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There are a few NBA fantasy players to avoid in 2022 due to their injury history, team situation, and current average draft positions. However, due to their name value, they are still going high on draft boards. It’s not that bad to draft these players but it’s definitely risky given their ADP.
NBA fantasy players to avoid 2022
Everyone loves talking about NBA fantasy sleepers and breakout candidates but what about players to avoid?
For every player that crushes their average draft position, there are those who simply disappoint during the season. Identifying players to avoid is a key element in winning your draft and ultimately, your league.
Here are the worst NBA fantasy players 2022 to own.
Tobias Harris took a backseat when James Harden arrived in Philadelphia. However, his production took a dip further when Tyrese Maxey broke out and thrived alongside Harden in the backcourt. As a result, Harris’ usage, rebounding, and scoring took a hit. He’s now the fourth option in the Sixers roster—behind Embiid, Harden, and Maxey.
At his current ADP, it seems like Harris is a fade since he doesn’t offer anything else besides being an efficient scorer. Last season, he was averaging only around 12 points and 6 rebounds per game after Harden arrived in Philadelphia. It’s tough to see him imitate the same fantasy production before Harden arrived.
One of the NBA fantasy players to avoid 2022 is Ben Simmons. It’s still unclear how he will pan out next to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. He still can carve a role next to these two but his production will surely take a hit since he’s not running the offense like in Philadelphia.
Simmons is a double-edged sword in fantasy. He can rack up points, rebounds, assists, and steals but he’s also a bad free throw shooter, a non-existent three-point shooter, and can commit a lot of turnovers. In his final season with the Sixers, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 56% shooting. There’s an upside in drafting him in certain punt builds. However, it seems that the cons outweigh the pros since he’s playing on a new offense and he just came back from his back injury.
There’s no doubt that Anthony Davis is one of the best players in fantasy basketball when healthy. He’s a fantasy monster due to his ability to rack up points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Last season, he averaged 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game on 53% shooting.
However, at his current ADP, Davis is a risky pick in the first and second rounds of fantasy drafts due to his inability to stay on the court. In the past two seasons, he only played a total of 72 games which limited his fantasy production. There’s also a huge chance that he won’t play back-to-back games to rest. This makes Davis one of the NBA fantasy players to avoid 2022.
It’s no secret that Kawhi Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA. When healthy, he’s an efficient scorer who has an elite steal rate. In the 2021-22 season, Leonard averaged 24.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.9 threes per game on 51% shooting. However, he has missed a lot of games already in the past seasons due to injuries. Over the past five seasons, he appeared in just a total of 178 games.
Now entering a new season, Leonard is finally healthy and good to go. However, the Clippers won’t risk him playing all 82 games since they want him to be healthy in the playoffs when it matters the most. There’s a huge chance that they will sit him in back-to-back games. At his current ADP, Leonard is not worth the risk to draft him in the first two rounds.
Now traded to the Hawks, Dejounte Murray‘s numbers could go down this season. Last season, he had a career year and averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists, and 2.0 steals per game on 46% shooting.
It’s tough to see that he can imitate the same numbers this season now that he’s playing with Trae Young in the backcourt. They will split the ball-handling duties which will severely affect his scoring and assist numbers. Murray will also play beside John Collins and Clint Capela, both of which are solid rebounders. Thus, expect Murray’s rebounding to go down as well. Now that he’s in Atlanta, it’s hard to justify him being drafted in the first and second rounds of fantasy drafts.
One of the most reliable and efficient guards in fantasy basketball is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He can literally do anything on the offensive end whether as a scorer or as a facilitator. Last season, he averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists while shooting 45% from the field.
However, Gilgeous-Alexander is a shutdown candidate in the second half of this season. After losing Chet Holmgren with a season-ending injury, the Thunder is expected to tank again. Moreover, the Thunder is going to be cautious with their star, especially with his current injury concerns. It’s risky to select him in the second to third rounds given his bleak outlook this season.
Kristaps Porzingis is a unique talent due to his ability to shoot threes, rack up blocks, and put up great percentages. Last season, he averaged 20.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 threes per game on 46% shooting.
However, Porzingis’ inability to stay healthy is what makes him one of the NBA fantasy players to avoid 2022. In the past five seasons, he hasn’t played 60 games or more. Moreover, the Wizards won’t risk playing him in back-to-back games in this long season since they want him to be healthy come playoff time. He’s a risky pick in the early to mid rounds in fantasy drafts.
Deandre Ayton’s production isn’t enough enticing for him to justify his current ADP. Last season, he averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game on 63% shooting. Yes, he’s a double-double threat who can consistently rack up points and rebounds but that’s it. He doesn’t produce threes, steals, and blocks that you typically want from a second to third-round center.
Expect that his production will be the same as last season since he’s still the third option behind Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Ayton is not one of the worst NBA fantasy players 2022 to own this season but you can do better in the second and third rounds.
When Jimmy Butler is on the floor, he’s one of the most valuable players in fantasy. He has the ability to fill out the stat sheet with points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He can also single-handedly win your free throw category since he’s an excellent free throw shooter (87%) at eight attempts per game.
However, his inability to stay healthy is what makes him one of the NBA fantasy players to avoid 2022. Butler hasn’t played for more than 60 games in the past three seasons with the Heat. He looks like a risky pick at his current ADP.
Clint Capela had a down year last season and averaged 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on 61% shooting. He also had his minutes reduced to just 27.6 minutes per game. The Hawks might continue this trend and give more playing time to Onyeka Okongwu since he’s younger and a better interior defender than Capela.
If this trend continues this season, Capela’s minutes might go down further to 20-25 minutes per game. Fantasy managers should hope for a trade so that he goes back to his early round-type of production two seasons ago.