6 Fantasy Basketball Players to Buy and Sell for Week 7
It's that time of the week once again when we look for three players to buy and three to sell in fantasy hoops.
The buy options are most often players who are not living up to expectations and present a nice buy-low window, but sometimes it's also about jumping on a player in the midst of a breakout before he reaches his full potential.
On the other side of the coin, we look at players to sell, either because they are temporarily punching above their weight class, or because their situation is about to get less friendly for fantasy purposes.
All rankings come courtesy of Basketball Monster.
Now, let's hit the market.
T.J. Warren, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
T.J. Warren came off the bench for the Phoenix Suns at the beginning of the season, but he took Ryan Anderson's job as the team's starting power forward back on November 8, and it doesn't look like he's planning on giving it back.
In his nine games since becoming a regular fixture in Phoenix's starting five, Warren has been the 10th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 21.3 points, 2.1 three-pointers, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.0 block, and 0.9 turnovers in a healthy 35.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.5% from the field and 90.0% from the free throw line.
He had an average draft position (ADP) of 118.0 across the industry coming into this season, so his suddenly playing like a first-round asset may have some feeling like this is the perfect time to sell high.
Not so fast.
His numbers over this stretch are very similar to what he put up in 2017-18, when he ranked 75th overall in nine-category leagues. The main exception is that he's now hitting almost two triples per contest as opposed to practically none. Adding the three-pointer to his game and upping his overall efficiency a notch has turned him into an early-round guy going forward.
If you can convince Warren's current owner in your league that he or she is selling high, jump on it. His improved shooting from deep seems legit, and the Suns appear committed to fully unleashing the 25-year-old during his breakout. Get in on it while you still can.
Pascal Siakam, PF, Toronto Raptors
Much like T.J. Warren, Pascal Siakam is another young player that seems to be in the midst of a legitimate fantasy (and real-life) breakout.
Siakam is the 33rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues through 21 games this season, averaging 14.5 points, 0.6 threes, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 29.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 63.1% from the field and 78.3% from the free throw line.
And as good as his overall line is, he's been even more impressive if you eliminate his first six games, in which he was adjusting to life as the new starting power forward for the Toronto Raptors. Over his last 15 contests, he's been the 15th-ranked player in nine-cat, averaging 17.0 points, 0.6 triples, 7.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 31.3 minutes per game, while shooting a blistering 65.2% from the field and 81.5% from the charity stripe.
He might be in for some regression with those percentages, but not as much as one might think, considering his career marks of 53.3% from the field and 68.7% from the line are still pretty solid. Meanwhile, the minutes and counting stats are for real, as Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has started Siakam at power forward for all 21 games the team has played this season. That's especially impressive when you consider the fact that Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas -- the two left scrapping for minutes at center while Siakam holds down the four -- are both having solid seasons as well.
Siakam owners might be trying to sell ultra-high on the 24-year-old, but the reality of the matter is that he's an early-round guy now and going forward. If you can acquire him before the sample size gets big enough to prove that, don't hesitate.
Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray finished 2017-18 as the 60th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, and his 58.7 ADP coming into this season suggested that most people were expecting similar returns from the third-year guard.
Through 20 games, Murray has been the 79th-ranked player overall, but he's in the midst of a rough patch at the moment, ranking all the way down to 139th over his last 10. Over that span, he's averaged 15.8 points, 1.5 triples, 4.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers in 34.8 minutes per contest, with a shooting split of 39.2% from the field and 82.6% from the charity stripe.
In terms of counting stats, one could argue that that line is even better than what he was putting up last year with the increased rebounds, assists, and blocks, but the dips in his shooting split from 45.1% and 90.5% to 39.2% and 82.6% and his increase from 2.1 to 2.7 turnovers are what's tanking his value.
If you believe in his ability to get back closer to his career marks in those categories, then the rest should work itself out, and Murray should go back to being a mid-round asset with early-round upside before too long. There's a buy-low window open right now, if you want to peak in.
John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
John Wall had an ADP of 16.3 across the industry this season, despite ranking 59th in nine-category leagues on a per-game basis last year. He's off to a slightly better start in 2018-19, currently ranking 38th overall, but he's been 108th over his last six and is currently trending down.
Over that six-game span, his averages of 23.2 points, 2.2 threes, 3.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.7 blocks in 36.1 minutes per contest have been getting it done, but his shooting split of 44.0% from the field and 60.0% is holding his value down, while the whopping 3.8 turnovers per game is beating it to death.
If you can sell Wall on his name and draft position, do so. He's been slipping to the back-half of early-round value over the last couple seasons, and all the controversy currently surrounding the 8-12 Washington Wizards might get in the way of his rehabbing his fantasy stock anytime soon.
Zach LaVine, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine has been solid for owners so far this year, ranking 53rd overall in nine-category leagues after going for an ADP of 64.3 across the industry. He's been trending down as of late, however, so you should trade him before this situation goes from bad to worse.
Over LaVine's last six games, he's averaged 22.3 points, 1.0 three, 5.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 3.8 turnovers in 35.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 40.5% from the field and 85.7% from the free throw line. The popcorn points, rebounds, and assists are nice, but the lack of defensive stats, abundance of turnovers, and ho-hum shooting percentage have resulted in a 153rd ranking over that span.
With Lauri Markkanen (elbow), Kris Dunn (knee), and Bobby Portis (knee) all on the comeback trail for the Chicago Bulls, LaVine's sky-high 33.2% usage rate is about to take a major hit. If he sees fewer touches and shots once his team is back up to full strength, he stands to lose a lot of what makes him so valuable to begin with (the points, threes, and assists). Sell now while the sellin' is good.
Dennis Schroder, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Dennis Schroder excelled while filling in for an injured Russell Westbrook as the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this season, and he's even kept it going a fair bit in the four games since Russ' return.
Over his last seven games (including four starts), Schroder's been the 34th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 18.4 points, 2.4 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers in 31.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 40.7% from the field and a perfect 20-for-20 from the charity stripe.
There's plenty to like in that line, but one can't look past the fact that his best fantasy performances so far this season have mostly come while Westbrook has been on the shelf. Assuming Westbrook's healthy going forward, Schroder becomes more of a late-round guy with plenty of risk for dud performances on a night-by-night basis, as opposed to the mid- to early-round guy he's been parading around as lately while Russ has been working out the kinks.
Send out some offers and see if you can get a more consistent mid-round guy in exchange for Schroder before the good times dry up. He barely cracked the top-100 in Atlanta last year (95th, to be precise), and that was with a golden opportunity to do basically everything for the rebuilding Hawks. His fantasy outlook for the rest of this season as a backup in OKC is not promising enough to justify sitting on him any longer now that Westbrook is back at full strength.