Early-Season Disappointments: Big Names Struggling

Early-Season Disappointments: Big Names Struggling

We're nearly an entire month into the NBA season. Earlier in the year, players' struggles could easily be chalked up to just a poor stretch of games. However, at this point, things are becoming concerning for players still failing to put it together. While plenty of mid-to-late-round fliers have struggled, the focus should be on the big-name players failing to deliver. As a quick note, players who are disappointing purely due to injury are excluded from this list. It's all performance-based.

Luka Doncic, Mavericks

The preseason MVP favorite is returning late-third-round fantasy value. His numbers are down nearly across the board compared to last season. Most notably, he's averaging 24.9 points and 6.7 assists on 44/30/71 shooting compared to last season's 27.7 points and 8.6 assists on 48/35/73 shooting. His poor free-throw shooting is ultimately hurting him the most, and he's currently on a second straight year of decline in that category. There's no reason to panic, though. His percentages should normalize, which will up his points and bring increased fantasy value.

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers

Lillard has looked more like himself over the past two games, but it hasn't yet made up for his awful start to the season. He's averaging just 19.3 points on 37/26/86 shooting splits. It seems like the point guard is either avoiding contact or having a hard time with the new foul rules, as he's taking just 3.2 free-throws per game – a dramatic step down from the 7.2 freebies he was

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
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