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As someone who originally had Deron Williams on his fantasy team (big mistake btw), no, he's not relevant.
 

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Fantasy Basketball Stock Report: The Deron Williams Roller Coaster

Posted on April 5, 2015 by Guest
Credit: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Credit: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Deron Williams is an impossible man to figure out. One year he’s seemingly on the top of his game and keeping the Brooklyn Nets relevant and in the next year he looks like a shell of his former self. That would-be meteoric change is arguably a product of his inconsistency: something that really has come alive in his tenure with the Nets. Injury and various circumstances have derailed a once promising career and made D-Will a bit of an after-thought in the fantasy basketball world at times. But why?

There’s plenty of reason for it, and it’s time we take a closer look and answer the question: is Deron Williams worth all this fuss?

Lack of Health

Williams has always endured wrist and ankle issues, even back in his days with the Utah Jazz. He’s no spring chicken anymore and at 30 years of age all of those old (and new) bumps and bruises are going to take their toll. That means more lingering injuries, longer rest times and negatively impacted play. We’ve seen all of that during the 2014-15 NBA season, and that’s at least partially why Williams has run so hot and cold.

More Competition

Another huge issue has been the presence of Jarrett Jack for the past couple of years. It’s no coincidence that during that time Williams has seen his minutes dip to 32 in 2013 and 30 this season, while his shots dropped from 14 per game to 11 per game the past two seasons. Jack isn’t necessarily a world beater, but D-Will never had any awesome backups in Utah and now he has a solid, capable one in Brooklyn.

A hit to your shots and minutes is a pretty big deal in fantasy basketball. Every minute counts and every shot certainly counts, as well. Williams was accustomed to jacking up anywhere from 13-17 shots from 2006-2011 and during that time we never saw him log less than 36 minutes per game. That’s changed, and his numbers have understandably dropped.

You can throw new head coach Lionel Hollins into the mix, as well. Hollins has always been known for odd rotations that boggle the mind. Earlier this year he toyed with the emotions of Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee and now despite playing pretty well, we barely see Plumlee at all. That’s partially due to Brook Lopez playing out of his mind, but considering how well Plumlee was playing, you’d think we would have at least seen more of him at power forward.

Regardless, Hollins messes things up and it hasn’t helped Williams. We’ll see Williams randomly benched late in games, while there was even a span where a healthy D-Will was coming off the bench completely. We can’t understand what goes on in Hollins’ mind, but we do realize that the combination of Hollins and Jack haven’t been great for consistent fantasy value.

Is He Worth the Trouble?

Lately, D-Will has been worth owning. Deron Williams has come alive again despite those random benchings and a few games with inconsistent minutes. His 26-point outing against the New York Knicks is evidence he can still pour it on thick (although it was the Knicks, after all) and he’s been a more stable fantasy contributor, overall.

That being said, it’s very possible we’ve seen the death of Deron Williams, the elite fantasy producer. Deron Williams still has the talent and athleticism, even at 30, to be a great fantasy asset. He’s never been an elite defender, but he still has a killer handle and an impeccable jumper. He can take it to the hole and create for others as good as ever, too. His problem is the circumstances around him and right now they don’t look like they’ll be changing. For this season, you’re just going to have to suck it up and embrace the good you get out of D-Will. Going into next season’s fantasy draft, you may want to remember how much the bad parts stung, before drafting the once-elite point guard.
 
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