L-Tryptophan. It is the amino acid that is reported to make you tired when you eat it, as this is the amino acid that is the basis for a lot of the brain chemicals that make a person tired. You hear about it around this time of year, when millions of Americans are preparing to gorge themselves on the plump bird over Thanksgiving. L-Tryptophan induced naps are actually is a myth, I recently have been informed. Turkey contains less Tryptophan than chicken, or milk, so if the coma-by-turkey hypothesis was true, the same would apply when you eat ice cream, or have a chicken breast. But Dan, you legions of readers are saying, while this is fascinating stuff, why are you writing about Turkey and amino acids in a fantasy BUY/SELL article? Simple. I want you to be able to recognize the difference in players who are off to a L-Tryp-esque start, and whether their start is truly a slump, or a mirage they will pull out of in due course. I don’t know how my analogy could have been more obvious, but whatever, great art is never recognized in it’s time. In the meantime, take a look at these turkeys:
Marcus Smart PG
Smart is out for the short term, injury is slated to sideling him for the next 2 weeks or so, which should help his price point if you can afford to have him on the pine for that time. His shooting percentages are so erratic they are baffling, but it’s year two for Smart, and I’m hoping that he becomes a more improved player throughout this year. What would he cost you? Late round guy? Razzball had him ranked at 114, and I’d send a Patrick Patterson caliber player to gamble that Smart can improve.
Zach LaVine PG, SG
The Timberwolves have been starting LaVine at the 2, and his playing minutes with Ricky Rubio dishing to him should go up. His price point is still low, IMO, and while he isn’t going to appear on anyone’s Mount Rushmore of NBA shooting guards, he should start to improve on his current stock value.
This is a very specific recommendation, as the only reason I would take him is if you can seriously lowball his fantasy owner. JV is supposed to be out for 6 weeks, which is about of 1/4 of your season. If you feel you can manage it to have a player out for that long, toss a P.J. Tucker level offer, and see what sticks.
Luis Scola PF, C
This is more of a waiver add, as Scola is only 22% owned currently, but with Valanciunas out for about 6 weeks, the big Argentine will get a bump in minutes. He extends to the 3 point line, has good percentages, but not huge in defensive stats. I think he will hover in or above the 30 minute mark, so worth dumping that 17 minute guy off the end of your bench for now. Bismack Biyombo will also benefit from JV being out, although of the two, I think I’d prefer Scola. Do with that what you will.
Robert Covington SG, SF
The window may be shutting on this sell low candidate, as he had a terrific game this last weekend, going 21/6/0/2/1 shooting 3 treys. His fantasy GM may feel that he’s selling high, though, as he has been a bust all season to date. Covington went 3 of 6 from beyond on Saturday, but before that was 0-18 before that. Ouch. See what you can get for him as he can’t stay that bad all season, can he?
Jeff Teague PG
Teague just came off a week’s injury, missing 3 games. His first game back he went 13/1/4/2/0 with 3 treys, shooting .250%. You may have a chance to buy low here, as I don’t see Teague staying at this level of production. Kick a tire, make an offer, and see what shakes out.
Carmelo Anthony SF, PF
I hope you listened when I said try to buy Kristaps Porzingis at the beginning of the year, as he has been a revelation. Melo has also been a dynamo of late, but he started slow, straight L-Tryppin. I’m worried that he may slump again, relative to his draft position. I know that he is an amazing offensive fantasy contributor, but I would love to convert him into a Kawhi Leonard or a Jimmy Butler, which are both more dependable all around contributors. Or just cover Melo in gravy, and enjoy, your choice.
Tristan Thompson PF, C
With Tomofey Mozgov on the shelf for the next few weeks, Thompson should see a bump in minutes. He gets points and boards, but for a big with such rebounding ability, he should have more swats and steals. Sell high(ish) here, as he got 2 blocks his last game, and that is waaaaay out of character.
Ok hoops fans, that’s all for this fat-cat. May those who are celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday, may it be a merry one, full of mid afternoon naps, Tryptophan induced or otherwise! Until next week, may all your shots be nothing but net!