6 Fantasy Basketball Players to Buy and Sell for Week 17
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.
Will Barton, SG/SF, Denver Nuggets
Will Barton had a breakout season in 2017-18, ranking 52nd in nine-category leagues over a robust 81 games. He's been a bit of a disappointment in 2018-19, however, missing 39 of a possible 53 games due to a nagging hip issue and ranking only 154th through the 14 games he's actually managed to suit up.
And things have been even worse over his last seven games. Over that span, he's been the 188th-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 13.6 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 28.5 minutes per contest while posting a shooting split of 45.6% from the field and 70.0% from the free throw line.
Last year, Barton's top-50 value came from the fact that he was contributing across the board in every standard fantasy category, but this year he's seen noticeable drops in assists, steals, and his accuracy from the charity stripe.
The assists might really be gone as Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray initiate most of the offense for the Denver Nuggets these days, but the steals and freebies should see some positive regression at some point, especially now that he's starting consistently and getting a full complement of minutes. Don't sleep on the fact that Barton is still working on a fairly small sample size of games, as well.
If his owner in your league spent a pick close to his 65.3 average draft position (ADP) across the industry going into this season, his or her patience is no doubt wearing thin at this point. Swoop in with a buy-low offer before Barton gets in a groove.
Otto Porter, SF/PF, Washington Wizards
We talked about Otto Porter as a buy-low option back in Week 12, but that was back when he was on the verge of returning from a 10-game absence due to a knee issue, right on the heels of John Wall being ruled out for the season.
A lot has happened since then. First of all, the Washington Wizards acquired Trevor Ariza and gave him Porter's starting spot. Porter has been back in the starting five for three games now (in place of Jeff Green), but he's been relatively quiet from a fantasy perspective for the last couple weeks all the same.
Over his last seven games, he's been the 125th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.7 points, 1.3 threes, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 0.9 turnovers in 29.8 minutes per contest while shooting 34.9% from the field and 72.7% from the free throw line.
In other words, the buy-low window is still open if you didn't move on acquiring him the last time he was featured here. He finished 20th in nine-category leagues last year and 22nd the year before, so we know what he's capable of when his shot is falling. If you want to get in on him before positive regression inevitably hits, now's your chance.
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis is having a breakout season for the Indiana Pacers, ranking 81st in nine-category leagues through 51 games after failing to crack the top-150 in either of his first two years in the league. He's been in a bit of a slump lately, however.
Over his last six games, Sabonis has been the 261st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 9.0 points, 0.0 triples, 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in 23.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 41.7% from the field and 63.6% from the line.
His scoring and rebounding are both a bit down, but the big problem is the dip in shooting percentages. He's splitting 59.7% from the field and 74.5% from the line on the season, but he has seen those two marks drop significantly to his current 41.7% and 63.6% split over this recent six-game stretch.
The guy has shot 50.3% and 73.4% over his career as a whole, so we know things are going to get better eventually. It wouldn't be a bad idea to use Sabonis' status as a bench player and this recent cold patch as ammunition to buy low on him right now.
Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young is having a solid rookie season as far as his counting stats are concerned -- 16.8 points, 1.7 triples, 3.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 30.0 minutes per contest -- but he's been very inefficient in the process, shooting 40.6% from the field on 14.3 attempts per game while turning the ball over a whopping 3.9 times per night.
He's hit another level recently, however. Over his last six games, Young has been the 44th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 24.0 points, 3.2 triples, 3.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in 31.7 minutes per contest while shooting 48.5% from the field and 80.6% from the free throw line.
This is basically the opposite of a rookie wall, but don't count on it lasting forever. He shot 2-for-13 from the field last night and his next game of five-plus turnovers is likely lurking around the corner, as well.
He's got a lot of good things going on in his fantasy line, but the shooting percentage and turnovers are a real detriment in nine-category fantasy leagues. Rookies are often overvalued in fantasy hoops, so maybe you can use his draft pedigree and recent hot stretch to sell high on him before he comes back down to earth.
Willie Cauley-Stein, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
Willie Cauley-Stein is hitting everything right now.
Over his last five games, he's been the 74th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 11.4 points, 0.0 threes, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 28.6 minutes per contest while shooting 63.6% from the field and 68.2% from the free throw line.
Those numbers are more or less in line with his season-long stat line, but his ranking is inflated by a jump in steals (1.2 to 2.0) and shooting accuracy from the floor (54.1% to 63.6%). He's generally helpful in those areas, fine, but not to that extent.
His rebounding and low turnovers are nice, as well, but his overall value is generally capped by the fact that he doesn't score a whole lot, never hits threes, struggles from the charity stripe, and blocks a shockingly low number of shots for a seven-footer. What's more, his name is coming up in trade rumors as we approach Thursday's deadline, so the opportunity for minutes that comes with being a locked-in starter for the Sacramento Kings might be in jeopardy.
Now is the perfect time to sell high on WCS. Jump on it before regression hits his shooting and steals or he gets traded to a worse fantasy situation.
Dewayne Dedmon, C, Atlanta Hawks
Dewayne Dedmon is a per-minute dynamo. He's ranked 56th overall in nine-category leagues on the season in just 24.7 minutes per contest, and over his last eight, he's ranked 22nd in just 25.1 minutes per night.
Over that eight-game span, he's averaged 13.1 points, 1.9 three-pointers, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.4 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers while shooting 56.3% from the field and 90.9% from the free throw line.
He doesn't generally fill it up in any one area but instead contributes pretty solidly across the board, helping out particularly well when it comes to his shooting percentages. Normally, we would preach buying the underrated big man, but his name has been popping up in trade rumors lately, and basically Dedmon being traded to any contender would likely come with a reduced role from his starting job on the lottery-bound Atlanta Hawks.
If you want to use his recent hot stretch to sell high before the trade deadline, that might not be a bad idea.