Fantasy Doctor, NBA / Dec 21, 2011 / 10:30 am

The Top 5 Fantasy Basketball Underperformers For 2011-12

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon (photo. Jeff Forney)

While it’s more exciting talking up sleepers, bloomers and late-round bargains with your fantasy basketball friends, it’s also helpful to look at the negative side of things. So, in honor of this season of giving, here’s a list of the top five fantasy basketball underperformers for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Each of these players stands a chance of falling short of expectations this season, for various reasons.

Kevin Garnett (PF, Boston Celtics)
The busier-than-usual NBA schedule could pose a challenge to Garnett’s 35-year-old body. He’ll be limited to around 30 minutes a game, with the goal of playing him in three five-minute spurts per half. So on top of closely monitored minutes, Garnett will have to deal with getting pulled out of games more frequently, which doesn’t exactly leave room for getting into any sort of groove. The Celtics will be focused on making the playoffs and preserving their veteran stars. KG is known for his efficient all-around lines and actually finished last season with top 15 averages, but owners should keep their expectations much lower than that this season.

Michael Beasley (SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves)
Beasley was a hot fantasy commodity for the beginning and end of last season, but was mediocre during the middle. Allow me to channel Hubie Brown for a moment: You know what you’re getting from Beasley: a healthy portion of points, some boards, and a steal and a block almost every game. But you also know that he turns the ball over more than he dishes out assists, which is a bummer for leagues that count turnovers as a category. And, of course, you know that a talented kid named Derrick Williams is in town, ready to compete for minutes at both the PF and SF spots. Beasley is an overrated fantasy player in nine-category leagues, and his situation this season seems to have a delicate vibe to it.

Jason Terry (PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks)
The Mavs have retooled their roster with some more offensive firepower. This includes the arrival of Vince Carter, who will likely claim the starting SG spot. Though Terry primarily comes off the bench anyhow, the addition of Carter and the presence of combo guards Rodrigue Beaubois and Delonte West could cap the 34-year-old guard’s minutes and fantasy value this season.

Paul Millsap (PF, Utah Jazz)
Millsap had himself a career season in 2010-11, and he’ll continue to be a solid contributor in all the categories you’ll need him for. However, Derrick Favors is nipping at Millsap’s heels. Favors had an impressive showing (25 points, 12 rebounds and a steal) in Monday’s exhibition game against the Trail Blazers, which Millsap missed with a quad injury. Millsap remains a candidate to be dealt in order to clear up space for Favors and Enes Kanter to develop for the Jazz, but even if he stays, he’ll have a young, hungry player behind him. His ceiling is lower than it was at the outset of last season.

Eric Gordon (SG, New Orleans Hornets)
Count me as one of the many who got a bit hasty with excitement over Gordon’s newfound home. At first glance, it’s obvious that Gordon leaves a team where he was second fiddle or fiddle 1b and lands on a squad where he’ll be the unquestioned No. 1 option. Yes, that certainly raises his ceiling, but it also means that defenses will be able to hone in on him more. Does Gordon have what it takes to meet that challenge? Can his body play in more than 72 percent (his average from the past two seasons) of the 66 games slated for this season? These are two big questions that fantasy owners should consider before spending an early second-round pick on Gordon.

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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  • big $$

    Whats goin on doc? Great to be talking fantasy bball again! Just wanted ur opinion a trade offer I got…my westbrook for his dwight and kyrie irving? I have deron and jarrett jack as my other PGs and my bigs are noah, bogut, d.lee, blatche, kaman, okafor and ty thomas and this league counts double-double and triple-doubles as cats as well but not turnovers…i’m seriously considering pulling the trigger and then trading some of my bigs for guard depth

  • s.bucketz

    I’m rolling the dice that eric gordon has a big yr.

  • thrillah

    KG is a little obvious, I mean he’s been in the league for over 15 years and his numbers dip significantly every year. I still think Eric Gordon is going to blow up. He has no holes offensively and he’ll probably take his frustration out by playing “me-ball.”

    Players I think will regress from last year:
    -Steph Curry
    -Nick Young
    -Amare Stoudamire
    -Lamar Odom
    -Danny Granger

  • William

    Hi Doc,

    Thanks for all the Fantasy help. you Rock!
    quick question for ya

    who should I play for week one?
    Ty Lawson or Devin Harris?
    also, Danilo Gallinari (5 games) or Greg Monroe (4 games)


  • http://twitter.com/#!/DonCharlionne hollywud15

    Hey Doc wondering on your views: Melo for Blake… and also Lebron for Kd

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

    @big $$: Yep, I’d go for it.

    @thrillah: Agreed with Gordon going “me” on the Hornets, but that could dent his FG%. I also agree on Curry (esp. with his recently re-injured ankle), Odom and STAT.

    @William: I’d go with Gallo, but it would also depend on your matchup and the categories you’re trying to win (assuming you’re in a H2H league).

    @hollywud15: If it’s nine categories, LBJ for KD is a wash — it really depends on the categories you want to boost. Melo for Blake is also a matter of categories. Overall, I’d give the edge to Melo, but if you’re going to punt FT%, it’d be more even.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Fantasy Doc — Just had our draft last night. Already I’ve been offered two trades:

    1. Ray Felton (mine) for Ginobili + Calderon (his)

    2. Derrick Williams (mine) for Diaw + Hedo (his)

    Any suggestions?

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

    @Austin Burton: I really like offer No. 2 for you, assuming this isn’t a keeper league. Diaw should have SF/PF/C flexibility, and I’m not feeling Williams’ chances in that thick frontcourt for the T-Wolves, at least not this season. No. 1 isn’t shabby either — I’d consider it a wash if it were Felton for Manu straight up (Calderon could be in for a timeshare, but he’s nice to stash as a util/bench player). If you think you need the depth and could do with a downgrade at one of your PG spots, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. No. 2 has lower risk, higher reward; No. 1 is nice, but more of a wash and a bit riskier (Manu’s health/minutes).

    Sorry for the long answer. I hope this helps!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Doc — Thanks. It is a (3) keeper league, and mine from last year were Monta Ellis, Carmelo and Z-Bo. Still think it’s a good deal?

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

    @Austin Burton: Hm, in that case, both deals lose some appeal. I’d stand pat unless you’re really hurting for depth, in which case No. 1 might be appealing.

  • Jimmy

    hey doc,

    I have two important decisions to make..
    I currently own Andrei Kirilenko and Gerald Henderson in 12 team h2h leagues. Omri Casspi and Rip Hamilton are floating in the free agent pool…should I drop both of them for casspi and rip? both of these guys should get 30+ mins. Idk if ak47 is even gonna play in the nba..althogh they say he might sign with nets..please help!

  • Jimmy

    hey doc,

    I have two important decisions to make..
    I currently own Andrei Kirilenko and Gerald Henderson in 12 team h2h leagues. Omri Casspi and Rip Hamilton are floating in the free agent pool…should I drop both of them for casspi and rip? both of these guys should get 30+ mins.

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

    @Jimmy: I’d drop AK for Casspi. Henderson for Rip is nearly a wash. It depends on what you want: more threes and assists (Rip), or more steals and slightly more boards and blocks (Henderson).

  • The Mamba King

    Sup doc?

    I drafted DJ Augustin with my 2nd to the last pick. But now i am feeling that he is in extreme pressure because Kemba Walker is breathing down his neck in terms of playing time. Should i just drop him and pickup a more serviceable player like, Jeff Teague, Tony Allen, Ryan Anderson, Derrick Favors, Trevor Ariza? Should i just pickup teague to replace a PG for a PG? What do you think? Thanks

  • William

    Hey Doc,

    I just read that Ty Lawson sprained his left ankle and is listed as day to day. Should I sit Ty Lawson (5 games) and play Devin Harris (4 games) for week 1? I play 7cat H2H league.


  • http://www.quakegriffin.com Conrad

    I’m thinking of dropping Jordan Crawford (G) and/or Amir (F) in my points-based CBS league…here’s some available players:

    – P. George (G)
    – Daye (F)
    – N. Cole (G)
    – AK47 (F)
    – Delfino (F)
    – Budinger (F)
    – Klay (G)
    – Morrow (G)

    Any of those look like a good option for a switch out? Thanks, Doc!