Fantasy Basketball Buy & Sell: Week 5
Fantasy basketball managers should be evaluating their teams with a keen eye at this point. More than 15 percent of the NBA’s regular season is in the books. The stats are starting to become more real with each passing game. Figuring out where your squad needs to improve is important. Then, making those improvements is the key to fantasy glory.
Today, we examine five players that should be traded and why. Buying and selling at the right moment is one way to get a massive leg up on your competition.
Here are three men fantasy managers should make an effort to acquire.
Mike Conley (UTH – PG)
Conley is struggling in his transition to Utah. That should not be a massive surprise. He spent 12 consecutive seasons in Memphis, most as the starting point guard and lead offensive initiator. Fans saw when Ricky Rubio went to Utah that the Jazz split the playmaking duties. It should be no surprise they are doing the same thing with Conley.
The full season numbers look poor, bad enough that Conley ranks 168th on the FantasyPros Player Rater right now. There have been signs of improvement. Over his last five games, Conley is averaging 18.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.6 3-pointers made. The steals are still down, but they can be finicky and produced in bunches.
Conley will shoot better, too. Once he gets his field goal percentage back into the range of his 43.9 percent career average, the points will be back up around 17 to 18 per night. Assuming the steals return, Conley is pushing the top 40 again.
Fantasy managers should take a chance and buy low on Conley. Some are likely to sell him for a player outside the top 75. That is a situation you can take advantage of before he fully turns it around.
Jrue Holiday (NOP – PG/SG)
Holiday is currently 48th on the Player Rater. In another week, he will be in the top 20 again. Now is your chance to buy low.
Holiday got off to a bit of a rough start. There was plenty of roster turnover in New Orleans which can make things a bit difficult. Still, after his first 11 games, Holiday is averaging 17.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. The scoring is down because he is shooting 39.4 percent from the field. Holiday is a career 45.1 percent shooter.
Expect the veteran guard to push 20 points per game when the field goal percentage normalizes. That pushes him right back into the top of the rankings. Try to buy low now. Even if you have to give up a third-round talent in a 12-team league, adding Holiday is a still a significant upgrade to your roster.
Steven Adams (OKC – C)
Adams is 264th on the Player Rater. If you need big man stats, there may be no better target, though. Those caring about percentages need to be wary for his free throw percentage, but Adams produces monster numbers elsewhere.
So far, he is playing just 26.5 minutes per game. Much of that has to do with injuries that have caused him to miss three contests. Adams has played over 31 and 27 minutes in the Thunder’s last two games. With 30 minutes a night, he should average 11 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 block, and 13 points per game. That sounds like a player I want to roster.
Adams is being dropped in some leagues. He can be had a for a player outside the top 100 in others. The seven-footer should comfortably finish inside the top 75 presenting a fantastic buying opportunity right now.
Here are two players fantasy managers should trade away while their value is at its peak.
Chris Paul (OKC – PG)
Paul is adjusting to his new surroundings well. He is averaging 16.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.8 3-pointers made, and 1.8 steals per game. CP3 is currently 20th on the Player Rater.
Experienced fantasy managers will not be surprised by his start. Paul always puts up outstanding numbers. He is extremely efficient to go with elite steals and strong production across the board. It makes him a perennial top-20 option on a per-game basis.
Now is the perfect time to sell CP3. The durability has been a major drawback. He has played 61 games or fewer in each of the last three seasons. Over the last 10 years, Paul has topped 70 games just four times.
Paul is producing like a second-round talent in 12-team leagues. I’d be willing to sell him for anybody ranked in the top 35. Trading away Paul for a safer bet is a wise decision for fantasy managers, especially those in head-to-head leagues.
Domantas Sabonis (IND – PF/C)
Sabonis is off to a blazing start. The 23-year-old big man is averaging 18.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game on sturdy percentages. That places him 31st on the Player Rater.
Sabonis has done some of his best work in the eight games Myles Turner missed. Turner is back now and playing 30-plus minutes every night. That has limited Sabonis to 29 minutes in each of the last two games. The Pacers are committed to playing both, but Turner also takes rebounds and points away from Sabonis.
Domantas Sabonis will struggle to finish inside the top 50. His lack of defensive stats hurt his cause. Add in the fact that Turner limits him to 11 rebounds and 16 points per game, and that pushes him down the rankings.
Fantasy managers should try to trade him to a rebound-needy team. It could force a massive overpay, and you could secure a third-round talent for Sabonis who is likely to finish significantly worse.
Tyler Watts is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Tyler, follow him @tylerpwatts.