Fantasy Basketball Buy & Sell: Week 2
The NBA season is only one week old, and fans have already seen plenty of surprises. The remaining undefeated teams heading into action on Dec. 29 are the Cavaliers, Pacers, Magic, and Hawks, just as everyone predicted. There have been upsets, surprising performances, and dreaded injuries.
Fantasy managers shouldn’t panic — it’s a long season. If you dropped your Week 1 matchup, you will have plenty of time to come back. Early in the season is one of the best times to acquire players at a discount and sell someone after a hot start. Let’s break down five players that managers should be looking at on the trade market in Week 2.
Here are three options to acquire after the first week of the fantasy season.
Robert Covington (SF/PF/C – POR)
Covington is off to a slow start in Portland, and he’s even getting dropped in some leagues. Fantasy managers should acquire him right now. He finished 24th on the FantasyPros Player Rater last season and was being drafted 72nd in ADP. Bob Cov was already coming at a discount.
He is ranked outside the top 200 right now, but you shouldn’t worry about that. Covington is still playing 30 minutes per game. He’s been adjusting to life on to the Blazers slowly, but he is one of the league’s best 3-and-D wings.
Expect strong rebounds, steals, blocks, and threes as he finishes inside the top 40 on the Player Rater by the end of the season. He can be had for a player outside the top 100 in most leagues right now. Send an offer for him now.
Jusuf Nurkic (C – POR)
Covington’s teammate, Jusuf Nurkic, is also off to a slow start. The Blazers were blown out by the Jazz in the season opener, which pushed all five starters’ minutes down. Nurkic has been a per-minute monster in his career and is ready to play 30-plus per game for the first time in his career.
He went 37th overall in drafts, but he is ranked 199th on the Player Rater. If his manager is panicking, swoop in and acquire the center. He is an across the board contributor that could easily finish inside the top 30 this season. Attempt an offer for someone just outside the top 50 and reap the benefits of Nurkic for the rest of the season.
Josh Richardson (SG/SF – DAL)
Richardson has played well so far, and he currently ranks 42nd on the Player Rater, which is a significant step up from his ADP of 102. So, why buy him now? Richardson was underrated all draft season. His manager may be thinking that moving him now would constitute selling high, helping you land him at a discount.
Nearly every Mavericks role player shot a career-high three-point percentage last season — such is life playing with Luka Doncic. JRich could produce his best field goal percentage, rebounds, steals, and blocks while averaging 16 points per game in the Mavericks’ high powered offense. The 27-year-old’s career year will put him inside the top 50 on the final Player Rater. Buy him before it is too late.
Here are two players fantasy managers should look to sell after Week 1.
Zion Williamson (PF – NOR)
Zion is an outstanding NBA player. He is exciting to watch and a future star, but he may not be a fantasy monster. The rookie averaged just 0.7 steals and 0.4 blocks per game last season. If you add in his limited playmaking, free throw struggles, and lack of outside shooting, well, you’re left only with positive contributions in points, rebounds, and field goal percentage only. It’s difficult to be a fantasy star with only three positive categories.
Zion had an ADP of 23, which could be higher than his ceiling. His strong numbers after three games could allow managers to recoup every cent of that draft position, though. Remember, there is some injury risk, too. I’d take any top-40 player for Zion right now.
Myles Turner (C – IND)
Myles Turner is blocking everything in the early going. Through three games, he is averaging 5.7 a night. The 24-year-old is one of the favorites to lead the NBA in blocked shots this season, but he is currently third on the Player Rater.
Before this season, Turner was hyped as an annual breakout fantasy candidate. After two straight years of not making his way into the top 25, his draft stock plummeted to 76th this year. That’s a bit too low, as he finished 48th on the Player Rater last season. Someone may still believe in his top-30 potential after his early showing.
Grabbing a player inside the top 40 for Turner seems like a wise move. Perhaps fantasy managers could trade Turner for Nurkic or Covington. Both are sound trades that could net you a strong profit for the rest of the season.