• On its surface trading in fantasy basketball can be fairly simple and the theory can parallel the stock market.  When you have a player exceeding his expectations, it’s more likely than not that at some point in the season he will regress closer to his expected value, so it makes sense to try and get the maximum return for his inflated value.  The same holds true for the inverse, but unfortunately we are all prisoners of the moment.  Pulling the trigger on a big move is always tough, especially when you are buying low and/or selling high.

    Trading is simultaneously the most exciting aspect of fantasy sports and the scariest because no one wants to get fleeced and bad trades live rent free in our minds forever.  The end result can often look very different than the process that instigated the trade and it’s simply impossible to win every trade.  Thus, the best framework we have to work with is the classic: Sell player X when he is playing above his expectation and buy player Y when he is underperforming.  The problem is that this is counterintuitive and it’s almost impossible to tell when each player will (if ever) flip the script.   No one wants to look the fool and in this risk vs. reward format, you risk losing badly in the short term and also quite possibly in the long term as well.  If you make enough trades where you wind up on the right side of expected variance, you should prosper in the end.

    Over the course of the season, I will throw out various players who are over/under performing and assign a risk/motivation value towards moving/acquiring them.  There are a multitude of factors that go into making a trade besides simply examining the value of player X vs. the value of player Y, but I will try and keep it as simple as possible for now.  Trading in fantasy is a season long rollercoaster and some people just aren’t built for the highs and lows.  If you do make a trade, be mentally prepared to follow whoever you traded more closely than the player you acquired.

    Here is a list of player’s I’d either try and ship out or target early in the season.

    Sell High

    Kyrie Irving

    Irving is one of the ultimate trick-or-treat players in the league.  If healthy and motivated, he has enough talent to finish inside the top-20 without breaking a sweat.  He’s currently ranked 9th after two weeks and looks engaged mentally/physically.  Surprisingly, Nets are a meager 1-5 and if they continue to freefall, the chances of an Irving meltdown go up exponentially.  You probably had to invest a late second, early third to draft Irving, but if there was ever a opportunity to get the maximum value from him, it’s right now.  You could try and get Paul George, Anthony Edwards or Domantas Sabonis.  Selling high is normally an emotional compromise, but with Irving, it’s just good business.  As I write this Irving is already embroiled in his first scandal.  If Kyrie wasn’t Kyrie, his sell-high motivation would be average, around a 3/10, but with the Nets already mired in chaos, it’s closer to 7.5.

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    Buy Low

    Anthony Edwards

    There are different kinds of buy-low players and Edwards fits the perfect model (for the buyer).  He’s currently ranked outside the top-100, but that’s mostly because of his 64.3% shooting from the stripe.  He shot 78.6% last year, so this blip is most likely an aberration.  The problem is that in order to buy low, you need someone who wants to sell low as well.  If you can find a fantasy player willing to trade Edwards for a top-40 player, jump at the opportunity as fast as possible.  Both Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey are ranked inside the top-30.  I would move either of them for Edwards in a second.  I’d even consider both, but I have Ant-Man ranked ridiculously high and feel like he’s a surefire bet to finish the season on a rampage.  I doubt anyone who invested the draft capital to grab Edwards is willing to move this quickly, but never underestimate the panic levels of another fantasy GM.  Edwards is always one game away from dropping 40 and settling his fantasy manager’s nerves, so the buy-low motivation is a 9/10.

    Want to get access to the rest of our Buy Low, Sell High feature? You’ll need to have a FANTASYPASS membership. Click here to learn more and sign up! The FANTASYPASS also includes full access to Pickups of the Night, our Weekly Report and a daily preview with notes on gaming and DFS as well!

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