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The Fantasy Basketball Drop List: Week 8


It's December and I'm buried in piles of student essays that I have to get graded this week, so I don't have some extended opening monologue this week about the state of the NBA.

Here's our 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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Players to Consider Dropping or Replacing

Josh Hart - (SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans) - 34% Owned

Hart's really been struggling with his shot lately, knocking down 30 percent of his shots and 26.7 percent of his threes in the last four games. He's still shooting a lot of threes over that span -- 7.5 per game -- and has value if you're looking for someone who can just get you a lot of three-pointers, but his other stats in this four game span -- 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 8.3 points -- aren't super encouraging. His inconsistency is discouraging, and in shallower leagues you can probably feel good about moving on from the third-year guard, though I'd hold him in deeper leagues for now.

Delon Wright - (PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks) - 43% Owned

I really hate saying "drop this injured guy," because I have this weird attachment to that old real-life sports adage about guys not losing their jobs due to injury.

Fantasy basketball isn't beholden to that idea, though, and Wright's abductor injury is probably a good moment to pick to move on from him. With Luka Doncic being Luka Doncic at the point for the Mavericks, Wright's just not reaching the levels that a lot of us expected he would before the season. He'll likely be back soon -- maybe against Miami? -- but he's a low-end streaming option. There are higher upside plays out there.

Justise Winslow - (PG/SF/PF, Miami Heat) - 54% Owned

This is a tough one, but health is an important skill.

Winslow is sidelined with a back injury and Friday will be the 15th game he's missed this year. He's a consistent source of scoring and rebounds when he's on the court, but unless you've got room on your injured list, Winslow's availability is starting to actively harm your fantasy team.

I love Winslow from a real-life perspective and if he gets healthy he can be a high-level contributor for the Heat, but a lot of his value last year came from him getting run at the point. Miami has better ball-handlers now, which means Winslow isn't getting the same kind of work when he's on the floor. In shallower leagues, you can consider it safe to drop him. (I'm sad now.)

Otto Porter Jr. - (SF/PF, Chicago Bulls) - 73% Owned

*sigh*

I've been holding out on doing this, but we've now gotten an update that it'll be another month before Porter's foot is re-evaluated.

A healthy Porter is obviously a must-play fantasy option, but foot fractures are nothing to take lightly and holding him for another month if you don't have an injury spot for him is really, really tough. I'd say that if you're already in a really good spot, you can hold him, but if you're a Porter owner like me who's had a ton of other bad injury luck too, the best path right now might be to move on from him and use his roster spot to stream some guys. I understand thinking about the long term, but there's no guarantee that Porter's re-evaluation is going to lead the Bulls to say "alright, he's instantly healthy and ready for a full workload again."

So, yeah...if you need the roster spot and have a better player on the IL (or don't have an IL), go ahead and drop Porter at this point.

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