Do or die: 9 Fantasy basketball players on the verge of being ‘expendable’ (poll)

Yao Ming

What does Yaouch Ming have to do with Dolph Lundgren? Probably nothing, but whatever. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

With every new season there’s a fresh list of fantasy basketball players that are on the verge of being given up on. Some of these players are walking DNPs that have one more shot to prove that they can play a full season, or something close to it; others are players who have coyly toed the line between fantasy goodness and fantasy greatness for a few seasons and are testing our collective patience; others have failed to fulfill past “sleeper” labels; still others are former studs who have regressed into duds in recent seasons and have one last shot at a redemptive comeback season before they’re permanently locked in the cellar.

Here’s a list of nine such players teetering on the edge of utter hopelessness this season (from a nine-category perspective), along with a rating of how close they are to being lost causes. We’ll use an uber-macho scale of Dolph Lundgrens (1 = not that close from final doom, 5 = direly close). Why nine, and why Dolphs? Look no further than here for a visual explanation.

It’s go time.

Gilbert Arenas: He’s played a combined 47 games in the past three seasons, partly due to injuries and partly due to stupidity. With John Wall in town, Arenas’ days of being a top dog are over. After burning so many owners in recent years, if Arenas either can’t stay healthy, adjust to his role as a shooting guard or share the court with the Wizards’ No. 1 priority, his days as a fantasy stud are over.

Dolph-o-meter:

Dolph Lundgren Dolph Lundgren Dolph Lundgren

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Yao Ming: Yao’s story is easy: he’s missed 173 regular-season games in the past five seasons. That’s an average of 34.6 DNPs per season. This, along with his pessimistic recent mentions of retirement and his feet o’ glass, makes Yao the ultimate make-or-break player this season. If he misses a good chunk of the season again, let alone endures another foot injury, it’s curtains for his fantasy value — and maybe even his NBA career.

Dolph-o-meter:

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