoworld hoops crew to name the most overrated players in fantasy basketball. For context, we are mostly using 9-category leagues for our evaluations. I’ll start things off for us…

 

Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)

 

Brandon Ingram- He’s the first player that comes to mind for this topic, as he had a mid-round ADP in fantasy leagues. So how bad has he been? He’s ranked 276th in standard 9-category leagues, and that’s on a per-game basis. His 3-point shot hasn’t improved much in three years (0.6 triples on 30%) and his FT% is down to 63.9% from 68% last season. The defensive stats simply aren’t there (0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks) and the rest of his counting stats are down due to the arrival of LeBron James. He might go on a nice little run while LBJ is hurt, but it should be a bumpy ride once again when the Lakers are healthy. 

Ben Simmons- Currently ranked 49th in per-game value, Simmons’ stats haven’t changed much from his rookie season outside of a bump in FG% and FT%. However, he’s still shooting less than 60% from the line, he has zero 3-point attempts and is averaging 3.4 turnovers per game. He’s dragging you down in three different categories, so he will need to make a big statistical jump in at least one to crack the top-25. 

 

Trae Young- Incredibly, there are 16 rookies ranked ahead of Young in per-game value. In fact, he’s barely sitting inside the top-250. That’s hard to believe because of his gaudy assist and point totals, but those alone can’t hide his many weaknesses — he’s averaging just 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks and 3.9 turnovers on 38.1% shooting. Oh, and he’s also shooting a league-worst 25.4% from beyond the arc. Good luck building around that. 

 

 

Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)

 

I'll go with Donovan Mitchell. While one of the league's more exciting young players, Mitchell's ADP was around 25 heading into the season. However, his poor percentages and high turnover rate has resulted in him landing just inside the top-100 overall in nine-category fantasy leagues in 2018-19.

 

Some other honorable mentions: Lonzo BallDennis Smith Jr. and Brandon Ingram. Over-hyped and over-drafted by many, Ball has too many holes in his game to return value in nine-cat leagues... DSJ and Ingram are flashy scorers but bring very little else to the table, which drags down their overall value.  

 

 

David Leggieri (@legsanity)

 

I struggled to find an answer, but I settled on Aaron Gordon. His Yahoo! ADP was 42.1 after his breakout 2017/18 campaign, but he has regressed this season. Between his teammate Nikola Vucevic becoming the team's go-to option and the integration of their other young players, Gordon has dropped from 65th last year to 80th in Basketball Monster's 9-cat rankings this season. He's still a useful fantasy asset, but not as much as his owners hoped after drafting him in the early rounds this offseason.

 

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Raphielle Johnson (@Raphiellej)

 

My pick here is Andrew Wiggins. When Jimmy Butler was finally dealt to Philadelphia, it appeared as if the stage was set for Minnesota’s young stars to influence the team far more than they had pre-trade. But only one of those two, Karl-Anthony Towns, has actually stepped up. Wiggins still struggles to make much of an impact outside of scoring, and even in that statistical category he hasn’t produced what you’d expect of a player in his position. Since the trade he’s averaging 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 3-pointers per game with shooting splits of 39.6/34.0/73.5. 

 

 

Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)

 

I'm surprised only Tommy has mentioned Dennis Smith Jr. I won't hold the DNPs due to a wrist injury against him, but even prior to that DSJ was brutally inefficient with 43.5% FGs and 66.7% FTs, and a horrid ratio of assists (4.0) to turnovers (3.2). Fantasy owners expecting him a step forward in his sophomore season, perhaps improving his percentages with easier looks alongside Luka Doncic, have been badly disappointed. 

 

Gordon Hayward's return from injury has been pleasantly smooth, in many ways. The 28-year-old has missed only four games all season and is averaging steady 26.7 minutes per game -- that's certainly more than I expected. The bad news is that his role is predictably smaller on a deep team with a coach unafraid to lean on his second unit, which is where Hayward currently finds himself. His reduced shots per game (9.0, down from 15.8 in his final season with Utah) are compounded by career-low 40.0% shooting, which makes him a marginal fantasy asset.

 

As for a guy who was glaringly over-rated on fantasy draft day, I can't think of anyone better than Markelle Fultz. He was typically a 100-120 guy despite the wide array of reasons to avoid him. Questionable fit alongside Ben Simmons, which quickly proved impossible to overcome. Brutal shooting mechanics despite his offseason work with shot doctor Drew Hanlen, which proved impossible to overcome. Concerns about whether his obvious discomfort shooting the ball were physical or mental, or both...etc. It's been a spectacular flame-out for Fultz in Season 2.

 

I'll second the Wiggins mention and add Taurean Prince, D'Angelo Russell and Harrison Barnes.