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The Cut List - Who To Drop For Fantasy Basketball Week 17

So, that NBA All-Star Weekend was truly something, huh? I'm not sure whether or not to cheer that it's over or be sad that it ever happened. Either way, we're entering the most drama-filled part of the NBA season and that is cause for excitement. Not only for the NBA but for fantasy basketball leagues everywhere!

Decisions on which players to keep and which ones to cut become even more important as we approach the fantasy playoffs. We'll be providing a list of players that fantasy managers can consider dropping or replacing all the way through the end of the season so that your decision might be a bit easier when it comes down to one or two players.

Each week, for those new to the series, we run down a list of players that can be dropped to the waivers in fantasy leagues. We go over different league sizes and players that might work more in a deeper league compared to a normal-sized league of 12 teams. So, let's get into Week 17 of the Cut List!

 

Players to Consider Dropping or Replacing

Trey Murphy III (SF/PF, NOP) - 48% rostered

Two of the most volatile stats in basketball also happen to win a lot of fantasy matchups if managers get lucky enough to stack them up. Those are steals and blocks. Trey Murphy III happens to be in a very good stretch where he's averaging at least one steal and one block over the last four games. That on top of lower amounts of turnovers and a bunch of threes has bolstered his rank during that time.

Here's the twist: Murphy isn't receiving more playing time and the rumors about the New Orleans Pelicans trading away Herbert Jones didn't come true. Neither one of those scenarios is good for Murphy's fantasy value for the rest of the season. Even over the last week when his value has been the highest, Murphy only averages 26.2 minutes a contest.

In deeper leagues, sure, Murphy is a viable option. Outside of those, Murphy's value comes from turnovers, threes, and steals right now. Let's take into account that he's averaged less than one steal a game throughout the season, so the 1.3 per game over the last week seems like an outlier right now.

Here's a cool Murphy poster though because it was fun!

Bruce Brown (PG/SG/SF, TOR) - 51% rostered

Well, here we are post-trade deadline and post-All-Star break with Bruce Brown still a part of the Toronto Raptors. The rumors, reports, and talk around the internet were that Brown was going to be moved to a third team this year so that the Raptors could recoup some more assets. Seems like that was a lot more smoke than it was fire, but that also means his fantasy value is more smoke than fire, too.

As it stands today, Brown sits outside of the top 130 in terms of per-game value for nine-category leagues. Despite starting in 38 of a possible 47 games, he still hasn't surpassed 29 minutes per contest and is actually receiving fewer minutes in Toronto than he was in Indiana. To make matters worse, his shooting percentages are down and he's not even averaging one three made a night while posting 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 turnovers per game.

Over the past eight games, Brown has sunk outside of the top 200 fantasy players, and in total stats, he still hasn't cracked the top 115. None of this amounts to fantasy wins and now that we're hitting the stretch of the season that includes the fantasy basketball playoffs, it's time to cut ties.

Zach Collins (C/PF, SAS) - 48% rostered

We're going to keep this short and sweet for the people that haven't been paying attention. Honestly, it's hard not to see all of the highlights and hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama, so if you haven't seen it, that's impressive!

Zach Collins has been seeing fewer minutes now that Wembanyama is off of his minutes restriction and he should be able to play back-to-backs for the rest of the season. This accounts for his average of just 18.4 minutes a night over their last seven games and that trend will likely continue. He's not even inside the top 200 in nine-category leagues right now and it's time to set him free!

Obi Toppin (PF, IND) - 34% rostered

Where do we start with Obi Toppin? There was a time when most people (myself included) thought Toppin would explode in value if only Tom Thibodeau would just give him some more minutes. This guy could hit a corner three and was one of the most athletic and explosive athletes in the league. That makes for both fun and stats!

Well, after moving to the Indiana Pacers, he seemed to get some added minutes at first and then it all came crashing down over the last two months. The 26-year-old was running with the starting five to start off the season and averaged 25 minutes a night!

Well, every month since then, his minutes declined along with his production. Across the 25 games in January and February so far, he's only started in one of them and has dropped to 18.2 minutes per game.

Look, unless this is a 20-team or deeper fantasy league, 7.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game isn't going to cut it. Pascal Siakam has firmly taken over the starting spot and no scenario outside of injury's going to give Toppin his minutes back.

Shaedon Sharpe (SG/SF, POR) - 53% rostered

Speaking of injuries, unfortunately, the bug has bitten another young and promising player. Shaedon Sharpe underwent surgery on his core muscles and will not return this season. The thing that stings is that he took a sizeable jump in fantasy value as he became a more important piece to the rotation.

He received an average of 11 more minutes a contest this season while posting 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.9 made threes, and 2.3 turnovers per game. While those numbers weren't exactly good enough to put him into the top 150, according to Basketball Monster, it represented a jump of 102 spots in his ranking for per-game value.

Looks like the revolving door of players in Portland will have to take over as streaming options until next season.



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