6 Fantasy Basketball Players to Buy and Sell for Week 11
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.
Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic
Aaron Gordon had a breakout fantasy campaign in 2017-18, ranking 65th in nine-category leagues on a per-game basis after failing to crack the top-100 over his first three seasons.
He was well on his way to topping that through his first 24 games this year, ranking 45th over that span with averages of 16.6 points, 1.7 three-pointers, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.9 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in 32.7 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 47.7% from the field and 68.2% from the free throw line.
He's been mired in a brutal slump over his last seven games, however. Over that two-week period, he's ranked 222nd based on his averages of 11.0 points, 1.4 threes, 6.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in 34.3 minutes per contest, and shooting split of 33.8% from the field and 68.2% from the line.
His overall ranking has sunk to 80th thanks to this little rough patch, so now is the perfect time to buy low. Gordon is much closer to Player A than Player B in this scenario, so you can expect him to bounce back to his usual mid- to early-round value soon enough.
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls
Over his first six, he was the 122nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 13.8 points, 2.7 threes, 6.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 26.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 34.9% from the field and 77.8% from the free throw line.
Over his last six, he's been a totally different player, ranking 22nd for his averages of 21.0 points, 2.7 triples, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 33.1 minutes per contest, and shooting split of 50.5% from the field and 88.9% from the line.
He might not be a second-round asset like that going forward, but he's not the late-round guy he was over his first half a dozen games, either. He ranked 66th last year and is now 40th on a per-game basis this this season. You might still be able to buy relatively low on him based on his early-season struggles and the sheer number of games he's missed this year due to injury. If you've got your eye on him, try to pull off a deal now before it's too late.
John Collins, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
Like Lauri Markkanen, John Collins is another player who can perhaps be bought low based on the number of games he's missed this year due to injury.
He was sidelined through the Atlanta Hawks' first 15 games of the season because of an ankle issue that cost him yet another contest this past Sunday. It's a pesky injury, but there's reportedly nothing structural to be worried about, and he's healthy enough to have played 17 of the Hawks' last 18 contests.
And the buy-low window is open now, in particular, based on recent fantasy returns. Through his last six games, he's been the 163rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 19.7 points, 0.5 threes, 13.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 3.2 turnovers in 30.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 52.7% from the field and 61.3% from the charity stripe.
Coming into this year, expectations were high on Collins as he was coming off a 92nd-ranked rookie season and being drafted at pick 55 on average across the industry. And he was much closer to being the player everyone expected him to be over his first 11 games back this season, ranking 62nd in nine-category leagues with averages of 18.1 points, 0.6 threes, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.1 turnovers in 28.0 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 62.2% from the field and 77.4% from the line.
Obviously the points and boards have still been there for Collins over both periods, but his relative lack of defensive stats this year, combined with a high rate of turnovers, has kept his overall ranking down to 87th. If you believe in Collins to be the player he was advertised to be going forward -- and the one he was over his first 11 games back from injury this year -- now is the perfect time to buy in.
Al Horford, PF/C, Boston Celtics
Al Horford has been an early-round asset for essentially his entire career, ranking in the top-50 in nine-category leagues for each of the last 10 seasons (following a 91st-ranked rookie campaign).
This season, he's on track for that yet again, ranking 39th with averages of 12.0 points, 1.2 three-pointers, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.7 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 29.6 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 48.8% from the field and 71.4% from the line.
Things have been a bit rough lately, however. Not rough based on production -- that's been fine -- but more on games missed. Over the Boston Celtics' last 15 games, Horford has suited up for just six and never more than two consecutively. He hasn't had a clearly defined injury, either, sitting out due to "left knee soreness."
And that's why you should be selling him. At 32 years old, Horford is due for at least a partial decline, in either health or production. The Celtics are a loaded squad with plenty of mouths to feed, too. He has a very well-rounded nine-category stat line and doesn't really need the ball to produce value, but there's no reason for the Celts to play Horford heavy minutes whenever he's less than 100%.
If you're getting frustrated with the missed games and variable minutes, he's still got a strong enough history of early-round fantasy returns to move him for someone a tad more reliable. Get those offers out.
Thaddeus Young, SF/PF, Indiana Pacers
Thaddeus Young is on one heck of a heater right now, ranking 26th in nine-category leagues over his last 11 contests.
Over that span, he's averaged 16.8 points, 0.8 threes, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 1.2 turnovers in 33.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.7% from the field and 72.2% from the free throw line.
You're happy with those returns if you drafted him at or around his 127.0 average draft position (ADP) across the industry, but this is no time to rest on your laurels. Over Young's first 24 games this year, he was the 167th-ranked player in nine-cat leagues, averaging 9.9 points, 0.2 threes, 5.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.1 turnovers in 28.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.9% from the field and 50.0% from the line.
He's not quite that bad, but he's not really as good as his last 11 games suggest. He's ranked 67th and 69th over his two years as a Pacer but is now on the wrong side of 30 with an up-and-coming Domantas Sabonis looming off the Indiana Pacers' bench. Young may continue to start, but he's rapidly ceding minutes to Sabonis and is set for something more closely resembling a decline than a sudden uptick in fantasy value.
You're never going to get a better sell-high moment on Young than right now. Pull the trigger if something presents itself.
Justin Holiday, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls
Justin Holiday has been one of the more pleasant surprises of this fantasy season, ranking 41st overall in nine-category leagues after failing to crack the top-100 in either of his previous five NBA seasons (and sitting outside the top-300 over his first three campaigns).
On the year, he's averaging 11.9 points, 2.7 triples, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in a healthy 34.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 38.6% from the field and 90.2% from the charity stripe. The shooting mark from the floor has obviously left a little to be desired, but the healthy helping of threes and steals to go along with a solid mark from the line and low turnovers has made him an early-round asset and one of the best waiver wire adds this year.
But if you're still holding onto him, however, it's officially time to sell off your shares.
Over his last nine contests, he's been the 144th ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 9.1 points, 1.6 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers in 33.1 minutes per contest, while shooting a paltry 28.3% from the field and 94.1% from the line. The minutes are still there, but the production certainly isn't.
And that drop coincides directly with the Bulls finally getting healthy. Starting-caliber players like Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Bobby Portis have missed 23, 26, and 26 of a possible 35 games, respectively, while Holiday was left to carry the usage load with Zach LaVine.
Now that the Bulls have their full complement of weapons, Holiday is nothing more than a late-round guy who could have the occasional outburst. If you can still move him for something resembling sustainable mid- to late-round value, jump on it.