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The Fantasy Basketball Drop List: Week 5


Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy basketball drop list. We've got a big man heavy week for you, as teams experiment with lineups and more traditional big men seem to be fading out of some of those rotations at this juncture of the season.

That's what I'm here to help with in my weekly fantasy basketball drop list, a look at players who are can be dropped in some or all formats. Every Friday, we'll look at why it's fine to move on from certain players based on their recent play.

Let's look at players who you can consider dropping so far. Remember: every league is different and we're working on a pretty small sample size this early in the year, so make sure you evaluate what options you have to replace these players before you actually drop them.

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The Fantasy Basketball Drop List

Cody Zeller - (PF/C, Charlotte Hornets) - 61% Owned

If you're in a shallow league and have Zeller, his playing time over the last couple of games should be very concerning to you.

Zeller has played under 20 minutes in consecutive games as the Hornets have looked to Bismack Biyombo a little more and are also using Marvin Williams as a small-ball five. Against the Nets, for instance, we saw Zeller leave early in the third quarter and never check back in, with the team running a closing lineup of Williams with Miles Bridges, Devonte' Graham, Terry Rozier, and Malik Monk.

A game earlier, Zeller again didn't see the floor in the fourth. It's not a good sign when a starter doesn't play at the end of games. The good news is that unless the Hornets go to a full time small ball lineup, Zeller should still get 15-20 minutes per game, but in a 10 or even a 12 team league, are you comfortable rostering Zeller at that playing rate? Meh.

 

Dwight Powell - (PF/C, Dallas Mavericks) - 46% Owned

The big story in Dallas is Luka Doncic being incredibly good this year, but a smaller story that's worth noting is that Dwight Powell is just barely touching the ball lately.

Over the last three games, Powell is taking 2.3 attempts per game. He's getting just three rebounds per game over that span.

On the season, Powell is shooting more efficiently than ever, but it doesn't matter much when he's seen a drop in attempts, points, and rebounds while also having an uptick in turnovers. His usage rate is down to just 12 percent this year after being 17.2 percent last year, and while Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis taking on so much offensive responsibility, Powell is just...kind of there? He's a body that exists on the court?

I was high on Powell before the year, but I wasn't counting on the drop in everything. But it's working for Dallas in real life, so don't expect to see Powell take on much more responsibility moving forward, making him droppable in some fantasy formats.

 

Alex Len - (PF/C, Atlanta Hawks) - 27% Owned

The fact that Damian Jones is getting the starts for Atlanta at center instead of Alex Len is basically all you need to know on this one.

Len was a promising option heading into the year and when John Collins got suspended, I think the conventional wisdom was that Len would play a larger role.

Instead, he's been mediocre at best. In the five games since Len was moved to the bench, Len is averaging 17.8 minutes per game, averaging 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with 0.2 blocks. That's not...terrible, but except if we move the ruler a little, we see that over the last three games, Len's numbers have dropped to 13.7 minutes and averages of 2.7 points on 16.7 percent shooting with 3.3 boards per contest.

Len's got the potential to put up big games, but you also have to live with him putting up some complete stinkers, and we're trending towards a world in which those stinkers happen more often than the not-stinkers happen. I really don't want any part of Alex Len at this point; Jabari Parker is getting center minutes over him, y'all!

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis