Fantasy Basketball

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 8 Buy/Sell

Photo credit: Keith Allison
Photo credit: Keith Allison

Welcome to the Week 8 Buy/Sell report, folks. If you happened to check out the Week 7 edition, buy low recommendation Isaiah Thomas has rattled off three straight 20+ point performances while Thaddeus Young set a season-high in scoring (29) and Jared Sullinger has rebounded after his four-game mini-funk. Hopefully you were able to take advantage of the buy-low windows for these players as they look to be settling in quite nicely. Additionally, sell-high recommendation Bradley Beal has predictably cooled off and gone back to his inconsistent ways. If you were able to acquire or ship off any of the aforementioned players in trades, would love to hear about your deals in the comments sections if you so choose. Without further ado, here is the Week 8 edition.

Buy Low

Serge Ibaka (37) – 14.4 PTS-6.9 REB-1.0 AST-1.3 3PM-2.4 BLK46.5% FG-83.0% FT

While the recent returns of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has helped Ibaka in regards to his efficiency as he’s shooting 49.5% over his last 10 games, his fantasy value has yet to truly take off due to a couple of key factors. First, while Ibaka’s field goal percentage has risen lately due to him being relegated to the third option on offense rather than first or second, his 46.5% mark from the field for the year pales in comparison to his output in this area in years past. Ibaka is a career 53.9% shooter and has never shot below 53.5% from the field in any of his five previous NBA seasons so he definitely has his work cut out for him to meet that threshold this year. His drop in field goal percentage can partially be attributed to his career-high of 3.4 three-point attempts per game this season, easily surpassing his previous career-high of 0.7 3PA. Owners can’t complain too much as he is hitting 1.3 treys per on an impressive 37.6% mark from behind the arc, but owners would surely live with a slight drop in 3PM if it meant a better field goal percentage to increase his fantasy value.

Operating farther away from the basket on offense likely has something to do with his pedestrian average of 6.9 rebounds. The 25-year-old Congo native averaged a career-high 8.8 rebounds last year and his current mark would be his lowest since his rookie season. His drop in rebounding is especially disappointing considering the fact that Westbrook and Durant missed so much time to start the year and left Ibaka as their primary rebounder. Expect his boards to rise as the season progresses though as he settles into his familiar role on the court with KD and Westy back. The last reason why his fantasy value hasn’t reached first- or second-round status is due to the slight dropoff in the blocks department. The artist known as Iblaka is swatting 2.4 shots per game and while this mark is tied for second-best in the NBA, it would be his lowest average since the 2010-11 season. He has averaged 2.6 blocks throughout his career though so owners shouldn’t fret too much about his current output. Besides, over his last 10 games Ibaka has picked up the pace in that area as he’s averaging 3.3 blocks over that timeframe. The rest of his statistical profile looks awfully similar to his past production and if Ibaka can even slightly improve upon the three aforementioned areas of concern, he’ll end up being a top-25 value just like most envisioned before the season.

Rudy Gobert (107) – 5.8 PTS-5.9 REB-0.8 AST-0.5 ST-1.8 BLK-63.9% FG-67.2% FT

While Gobert only lasted as a starter for two games earlier this week thanks to the quick return of Derrick Favors from his ankle injury, he made quite the impression and shouldn’t be sitting on any waiver wires even though he’s coming off the bench once again. I’ve seen Gobert hit the waiver wire in a few of my leagues this week and it just doesn’t make much sense to drop the uber-talented 22-year-old center for the Utah Jazz. Naysayers will point to the fact he is only averaging 18 minutes of playing time and while it’s a valid point in relation to his current upside, he is still the 107th-ranked 9-cat value in Yahoo formats in those limited minutes. Gobert showed his upside last night against the Charlotte Hornets as he secured the first double-double of his brief career, finishing with 11 points, 12 boards, one steal and two blocks on 5-6 FG in 30 minutes. He is a physical specimen at 7’1/245 and can do many things on the hardwood that normal 7-footers would have no prayer of completing. Don’t believe me? Check out the ridiculous Euro step Gobert unleashed on poor Udonis Haslem in transition below. It’s simply beautiful to watch and he caps it off with a nonchalant finger roll.

eurooo.0

Double-digit point outings should be considered an added bonus for Gobert owners at this stage though as his biggest fantasy contributions come in field goal percentage and blocks. He has hit over 50 percent of his shots in eight straight games and his 63.9% mark from the field is the fourth-best figure in the NBA, trailing only the likes of Brandan Wright, Tyson Chandler, and DeAndre Jordan. While fantasy owners would like to see him average more than 3.5 FGA due to his outstanding efficiency, he provides a huge boon in field goal percentage regardless. Gobert is known as the “Stifle Tower” due to his propensity for blocks and he has definitely earned the moniker. He is averaging 1.8 blocks in only 18 minutes and if he were to receive 25-30 minutes on a consistent basis there’s no question he could challenge Anthony Davis as the leading shot blocker in the NBA. Gobert has recorded a block in eight consecutive games and is averaging 2.3 swats over his last 10 games. Over his last 25 games he’s only failed to record a block three times so owners can usually bank on him to deliver in that regard. The Jazz currently sport the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 8-20 and it wouldn’t at all be surprising if head coach Quin Snyder starts to unleash Gobert down the stretch more to shore up the team’s defense in what is turning out to be a lost season. Hang onto him if you currently own him and if you don’t, make sure to send out some buy-low offers to whoever owns him as he has a great chance to post top 50-75 value if he receives 25-33 minutes on a nightly basis.

Sell High

Carmelo Anthony (34) – 23.5 PTS-6.8 REB-3.2 AST-1.5 3PM-0.9 ST-45.7% FG-80.1% FT

Anthony managed to return to the court on Saturday against the Suns and surprisingly played 40 minutes while scoring 25 points on 9-19 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, one block, and one 3-pointer. It went all for naught however as the Knicks lost and fell to 5-24, which is the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. As you are likely aware, Anthony has been dealing with knee problems this season which has caused him to take some DNPs and with each loss the hapless Knicks will have to seriously consider whether to shut him down in a season likely to end without a trip to the playoffs. It’s worth noting that Anthony says he knee felt good during the game yesterday and he also intends to play today against the Raptors. While this is good news for Melo owners for the time being, a nice sell-high window has emerged after his double-double performance last night.

While the knee issue will be a lingering threat in regards to a potential shutdown, owners also should take note of his statistics as well. After averaging 27.4 points in 2013, Melo is only averaging 23.5 points this season and that would be his lowest mark since the 2011-12 season. Additionally, his averages in rebounds (8.1 >6.8), steals (1.2 > 0.9), blocks (0.7 > 0.4), 3PM (2.2 > 1.5), and FT% (84.8 > 80.1) are all down from a year ago. The 30-year-old is still one of the best pure scorers in the NBA and will likely improve upon his averages as the season wears on, but one can’t help but wonder how much his knee injury is affecting his play. Once he strings together 3-5 good games in a row, you should seriously consider selling high on him to acquire someone without the injury concerns.

Dwyane Wade (104) – 22.8 PTS-3.8 REB-5.5 AST-1.0 ST-0.6 BLK-52.2% FG-67.7% FT3.8 TO

Wade is going to be a beast as long as he stays on the court with Chris Bosh (calf) out indefinitely as evidenced by last three games where he’s averaged 32.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.7 3PM on 52.2% from the field and 70 percent from the charity stripe. Although he’s bumped up his average in points by nearly four points per game (19.0 > 22.8), owners are learning the hard way that scoring a lot points doesn’t always equate to an amazing fantasy value. Due to his wretched high-volume free throw shooting at 67.7% and his mark of 3.8 turnovers per game which is tied for the fourth-worst figure in the NBA, Wade is only ranked 107 in 9-cat formats. Owners who drafted Wade were definitely expecting a lot more than his current 9th-round value.

His career-low in free throw percentage entering the year was 72.2% and he’s a career 76.3% free throw shooter so he will likely improve there. The high turnovers are disturbing though as he won’t be able to live up to his lofty 36.4 ADP if he doesn’t improve upon his other deficiencies. Wade has always been great in the steals department as he’s averaged at least 1.4 steals in his previous 11 seasons, so his current output of one swipe per game is quite alarming as well. Additionally, his 3.8 rebounds per game would be a career-low. If the previous shortcomings don’t alarm you too much, his propensity for DNPs probably will as he has already missed seven of the first 27 games for the Heat. Right now is the ideal time to sell high on Wade as his high point totals will likely obscure his areas of concern and you can try to take advantage of this. Find yourself a more durable player for which you can rely upon down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Yahoo and Nba.com/stats for the statistical information. Be sure to comment below with any questions or remarks. You can follow me on Twitter @MattMoczy and I’m more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

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14 Comments

  1. Jack
    December 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm — Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Just to give you an idea of my current team in a 8-man H2H standard cat league: Damian Lillard, Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon, George Hill, Gordon Hayward, Jimmy Butler, Thad Young, KD, Ibaka, Joakim Noah, Kieff Morris, Sullinger, Shabazz Muhammad.

    Ended up dropping Rolo and Reggie earlier in the season…may pick up Rolo later, but he’s been disappointing and Reggie’s role has been diminished to just occasional explosive games. My real question is whether Sullinger is worth keeping. I’ve floated around a few offers, but no one really wants him and I’d almost rather ride the Covington train right now as he’s doing what I hoped Sullinger would be doing for the Celtics. Also, with the addition of Wright and JCrow and Bass/Olynyk/Zeller still getting time, Sully looks to be in a bad time vacuum unless they get rid of some of the players. Should I cut Sully for Covington or stick it out for a few more? Any recommendations for targets to trade? Derrick Woes and Joakim are absolutely killing me right now with their injuries and no one wants them either because of that…:|

    • December 22, 2014 at 7:27 am — Reply

      Jack,

      I understand your frustrations regarding Jared Sullinger and his recent play but I believe you’d regret cutting Sullinger later on. While the addition of Brandan Wright will likely muddle the Celtics rotations for the time being, Sully is likely going to remain the starter at PF and I’d wait for more clarity on their rotations in the next couple games before panicking on Sully. I would definitely pick up Covington, but the person I would drop would be George Hill since he is still not back from injury.

  2. Tyler
    December 22, 2014 at 4:11 am — Reply

    Hey Matt,
    Team is still decimated with injuries, surprised im doing well in the rankings.
    Should i drop anyone for Marcus Smart or Kyle OQuinn?
    I feel like Gobert is the drop but I much rather have Goberts great PO schedule over Oquinns.

    12team 9cat h2h
    G – cp3, rubio, holiday, mcdaniels
    F – kawhi, hayward, draymond, sullinger, david lee
    C – horford, brolo, j.hill, gobert

    Available FA:
    Teletovic
    Terrence Jones
    Kyle Oquinn
    Jeremy Lin
    Amir Johnson
    Marcus Smart
    PJ Tucker
    Jared Dudley
    Mike Dunleavy
    James Johnson
    MKG
    Shawne Williams

    • December 22, 2014 at 7:35 am — Reply

      Tyler,

      I wouldn’t drop Gobert for O’Quinn/Smart. K.J. McDaniels would be the player I’d consider dropping now that he’s coming off the bench and has only hit double figures in scoring in one of his last six games. Obviously his defensive contributions are what makes him a worthwhile fantasy asset but I would seriously consider dropping him for Terrence Jones.

  3. Brae ivey
    December 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    Hey Matt ,
    So I’m starting a 8 team league with some of my buds and im unsure of who to target and what strategy to follow.. I was thinking of going with the PF/PG strategy and fill in the needed flaws but I really want to have a set in stone strategy as to what I should be like trying to focus down on . Any strategy you can tell me about or players to key in on? It will be a 8 team roto 9 cat

  4. Zack Thomas
    December 24, 2014 at 2:18 am — Reply

    Dear Matt,

    I am a huge fan of the NBA, but am new to fantasy basketball. I currently play in a H2H league with 7 categories (3’s, points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, TOs). Basically, the percentages are out. I thought I had a decent draft in terms of picking up multi-cat guys, but I just suffered my first 2-5 loss and need some advice. I am basically trying to figure out which categories to punt and which 4 to go all-in on.

    My current team is:
    PG: Chris Paul / Kyrie Irving
    SG: Koeb Bryant / Danny Green / Shabazz Muhammad
    SF: Kyle Korver / Wilson Chandler / Robert Covington
    PF: Ryan Anderson / Gorgui Dieng / Jordan Hill
    C: Tyson Chandler / Roy Hibbert

    Some of the guys I am considering adding off waivers: Kyle O’Quinn, Rudy Gobert, Ersan Illyasova, Tony Allen, Tony Wroten.

    Could you please let me know how I can maximize this lineup and which four categories I should go for? I am thinking I’ll punt TOs for sure. I’m very strong in 3’s, and top 4 for all the other stats. Any suggestions on who to drop?

    Thanks so much for your time and consideration!

    Zack

    • December 24, 2014 at 7:14 am — Reply

      Zack,

      After looking at your squad it looks like PTS-3PM-REB-BLK are the strong suits of your team at the moment while you could use some reinforcement in AST-ST. Other than Kobe-Irving though, I don’t think TO should be too much of a problem for you so I wouldn’t be looking to punt that category. Other than CP3/Irving you really don’t have any guys who supply an above average amount of assists and you’re really doing yourself a disservice for AST with CP3 on your team so I may look into trading for someone who can help you in that area.

      Kyle O’Quinn should definitely be owned since he’s now starting and has top-75 upside in that role and Rudy Gobert should be owned as well due to his outstanding production in FG% and BLK even though he’s receiving limited minutes at the moment as he’ll likely see his MPG rise as the season progresses for the hapless Jazz. Problem is, I wouldn’t feel comfortable dropping any of your current players to add O’Quinn/Gobert. With that being said, this might be a great time to try and conduct a 2 for 1 trade then you can add one of these guys without dropping anyone.

      Hope this helps!

      • Zack Thomas
        December 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm — Reply

        Hi Matt,

        Thanks so much for the analysis! Who do you think I should make trade targets? I was going to propose a trade for Shabazz Muhammad/Jordan Hill for Pau Gasol. I was going to pick up Rudy Gobert afterwards. Should I go through? I know Muhammad has a ton of value right now.

        Thanks!

        • Zack Thomas
          December 26, 2014 at 3:20 am

          Hi Matt,

          I pulled the trigger on the Gasoline trade. My main question now was should I pick up Andrew Bogut off the waiver wire (coming back within a few days) or Gobert? Kind of an injury vs. upside kind of situation. Thanks!

        • Matt Moczygemba
          December 26, 2014 at 6:35 am

          Zack,

          Nicely done with the trade by getting Gasol, you definitely got the better side of the deal. I’d pick up Bogut over Gobert for the time being considering he was a top-50 player before he went down and should slide back into the starting lineup, unlike Gobert. Just beware that Bogut can NEVER stay healthy so I would look to sell high on him after he strings together a couple good games in a row. Another factor to keep an eye on is his minutes as Steve Kerr will likely try to keep them down to prevent further injuries.

  5. Edward
    December 24, 2014 at 8:38 am — Reply

    Hi Matt!

    Im an avid fan of fantasy ball since 2008 and I have won some and definitely lost some. As the years go by, the competition gets stiffer and unfortunately for this year, Im dead last at the standings. Im currently in a 10 team, 11 cat (fouls and double double as additional cat), head to head league. Im wondering if you can help turn my season around. Any strategy of pick-ups or trades can you suggest?

    My team is composed of:

    G: CP3, Dragic, Tony Parker, Burke
    SG: Kobe, Oladipo, Joe Johnson
    F: Draymond Green, Millsap
    C: Hibbert, Gortat, Sanders, Noel

    Thank you for your time and your aid will be highly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Edward

    • Matt Moczygemba
      December 26, 2014 at 6:42 am — Reply

      Edward,

      To suggest pickups I would need to know some of the options you’re considering so if you include that I’d be more than willing to give you some tips. With a quick glance at your squad though it looks like you could use some help at PG/C. Tony Parker is a headache to own due to his propensity for DNPs and Dragic’s production is marred by inconsistency due to the presence of Bledsoe/Thomas in the backcourt. I would be looking to sell high on those guys. Hibbert has also seen has play drop off as of late after a hot start and it’s very similar to how his season went last year so once he strings together a couple quality outings in a row I’d look to trade him. I’m imagining FG% may be a problem for you due to owning Kobe/Oladipo at SG and their fantasy values are really floundering.b/c of that. Kobe still has value in trade talks due to his name and I’d be looking to see if I can upgrade there to get someone who is more efficient.

      • Edward
        December 28, 2014 at 12:29 am — Reply

        Hi Matt,

        My updated line-up as of today is that I added O’Quinn while dropping Burke. As for the available players on the wire include reggie jackson, burke, payton, smart, burks, bradley, mo williams, lavine for the guards position. As for the forwards and centers it include gobert, reggie evans and ed davis. So it would wise for me to trade kobe, oladipo, hibbert, dragic and parker? I just have to find suitable abd efficient replacements.

        Thanks!

        • December 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

          Edward,

          Hard for me to tell you whether it would be wise to trade the guys you listed without knowing who you would be getting back in return.

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