Time to move on from these fringe starters

Special for Yahoo Sports

Injuries can sometimes create some tough decisions in fantasy basketball. To add the hot name from the opt-out cable, fictional managers may be faced with a tough choice about who to drop. We discuss five players to consider dropping to free up a roster spot.

It seems strange to include in this list a player who has averaged at least 16.2ppg in each of the last three seasons. During that time, Brooks also had two seasons in which he averaged at least 1.9 from three-point range. He hasn’t scored offensively this season with 15.6 points and 1.9 three-pointers per game, and he’s still playing big while logging 31 minutes a night.

The problem with putting Brooks into the fantasy is that he does little outside of the scoring department, averaging 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.2 blocks. Plus, he’s shooting an abysmal 39.4% from the field. As the Grizzlies’ health conditions improved, Brooks provided just 9.8 points and 1.1 three-pointers in his last nine games. For those playing in category leagues, his contribution to the score may not be enough to make up for his deficiencies elsewhere.

Olynyk found himself in a good position to start the season. The Jazz had a hole to fill in the center after trading Rudy Gobert, and they named Olynyk as the holder. While his numbers weren’t mind-blowing, he had 12.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 three-pointers in his first 32 games, all while shooting 52.7% from the field and 84.5% from the free throw line.

As good as Olynyk was, injuries derailed his campaign. Not only has he been forced to miss 12 games since about mid-December, but his absence has allowed for more playing time for the rookie. Walker Kessler. Kessler has stood out as a starter, so much so that the Jazz have stated that he will retain the role even with Olynyk back in the fold. In Saturday’s first game, Olynyk played just 15 minutes into the game against the Mavericks.

Kelly Olynyk #41 of the Utah Jazz had fantasy value

Kelly Olynyk’s fantasy value is plummeting. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The Jazz may have helped him back into action, but starting alongside Kessler doesn’t put him in such a favorable position. There is also the possibility that Olynyk will be moved to the trade deadline, possibly landing him a bench role in a competing side. That would deal another blow to his already declining fantasy value.

It’s been a disappointing season for the Bulls, who have a sub-.500 record that keeps them battling for one of the last play-in tournament spots. They are really missing Lonzo Palla (knee), which tends to miss the entire season. Caruso was expected to be a vital role player for them, and he rebounded from the fifth starter to the bench. He was limited to 41 games last season, part of which can be attributed to his high-energy style of play which exposes him to more injuries. To keep him healthy, the Bulls have let him play three minutes less per game this season.

The good news for the Bulls is that Caruso remained healthy enough to appear in 44 games. The bad news for fantasy managers is that he was next to nonexistent offensively, averaging 5.7 points per game to go along with his 11.0% utilization rate. His defensive contributions have been up there with 1.7 steals per game, but fantasy coaches who don’t need help in that area can move on to Caruso when his averages of 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists are added in. to his modest offensive contributions.

Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks (44%)

Despite the Mavericks not having a loaded roster around Luca Doncic, It seems that Hardaway just can’t get on offensively. He is providing just 13.6 points per game, which would be his lowest point since the 2015-16 season when he was still with the Hawks. On the bright side, much of his scoring has come from behind the arc, leaving him averaging 2.7 three-pointers per game.

The problem from a fantasy perspective is that Hardaway isn’t doing much outside of hitting three-pointers right now. He’s shooting just 38.2% from the field and his 75.9% shooting from the charity stripe isn’t all that impressive. That’s above him averaging just 3.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game. Unless you’re desperate for three-pointers, Hardaway doesn’t make enough contributions overall to be worth slotting into most leagues.

If the Cavaliers improve their chances of making a deep playoff run, one glaring hole they could improve is small forward. LeVert has had some time starting, but has spent more time coming off the bench lately. As a second unit member, he averaged just 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 24 games.

Other than LeVert providing underwhelming tally stats as he comes off the bench, he’s shooting just 41.1% from the field and 70.5% from the free throw line for the season. He struggled with overall efficiency despite shooting 37.4% from behind the arc. If the Cavaliers bring in a small forward to further solidify LeVert in a role with the second unit, it’s hard to justify bringing him in instead of taking someone on the waiver who’s ready to take on a larger role due to an injury to someone else on their team.

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