↑ Return to 16/17 Sleepers & Busts

2016-2017 Busts/Overvalued Players

Avoiding players who bust, especially early in the draft, can be just as important as finding that late-round sleeper who vastly outperforms their draft position. Luckily, most non-injury related busts are somewhat easy to spot. The same group of players are overrated year after year and this year is no different. How many times does Deron Williams have to disappoint us before we’ve finally had enough. I bring up Williams because he is a good example of the two types of players that I find are most often erroneously reached for in drafts. Those two types of players are big name stars who are past their prime and point guards. Former All-Stars that are past their prime are overrated by casual players, but even more experienced managers can fall into the trap of thinking a formerly great player has one more big year left in him. Point guards are also often overrated due to the scarcity of assists. Assists are hard to find on the wire, but that doesn’t make them more important than any other category. There’s going to be a run of point guards in every draft. If you’re not able to grab the point guard you want, at the price you want, try to avoid falling prey to the run and look for value at the position later.

Y! – Current Yahoo Ranking

EFB – Current Elite Fantasy Basketball Ranking

Jimmy Butler

Y! – 9 EFB – 23

Butler was one of free agency’s biggest losers as the additions of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo all but guarantee that Jimmy won’t repeat last season’s top-15 finish. Wade is one of the most ball-dominant players in the league and Rondo is useless without the ball in his hands. Teams will dare the Bulls to beat them from the perimeter, something that Jimmy is not particularly good at (1.0 3PG on 31.2 3P%). Expect an increase in threes, but a decrease in most of his other counting stats.

John Wall

Y! – 13 EFB – 21

Year after year, Wall is ranked either within or close to the first round. Year after year he fails to live up to his lofty draft position. In 9-category leagues, Wall has not finished within the top-20 once in his career. I don’t expect that to change now that the point guard is coming off of surgery on both of his knees. Even when he is healthy, Wall’s upside is limited by his efficiency. He offers first-round counting stats, but can’t keep up with the truly elite players due to his inability to score efficiently (42.4 FG%, 79.1 FT%) and take care of the ball (4.1 TOPG).

Carmelo Anthony

Y! – 24 EFB – 36

Melo has only been a top-35 player the past two seasons and now has more competition for touches. Derrick Rose will have a much higher usage rate than Jose Calderon did and Kristaps Porzingis’ role in the offense should continue to grow. The 32-year-old’s numbers have declined two seasons in a row and it’s fair to assume that Melo’s days of early-round value are finished. His FG% continues to slip (43.4 FG%) and he doesn’t provide much on the defensive end (0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG). Melo’s struggles with knee soreness aren’t going away and he’s a good bet to miss at least 10-15 games in 2015-2016.

Kevin Love

Y! – 31 EFB – 41

Love’s role limits his upside and makes him no more than a boring mid-round pick. The stretch four has been a top-40 option in each of his two seasons in Cleveland, but in the third-round, you want to be targeting players who you think can finish within the top-20. Love can’t do that as long as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving remain on the roster. He is a good fit for the punt FG% build (41.8 FG%) due to his rebounding (9.9 RPG), but even in that build, I would wait until the fourth round to target Love.

Otto Porter

Y! – 36 EFB – 64

The third-round is far too early for a player who was only a top-70 player over the last three months of 2015-2016. Porter did provide early-round value before Christmas, but doesn’t have the track record to justify a ranking this high. Until the Wizard can show that he can sustain a high-level of play for more than a couple months at a time, he has no business being ranked beside much more consistent and proven options. Porter is an excellent fit for the punt points build (11.6 PPG), but even in that build, third-round value is unlikely.

Jeff Teague

Y! – 43 EFB – 84

This is a classic case of paying for a player’s ceiling, something you always want to try to avoid. Teague was an inconsistent player with the Hawks, often following months of looking like an early-round player, with months of barely looking like a top-100 option. He’ll be an especially risky pick now that he’ll be forced to share the ball with notorious usage-hog Monta Ellis and Paul George. Teague does have a lot of weapons on offense, but his inconsistency, and the likelihood that his usage will drop, makes him one of the least attractive point guards currently being drafted in the middle rounds.

Reggie Jackson

Y! – 46 EFB – 77

Jackson is a good example of why the punt assists build is such an effective strategy. In order to draft Jackson this season, you’ll likely have to use a top-50 pick on him. Using a top-50 pick on a player who has never produced better than top-90 numbers, because he averages a handful of assists (6.2 APG), is never a good idea. You don’t get extra points for winning assists and managers need to avoid falling into the trap of overpaying for dimes. Jackson is close to undraftable at his current fourth-round ADP, but if you do manage to grab the point guard at a more reasonable price, expect above-average scoring (18.8 PPG) on below-average efficiency (43.4 FG%), solid threes (1.5 3PG), and disappointing swipes (0.7 SPG).

Rajon Rondo

Y! – 47 EFB – 100

Rondo looked like his old self in his lone season in Sacramento, but his new teammates make another top-50 finish extremely unlikely. Dwyane Wade completely destroyed Goran Dragic’s value in Miami and I expect his presence to have a similar effect on Rondo. Add in Jimmy Butler and it’s very likely that we’ll see a noticeable drop in Rondo’s league-leading assists (11.6 APG). It’s also likely that we’ll see a drop in his FG% (45.4 FG%) as teams will pack the paint against the Bulls and dare the guards to beat them from the perimeter. As always, Rondo will be one of the league’s best sources of assists and steals (2.0 SPG) and contribute little elsewhere.3

Andrew Wiggins

Y! – 49 EFB – 91

Wiggins already plays major minutes (35.1 MPG) so he’s not going to benefit from the presence of Tom Thibodeau as much as his fellow starters will. The Canadian may see a minor bump in playing time, but owners currently drafting Wiggins within the top-50 will have to hope that the swingman’s game expanded significantly over the summer. Wiggins does not currently have a fantasy-friendly game. In his sophomore year, the only categories that he helped owners win were points (20.7 PPG) and blocks (0.6 BPG). He provided below-average production everywhere else. The lack of across-the-board production led to a disappointing top-115 finish. I expect Wiggins to improve in his third year in the league, but it’s tough for a player who won’t be seeing a significant increase in minutes to jump up fifty or sixty spots in the rankings. There’s plenty of players available in the same range as Wiggins that have both a higher ceiling and higher floor.

Steven Adams

Y! – 52 EFB – 95

Adams had a very nice playoff run, but a dozen or so strong games doesn’t erase the the hundreds of regular season contests in which the big man was only a low-end fantasy option. Adams’ game just isn’t very fantasy friendly. He doesn’t score (11.4 PP36), provides little outside of the traditional big categories (0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG), and is a punt FT%-only player (57.2 FT%). Adams role and minutes will increase this season, but it won’t be enough to offset the glaring holes in his line. Clint Capela is a much better option for punt FT% managers hunting for big man stats.

Jrue Holiday

Y! – 59 EFB – 113

Jrue is out for an indefinite amount of time and is only an option for those playing in a league with an IR spot. Holiday’s wife is expected to undergo brain surgery in about six weeks and the point guard will return once she has recovered. I’m not a brain surgeon so I can’t tell you how long that will be, but it doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing Jrue on the court anytime soon. The possibility of a mid-season or later start for a player as injury-prone as Holiday is worrisome. Jrue has a hard enough time staying healthy when he has a full training camp and preseason to get his body in shape. Mid-round numbers are very possible when Jrue does return, but you can’t spend a mid-round pick on a player who is likely going to miss a massive chunk of the year.

Brandon Knight

Y! – 69 EFB – 111

The emergence of Devin Booker has come at the expense of Knight. Over the last three months of the season, when Booker was unleashed by the Suns, Knight was only a top-140 option despite playing 35.9 MPG. That was also without Eric Bledsoe in the lineup. Now that Bledsoe is healthy, expect Knight’s minutes to be squeezed. Knight, Bledsoe, and Booker only played 43 minutes together last season, so it’s unlikely that all three will be on the court at the same time for extended stretches. Knight needs significant minutes to be productive. Outside of his 2014-2015 campaign, the combo guard has never produced better than top-140 per minute numbers. He’ll still be a pretty good source of points (19.6 PPG), threes (2.3 3PG), and assists (5.1 APG), but those useful popcorn numbers don’t offset the massive damage he does to both your FG% (41.5 FG%) and turnovers (3.4 TOPG).

Chris Bosh

Y! – 75 EFB – 125

Bosh recently failed a physical and it’s looking less and less likely that he will suit up for the Heat this season. Even if he does make it back on the court, I would be absolutely shocked if Bosh came anywhere close to justifying a seventh-round selection. The power forward, even in a best case scenario, will be in and out of the lineup all season long and is unlikely to see anywhere close to the 33.5 MPG that he averaged in 2015-2016. Making matters worse, the Heat look like a lottery team, and they won’t have much incentive to play Bosh late in March. Bosh is a flier, and fliers shouldn’t go in the seventh-round.

Dwyane Wade

Y! – 77 EFB – 120

Stay far away from Wade at his current seventh-round price. The Heat legend barely cracked the top-100 last season despite sporting a top-5 usage rate. Now that he is playing beside Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler, his scoring (19.0 PPG), and other counting stats, are a lock to decrease. Wade is no longer a difference-maker on the defensive end (1.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG), is no longer a great source of out-of-position FG% impact (45.6 FG%), and it does not appear that a Jason Kidd-like, late-career shooting renaissance is on its way (0.2 3PG).

Tyreke Evans

Y! – 81 EFB – 117

Tyreke won’t be ready for the start of the season and his return date is up in the air. He’ll have a nice role when he comes back, but managers need to receive a larger discount that Yahoo is currently offering before taking the plunge. This wasn’t a normal knee injury. Evans went under the knife in February, developed a blood clot in his calf afterwards, and still isn’t close to being ready. That is especially troublesome given how much Tyreke’s game is dependent on athleticism. I’m not against stashing Evans if your league has an IR spot, but there’s too many players available in the same range as Tyreke that have just as much upside.

Deron Williams

Y! – 83 EFB – 115

Williams’ career is winding down and he’s no more than a role player both in the real game and in fantasy. Deron has only been a top-105 player the past two seasons and faded as the 2015-2016 season went on. He is an another example of why it is important to not fall in love with assists. Williams only provides positive value in three categories (1.5 3PG, 5.8 APG, 86.9 FT%) and will hurt you everywhere else. There are players available in the same range as Deron that provide much more useful and well-rounded lines. Williams also can’t stay healthy and hasn’t played at least 70 games in a season since 2013.

Bradley Beal

Y! – 84 EFB – 106

Beal has missed an averaged of 20 games per year since entering the league in 2012 and doesn’t produce enough on a per game basis to justify his current seventh-round price. The shooting guard has yet to post a top-80 season in his career and provides owners with a very limited line. In 2015-2016, the only categories in which Beal produced above-average numbers were points (17.4 PPG) and threes (1.9 3PG). The Wizard will drag down your boards (3.5 RPG) and hurt your chances of winning both percentages (44.9 FG%, 76.7 FT%).

Bismack Biyombo

Y! – 86 EFB – 137

Biyombo is going to come off the bench for the Magic and wouldn’t be worth much even if he did find his way into the starting lineup. Biyombo is a rebounding (13.0 RP36) and blocks (2.6 BPG) specialist who provides owners with almost nothing else. Bismack FG% looks useful on the surface (54.2 FG%), but doesn’t come with enough volume to have more than a minor impact on the category (5.7 FGAP36). Biyombo also comes with a sizable FT% hit (62.8 FT%) and is best treated as a late-round option for those punting FT%. For owners not punting FT%, Bismack is no more than a streaming option.

Devin Booker

Y! – 95 EFB – 136

Booker had an extremely impressive rookie year that didn’t translate to much fantasy value. He simply does not contribute in enough categories right now to be more than a low-end option. Over the last three months of his rookie season, Booker played 35.3 MPG and averaged 18.5 PPG, 1.7 3PG, and 3.8 APG. Despite the huge minutes and gaudy counting stats, the rookie was only a top-175 option over that span. His value was brought down by weak rebounding (3.0 RPG), non-existent defensive impact (0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG), a high turnover rate (3.0 TOPG), and most of all, awful shooting from the field (40.3 FG%). Booker’s game obviously has plenty of room to grow, but the incoming drop in minutes due to the return of Eric Bledsoe, as well as the presence of Brandon Knight, will likely offset any improvements that Booker makes to his game.

Michael Carter-Williams

Y! – 96 EFB – N/A

Now that Bucks are apparently committed to Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard, they don’t have much reason to play Carter-Williams heavy minutes. With Khris Middleton out for the year, the Bucks are woefully short on shooting and the answer is most definitely not MCW (0.3 3PG). Unless the point guard is traded, it’s unlikely that he’ll provide more than top-150 numbers. Last season, despite shooting significantly better than he ever has in his career (45.2 FG%), Carter-Williams was only a top-120 option. He posted those top-120 numbers in 30.5 MPG, a number he likely won’t match in 2015-2016.

Jahlil Okafor

Y! – 97 EFB – 121

Okafor is a player who needs a significant amount of touches to be a useful fantasy asset. He was the focal point of the Sixers’ offense last season, but with Ben Simmons now in town, Okafor will be no longer be the star of the show. Don’t expect the big man to match his impressive rookie year scoring rate (17.5 PPG) or rebounding rate (7.0 RPG). The return of Joel Embiid also complicates things. Embiid won’t play heavy minutes, but will see enough run to be a drag on Okafor’s playing time (30.0 MPG). If the sophomore isn’t moved by the time the season starts, stay away until the final rounds.

Derrick Rose

Y! – 104 EFB – 146

Nothing that has happened over the past two seasons suggests that a bounce back season is coming from Rose. He’s missed 47 games over the last two years and wasn’t even a top-200 option on a per game basis in 2015-2016. Rose is unlikely to provide anything outside of above-average scoring (16.4 PPG) and decent assists (4.7 APG) in his first, and possibly last year, in New York. Rose is weak in the other traditional point guard categories (0.7 3PG, 0.7 SPG, 79.3 FT%) and will tank your FG% (42.7 FG%). He’s a final-round flier at best.

Tony Parker

Y! – 105 EFB – N/A

Parker’s role continues to shrink and the point guard now only provides positive value in assists (5.3 APG) and from the floor (49.3 FG%). He is in a platoon with Patty Mills and may not even see the 27.5 MPG that he averaged in 2015-2016. Parker has no upside and has no business being drafted in any league that has less than 16 teams. Parker wasn’t even a top-250 player over the last three months of 2015-2016.

Al Jefferson

Y! – 108 EFB – N/A

Jefferson is going to the Pacers to backup stud sophomore Myles Turner and won’t see much more than 20 MPG. The big man is still a solid per minute player, but won’t see enough run to be relevant. His defensive struggles and the Pacers’ desire to pick up the pace make it unlikely that he’ll be able to contribute more than a handful of boards (6.4 RPG) and a block (0.9 BPG) each night. Don’t draft Jefferson unless you play in a 16-man league.

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