Fantasy Basketball Week 14 Mailbag: Trade away Bradley Beal? Jeff Teague expectations? Hold Norman Powell?
Mike Barner delivers his Fantasy Basketball mailbag to help with lineup decisions and close trade calls.
In a rare turn of events, I don't have any trade questions for this week's mailbag column. However, among the topics that I will discuss is the outlook for the rest of the season for Bradley Beal and what to make of Jeff Teague being traded to the Hawks.
If you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Thoughts on Bradley Beal? Is he worth keeping for the Fantasy playoffs or should I try to trade him? -- @KneeJerKing
Heading into the season, Beal was primed for a monster campaign with John Wall (Achilles) out. He was selected in the first round of many Fantasy drafts, and for good reason.
He showed an ability to not only score in bunches last season, but also to contribute in a variety of areas. Although injuries have limited him to 35 games, he's cashed in when on the floor, averaging 27.2 points, 4.5 rebounds. 6.3 assists, one steal and 2.5 3-pointers a game. If there is an area to be disappointed about, he is shooting just 43.8 percent from the field after shooting at least 46 percent in each of the last three seasons.
With Wall out and the lack of talent around Beal, the Wizards are an unsightly 14-28. That amazingly puts them just four games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, but it would be a significant surprise to see them overtake the Nets for that final spot. So, do the Wizards rest Beal as they fall further back? While there is certainly some potential for that, Beal has played all 82 games in each of the last two seasons. They finished eight games back of the final playoff spot in the East last year, but that obviously didn't lead to Beal being pulled off the floor. With his ability to contribute in so many different areas, I wouldn't be trying to trade him unless you get a massive haul in return.
If you could only keep four of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Caris LeVert, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Joe Ingles, Marc Gasol and Derrick Favors, who would they be? -- @PoloHT
Being that this is a keeper league, Gasol and Favors are an easy pass. Gasol is the oldest member of this group and has already started to see his role diminish, averaging only 28 minutes a game this season. Favors will turn 29 over the summer, but while he might not be that old, next year will mark his 11th season in the league. He hasn't been able to stay healthy this year and has only averaged at least 30 minutes a game three times during his career, so don't expect him to all of a sudden play a ton moving forward.
Ball has experienced his ups and downs with the Pelicans, but his upside is so high that he's definitely someone to keep. I would also hold onto Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer and could benefit greatly from a change of scenery since the Kings continue to play him limited minutes. Kuzma and LeVert are both in similar situations in that their teams brought in big names last summer who could impact their development moving forward. However, since we are looking at a keeper league, I'd hold onto both of them and let Ingles go. It would seem likely that Mike Conley Jr. won't opt out of his contract early, which could leave Ingles coming off the bench again next season. He's also much older than either LeVert or Kuzma since he will turn 33 before the start of next season.
What do you expect from Jeff Teague now that he's been traded to the Hawks? Do you feel he is worth being rostered? -- @DaglesBagels
The Hawks have the worst record in the East, so they didn't exactly bring in Teague to help them make a run for the playoffs. However, his addition does finally give them a capable backup behind Trae Young. Also, his veteran leadership might also be an asset to Young, especially since the team is lacking veterans, overall.
Even though Teague lost his starting job with the Timberwolves, he still averaged 12.5 points, 4.9 assists and one 3-pointer a game off the bench. However, it's important to note that he also averaged 26 minutes as a member of the second unit. With Young averaging 35 minutes a night for the Hawks, it would be a surprise for Teague to approach that amount of playing time with his new squad. Case in point, he logged only 11 minutes against the Raptors on Monday. He may have the occasional busy night if the Hawks are getting blown out and he could provide significant value if Young were to get hurt, but as things currently stand, he's safe to drop in most leagues.
One player has to be dropped. Who would you pick? Taurean Prince, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Norman Powell ... maybe Mike Conley Jr. -- @masonmccaffery
Right off the bat, there is no way I'd drop Powell. Since returning from injury, he's averaged 23.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 3.6 3-pointers across five games. That's with the Raptors mostly healthy, as well. As disappointing as Conley has been, he's finally healthy and does have arguably the highest upside of this group, so I wouldn't cut bait on him either. Holding onto Anthony would also be wise considering he isn't showing any signs of slowing down, averaging 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 3-pointers while shooting 48.5 percent from the field over his last 10 games.
This comes down to Prince and Ariza. On the surface, it would seem like the easy move would be to drop Ariza. Prince has been locked into the starting five for the Nets, which has enabled him to average 12.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, two assists and 2.4 3-pointers a game. One big downside to him, though, is his 38.1 percent shooting from the field. However, Ariza being dealt to the Blazers really changes things. He goes from a packed depth chart on the Kings to a Blazers team that should immediately slide him into their starting small forward spot. Across the eight games in which he logged at least 30 minutes for the Kings, he did post respectable averages of nine points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.8 3-pointers.
Like Prince, Ariza isn't going to help much with regards to his field goal percentage considering he has only shot 42.2 percent for his career. This is close, but I'd drop Ariza. Prince is the safer option who should have more overall scoring upside. However, if steals are what ails your squad, I wouldn't fault you for holding onto Ariza instead. He can be a difference maker in that category and can also help out with 3-pointers.
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