Fantasy Basketball Buy/Sell (12/7)
Another week, another injury. Actually, another several injuries is more like it. When you take a look at the players currently out, you could field a full five on five all-star game. It’s certainly unfortunate if you own one of these injured stars, no doubt about it. However, injuries like this create the opportunity to find a waiver wire gem that helps your team for the rest of the season.
Finding these hidden gems are an integral part of fantasy success, regardless of the sport. After focusing on big men lately, this week is much more guard heavy, headlined by a guard out west who should be targeted in trade as his value should continue to rise.
Players to Buy
Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG – UTA)
If a fantasy basketball draft was held today, there’s a good chance that Donovan Mitchell would be a top-50 pick in some drafts. All he’s done is get better with each passing week. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaging 23.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 3.9 3-pointers on 49.1% shooting. Included in this stretch was a 41-point explosion against the Pelicans.
Personally, I’m doing all I can to have as many Mitchell shares as possible. This kid can flat out score and is turning into one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Those averages I listed above are a solid baseline for what he should produce for the rest of the season. If you need scoring or 3’s, I’d suggest making an offer for Mitchell before his value continues to rise.
Kenneth Faried (PF/C – DEN)
Remember when Kenneth Faried was a solid fantasy big man? It’s been a few years since that time, but he’s got a golden opportunity to flourish in Denver’s frontcourt with the injuries to Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic. Faried is a far cry from those two fantasy stalwarts, but he’s performed admirably over the last five games with averages of 13 points and 10 rebounds on 61% shooting. Don’t go hog wild on Faried, but if you need a big man, he should be serviceable until both Jokic and Millsap return.
Tomas Satoransky (PG – WAS)
With John Wall out indefinitely, Tomas Satoransky will get some decent run as the Wizards best active point guard. Who the heck is this guy you ask? Well, he’s a 6’7″ point guard from the Czech Republic and was the Wizards second-round pick back in 2012. He’s only played 71 games in his career but should get some run while Wall is out.
In the last four games, Satoransky is averaging 11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Not great numbers but definitely usable in 12+ team leagues. If you’re a Wall owner, or someone desperate for a point guard, Satoransky should put up late-round value until Wall is back. Just remember, this is most likely a short-term addition.
Milos Teodosic (PG – LAC)
Speaking of point guards, one of the top sleeper point guard picks before the season is finally nearing a return to the Clippers lineup. Minutes won’t be an issue upon his return either. This Clippers team is banged up and recently lost Patrick Beverley for the season. There’s no reason why Teodosic won’t get in the vicinity of 30 minutes per game when he returns to the lineup next week.
Though he hasn’t had much of a chance to showcase it, Teodosic is one of the most talented pure passers in this league. Not being able to feed the ball to a guy like Blake Griffin for the next couple months certainly isn’t ideal, but there’s still Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan, and company to dish the rock to. Expect stats in the range of 12-15 points and 7-9 rebounds per game, plus some 3’s and steals mixed in for good measure. Teodosic is skilled enough to provide mid-round value the rest of the way.
Players to Sell
Malcolm Brogdon (PG – MIL)
Last year’s Rookie of the Year isn’t quite performing up to par in his second season. Originally drafted as a top-100 player, Brogdon’s recent performance has him on the cusp of not even being productive enough to roster in standard leagues. It’s not necessarily because he’s a bad player, though. The acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from Phoenix has put a damper on Brogdon’s fantasy value.
Since Bledsoe’s first game with Milwaukee on November 10th, Brogdon has averaged only 10.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Those aren’t stats you write home to mom about. His minutes haven’t taken too much of a hit, but he’s just not a big enough part of the offense to own in fantasy right now. If you have Brogdon, I’d recommend giving him the boot for a hot free agent. Maybe one of the two point guards mentioned above.
Zach LaVine (PG/SG – CHC)
Listen, I like Zach LaVine as a player, but it’s getting really hard to keep him on fantasy rosters with all the big name players going down lately. In 47 games last season, LaVine averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.6 three-pointers on 45.9% shooting from the field and 83.6% from the line. The number that stands out the most there is the 47 games played. LaVine missed the last three months of the season with his knee injury, and by the time he returns, it will be almost a full calendar year since he last played in an NBA game.
The Bulls also have no reason to rush LaVine back either. They’re the worst team in the NBA by a mile at 3-19 and have been getting decent play from the likes of Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday, and Denzel Valentine. Rushing LaVine back would just make no sense. With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise me to see his return date pushed back a few more times, and he will have serious minute restrictions upon his return. If you’re holding multiple injured players and need to free up a spot, I’d give LaVine the boot.