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    It’s week eight of the fantasy season and we are a little more than a third of the way through the marathon of gluttony that is fantasy basketball.  One of the early reoccurring headlines is the abundance of injuries and the general unreliability of players to actually suit up for all their games in any given week.  It’s almost a miracle if a stud plays both ends of a B2B, but in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.

    Over the rest of the season there will be plenty of regression, both positive and negative and the key is to act like Nostradamus and predict whose stocks will rise and whose will plummet.  Trading is all about leverage and the better your team is doing, the more leverage it has over the rest of the league.  No one admires a vulture, but there is no honor in fantasy hoops.

    If you are in the top-four of your league, this is the time to press your advantage on the dregs and offer to take their injured or underperforming stars off their hands for pennies on the dollar.  Never underestimate how desperate another GM might be to unload a toxic asset or just reset the juju on his squad.   One of the worst feelings in fantasy is when a stud gets moved for two quarters and you know you would have beat that offer by a mile.

    The key variable is almost always risk.  How much risk are you willing to take on to potentially hit a home run and is it even worth the added risk by potentially poking holes in the boat?  Personally, I’m about as risky a GM as there is and I can never turn down an opportunity to try and separate myself from the herd.  Fantasy can be such a crapshoot.  I always try and increase my top-end talent by taking on an injured Karl-Anthony Towns or a previously struggling Giannis Antetokounmpo.

    The same approach goes if you are in the bottom rung of your league.  Something needs to give and you might need to take on a high-risk rest of season player like LaMelo Ball or Damian Lillard in order to try and steal some value.

    The best predictor of future performance is past performance and while it’s not assured that a player who has been unhealthy recently will continue to have bad luck in the future, predicting the future is all about weighing risk vs. value.  Anthony Davis is playing like a god right now and if you drafted him, you are almost single-handedly competing for a top-four seed at worst, but will it last?  He played a combined 76 games over his last two seasons and has now taken on even more offensive responsibility.  He’s no Atlas.

    To get fair value in return, you’d essentially need to receive the best two non-top-five players on an opponent’s team and no one is paying that price.  You have to treat Davis like found money or better yet as if you’ve already hit six legs of a seven leg parlay and the bookie is offering you half the potential payout.  It’s far more practical to look where you came from as opposed to where you could be.  You’ve already won, so take your winnings and move on to the next bet.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with hedging in fantasy, but first you have to be realistic about where you are and how you got there.

     

     

    Sell-High

     

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

    SGA is having one of the most prolific 20 games sprints in recent NBA history.  He’s averaging 31.1 ppg on 50.9% from the field and 92.4% from the line.  He’s only taking one trey a game and somehow he bobs and weaves through traffic like a ballerina on steroids.  The Thunder are third-last in the west and while it’s a little too early to tank, you know Sam Presti is watching the Spurs/Rockets more than he is the Nuggets/Suns.

    If you drafted SGA, congrats, it probably cost you a third-round pick and he’s a top-five player.  If you play in H2H leagues, you can’t afford to have SGA repeat his history and sit the last 15-20 games due some mysterious ankle injury. Part of the reason he fell to you in the first place was this fear, but if he has carried you near the top of the current standings, you’ve already reaped the rewards.  On a normal season, SGA might not carry the same risk, but Wemby is a generational talent and there is no predicting how quickly teams will pull chute on the season.

    That risk isn’t as palpable for someone in 12th place in a 14-team league; they just want to get into the playoffs first and deal with the consequences later.   The best part of trading SGA is you get to set the terms.  You might be able to get anyone in the league other than Jokic, Tatum, KD or Curry.  Lose a little value and eliminate a lot of risk by offloading him before the walls cave in.  Sell-high motivation is a 7/10, but goes up by one every month.

     

    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!


    Buy-Low

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    Trading for Towns from a position of strength is probably my ideal fantasy scenario over the last couple of seasons.  Towns is historically durable and if you are comfortably in the playoff picture with a free IR spot or a soon-to-be free one, it’s almost foolish not to tender an offer.  Now, if the GM who has Towns is in second place, then the point is moot, but if he’s closer to last than first, then this could be the perfect opportunity to grab a top-15 player for two top-65 guys.  If you are in a 12-man league, than trading two players for Towns should be your highest priority because you then get to grab two guys off the wire.  In one of my leagues where I’m in first, Towns was traded for Shake Milton and Nic Claxton.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more upset at an opportunity squandered.  Towns does come with some risk, as Dame has shown calf strains can linger, but you have to think big picture.  If he’s healthy in mid-January, your team is potentially a juggernaut.   The buy-low motivation is a 10/10 if you can sustain the missed games.

     

    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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