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What should frustrated managers do with Beal?

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Ryan Knaus examines Washington Wizards G/F Bradley Beal's shooting slump and reassures frustrated fantasy managers that positive regression is on the way.

Video Transcript

RYAN KNAUS: Although the Washington Wizards have had some struggles to [? be ?] in December, they're still in the thick of the playoff race with a record comfortably north of .500. That's despite a wave of new players fitting in with holdovers from the Russell Westbrook era, despite Davis Bertans struggling mightily to fulfill a big contract that makes him the team's third-highest-paid player, and despite superstar Bradley Beal scoring nearly 10 fewer points than he did a season ago.

Beal's decreased scoring is the result of multiple factors. He's attempting 3.4 fewer shots per game, selflessly deferring so that teammates can enjoy easier shots. And with defenses keyed into stopping Beal every night, his efficiency has plummeted.

To judge by true shooting, a metric that factors in free throws and 3-pointers, Beal is having his least efficient season shooting the ball since 2013-14. He's also getting to the free-throw line far less frequently than he has in recent seasons, a shame since he's 82% for his career at the stripe. And he's shooting a career-low 26% from deep. If you exclude the left corner, he's a combined 23.3% this season. Finally, Beal's turnover rate has spiked to a career high, and all of these negatives speak to him playing a new role on a team with a vastly different cast of characters than he had a year ago.

On the plus side, Beal's six assists and 4.8 rebounds are both just shy of career highs. Beal is simply too good to shoot this poorly all season. He's too smart not to adjust to the league's new rules and get himself to the free-throw line with greater frequency.

If you drafted him in the first round, frustration is understandable. Just remember that we have months until fantasy playoffs, and this could easily be the low watermark for Beal all season long.