6 Fantasy Basketball Players to Buy and Sell for Week 2
Week 1 is in the books, and even though we're only two to three games per team into a long season, there are plenty of ways for fantasy hoops players to take advantage of panic-stricken owners in their leagues.
Several early-round picks are under-performing, while some late-round guys are punching well above their weight class. It's never too early for you to pounce and exploit your opponents as they potentially overreact to early-season returns. Buying low and selling high might never be easier than it is in the early going of a season.
Here are a few players to buy and sell as we start Week 2 of the NBA season.
Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Memphis Grizzlies
Buying Jaren Jackson Jr. right now is far from buying low, as he's currently killing his 113.7 average draft position (ADP) by ranking 49th in nine-category leagues through three games. Buying high is not always a bad idea, however, when an owner might think that he or she is selling high. JJJ is a rookie without a permanent starting job, so there's likely to be some inconsistency, but he's off to such a strong start that it makes sense to buy into his early-round ceiling before everyone gets wise to it.
Through the aforementioned three games, Jackson has averaged 15.0 points, 0.7 threes, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.0 block, and only 0.7 turnovers in a modest 26.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 76.5% from the free throw line. Combine that solid all-around line with the fact that JaMychal Green is out two to four weeks with a broken jaw, and JJJ is very well situated for an early-season breakout as the team's new starting power forward. He even went and had a modest 11-point first career start on Monday to help your cause.
Kyrie Irving, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving is struggling to score to start the 2018-19 season, and that opens up a slight buy-low window for the star guard. Through four games, he's averaging 16.5 points, 1.0 three-pointer, 4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.5 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 32.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 39.1% from the field and 88.9% from the free throw line.
Most of that line matches what he usually brings to the table as a top-15 fantasy asset, with the exception of the points, threes, and field goal percentage. His shot totals and usage are fairly close to what they were during the three-year period that he was teamed up with LeBron James and Kevin Love in Cleveland, so any talk of how loaded the Boston Celtics are eating into his production might be overblown.
Buy low now while you can. Once his 39.1% field goal percentage and 18.2% three-point percentage get closer to his 49.1% and 40.8% marks from last year, respectively, he'll be a second-round asset with first-round upside all over again.
Draymond Green, PF/C, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green is the midst of a scoring slump, averaging just 6.3 points per game (with five or fewer points in three of his four contests), with a shooting split of 34.6% from the field, 14.3% from deep, and 66.7% from the line. He's never been much of a scorer -- averaging 9.3 points per game over his seven-year NBA career -- but his shooting efficiency should regress to something resembling his career split of 43.8%, 32.6%, and 70.7% before too long.
Meanwhile, his 8.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 steals are right where you'd expect them to be, and those are the main categories you bought into Dray for in the first place anyway. His 0.3 threes and 0.5 blocks are bound to go up (0.9 and 1.1, respectively, over his career), and the 4.0 turnovers will surely go down around his 2.0 career mark as well.
Green is a great all-around fantasy asset that can contribute in all nine standard fantasy categories on any given night. Buying low on his early-round value while he's playing like a late-rounder should be a given.
Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Boston Celtics
It's great to see Gordon Hayward back on the court after a horrific ankle injury cost him all but five minutes of last season, but the idea of Gordon Hayward the All-Star from his days with the Utah Jazz might be worth more this season than Gordon Hayward, the guy returning from injury to a stacked Boston Celtics team. In other words, now might be the best time to sell the promise of Hayward returning to All-Star form, just in case we don't get that.
Through four contests, he's missed one game on the second of a back-to-back and was capped at 25 minutes for each of his three appearances. He has averaged a fairly promising 11.7 points, 1.7 triples, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in his 24.6 minutes per game over that span, while shooting 42.4% from the field and 66.7% from the line, but it's all still a far cry from his 33rd-ranked returns during his last healthy season in 2016-17.
The minutes limit should only last a couple weeks, but the lack of explosiveness and general soreness in his surgically-repaired ankle might be a cause for concern. He was drafted with an ADP of 42.7, suggesting that most people expect an eventual return to form for the 28-year-old. Just in case the Celtics continue to exercise caution with their $128-million man, see if you can sell the idea of Hayward for a more stable mid- to early-round asset.
Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol is a 7'1", 250-pound 33-year-old center that is playing through back soreness. If you can't find a red flag or two in that sentence, let me put it simply: sell Marc Gasol while the sellin' is good.
Gasol has been a top-50 fantasy asset in nine-category leagues for nine consecutive years, and everyone drafted him as such based on his 36.0 ADP. He's got an early-round ceiling, no doubt, but he might be due for an age-induced drop-off. The early-season soreness certainly doesn't instill confidence either.
Through three games, Gasol is up to his regular tricks, coming in as the 44th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, with averages of 14.7 points, 2.0 three-pointers, 8.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.0 blocks (oddly), and 1.0 turnover in 30.8 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 36.4% from the field and 87.5% from the line. If you can package those decent returns and get a more up-and-coming asset with more upside (and fewer game-time decisions in his future), you should.
DeAndre Jordan, C, Dallas Mavericks
It looks like DeAndre Jordan is in for a big year with the Dallas Mavericks, as he is currently the seventh-ranked player in nine-category leagues through the first week of the season. And while his mid-round floor is a given, and his early-round ceiling is very much in play this year, he's not built to maintain his current first-round value.
Through three games, the big guy is averaging 17.0 points, 12.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.0 steal, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 31.3 minutes per contest, while shooting a blistering 70.0% from the field and 90.0% from the charity stripe. He has proven time and again that the rebounding, defensive numbers, and field goal percentage are all legit, but the scoring and free throw percentage are due for regression. DJ's got a career scoring average of 9.5 (including a 12.7 career high), with a mark of 44.7% from the line over 11 NBA seasons. He could continue to build on his career-high 58.0% from the line last season, but it's not about to jump an additional 30%.
You're happy if you got Jordan around his 41.7 ADP this year, but if you can sell high on his scorching hot start, you should at least explore it.