The new season began and god, I couldn’t be happier. All the watching and analyzing of meaningless preseason games, all the theory-crafting of the rotations and playing time belong in the past. The real deal is here. Let the fantasy season officially begin. This weekly column will be divided into two separate parts. The Buy column will contain players that are either sitting on the wire in most standard leagues (and they shouldn’t) or you have a good buy low opportunity, as they will outperform their current value for the rest of the season. On the other hand, the Sell column is dedicated to players that are either hurting your team and you need to flat out release them or players that are playing at a higher level than they will for the rest of the season (so it would be smart to sell high on them). I will point out that since it’s the first week of the season there are clearer buy than sell opportunities. Patience is a virtue and you might want to give some of the players at least another week before making any decision which you will regret later (Jokic last year anyone?).
Without further ado lets dive into the Buy/Sell for the first week.
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Boston backcourt: The unfortunate Hayward injury means opportunity for the young guys in Boston to accelerate their development and contribute right away. The main beneficiary is Jaylen Brown, who is playing 34.9 minutes with averages of 17.3/1.7/6.3/1.0/1.3/0/44.7/50/1. He seems ready for his larger role and is a good bet to return mid/late round value for the rest of the season. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier also get a boost and will likely see their playing time hover around 30+ minutes. Smart is a beast defensively and grabs his fair share of rebounds for his position, but his fg% is abysmal. Obviously in a fg% punt he is awesome but for Roto I kinda prefer Rozier’s better percentages. Both guys are worth a look in standard leagues right now.
Joe Ingles: I have to confess my love for the Australian. He is an example that you can be a very useful NBA player without necessarily being uber-athletic. He reads the floor well, has a great 3pt stroke, and quick hands on the defensive side. He has started the season scorching hot from deep, making four triples with a 61.5 fg%. This paired with his two steals, 3.7 assists, and low turnovers (1.3) makes him a great waiver wire pickup and a trade target if your team relies on efficiency.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: The transition to PF seems to have worked really well for him, as he can abuse slower defenders to get his offense going and his defense was already good. Coach Asshat won’t play him more than 28 minutes of course (it’s the Nets remember) but he can still be a great source of blocks and efficient scoring with low turnovers, if he is sitting on your wire (50% owned on Yahoo). DeMarre Carroll is also worth a mention from the Nets because he fits their style of play and can get you some triples and steals with decent points on most nights (57% owned on Yahoo).
Superstars with slow start: Every year we see superstars having a slower start than expected and some owners are convinced that this is going to be the norm for their season. Don’t be that guy and instead try to take advantage of the situation and make an offer. Just to name a few of them, Jokic will not have 12.0 points per game for the rest of the season and Jimmy Butler won’t continue to shoot 39,5 % from the field.
LaMarcus Aldridge: Maybe I’m taking a risk here calling him a sell because he has looked really good, but the potential return of Kawhi is too scary. Leonard has become a legitimate superstar and although he is a team player, his usage won’t be denied by anyone. He is currently playing with a 33.0 usage which is way higher than his 25.9 from last year. My advice is to take the risk and sell high before Kawhi returns.
Willy Hernangomez: The arrival of Kanter removed him from the rotation and I think it’s time for a drop. Hornacek will eventually come to his senses and play him but that might be closer to the second half of the season.
Gorgui Dieng: I can understand if you want to give the big man a week or two before making the cut, particularly if you drafted him in the middle rounds. However the truth of the matter is that he is just a bench big for the start of the season with Gibson getting the lion’s share of minutes at the frountcourt. Thibs loves his guys and plays his starters big minutes so Dieng needs an injury to become relevant in standard leagues again.
As always let me know in the comments your thoughts and your suggestions about players I have not included and of course all your fantasy related questions!