Note: Percentages are based on Yahoo ownership rate.
Evan Turner, G/F Portland Trail Blazers (54%)
Turner may have been paid $70M this offseason, but that pumped up salary is not going to lead to inflated fantasy value. ET has shot above 45% from the field exactly once in his career, holds an ugly 30.5% career mark from distance and barely contributes on the defensive end. Turner doesn’t get to the line enough to make his efficiency from the stripe matter nor is he going to have the ball in his hands as often as he did in his previous NBA (Boston) home.
Patrick Beverley, PG Houston Rockets (55%)
Beverley is going to miss a sizable chunk of the season from the jump, and there is nothing worse than wasting a roster spot on a player who cannot help your team. Stashing him on an IR spot is fine should you have that available, but it’s incredibly surprising to see Beverley on so many rosters to begin the year.
Al Jefferson, C Indiana Pacers (56%)
Big Al was once a valuable fantasy commodity, but those days have come and gone and it’s now the Myles Turner Show in Indiana. Unless something happens to Turner that forces him to miss substantial time, Jefferson has no place on my roster.
Luol Deng, F Los Angeles Lakers (67%)
Deng is penciled in to start from the Lakers on Day 1, but there is a reason his name isn’t authored in ink. Yes, the Lakers did pay Deng $72M this offseason in order to bring him into the fold, but Los Angeles has a lot of intriguing depth at both forward spots and plenty of incentive to let the young kids play. With far more value in reality than fantasy, he’s the definition of a “meh” addition to your roster that doesn’t change the ceiling of your squad. Even in the later rounds, that’s not the kind of player I’m targeting.
Buddy Hield, SG New Orleans Pelicans (68%)
To begin his rookie season, Hield is nothing more than a 3-point specialist who will battle both inefficiency and inconsistency. Remember, the way to win fantasy leagues is by focusing on the numbers and not falling in love with the names.
Larry Nance, F Los Angeles Lakers (22%)
Nance is an incredibly impressive athlete who can make noise defensively, he’s worked hard in order to establish a growing offensive arsenal and is an excellent fit for what Luke Walton wants to do in Los Angeles. It’s surprising that more fantasy GMs fail to roll the dice here.
Mirza Teletovic, F Milwaukee Bucks (41%)
The Bucks are going to need Teletovic’s ability to space the floor, and his upside as a bargain bin 3-point specialist should have him on at least half of teams to begin the season. Milwaukee will sorely miss what Khris Middleton (hamstring) brought to the table and Teletovic can help to fill an obvious void.
Seth Curry, G Dallas Mavericks (31%)
The winds are blowing in Curry’s direction and that isn’t just because his brother is making it rain from downtown. Playing in a backcourt that is ripe with injury potential and primed for extended opportunities, Curry opens the season as one of the best late-round fliers fantasy basketball has to offer. An injury in front of him could send Curry into an entirely new echelon of value, so stay with him even if it’s a slower than desired start.
Tyler Johnson, G Miami Heat (20%)
Miami’s new $50M man will begin the campaign with minutes at both guard positions, and it’s always worth paying extra attention when the Heat invest in a player’s continued development.
Dwight Powell, F/C Dallas Mavericks (6%)
The Dallas frontcourt rotation is as follows: Andrew Bogut—who needs heavy minute management and a possible bubble wrap treatment in order to stay on the court—Dirk Nowitzki, Powell and a lot of question marks thereafter. When Powell got real playing time last season, he was an incredibly effective and efficient player who filled up the stat sheet in a hurry. That’s exactly the kind of upside you should be targeting when thinking about how to construct the back end of your roster.