We are a little over a quarter through the NBA season and a lot of things are happening as expected. The Warriors are good. The Cavaliers are good. Etc. etc. From a fantasy players perspective, there are some feel good stories out there but unfortunately just as many disappointments. That said, lets jump into the next installment of “Buy Low, Sell High”.
A young team that is finding its way and has bucket loads of talent on its roster is a good thing, right? In Philadelphia, the roster imbalance is finally catching up to them. Before the season started, Nerlens Noel was very vocal about the logjam in the front court. Injuries had made playing time possible for all players involved at the Center and Power Forward positions. Now, everyone is healthy and Philadelphia has a problem. Noel seems to be the odd man out. His publicizing of his displeasure probably cost him a rotation spot though the team would never come out and say that.
So why buy low on a player that was just forced out of the rotation? Noel or someone will be moved, and soon. The more of a distraction he becomes, the more pressure will be on management to make a move. His first two healthy years in the league, he registered averages of roughly 10/8/2/2/2. Those are incredibly enticing numbers to fantasy owners especially when factoring in the ineptness of the team in general. In a better situation, Noel would be called upon to focus on his strengths of defense and rebounding. The numbers all the way around could improve for the young big man. If you have time or are building a dynasty team from the ground up, get Noel now while his value is at an all time low.
Denver seems to be tinkering with its lineup a little too much. This has resulted in a fluctuation for Faried’s minutes. The fact is, Faried is Denver’s most experienced and polished front court player along with Wilson Chandler. Denver is now starting to gain momentum with its eyes on the playoffs. Faried and his nightly double-double potential will see more consistent minutes and production as long as the Nuggets remain in the hunt. If they don’t, Faried could be moved to a contender looking to upgrade a low post position. It is a win-win. If you are in a dynasty format, he is still just 27 years old so still has a little bit of youth on his side.
This one is getting harder to believe by the minute but, Knight is a great talent. His minutes are down 8 per game. His points are down 6 per game versus last year yet, you can’t ignore the potential. If the Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic experiences tell us anything, it is that point guards will have a hard time playing alongside Eric Bledsoe. With a healthy Bledsoe, both Devin Booker and Brandon Knight have seen slowed production. Remember though, Bledsoe has been injury prone and Phoenix is not afraid to make roster moves. Something will give. Eventually. And Brandon Knight is too talented to be an afterthought in an offense. He is still just 25 years old and will find a stable home in this league very soon. If I was to compare/guess his potential career path for the latter stages it would be Kyle Lowry-esque. Get Knight on the right deal but, don’t give up the farm for him.
A potential breakout player that is averaging nearly 11 points and 7 assists per game is tough to turn your back on. If you own Frazier, there is a good chance that he has boosted your team into contention as a late round or even a waiver wire steal. The fact is, the undrafted Frazier is getting a lot of help from circumstance. He is averaging nearly 30 minutes per game with Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans being sidelined for most of the start of the season; they are slowly coming back into form and will likely displace Frazier to a reduced role. Don’t get me wrong, he is a lot of fun to root for and I would love to be wrong about this, but I am chalking him up as a player that has made the most of an opportunity and will at least cement himself in an NBA role for the foreseeable future- just not the second option on offense as he is now.
Booker is now 29 years old and is averaging career highs of 10 points and 9 rebounds per game. He has always been a solid rotational player; he has been fortunate to be a part of a rebuilding Nets team that values the intangibles that he brings everyday for their rebuild. Booker will play hard and play respectable defense- but he is averaging almost 4 points and 4 rebounds more than his career average. As soon as the Nets have a viable, younger option that they could view as a long-term option, Booker will be reduced to a smaller role. His contract is now tradable too which could entice a team such as the Houston Rockets or Los Angeles Clippers that just lost their starting big men and need an experienced, stop-gap until they return to make a deal for a late round draft pick (something the Nets are desperate for).
The Bulls Power Forward is having a solid year. He is averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds (3 points and 1 rebound better than his career averages) per game. He is not seeing increased minutes or an increased role in the offense; he has simply just been a solid player, just as he always has been. With the rest of his career averages all in check for what he is displaying this year in terms of blocks, assists, steals, and minutes, it would be fair to suggest that Gibson is benefiting from a new offensive style that has long-range misses and slashing by perimeter players built into it. He will never be one to build a team around but, if someone is offering you upside for Gibson or future picks, take the deal. His age, career stat line, and injury history suggest that he will not keep up this pace.
This should help you navigate your fantasy basketball season. I build my dynasty at dynastysportsempire.com.
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