We’ve seen a bunch of surprises in the 2013-2014 NBA season up to now and the same thing goes for fantasy basketball leagues. Lots of fantasy owners were surprised when they saw some sleepers over performing while other players, who were expected to make an impact to their respective teams but also to the fantasy leagues, failed to do so. In this article we’ll try to examine five players who are playing way below expectations, five fantasy busts. Let’s see who they are.
No. 1: Anthony Bennett
Who would expect the No.1 pick of the 2013 NBA to be such a non-factor this season? The Cleveland Cavaliers chose to surprise the league, but also themselves, when they chose to select Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick they had in the draft last summer. There were a bunch of other prospects available and in fact, there existed lots of players with much better chances to make their impact felt. Victor Oladipo and Nerlens Noel were just two of the players who were expected to be at the top of the draft. However, the Cavs selected the 6’8” forward out of UNLV. Up to now, Bennett has appeared in 51 games this season, playing for 12.7 minutes per game. Even if we didn’t look at any of his stats, his playing time in the Cavaliers team, which is a struggling one, clearly shows that he is a big, very big bust. How else could we characterize a top draft pick, who doesn’t even hear his name heard in the headlines, at least not for a good reason? Fantasy basketball owners who picked Bennett for their teams are certainly disappointed. His 4.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 35.2 FG% are simply awful. Bennett is not just the biggest bust of this season. He is also one of the biggest No.1 draft busts of all times. At least that’s the only thing we can say about him judging from this current season. Hopefully, he can see some improvement next season.
No. 2: Corey Joseph
Joseph is a second-year guard who was projected to improve this season. However, he failed to do so and instead, he has become a non-factor. He even failed to exploit Tony Parker’s injury and the fact that he was assigned with the starting role for some games. He has appeared in 49 games this season and he is averaging 14.9 MPG. His numbers clearly indicate why he is considered a big bust for this season. The 6’3” guard is averaging 4.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG and 1.6 APG, while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 31.3 from three-point range. Very few fantasy basketball owners picked him in the first place but those who were hoping he can emerge as a contributor, will have to search elsewhere. It’s highly unlikely that Joseph will gain any fantasy value. He is one of the biggest fantasy busts this season.
No. 3: Pablo Prigioni
The New York Knicks are struggling badly this season, despite their recent successful stretch. The Knicks won their last four games but apart from Carmelo Anthony we can’t really find a reliable player who delivers as expected night in and night out. The biggest issues for the Knicks come at the point guard spot. One of the most inconsistent players at the position is Pablo Prigioni. After recording a solid playoff series last year, Prigioni saw his production going south this season. He is averaging 4.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 45.8 FG% and 45.1 3P% in 20.2 MPG. The Knicks desperately needed an upgrade at the position and they were rumored to perform a trade prior to the trade deadline. Nonetheless, they stayed pat and they will have to rely on the inconsistent Prigioni for the backup point guard role. With all the injuries the Knicks had at the point guard spot this season, Prigioni could have taken advantage of his opportunities and he could have done better. He has disappointed several fantasy basketball owners.
No. 4: Steve Blake
The Golden State Warriors have been trying to find the answer to their backup guard issue almost all season long. They performed a bunch of moves, with the latest one being the acquisition of Steve Blake, but none of them seems to have helped them, at least at the level they wanted. Blake was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, both of them are recording great numbers with the Lakers at the moment. On the contrary, Steve Blake is not delivering as the Dubs expected. Instead of providing solutions, Blake is sometimes only adding problems to the team. It’s obvious that this is not one of the best transactions of the trade deadline. Although he is a reliable ball handler and he gives the chance to Head Coach Mark Jackson to give some much needed breathing time to Stephen Curry, Blake has not been putting up numbers as high as he did with the Lakers. In the last five games, he is averaging just 4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 0.2 APG, while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from downtown. His fantasy basketball value dipped when he changed teams and due to the fact that he is playing alongside a bunch of capable teammates, he is not expected to see an increase anytime soon.
No. 5: Derrick Williams
Williams is another draft bust. He was selected at the No.2 spot of the 2011 NBA Draft but he has failed to play up to the expectations ever since. He is playing below his career-averages this season and that should be at least worrying. After all, he is playing for a struggling team. His 8.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 43.5 FG and 24.1 3P% certainly don’t make jaws drop, at least not from joy. It’s notable that he is capable of playing big, but he has failed to do so this fantasy basketball season.