For fantasy basketball, it’s easier to mess up the middle rounds of drafts than the earlier or later rounds. In the earlier rounds, the high quality of players makes a bust less likely. In the later rounds, the players you are drafting have no risk and can be dropped if they don’t work out. The middle rounds are tricky, which is why it is important to hit on these draft picks. Here are some mid-round players to avoid in fantasy drafts this year.
Mid-Round Players to Avoid
A solid player for the Boston Celtics, Terry Rozier is stepping into the old Kemba Walker role on the Charlotte Hornets. The problem is, he’s not Kemba Walker. Rozier has some scary inefficiency, as he has not shot above forty percent from the field in a season yet. He will pile up the points and other counting stats due to him starting on a bad Hornets squad, but let’s not forget where he is going in drafts. Currently being taken as a mid-fifth-round pick, there are much better options that are still available behind him. Buddy Hield, D’Angelo Russell, and Jamal Murray are all guards that are better options and are being drafted behind Rozier. Don’t take the risk of drafting this unproven starter with your fifth pick.
Khris Middleton put up eighteen points, six rebounds, and four assists per game last season as the second star on the Milwaukee Bucks. He made his first all-star team and by all accounts had a great year. The problem is that he was just above average in fantasy basketball. He is being selected in the early sixth round, which is still high considering what his upside is. At this point in his career, Middleton has hit his peak. His role will be the same as last year, meaning there isn’t a chance he can improve on his numbers. Even at a shallow small forward position, Middleton isn’t worth a fifth-round selection. His unlikeliness to improve makes him one of the mid-round players to avoid.
Kristaps Porzingis will be back this season after not playing at all last year due to an ACL tear. Just that sentence alone should make you wary. Reports from the Dallas Mavericks camp have said that Porzingis will be rested a minimum of fifteen to twenty games this year. Porzingis hasn’t played more than 66 games since his rookie season, so the chance of him staying healthy is slim. He is being drafted in the early seventh round, but there are still other players you should target instead. Players such as Lauri Markkanen and Marvin Bagley are power forwards that are being drafted near Porzingis. All of the aforementioned are younger, healthier, and have just as high of a season as Porzingis. Don’t be tempted by his name-brand value in the middle rounds, Porzingis is not a good fantasy option this season.
Many were surprised by Bojan Bogdanovic having a mini breakout last year. He became the primary scorer on the Indiana Pacers after Victor Oladipo went down, averaging a career-high eighteen points per game. This offseason he signed as a free agent with the Utah Jazz, where he will revert to being a role player as opposed to the first option. With many mouths to feed in the Jazz offense, expect Bogdanovic’s scoring to take a big hit. This combined with the fact that he doesn’t contribute to any other statistical categories makes him an unappealing target. His value is increased due to the small forward position being shallow this year, but Bogdanovic will not be worth drafting due to his limited ceiling.
Andrew Wiggins is currently being drafted in the late ninth to the early tenth round. While this may be on the border between a middle and late-round selection, there still needs to be a warning for drafting this guy. Wiggins has not improved at all since being selected number one overall in the 2014 NBA draft. The numbers say so. He is unmotivated to get better after the Minnesota Timberwolves gave him a max contract, so no improvement should be expected. Every year somebody drafts him thinking he is going to have a breakout season. He won’t. Even if you like him for his decent scoring, that is all he can do. He should still be the second option on the Timberwolves, but that doesn’t mean much. Wiggins has been too inconsistent in his career to trust.