Buy Low. Sell High.
It’s a simple concept, projected every week of every season in fantasy sports. And for good reason. It’s the foundational strategy to get the most out of in-season trades and improve your roster. The only problem is that it’s all based on general consensus of which players are performing below ADP and should improve, and who’s overplaying their hand and is due for regression. There’s always variable opinions on what the best moves are in the buy low / sell market. But, for the most part, there’s agreement of what players fit in that box on any given week.
So – if for nothing else other than a matter of practice – let’s think outside the box for a moment, using as an example the biggest sell high candidate of the moment.
Anthony Davis trails only Steph Curry in fantasy value at the moment, and just barely. He’s tied for first in the league in rebounding; he’s third in blocks and tied for seventh in steals; he’s 11th in points; and he’s top 10 in field goals made while shooting (a career high) 56%.
The red flags have been there constantly throughout the first month of the season, right next to his name, indicating this and that injury that could keep him out of the next game. So far, he’s only missed one game. But that just means a worse injury is inevitable, right? After all, he played only 76 games the two previous seasons combined; and he was already tagged as injury-prone through his college days and years with New Orleans. So, naturally, the card says “Sell High.”
But just consider going against the herd. He’s still just 29 years old. His games missed on the Pelicans were mostly end-of-season, out-of-contention times, or when he was held back pending a trade. And the Lakers have often been over cautious with him, as well.
So, if your season hasn’t kicked off in the way you had hoped and you’re in the mood to roll the dice, why not go after a Top 5 player at a reduced price because his current owner is being blasted with advice to get what he or she can before Davis’ inevitable breakdown?
On Friday, Davis scored 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, cashed in 15 rebounds and tallied 4 assists, a steal, 3 blocks and 3 turnovers, as the Lakers beat the Spurs 105-94. LeBron James was back in action, albeit a tad rusty (to be expected) and posted 28-8-5-3-1 while shooting 8-of-17 and committing 9 turnovers. Dennis Schroder had 9 points, 3 boards and 5 assists in his second game back, and obviously makes the Lakers a better team in the starting lineup.
Jeremy Sochan gave a glimpse of stat lines to come, finishing with 13 points, 9 boards, 5 assists, 4 steals and a block while taking on the challenge of guarding King James most the night. Devin Vassell was 0-6 from three and, if you have him, you should definitely sell him … to me! I’m big on Vassell ROS and could see him being Top 30 in the second half of the season.
Klay Thompson’s quasi-resurgence continued as he hit 6-of-12 from behind the arch, finishing with 20 points and 6 rebounds. The counting stats are not likely to return to his pre-injury days, but the shooting touch is back! The Warriors took care of the Jazz 129-118 without Curry having to carry the load. Kevon Looney had 12 points, 10 boards and 4 assists while Jordan Poole hit just 2-of-10 from deep, but otherwise had a nice game with 19 points, 4 boards and 6 assists. Andrew Wiggins keeps providing and contributed a 20-9-5-3-1 line in this one.
With Mike Conley still injured (day-to-day), Jordan Clarkson dished out 10 assists to go with 20 points and 4 boards, but couldn’t hit a 3-pointer (0-7). Lauri Markkanen shot 9-of-17 with 5 threes, 24 points and 6 boards.
The Milton-Melton Delight continued to top the Streamers chart as the 76ers outlasted the Magic, 107-99, as Joel Embiid missed his third game in a row and James Harden is still out. Shake Milton led the way with 24 points, 9 boards, 10 assists and a block and steal each, with great efficiency (7-13 FG, 4-7 3pt, 6-6 FT). De’Anthony Melton snagged 4 steals to go with 4 boards, 4 assists and 13 points.
Paolo Banchero returned to action with a 19-4-3 stat line, corresponding with a Jalen Suggs’ total dud, and I’m wishing I’d sold Suggs for a few pumpkin pies while he had the semblance of fantasy value over the last couple weeks. Meanwhile, Bol Bol (18-8-2-1-4) continues to be the **chef’s kiss** of the fantasy season.
I don’t know what else Myles Turner needs to do to earn respect in fantasy basketball circles, but just seems like he’s still talked about like a 3-4 round guy when he’s now climbed to No. 7 in 9-cat per game value. He scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting with 8 boards, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 threes; and he was a +26 as the Pacers beat the Nets 128-117. Tyrese Haliburton posted 21-6-15 with 4 steals; Buddy Hield hit 9-of-15 shots on his way to 26 points and 3 each of rebounds, assists and steals; and the Pacers are 4th in the East standings. Like Davis, Turner could be a “Buy High” candidate if his owner is still worried about a trade to a lower usage situation.
The Nets lost despite fantasy-friendly lines throughout the starting 5. Kevin Durant posted 36-9-7 with 2 blocks; Nic Claxton added 5 blocks to his 12-11 double double; and Ben Simmons was 8-of- 8 from the field, scoring 20 points with 8 boards and 3 assists. In four games back from his suspension, Kyrie Irving is averaging just about 2 assists and only 1.5 free throws attempted.
The Houston Rockets got to feel good for a night after beating the Hawks, 128-122. Jalen Green led the way with 30 points, 5 boards and 5 assists, while Jr. Jr. (love that band) boosted 21 points apiece. Kenyon Martin Jr. was 10-of-13 from the field and nabbed 15 rebounds while Jabari Smith Jr. hit 5-of-11 from deep, but only 1-of-6 on 2-pointers with 9 boards.
Onyeka Okongwu got the start in place of Clint Capela, who was out with a sore tooth, and grabbed 11 boards and totaling 2 of the other counting stats, but forgot to take a shot attempt. Dejounte Murray and Trae Young totaled 44 and 39 points, on 28 and 24 shot attempts, respectively. The backcourt duo probably woke up with intestinal problems given all the crow and humble pie they ingested last night. The two made a show taunting the young Rockets team, yet ended up on the losing side.
Also combining for an 80-burger were Jerami Grant (44 points) and Anfernee Simons (38 points) in the Blazers’ 132-129 overtime win. Grant made 21-of-28 free throws, which is the 8th-most attempted in league history. Josh Hart nabbed 19 boards (and is leading the league in rebounds … for guys 6’6″ and under) to go along with 10 points, 4 assists and 2 steals. Jusuf Nurkic had a nice 20-8-7 line with 2 blocks, and has been shooting more threes lately (2-5 in this game; 6-13 the last four games).
I have spent myriad time staring at Immanuel Quickley on the waiver wire wondering if this is the week he breaks out. … Excuse me … … Ok, just spent a couple minutes looking at him. Not yet. Quickley played a season-high 32 minutes, scored 18 points on 6-17 shooting against the Blazers with 4 threes, 4 boards, 5 assists and a steal. He’s on the edge of Top 130 for the season, but needs to either improve his percentages or increase his counting stats a tick for me to finally hit the plus-add button in standard leagues. RJ Barrett remained on the shooting schneid (6-22 FG, 1-7 3pt, 6-8 FT) but did post 18-10-5 and a steal. He’s been one of the league’s least efficient shooters over the last few weeks: “They’ve got to start to fall at some point” says every Barrett owner with 50% confidence in that.
Kelly Oubre Jr. led the CLT Hornets [hehehehe] over Minnesota, 110-108, with a 28-6-2-3-0 stat line on 10-of-21 shooting and 3 threes. Oubre has quietly snuck into Top 60 territory on the season, and Gordon Hayward is back on the pine as it was revealed he has a fractured shoulder and is week-to-week. Kai Jones had a surprise impact off the bench for Charlotte, posting 9 points and 12 rebounds with a block in 28 minutes. This is a matchup decision against the Wolves twin towers, and Jones’ previous high was 8 minutes, but worth keeping an eye on since he can produce those coveted big man stats if given some run.
D’Angelo Russell posted 20-4-10 with 4 threes, and I must admit it was a bit aggressive to question his rosterability last week. He’s been a Top 40 player the last couple weeks, but remains around the 100 mark on the season. Rudy Gobert had his best stat line of the season with 17-17-1-2-2, hitting 6-of-10 shots and 5-of-5 from the line. The Wolves were an ugly 9-41 from the 3-point-line in this one, including 1-of-11 from KAT.
Coming off the turkey holiday, Bam Adebayo saved room for Unicorn, feasting on Kristaps Porzingis and the Wizards with 38 points on 15-of-22 shooting, adding 12 boards and three assists in the Heat’s 110-107 win. Caleb Martin (20 points, 7-11 FG, 2-4 3pt) continues to be a nice stream until Jimmy Buckets returns. Bradley Beal has been a Top 10 players since being out for a week earlier in the month, and kept it rolling Friday with 28-5-5-1-3 with efficiency (11-20 FG, 4-7 3pt, 2-3 FT).
The Jay + Jay Bucket Factory of Boston kept the beat going in a 122-104 win over the Kings: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown posted respective lines of 30-8-4-1-0 and 25-5-4-2-0. Not much to take away from the Kings’ side as they just took the Celtic treatment and will move on.
Similar story for the New Orleans Pelicans, who were mauled by the Grizzlies 132-111 as CJ McCollum was out sick. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 3 more blocks to go with 20 points (6-7 FG, 2-3 3pt, 6-7 FT) and 4 boards. Kenneth Lofton Jr. got some mop-up minutes in his return from the G League, and will be making an appearance on an upcoming Rookie Report.
Jevon Carter keeps on keepin’ on, contributing 18 points while hitting 5-of-6 from deep, 3 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, in the Bucks 117-102 win over the Cavs of Cleveland. Halloween is far in the rearview mirror, but Brook Lopez can’t stop dancing the Monster Mash, rejecting 6 shots in this one. Giannis Antetokounmpo did his freaky things with 38-9-6, and even freakier shot 10-of-14 from the line.
Jarrett Allen took a nasty fall early in the game, returned, but only played 12 minutes.
The Thunder beat the Bulls 123-119, and the two teams are currently both 8-11 [awkward face]. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (30-8-7) and Josh Giddey (10-13-9) led the way for OKC, as usual. Aleksej Pokusevski had another solid night with a 15-6-2-1-1 stat line – and somewhere out there a team changed their name to Poku Bol while rolling with two of the top waiver pickups of the season.
Patrick Williams is playing well enough to be in fantasy lineups, and had another efficient night from the field (4-7 FG, 3-3 3pt) while posting 11-6-1 with 2 blocks. Either the d stats or usage rates need to increase for Williams to fulfill his fantasy potential, but he’s been Top 100 the last couple weeks. Zach LaVine tallied 5 boards and 5 assists for the third game in a row, to go with 27 points in this one on 9-of-23 shooting with 4 threes.
Double-doubles from Cameron Payne (16-2-10) and Deandre Ayton (28-12-1) helped put the Suns on top of Detroit 108-102. Marvin Bagley III had a classic 1-1-1 game with 13 points and 12 boards in a season-high 31 minutes. Still on the fence about Bagley.
Aaron Gordon had his best game of the season, posting 29 points (12-16 FG, 2-4 3pt, 3-4 FT), 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in Denver’s 114-104 win over the Clippers, who were without Kawhi and PG.
Overall, a lot of standard stat lines in the Association on another packed Friday night following the holiday. Thanks for reading, and drop me a comment below … if you dare.