Fantasy Doctor, NBA / Oct 25, 2010 / 9:30 am

Top 10 NBA Fantasy Basketball Players I Just Don’t Like In 2010-11

Danny Granger

Danny Granger (Photo. Stephen Hill)

I like to think of myself as an easy-going, friendly individual, but that doesn’t mean I like everyone – especially when it comes to fantasy basketball. Below is the result of my unrestrained indulgence in this resentful side of me: a quick list of some fantasy players that are overhyped, inconvenient and just plain unappealing.

Danny Granger: Anytime you spend a first-round pick on a player whose name you need to constantly watch for on daily injury reports, it’s a bad sign. Granger is always on the verge of missing games because of some kind of health issue, and for a player that is otherwise worth a top-six pick, that’s a big downer. Add to this his increasing affection for shooting the three-ball, which weighs down his field-goal percentage, and there’s just too much to not like about taking this guy with your first pick. I pity the owner who is forced to do it.

Derrick Rose: I dislike fantasy players whose real-life values blind fantasy owners to their statistical weaknesses. For Rose, this boils down to two things: threes and steals. Last season he averaged 0.9 threes and steals – combined. He’s still an appealing player, thanks to his solid field-goal percentage and mix of points, rebounds and assists, but that’s pedestrian stuff. There’s word that he’s working hard on his defense and three-point shooting, but it’s hard to put much stock in that until we actually see it. (Remember how Dwight Howard was supposedly set to make progress on his free-throw shooting and offensive arsenal 19 seasons ago?) His name alone convinces some owners that he’s a Top 25 fantasy player – the numbers show that he’s nothing more than a Top 75 player. For now.

Rudy Gay: When you think of him, what comes to mind? Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Take your time. Nothing? Exactly. While Gay’s a solid across-the-board contributor, he doesn’t do a single thing particularly well. This isn’t usually a problem to complain about, but for a guy who will go in the fourth round of many drafts, it’s not cool. This isn’t even to mention his stagnancy for the past three seasons, which suggests that he’s already hit his head on his fantasy ceiling.

Dirk Nowitzki: It’s strange to say that picking Dirk at No. 4 overall is a tough decision, given his justifiable value there, but it is – because he’s boring. His efficiency and all-around strengths are immediately visible when you look at his averages, but his consistency and lack of anything truly eye-popping (something you naturally want from your first pick) makes him a souped-up version of what Gay is. I pray to the fantasy deities that I won’t get the fourth pick in any of my fantasy leagues this season.

Dwight Howard: He’s probably the most divisive fantasy player alive today. Some value him as an obvious first-round pick, while others see him as a late second-round pick at best. We know that he rebounds and blocks like a monster, and hits a ridiculous majority of his shots (i.e., dunks) from the floor. What we also know is that he single-handedly tanks his fantasy team’s free-throw percentage and turns the ball over like he gets paid a sweet commission for it. Seeing how rebounds are the second most common statistic after points, it makes Howard’s fantasy appeal even smaller. Oh, and this isn’t even to mention his increasing issues with foul trouble and the consequential decline in his minutes and rebounds per game. If he falls to me in the latter half of the second round, I’d consider him – anything earlier than that and I’ll leave him to be someone else’s headache to build around.

Carmelo Anthony: If you’re among the fantasy owners who are outraged every time you don’t see ‘Melo ranked as a Top 12 fantasy player in nine-category leagues, I wish I could add you to a list of “Fantasy Owners I Just Don’t Like.” Anthony looked like he was finally going to muscle his way into elite status at the start of last season, but then he sputtered out a bit and fell back into what he does: score and do a bit of some other stuff, but not nearly enough to make him worth a pick in the first round. Sure, he scores well, accumulates a decent number of steals and shoots the ball well, but he also struggles to hit a single three per game and almost matches his assists with turnovers. He’s the poster child for overrated fantasy players.

Tony Parker: Speaking of overrated, here comes Mr. Longoria, a point guard who doesn’t hit many threes or rack up many steals. While he’s capable of averaging close to 20 points per game, Parker struggles to maintain an average of 6+ assists per game. He had a solid 2008-09 campaign but it was more of a flash in the pan than an indicator of his true abilities. Add to this bitter mix the fact that George Hill has developed into a player worthy of cutting into Parker’s minutes and there’s plenty to dislike here. If you see an owner draft him anywhere north of the ninth round, send him my condolences.

Tyrus Thomas: Ah, Tyrus the Tease. He’s got freakish athletic ability and the potential to be a steals/blocks beast in the same vein as Josh Smith, but he never quite capitalizes on the supposed promise he has yet to truly tap. Whether it’s another injury or a coach preventing him from playing more than 25 minutes a game, Thomas is always too erratic and unreliable to be considered a sleeper, and has a past that’s too marred with disappointment to be considered a breakout candidate. If he falls to me in the last four rounds of the draft, I’ll take him – anything earlier than that seems like a fool’s hope.

Andrew Bynum: He’s a cross between The Shining and Groundhog Day for fantasy owners – a limping nightmare for your team’s hopes and dreams, on repeat. I can’t stand watching him play, let alone read post-game recaps for Lakers games, for fear of yet another report of a serious injury for Bynum. He can be had in the second half of fantasy drafts and he’ll end up starting for your team, which is fine and dandy until he falls to the court clutching his knee – again.

J.R. Smith: He can hit upwards of 14 threes in a good week, but he can also accumulate less than half that number in a bad week, not to mention a fickle field-goal percentage. You might as well flip a coin when deciding whether to start him this week or not. You’ll probably bench Smith after a bad week – just in time for that game when he knocks down 10 threes. Then you’ll insert him back into your lineup for the next week, only to see him hobble by with half that number of threes – for the full week. If I want a hit-or-miss weekly drama, I’d rather watch my “Lost” DVDs.

Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.

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  • JohnnyKILLroy

    I know you’re not feeling Rose or Dwight. I think Rose goes Supernova this year under Coach Thibs especially steals and rebounds wise,I mean look at how he used Rondo.What do you think of the rest of my squad and when they were taken


  • Hi, Jurg from Denmark

    hi hi to you mr fantasty dr jason and i am so proud to show you my yahoo 9 category roto side today. please talk about it.

    pg collinson
    sg kobe 24
    g eric gordon
    sf europe best shooter mr mr danilo gallinari
    pf millsap
    ff kevin love
    cc pau gasol for more europe
    cc robin
    uti kleiza
    uti augustine
    b derozan
    b w chandler
    b mcgee javale
    b belinelli from italia

    from big jurgo, the great dane. ha ha ha.

  • deez

    Tp in a contract year, i think he’s gonna be ballin his a$$ off

  • JohnnyKILLroy

    TP ?

  • JohnnyKILLroy

    Tony Parker nevermind brain fart

  • nizzio

    Vince Carter should be in that list

  • Ian

    Fantasy doc
    Damn I was forced to pick granger with my first pick 9th. Oh and I have parker also I don’t know I’m feelin the contract year thing.

  • control


    That’s what you get for your teamname!

  • daghost

    hey doc! i just had my draft yesterday and i don’t if i should panic! I drafted with the 6th pick in a 16 team league. Please tell me what you think of my lineup and about Evan Turner. I’m really shaky on him. Also i’m considering trading duncan for david lee.

    PG Andre Miller, Por PG

    SG Evan Turner, Phi SG [Recent News]

    SF Josh Smith, Atl PF, SF

    PF Tim Duncan, SA C, PF

    C Dwight Howard, Orl C [Recent News]

    G George Hill, SA PG, SG [Recent News]

    F LaMarcus Aldridge, Por PF

    UTIL J.J. Hickson, Cle PF

    UTIL Corey Maggette, Mil SF [Breaking News]

    UTIL Tayshaun Prince, Det SF

    Bench DeMar DeRozan, Tor SG [Recent News]

    Bench Kelenna Azubuike*, NY SF O

    Bench Thabo Sefolosha, OKC SG

  • MountMutumbo

    Hey Doc as I am one of the owners you pity who had to take Granger with the 10th pick of my 12 team roto draft, because the only others guys I liked left were D. Howard and C. Anthony who as you indicate above are even worse, can you help me out?

    My team is

    C B. Lopez, R. Hibbert, D. Cousins
    F C. Boozer, A. Bargani, A. Daye, D. Blair, L. Kleiza
    G D. Granger, J. Wall, D. Harris, J. Holiday, M. Conley

    Would you drop any of the above to pick up James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Spencer Hawes, Arron Afflalo, Ramon Sessions, Carlos Delfino or Shane Battier?



  • 76ers fan

    My team is nice
    Kevin Durant ( I got the 1st pick)
    Brook Lopez
    Manu Ginobli
    Monta Ellis
    Lamar Odom
    Devin Harris
    Chris Kaman
    Andrew Bogut
    Dejuan Blair
    Carl Landry
    Andre Miller
    Lou Williams
    Reggie Williams
    Mike Miller on IR

    @daghost I’m from Philly and I’ve been following the Sixers closely. I dont think Evan Turner is going to start. I think he’ll get 20-24 mins max. But he is multi-positional so he could get more.

  • tigerstyLe

    wattup Doc. im in a deeep league (9cat, roto), 16 team w/ 13 man roster, and in desperate need of help. i set my pre-rankings, but wasnt there for the draft. this led to a team with a lot of holes – points, assists, steals and blocks. you see any trade or deep sleeper possibilities?

    Brandon Roy
    Eric Gordon
    Rodney Stuckey
    Leandro Barbosa
    Paul Pierce
    Rashard Lewis
    Shane Battier
    Amir Johnson
    Ronnie Brewer
    Josh Childress
    Pau Gasol
    Troy Murphy
    Jermaine O’Neal

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @JohnnyKILLroy: Rose in the second is quite a reach. Deng went too early. Nice grabs on Hibbert, Hickson and Augustin. You’ll struggle with threes, but should at least be competitive elsewhere.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @Hi, Jurg from Denmark: Hello, Big Jurgo. “The Great Dane” sounds like a good fantasy team name.

    Nice roto team. You’ll have to be patient with Kobe, but once he gets rolling your team will be good to go. Belinelli is a great pickup.

    Overall, good job.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @nizzio: True, but I stopped caring about him a long time ago.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @Ian: If Granger plays 70+ games, ninth overall is good value.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @daghost: I can see why you might be down on your team, but it’s not all bad. Overall, Lee > Duncan, but he’ll weaken your blocks, of course. Even though you might be looking to punt FT%, it’s really hard to turn down Lee for Duncan, but he won’t fit your strategy as well. I’d look to swap out Azubuike.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @MountMutumbo: Good draft. Though your threes are really banking on Granger, your other categories are pretty healthy. Blair might eventually be droppable for any of those dudes, but I’d stand pat for now. Definitely keep an eye on them though.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @76ers fan: Yep, it is nice. I’m surprised Ginobili went before Ellis, and you probably jumped a bit soon for Odom (who you’ll want to sell high on) and Blair, but other than that, good job.

  • daghost

    So do you think i should hold on to evan turner or trade him? there was a good point made on here that he might not play much. And oh and by the way, our point system is different so based on ours, i had pretty good draft. Just not trusting of my bench and the fact i skipped out on richard hamilton for evan turner. Give me your input one last time please!

  • daghost

    @ fantasy doctor:
    So do you think i should hold on to evan turner or trade him? there was a good point made on here that he might not play much. And oh and by the way, our point system is different so based on ours, i had pretty good draft. Just not trusting of my bench and the fact i skipped out on richard hamilton for evan turner. Give me your input one last time please!

  • http://www.conradburry.com Conrad

    Dalembert & Bynum are coming back too soon for my liking…

    Give me an estimation of Cousins’ numbers with SamDam at his side.

    Also, I will be looking to shop Odom after this fantasy-friendly week for the LakeShow. Which forwards do I target that will seem the same value, but will have longer shelf life than Lamar?

    Thanks as always!

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @tigerstyLe: I’d look to deal away Pierce, Stuckey, Murphy and Brewer somehow — probably for another big, and someone who hits threes. But that’s easier said than done. The good news is that you don’t have anyone who really drags on your percentages, which saves you some headache. I’d also consider swapping out O’Neal. Don’t panic — chip away at what you don’t like one move at a time.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @daghost: I like Turner better than Rip, so no worries there. Hold onto him for now and see how things play out.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @Conrad: Cousins should be good for around 13/7.5 and 1/1.

    Target guys like Millsap, Blatche, Aldridge, AK or even Boozer, if you’re willing to wait. Of course, after a week’s worth of games, values might have shifted for these guys.

  • kicks

    Hello good Doctor, thanks for the near-daily updates – we appreciate it! I gots myself a 12-team H2H league, with the 8th pick. Shallow league, 11 rounds. What should I do, apart from doing something about depth issues if/when Iggy goes down?

    Amare Stoudemire
    Chris Bosh
    Andre Iguodala
    Ray Felton
    Danilo Gallinari
    Gilbert Arenas
    DeMarcus Cousins
    Andre Miller
    Nicolas Batum
    George Hill

  • AHAN1

    Hey Doc,
    Byron Scott announced that J.J. is going to be the starting PF for Cleveland so whats Antwan Jamison’s value and what kind of stat line do you predict for him this year? Also is it safe to say that DCousins wont have a better rookie season the Charles Barkley’s (14 pts 8.6 reb 1.9 assist 1.2 steals and 1 block)?

  • JCarr

    Hey doc,
    Just got back from work and got a couple trades I want your insight in. First H2H 9 cat league. My Kobe Bryant and Tyson Chandler for Monta ellis and Devin Harris. He has Darren Collison so I am thinking to most like counter trade and instead of Harris ask for collison. This is how my team stands and why i am willing to trade Kobe.
    PG Baron Davis (LAC – PG)
    SG Kobe Bryant (LAL – SG)
    G Joe Johnson (Atl – SG,SF)
    SF Stephen Jackson (Cha – SG,SF)
    PF Al Jefferson (Uta – PF,C)
    F Jeff Green (OKC – SF,PF)
    C JaVale McGee (Was – PF,C)
    C Ronny Turiaf (NY – PF,C)
    Util Gilbert Arenas (Was – PG,SG)
    Util Vince Carter (Orl – SG,SF)
    BN Michael Beasley (Min – PF)
    BN Jarrett Jack (Tor – PG,SG)
    BN Tyson Chandler (Dal – C)

    Or if you think thats flat out crazy should i make the league aware that i am willing to trade kobe for a PG. Could it get better than the proposed trade?

    2nd trade different fantasy team. H2H 9 cat league.
    My David Lee and Evan Turner for Russell Westbrook, Gilbert Arenas and Carl Landry. This is how my team stands now.
    PG Raymond Felton (NY – PG,SG)
    SG Eric Gordon (LAC – SG) INJ
    G Baron Davis (LAC – PG)
    SF Danilo Gallinari (NY – SF) INJ
    PF David Lee (GS – PF,C)
    F Pau Gasol (LAL – PF,C)
    C Andrea Bargnani (Tor – PF,C)
    C Tiago Splitter (SA – SF,PF,C)
    Util Luol Deng (Chi – SF)
    Util Rodney Stuckey (Det – PG,SG)
    BN Evan Turner (Phi – SG,SF)
    BN D.J. Augustin (Cha – PG)
    BN Linas Kleiza (Tor – SG,SF)

    I Feel like i need scorers and unless you think lee is going to be having several 20/20 games and benefit from the warriors system more than New York I am not willing to trade him… i rather get rid of Pau Gasol. FYI I already tried getting rid of Andrea in the same deal but he rejected.

    Thanks alot Doc, I know its alot. If you think i shouldnt trade at all please let me know.

  • Bizz

    It always depends on where you’re drafting or what type of league you’re in…b/c as “boring” as you think Dirk’s game is from a fantasy perspective, he’s a lock for a top 5 overall pick. He shoots nearly 50%, he’s top notch from the line, he’s a top 5 scorer, he grabs at least 8 boards a game, couple of dimes, and a block a game with low turnovers. He’s great for roto leagues. And as bad as Dwight will shoot FTs and gather turnovers, if you’re in a head to head league, you need to win usually 4-5 categories, and Dwight dominates 3 of them on his own. Makes for an easy fantasy ride if you know how to build properly.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @kicks: As far as I’m concerned, stand your guard and keep your roster the way it is. I’m sure there’s plenty of waiver-wire gems lying out there, but I can’t recommend swapping any of your guys out just yet. Iggy should be fine, but even if he sits a game or two, you’ve got enough depth to manage.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @AHAN1: I’m expecting Hickson to have an inconsistent start to the season. He still has to gain the full trust of his coach. But when all’s said and done, I don’t think 17/8 along with around 1.5 blocks is too much to expect from him.

    While I’ll steer clear of the Barkley comparisons, I think those averages are within reach for Cousins. I still have a hard time seeing him average more than eight rebounds a game, given all that frontcourt depth in Sac-town, but it’s not absurd.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/the-fantasy-doctor/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @JCarr: I’m not totally against that deal, but I have a hard time recommending you deal away your first pick for a borderline second-rounder and a fifth-rounder with health risks (especially with the powder keg named Gilbert on board). If you trade Kobe now, you’re likely selling low on him. I’d try to wait until Kobe puts together a few sick lines and puts to rest concerns about his health. Putting out a notice of your willingness to trade him for a PG sounds like a good idea.

    For your second team, I think it’s a decent deal in terms of value, but if Arenas implodes it’ll be a complete failure. I still like Lee to get numbers close to what he got in New York last year, and I think he’ll average more points than either of those three dudes you’d be trading for, if that means anything to you.

  • http://dimemag.com/2010/10/top-10-nba-fantasy-basketball-players-i-just-dont-like-in-2010-11/ Mike

    Lol, the JR Smith thing happened 2 me last year, I benched him the week he had 11 3’s in a game

  • Brandon S

    Hi, great site! Thanks for all the time and effort, sir!

    Here’s my roto team. It’s just a 6-team (9-cat) league, so teams are generally stacked.

    M. Gasol
    D. Harris
    J. Rich
    J. Crawford

    Thoughts? There are some decent players that weren’t picked, and I was wondering if you’d swap any of the following FA’s for maybe Crawford or Terry or Kaman. Free Agents include: Hibbert, Kirilenko, Ariza, Scola, Deng, Odom, Al Harrington, Eric Gordon, Caron Butler, and John Salmons.