Fantasy Basketball Buy & Sell: Week 13
The NBA transaction market is about to pick up. Teams can now sign players to 10-day contracts. The gap in the standings is also beginning to widen, which will create more reasons to make trades in the coming weeks.
For fantasy managers, that means keeping a close eye on the waiver wire is crucial. Players may bubble up out of nowhere and have a hot run of games that can win your head-to-head matchup or boost your roto standing.
Trades can also create new season-long acquisitions. The shift in minutes and roles can swing a player’s value wildly. Be sure to pay attention to the news. The time to make massive moves in your standings is closing, so now is the opportunity.
Fantasy managers can make their own trades to improve their position. Here are this week’s targets.
Let us take a peek at two players to acquire in a trade to make gains in your standings.
Otto Porter Jr. (SF/PF – WAS)
Porter Jr. has been a fantasy disappointment so far this season. Injuries and underperformance have both victimized the Wizards forward, who is averaging just 28.3 minutes per game on the year. That is leading to a sharp drop in his points (12.3) and rebounds (4.4). Porter Jr. is also shooting 48.3 percent from the field—he was over 50 percent for two straight years—and just 77.1 percent on his free throws (over 82 percent the last two seasons).
Things are about to change for him, though. John Wall’s season-ending injury bumps Porter Jr. from the third to second option on offense. He could easily play 33 minutes a night and should see an increase in shot attempts.
Porter Jr. is also just returning to full health. The shooting percentages should return to over 50 and 82, which would make his jump in the rankings drastic.
He had an ADP of 54 heading into the season. Yahoo’s draft position of 34 skewed the number a bit, though. Porter Jr. won’t live up to that ranking, but he should be a top-50 player for the rest of the season. Managers may be able to acquire him for a player outside the top 75 because of his slow start. That is a move to make 10 times out of 10.
Gordon Hayward (SG/SF – BOS)
Hayward ranks near the top of the fantasy disappointments list for the second consecutive year. The devastating injury ended his season on opening night last year. Yet he still had an ADP of 41 heading into this year. He is playing just 26.6 minutes a night and has barely been standard-league valuable through the first half.
Hayward is beginning to play more minutes, though. He has played over 30 minutes twice in the last four games. Boston won by 21 and 27 points in the two contests where Hayward was under 30. In 32 minutes per game, he should easily be a top-50 player.
Acquiring Hayward at a discount should be relatively easy. Rostering him has been a difficult ride, so managers may want to sell after this glimmer of hope. Offer players outside the top 75 and enjoy grabbing him at a solid discount.
Here are two players to trade away while their value is at its highest.
D’Angelo Russell (PG/SG – BKN)
Russell is having a breakout fourth season. The 22-year-old is averaging career-highs in minutes (29.4), points (18.2), assists (6.3), and 3-pointers made (2.4) per game plus averaging his best field-goal (42.6 percent), 3-point (35.6 percent), and free-throw (81.3) percentages.
The shooting gains are likely to fall off slightly. Russell is hitting 53.9 percent on mid-range shots from 10 to 16 feet from the basket. His previous career-best is 46.7 percent from that range. Russell’s field-goal percentage will likely revert closer to his career 41.2 percent.
The health track record should also have managers looking to make a move. Russell played 80 games as a rookie, but the two years since have seen just 63 and 48 games played. The guard has 41 games in the book already this year. Maybe he stays healthy, but there are less risky players available.
Russell is still playing under 30 minutes per game, too. Managers could trade off this hot asset, who is getting plenty of attention for his breakout campaign, for a player seeing more consistent minutes. Russell had an ADP of 72, but managers can likely trade him for a top-50 player at this point.
DeAndre Ayton (PF/C – PHO)
Ayton is having a fantastic rookie season. The number one overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft is averaging 16.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game on the year in 31.0 minutes a night. Ayton is shooting 60.0 percent from the field and 78.4 percent on his free throws too.
Ayton has played 12 of his 43 games this season with Devin Booker. That has likely forced the ball into his hands a bit more frequently than the Suns envisioned at the start of the year.
Ayton’s shooting is also a bit worrying. He is a special talent, but the percentages are a bit unsustainable. According to NBA Stats, Ayton is shooting 72.1 percent on attempts under five feet. That is 16th in the NBA among players shooting at least two attempts a night. Ayton is shooting 53.0 percent on shots five to nine feet. That is eighth in the NBA and above players like Kevin Durant (48.1 percent), Nikola Jokic (50.0 percent), and DeMar DeRozan (49.6 percent).
Ayton’s lack of 3-pointers coupled with a drop in field-goal percentage and scoring would knock his value down to outside the top 40.
The rookie had an ADP of 37, and fantasy managers always gravitate to a hot young talent. They should have no issues selling high and getting a nice profit on Ayton.
Tyler Watts is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Tyler, follow him @tylerpwatts.