Players to drop off to make room
Special for Yahoo Sports
With so many players injured or contracting COVID-19 this season, opportunities arise to add players off the fantasy basketball waiver wire who can make a difference, even if only for a week or two. .
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to decide who to drop from your roster to make that addition.
Let’s highlight some players who are currently registered in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues and might be time to leave.
Originally drafted by the Bulls, Gafford was dealt to Washington last season after acquiring Chicago Nikola Vucevic. He finished the season on a high for his new team, averaging 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over their final 10 games. What’s even more impressive is that he averaged just 21 minutes during that streak.
What helped Gafford last season was that Thomas Bryant was sidelined with a ruptured ACL. Bryant sat out at the start of this season, but made his debut on Jan. 12 and has played double-digit minutes in each of the last seven games.
To complicate matters for Gafford, he also has to contend with Montrezl Harrell and Rui Hachimura for playing time. In those seven games since Bryant’s return, Gafford has averaged just 12.0 minutes per game, though he has remained the all-night starter. That left him with walking averages of 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks. Unless the Wizards consolidate some of their depth before the Feb. 10 deadline, Gafford likely won’t have much of an impact on fantasy the rest of the way.
There were high hopes with Green after being selected second overall in the 2021 draft. While his future is still very bright, his current output has been a disappointment. He’s averaging 14.2 points and 1.8 three-pointers per game, which isn’t great, but he comes with modest averages of 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.5 steals per game. match.
If you’re playing in a category league, Green’s 37.4% shooting from the field was a major drag. Most of his problems have come from behind the arc, where he is shooting just 29.1%. Even with the Rockets playing at such a fast pace, Green’s lack of production outside of the scoring column and his efficiency issues make him someone to consider dropping into the re-draft leagues.
For fantasy purposes, it looked like Walker joining the Knicks was going to be a boom for his production. Head coach Tom Thibodeau likes to straddle his starters for long minutes, so Walker should have been in line for a starring role. However, he got off to a slow start, averaging 13.6 points through the Knicks’ first eight games. His playing time then began to dwindle before he was eventually taken out of rotation entirely.
Walker reappeared from the bench when the Knicks had a COVID-19 outbreak in mid-December. He had a four-game streak in which he averaged 40 minutes per game. He didn’t pass up his opportunity, averaging 26.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists during that span. However, it could have hurt Walker as he has missed 10 of the last 13 games with a knee injury.
In all three games, he do play, he recorded 21, 21 and 30 minutes. Walker can still be useful to managers in daily comp leagues, but his knee issues have become too problematic to trust him in weekly formats.
Anthony finally has the opportunity to play alongside his friend james lebron. He’s not just someone who is anchored at the end of the bench at this late stage in his career, averaging 27 minutes per game. He had the occasional burst of goals and he’s averaging 2.3 three-pointers per game, but his overall average of 13.4 points per game is nothing to write home about.
Outside of the scoring column, there’s not much to like about Anthony from a fantasy standpoint, given his averages of 4.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0. 7 steals per game. Now that Anthony Davis is back from a knee injury, Anthony could see fewer shot attempts going forward. While he was once a dominant fantasy option, he shouldn’t be listed outside of the deep leagues.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (51% registered)
When Porter underwent back surgery, he was expected to be out for the season. Even if there is a glimmer of hope that he will return, it would probably be towards the very end of the season. That doesn’t make him someone worth holding on to, especially if you need an IR spot.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans (49% registered)
Alexander-Walker is a one-dimensional player who never hesitates to throw punches. The problem is that he only shoots 37.3% from the field. His inefficiencies caused him to switch to a bench role and average only 27 minutes per game. Later in the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if Willie Green handed things over to his young players, but by then it might be too late for Alexander-Walker to salvage his fantasy value.
Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies (43% registered)
Even after a semi-breakout in 2020-21, the fact that Anderson is listed in so many leagues is baffling. The Grizzlies are one of the deepest teams in the league, which has allowed Anderson to average just 22 minutes per game. Unless you’re playing in a fairly deep league, there are probably better options on waivers. At the very least, the spot he currently occupies on the roster could be used to stream players who have favorable schedules.