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2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Draft Busts: Guards

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season.

Today, let's talk about some potential busts at the guard position. For whatever reason -- be it talent, lack of opportunity, or some combination of those two things -- these are players who I'm actively avoiding in my fantasy leagues this season.

Let's look at some guards who have bust potential this year in fantasy basketball leagues.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - Oklahoma City Thunder

This column might upset some fantasy GMs out there who have already gone through their drafts, but we ain't here to play baby games. You know what happened with Shai last season when OKC straight sat him out for half of the season in keeping up their tanking effort. Are we sure that will change in 2022? Are we sure the Thunder will take a step forward big enough for them to ditch the full-time tanking and actually care about winning? Allow me to doubt it. Obviously, there would be a bit ridiculous to say Shai isn't worth his high 30+ ADP these days--it's not that you find a lot of 23-4-6 per-game players out there--but the concerns here have more to do with his team than the actual player. You know you'll most probably get 40+ boom games from Shai, but the other 40+ remaining in the schedule are quite high in the what-if leaderboard for me to consider me SGA a safe high-pick this draft season.

Tyrese Haliburton - Sacramento Kings

Tyrese came out of left field last year and surely took the league by storm with a top-3 season among rookies, and perhaps playing only behind LaMelo, Quickley, and Edwards level as freshmen. That has Haliburton getting drafted inside the top-55 picks on most Yahoo leagues, and getting off draft boards as the G25 as I'm writing this. Nothing completely crazy, sure, but quite a risky bet considering 1) Haliburton was the no. 1 backcourt player off-the-pine for the Kings, and 2) he will be facing strong competition this season in recently-drafted rookie Davion Mitchell, also a guard poised to play an important role in his first year in Sacto. If you're hurting for three-point percentages and low turnovers in 9-cats, Haliburton might be an interesting play. Other than that, though, I don't think his overall contributions are worth a near-top-50 pick as fantasy GMs are ponying up for him right now. Kyle Lowry, Marcus Smart, and Mike Conley are at least 10+ ADP positions cheaper than Tyrese and all have higher upsides than the Kings backup.

Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

Now, hear me out. Curry is a marvelous player that will murder teams left and right as the season progresses. It's not that Curry is a bad play, a bad draft pick, or whatever you want to "negatively" call him. No, sir. But Curry is coming off his best season ever. Yes. Better than his unanimous MVP one, and in the fantasy realm, even more. What Curry did last season was possible only because of the ultra-barren-of-talent Warriors squad he was forced into leading one way or another. I wouldn't go as far as to say Klay Thompson/James Wiseman's comebacks will eat a lot from Curry's plate of touches, but they will surely impact his outcome. We're talking about a guy who just dropped 51.1 FPPG to the tune of a stupid 32 PPG, 5+ RPG, 5+ APG, and 1+ SPG. Curry logged career-high marks in 3PA, FTA, and USG. The efficiency can't get higher, but the minutes and opportunities surely will. The 4+ ADP isn't unreasonable, but I'd rather get other guys' shares over Curry's with my first-round pick.

Zach LaVine - Chicago Bulls

Not entirely on Curry's level (read above) but definitely on a similar path to dropping below his 2021 levels of performance if only because of the Bulls offseason shuffling. In case you missed it, Chicago went all-in--for real this summer after already snatching Nikola Vucevic mid-season last year--and brought (mainly) Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan to Windy City. We talk a lot about the Lakers Big-Three, but you tell me how this quartet is not going to take chances from each other daily. Lonzo, I can give a pass because not even in New Orleans was he getting massive usage rates. But all of ZLV, DeDe, and Vooch logged USG% above 26 percent last year and will be now sharing the floor as the Bulls starters. Even if he keeps his production up (we'll see because last year was a career year for LaVine), the minutes/FGA/usage rate/opportunities/etc... will undoubtedly go down and that will surely cut ZLV's upside shorter than last year's.

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