NBA fantasy preview: busts
I'm not really a cynical guy by nature. I mean, I do live in New York City, so the occasional f-bomb to a cabbie or a laser-eyed glare at a straphanger who gets too close to me on the subway is to be expected.
Cynicism is a must-have characteristic in fantasy sports, though. It's as important to know which players to avoid as it is to know which ones to target. As RotoExperts, it's our job to let you know specifically which players could crash your championship hopes.
To help compartmentalize the various situations of the NBA's 450-plus players, I'll assign a bust for each of five categories: rookies who will hit a wall sooner than expected; perceived up-and-comers who are still too raw; free agents/trade acquisitions who don't fit; veterans who will get lost in his team's roster shuffle; and, of course, the Olympians who battle the Olympic hangover. Let's get to it.
As he gets ready to suit up for his first NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook will find out soon enough that his 180-pound body will be tested to the max over an 82-game season. He might not handle the rock much anyway, with
He's going to be very good eventually, but he could also attempt a ridiculous amount of shots. Expect ugly field-goal shooting and three-point shooting.
He can't play shooting guard, so are we to believe that he will supplant starting PG
The rookie delighted 76ers fans and fantasy owners alike by showing off his potential in '07-08. Young averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in just 21 minutes per contest, so he looks like a sure-fire double-double player once he gets full-time duty, right? Ugh. No, not really. The 76ers were on their way to becoming sort of a Golden State Warriors-east type of squad, running and gunning with point guard
He'll be on the floor more often than he was last year, but he hasn't had much on-court time to develop his game yet.
Jianlian simply hasn't displayed the sort of aggressiveness and mature attitude that it takes to become a consistently productive NBA player.
Sorry, but I'm not buying the argument that Artest will score 20-plus points every contest with shooting guard
Scored a career-high 22.6 points-per-game for New Jersey in '07-08, but now he gets to find out what NBA life is like for a full season without
Odom will turn 29 years old in November, so it's time to eliminate any discussion involving his potential -- he is who he is. He's a higher-level role player whose impact goes beyond the numbers. But since we care only about numbers in fantasy play, it's worth noting Odom's 14.2 points and 10.6 rebounds-per-game from last season. With power forward
The young frontcourt talent behind Harrington could see more playing time as the Warriors struggle to make the postseason.
Top overall pick in the "real" NBA draft,
The increased vulnerability to injury afflicts at least a couple players after every Olympics (see Odom and
Hardly a flat-out bust, but his scoring numbers could drop as he plays with the Bynum/Gasol frontcourt duo. Not to mention the fact that he turns 30 this year.
Again, I'm not really saying he'll be a flat-out bust, but 'Melo has battled assorted injuries the past couple of seasons, and the uncertainty of his future in Denver could affect his consistency.