By this point in fantasy basketball, owners know how good each one of their players are. Owners will need to develop a strategy for struggling players. The concerning part for owners is what to do with high draft picks that aren’t panning out. The hard decision is to wait or cut bait. Alternatively, owners can also test their league’s trade block to salvage some value.
Strategy for Struggling Players
Blake Griffin has not looked like himself this year. He has already dealt with hamstring and knee injuries which have caused him to miss time. He is now missing back to back sets as well which is concerning. Griffin is averaging career lows in minutes (28.9), points (18.5), rebounds (4.8), and field goal percentage (41.9 percent) in his first eight games back from injury.
While all of this is concerning, Griffin is far too good of a player to drop and trading him away right now would not yield anything good in return. The best course of action is to wait until Griffin gets back to normal and then try to trade him. Griffin’s injury history combined with the Detroit Piston’s season potentially going up in flames (7-13 right now) means owners should be scared to have him on their team come spring.
Mike Conley’s career with the Utah Jazz has not gotten off to a great start. The main problem has been his field goal percentage, which sits at a career-low 37 percent. While Conley may not score as much as he did while with the Memphis Grizzlies due to a better supporting cast, he should be far more efficient.
At 32 years old, Conley has proven that he is a quality starter that can produce when given minutes. He should eventually get more comfortable playing alongside Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic and get back to the player he once was. Conley is a hold in all formats.
Lauri Markkanen came into this season with the hope of building off of his superb sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, he has taken a step back in his best categories, averaging career lows in points (13.3), rebounds (7), and field goal percentage (34.9 percent). He is also shooting 28.2 percent from three. This is a classic case of a good player being in a shooting slump to start the year.
Markkanen should obviously improve on his shooting percentages and points, but the concerning factor is his supporting stats. His rebounding numbers have dipped with the emergence of Wendell Carter Jr., and he does not provide any defensive numbers or assists. Despite playing twenty games so far, Markkanen will bounce back from his rough start and owners should hold and hope for brighter days ahead.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Another popular breakout player, Jaren Jackson Jr. has had a letdown of a season so far. He has a well known fouling issue, keeping his minutes at around 26 per game this year. Jackson’s defensive stats have regressed slightly from last year and his rebounding numbers have not improved from his rookie season.
While Jackson has sky-high potential, his owners in re-draft settings should be looking to move him. His inconsistency combined with his lack of counting stats are worrisome, and the breakout isn’t looking likely this season. With Jonas Valanciunas and rookie Brandon Clarke playing well upfront, his path to minutes isn’t getting any easier. Jackson owners should start testing the market.
If there was any season that Lonzo Ball could breakout, it was going to be this season. After being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and escaping LeBron James‘ shadow, Ball was going to thrive in this Pelicans fast-paced system as the starting point guard.
This year, he has dealt with a plethora of injuries and is being benched late in games. At this point, Ball is a headache to own, as he will surely get injured again this year. Owners should be trying to trade him for whoever they can get.
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