Fantasy Basketball: Andrew Wiggins, Ben Mathurin Among Six Players To Consider Dropping

Fantasy Basketball: Andrew Wiggins, Ben Mathurin Among Six Players To Consider Dropping

As we move into the second month of the NBA season, fantasy managers are hard at work making tweaks to their rosters. While some managers may already be looking to swing trades involving big-name players, most of those tweaks come on the margins via the waiver wire.

Whether you're streaming a spot or two, or looking to make room for names like Jaime Jaquez, De'Andre Hunter or Dario Saric, it can be difficult to decide which players to drop in order to clear a roster spot. Luckily, we're here to help. Below are a handful of players you can comfortably cut bait with as we move into the December portion of the schedule.

Dyson Daniels, Pelicans, 32% rostered

With injuries to CJ McCollum and Jose Alvarado, among others, the Pelicans have relied on Daniels for big minutes to begin his sophomore season. While he's been a steady source of rebounds, assists and especially steals (1.6 SPG), his lackluster percentages (41/25/63) have been a drain for managers in category leagues.

The steals alone make Daniels an appealing hold – he has at least one in 15 of 18 games thus far – but with Alvarado back in the mix, McCollum returning at some point this week, and Trey Murphy nearing his season debut, Daniels will almost certainly be set for a reduction in minutes. That's not to say he won't still be a part of the rotation, but the steals production will become much more difficult to

As we move into the second month of the NBA season, fantasy managers are hard at work making tweaks to their rosters. While some managers may already be looking to swing trades involving big-name players, most of those tweaks come on the margins via the waiver wire.

Whether you're streaming a spot or two, or looking to make room for names like Jaime Jaquez, De'Andre Hunter or Dario Saric, it can be difficult to decide which players to drop in order to clear a roster spot. Luckily, we're here to help. Below are a handful of players you can comfortably cut bait with as we move into the December portion of the schedule.

Dyson Daniels, Pelicans, 32% rostered

With injuries to CJ McCollum and Jose Alvarado, among others, the Pelicans have relied on Daniels for big minutes to begin his sophomore season. While he's been a steady source of rebounds, assists and especially steals (1.6 SPG), his lackluster percentages (41/25/63) have been a drain for managers in category leagues.

The steals alone make Daniels an appealing hold – he has at least one in 15 of 18 games thus far – but with Alvarado back in the mix, McCollum returning at some point this week, and Trey Murphy nearing his season debut, Daniels will almost certainly be set for a reduction in minutes. That's not to say he won't still be a part of the rotation, but the steals production will become much more difficult to bank on night in and night out.

Tre Jones, Spurs, 53% rostered

The Spurs' ever-changing rotation has been a source of frustration for fantasy managers thus far, as has Jones being relegated to the bench while San Antonio attempts to make Point Sochan a thing. The results haven't been encouraging for the 3-14 Spurs, and especially for Jones, who's seeing 5.2 fewer minutes per game compared to last season.

Over his last five games, he's down to just 20.6 MPG. While he's still a decent source of assists, even those have dried up of late (3.4 APG over last five). At some point, the Spurs could opt to start a traditional point guard alongside Victor Wembanyama, but until that happens, Jones' inconsistency makes him tough to roster.

Bennedict Mathurin, Pacers, 52% rostered

This is a tough one because Mathurin is a player I was excited to see take a big leap in Year 2, but it simply hasn't happened. Even as the Pacers seemingly rack up 130 points every night, Mathurin has been relegated to role-player status, despite starting 12 of 16 appearances. He's averaging just 24.6 minutes per game – down from 28.5 MPG as a rookie – while his free-throw rate has fallen off of a cliff, dropping from .447 last season to .269 in 2023-24.

If he's not scoring at an elite clip, Mathurin simply isn't all that valuable of a fantasy player. He's a decent rebounder for his position but provides very little in terms of assists and defensive stats. Over the last two weeks (seven games), Mathurin is posting just 11.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.3 blocks in 23.4 minutes per game.

Gary Trent Jr., Raptors, 36% rostered

Every year, Trent has weeks in which he performs like one of the NBA's best bench scorers, but over the last two seasons those microwave runs have become less and less frequent. Coming off of a brutal close to 2022-23, Trent has (unfortunately) picked up where he left off, shooting just 38.7 percent from the field and a horrendous 58.6 percent from the line through 14 games. 

Trent's steals production, which made him a valuable fantasy asset in the past, has also dried up. He's providing less than 1.0 steal per game for the first time since 2019-20, when he was a bit player for the Blazers early in his career.

Caris LeVert, Cavaliers, 57% rostered

Depending on the size of your league, LeVert is not an easy drop. But in 10- or 12-team formats I'm comfortable letting him go in favor of opening up a streaming spot. LeVert got off to an incredible start to the season, putting up 18.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game through his first 10 appearances. But that run was heavily volume-based, as LeVert posted a 25 percent usage rate – up significantly from last season.

Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell also combined for six absences early on, and with both All-Stars back healthy, LeVert has reverted back to a secondary role. Over his last four games, LeVert has posted just 8.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.8 rebounds on 34/24/75 shooting splits. It's a small sample, but his usage rate is also down roughly 5.0 percentage points compared to the first 10 games.

LeVert is the type of player who can heat up in a hurry, but fantasy managers may have already missed out on the best period to roster him.

Andrew Wiggins, Warriors, 68% rostered

Wiggins ranks well outside the top-300 in category leagues this season, but there's a reason managers are still holding out hope. For most of his career, Wiggins has been a rock-solid, consistent fantasy producer, even if his upside is nowhere near the level we expected when he entered the league way back in 2014. Prior to last season, he'd rarely missed time, and his shaky free-throw percentage was not a concern in points leagues.

With that said, we're now 17 games into the season and Wiggins continues to look like a shell of his former self. He's topped 15 points only twice and is averaging a paltry 11.8 points per game in just 26.7 minutes – both down significantly from last season and from his career marks. He's also providing virtually nothing outside of low-end points and boards (4.1 RPG), while his shooting line sits at a disastrous 42/26/56.

ESPN's Kendra Andrews reported this week that the Warriors are "annoyed" with Wiggins' lack of conditioning.

Beyond that, the Warriors have only one four-game week between the end of the In-Season Tournament (Dec. 9) and the start of Week 12 of the fantasy season (Jan. 7). History does suggest that Wiggins could right the ship at some point, but more appealing options exist on the waiver wire.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
Now in his 10th year with the company, Nick is RotoWire's Senior Media Analyst, a position he took on after several years as the Head of Basketball Content. A multi-time FSGA and FSWA award winner, Nick co-hosts RotoWire's flagship show on Sirius XM Fantasy alongside Jeff Erickson, as well as The RotoWire NBA Show on Sirius XM NBA with Alex Barutha. He also co-hosts RotoWire's Football and Basketball podcasts. You can catch Nick's NBA and NFL analysis on VSiN and DraftKings, as well as RotoWire's various social and video channels. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @wha1en.
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