Fantasy Basketball Buy & Sell: Week 7

by Tyler Watts
Nov 29, 2018

Fantasy basketball managers with Stephen Curry on their squad are about to get an early Christmas present. The Warriors point guard is expected to return on Dec. 1 against the Detroit Pistons. It is not a moment too soon as Curry has not played since Nov. 8. Being without your number one pick for three weeks is difficult for any fantasy squad.

The return of Curry leads me to a larger fantasy trade point. He was averaging 29.5 points, 5.2 three-pointers made, 5.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.3 blocks in 33.3 minutes per game over the 12 games he has played this season. Curry’s percentages are 51.5 from the field and 92.3 from the foul line.

Now assuming the steals return closer to his career average of 1.8 per game, Curry was on pace to push for the number one spot in fantasy rankings if the rest of those numbers hold. He had an ADP of 8, though.

The easiest way to win a trade in fantasy basketball is by capitalizing on a player’s unseen or unexpected value. If you think Curry is the number one player moving forward it is much easier to “win” any trade by receiving the Warriors point guard than if you think he is only the eighth best player from here on out.

Personally, I rank Curry at number three behind James Harden and Anthony Davis for the rest of this season. Expect him to put up a monster stat line and acquire him with confidence.

With that said, let us look at some other players that may have unexpected values going forward.

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Buy

Here are two additional players to attempt to acquire in a trade to help managers win their leagues.

Devin Booker (PHO)
Sticking with a similar theme, Booker has some unexpected value from even preseason expectations. The Suns are waiving Isaiah Canaan and making Booker the full-time starting point guard. That boosts his assist potential to a new level and creates some added value.

Booker had an ADP of 25 but should have no problems being a top-20 player moving forward. Once his three-pointers start falling at a more normal clip, he should average 25.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 3.0 three-pointers made per game in his 36 minutes per night. The fourth-year guard continues to expand his game, and he could legitimately reach the top-10 in the coming seasons.

Acquire Booker now and enjoy some additional value from the Suns franchise player.

Jeff Teague (MIN)
Teague continues to be an underrated asset in fantasy basketball. The Wolves point guard had an ADP of 68, but that was with Jimmy Butler still on the team. Now Jimmy Buckets is in Philly, and two lower-usage players are sharing the court with Teague in Minnesota. Derrick Rose and his unsustainable hot shooting are the talks of the town, but Teague is the player to acquire.

He has finished inside the top-50 in total value for eight-category leagues for seven consecutive seasons. The only thing holding that value back this year is some poor shooting to start the season. Teague appears to have it back on track after shooting over 45 percent in the month of November.

Expect Teague to average 15.0 points, 7.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 three-pointers made, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks on 44.6 percent from the field and 84.5 percent on his free throws moving forward. That will once again be top-50 value, and other fantasy managers are sleeping on his production.

Sell

Here are two players fantasy managers should sell because their value may never be higher.

Kyrie Irving (BOS)
Irving is only averaging 22.0 points per game, but his unsustainable defensive stats have inflated his early-season value. He is currently producing fringe first-round value, but that will not hold for the rest of the year.

For his career, Kyrie averages 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocks per game, but this season those numbers are 1.9 steals and 0.6 blocks. Add in new career-highs in assists and rebounds, and fantasy managers get a top-15 player. The rebounds are the most likely number to hold because the Celtics are playing Al Horford at the five who is not a particularly strong rebounder.

Fast forward to season’s end, and Irving likely falls outside the top-20. The defensive stats and assists are going to fall back to career norms causing his value to slip. Fantasy managers are going to want to sell now while his value is at its peak.

Clint Capela (HOU)
Capela is having the best season of his career by far thanks in large part to playing 34.5 minutes a night. That is a full seven minutes above his previous career mark.

Capela’s line is outstanding, though. He is averaging 17.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steal, and 2.1 blocks per game on 65.4 percent from the field and 57.7 percent from the line. Not bad for a player with an ADP of 38. Capela ranks inside the top-30 with his current production.

The problem is the minutes likely only decrease as the season progresses. The Rockets have been hit hard by injuries early this year. Chris Paul has missed five games, James Harden was out for three, and backup center Nene has yet to play this season.

The last man there is getting close to returning, though. Nene may play as early as Dec. 1. He figures to return to a 15-minute per night role and play exclusively at the five. That means Capela’s minutes dip to 33 at the maximum. Houston also plays some small ball lineups limiting Capela’s playing time further.

Trade the Rockets starting center now while his value remains maxed out.

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Tyler Watts is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Tyler, follow him @tylerpwatts.

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