6 Fantasy Basketball Players to Buy and Sell for Week 12
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.
Otto Porter Jr., SF/PF, Washington Wizards
Otto Porter Jr. has taken a bit of a step back this season, currently ranking 42nd in nine-category leagues after back-to-back campaigns of 20th- and 22nd-ranked returns. And even that ranking doesn't tell the whole story, as he was only the league's 80th-ranked player through his first 15 games this season and has missed the Washington Wizards' last 10 games due to a knee issue.
It's safe to say that Otto Porter Jr. owners are frustrated right now, but brighter times lie ahead.
John Wall is out for the rest of the 2018-19 season following heel surgery, moving Porter up the pecking order in Washington. According to Tom Haberstroh, Porter is averaging 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per-36 minutes over the 121 he's played without Wall this year, while shooting 52.0% from the field and 38.9% from deep. Compare that with his 13.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 47.0% shooting when Wall's been on the floor with him, and Porter owners should be licking their chops right now.
He is probable for this evening, meaning we are officially on the verge of his season getting much better than it's been. With top-20 value well within reach, you should be making a last-ditch buy-low effort on him now while his current owner might still be harboring some frustration.
Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe has consistently ranked in the top-40 in nine-category leagues over the last three seasons -- 24th, 38th, and 34th to be exact -- and was well on his way to doing so again this year prior to a rough stretch in recent weeks.
Through his first 27 games this season, he was the 28th-ranked player in nine-cat leagues, averaging 16.2 points, 1.8 three-pointers, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.2 turnovers in 29.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 51.7% from the field and 73.0% from the free throw line. By contrast, over his last nine contests, he's been the 163rd-ranked player, averaging 13.1 points, 0.7 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.1 turnovers in 29.5 minutes per game, while shooting 43.1% from the field and 80.0% from the line.
Bledsoe is far closer to Player A than he is Player B, and should begin scoring and stealing the ball at his usual rate soon enough. Go ahead and use this current cold spell as an opportunity to buy-low on the perpetual early-rounder.
Jarrett Allen, PF/C, Brooklyn Nets
Until recently, Jarrett Allen had been having a great mid-round fantasy season in his sophomore campaign.
Through his first 28 games, he was the 70th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.2 points, 0.1 triples, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.4 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 27.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 58.9% from the field and 73.4% from the line.
Over his last eight contests, his minutes have been reduced to 22.6 per game, and his line has subsequently taken a dive. Over that span, he's been the 147th-ranked player in nine-cat, with averages of 9.6 points, 0.1 threes, 7.6 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers per game, and a shooting split of 54.5% from the field and 66.7% from the line.
His per-36 numbers have been relatively close over both periods, with the problem mostly coming down to minutes. He's only 20 years old and struggles a bit with foul trouble at times, but he should continue to work his way through that as the season progresses. This is a good buy-low window if you're looking to add an efficient center that can get you plenty of blocks and boards.
Lou Williams, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers
Last year, Lou Williams had the best fantasy season of his career at age 31, ranking 44th in nine-category leagues after eight consecutive years of mid- to late-round returns (and four non-relevant fantasy seasons prior to that).
In 2018-19, he's gone back to being more of his usual mid- to late-round self, ranking 122nd in nine-cat leagues through 33 games, averaging 18.2 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 2.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 25.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 42.0% from the field and 90.2% from the line. He's giving his owners a bit of a sell-high opportunity at the moment, however. Over his last five games, he's been the 52nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 24.6 points, 1.8 threes, 3.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 2.2 turnovers in 27.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 47.5% from the field and 82.6% from the line.
The biggest reason for his drop-off has been his minutes going down from 32.8 last year to 25.2 this year. This recent hot stretch has not come from much of a minutes increase, but more from a slight bump in usage, shot attempts, and efficiency.
Sweet Lou is always going to have scoring outbursts, but if the minutes are not plentiful, there's not enough else in his line to compensate for when he's not filling it up. If you've been disappointed with owning him this season, he's given you a perfect opportunity to move on.
Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Boston Celtics
Who is this Marcus Morris?
After seven seasons of never truly cracking standard league value -- his all-time peak ranking in nine-category leagues was the 147th-ranked campaign he put up last year -- he's all of a sudden the 62nd-ranked guy in all of fantasy hoops through 33 games this season.
He's averaging career-bests pretty well across the board, with 15.5 points, 2.3 threes, 6.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 27.5 minutes per game, and a shooting split of 50.1% from the field, 44.1% from deep, and 88.6% from the line.
33 games is a pretty big sample size, but a near 50-40-90 shooting split from a career 43-36-74 shooter absolutely screams regression. Throw in the fact that Boston's $128-million man Gordon Hayward is always looming in the wings as someone who should eventually put it all together and reclaim a starting spot, and Morris is as prime of a sell-high candidate as there is in fake basketball.
Ricky Rubio, PG, Utah Jazz
Through 37 games this year, he's the 134rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.7 points, 1.4 three-pointers, 3.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 3.1 turnovers in 30.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 39.1% from the field and 84.0% from the charity stripe. Those numbers are very similar to what he did last year -- his first as a member of a Jazz -- and still don't live up to what he was doing in Minnesota.
His shooting mark has always been a liability as a 38.5% career shooter, but he used to consistently threaten for the league lead in both assists and steals, both of which have fallen off a cliff since he changed teams. Over six seasons in Minnesota, he averaged 8.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game, as compared to 5.7 and 1.5, respectively, through two seasons in Utah.
Without those elite counting stats, he becomes nothing more than a middling starting point guard who hurts you pretty badly in field goal percentage and turnovers. He tends to come on late in seasons, but it's clear that he is who is at this point. If you can sell another owner in your league on his bounce-back potential, move on it.