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Fantasy Basketball: Askin’ For Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam has been mildly disappointing for fantasy basketball this season despite being an all-star-caliber player in the NBA. As a fantasy basketball manager, I want Siakam on my team. If you can pry him away for less than his ADP price, it could be the optimal time to buy. Another player to consider buying low on is Jaylen Brown. Alternatively, if you roster Fred VanVleet or Alperen Sengun this could be your best-selling opportunity. This is your sell high and buy low column for Week 16 of the fantasy basketball season (9-category leagues).

Fantasy Basketball Buy Low

Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam’s fantasy basketball value comes from three categories. He gives you points, rebounds, and assists. His value this season is down due to slippage in field goal percentage and steals. Of the Raptors that could potentially get moved at the trade deadline, Siakam seems less likely than most. If the Raptors decide to tank, he may see his minutes get reduced. I wouldn’t be too concerned about that though. Also, if the Raptors were to move their point guard, Fred VanVleet, there would be some extra assists up for grabs for guys like Siakam and Barnes. Based on a small sample of six games without VanVleet, Siakam has averaged about an extra assist per game. Let’s not even assume that happens.

Siakam has been in a bit of a slump lately. Oddly he just hasn’t been picking up steals. Scoring and shooting has been slightly down. His free throw percentage has bounced back over the last four games. I predict we’ll see positive regression to the mean in steals and shooting from the field. Pascal Siakam was the 35th-ranked player in fantasy last season on per game numbers. It seems reasonable he can get back to that level the rest of the way. Hopefully, you can obtain Siakam’s services for a fantasy basketball asset in that 50-60 range. His value over the last two weeks has been outside the top 100. For the season, Siakam has been just inside the top 50.

Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is coming off a 37-point outing, but really hasn’t been great over the last two weeks. Even with that monster game, he’s been just outside the top 100 in that time. Could this be a buying opportunity? Lately, his percentages have taken a hit with an increase in turnovers. Turnovers are his worst category. So even when he reverts back to the norm there, you’ll still have to stomach those. Field goal percentage should be a neutral category for Jaylen. The free throw percentage may be slightly negative although this season on the whole there has been some improvement.

Speaking of this season, Jaylen’s been a top 40 fantasy basketball performer. Last year, he was just outside the top 60. And that’s where I would be a buyer. Typically, Jaylen’s fantasy basketball value hovers in that 35-70 zone. This season he’s scoring more, shooting better on twos, and rebounding better with an increase in minutes. He’s not shot well on threes at all. If that turns around, we could see Jaylen’s FG% climb north of 50%. Not all fantasy basketball managers will allow you to buy low on Jaylen Brown. You can still shoot your shot and see how it goes. Jaylen Brown’s plus fantasy basketball categories this season have been points, threes made, rebounds, and steals (slightly).

Fantasy Basketball Sell High

Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet looked great in the month of January. It may be time to cash out if you are rostering him. In October, November, and December, VanVleet shot below 40% from the field. His three-ball looked broken above-the-break from the right side. It’s no secret VanVleet’s had a lot of wear on his body. He’s certainly a victim of “Nick’s Nursery.” And after playing 40 minutes per game this month, health issues could arise yet again. VanVleet has also been heavily rumored in trades. He turned down a $114M extension and could become a free agent this summer. The Raptors may be forced to trade him if they feel they could lose the asset for nothing. Or they might just not want to pay Fred the money he’s asking for.

If VanVleet gets traded to a new situation, he likely won’t be playing the insane Nick Nurse minutes anymore. If he stays on the Raptors beyond the trade deadline, his body will either break from the heavy minutes or he will get some much-needed rest. Over the last month, Fred VanVleet has been a first-round talent in fantasy basketball. It’s sell high time, baby! He’s contributed enormously in steals, assists, threes made, and free throw percentage. However, VanVleet has probably tanked your field goal percentage. I would try to flip Fred for a top 15 guy but would be willing to settle for a reliable top 20 producer at this point.

Alperen Sengun

Sengun has been a sensation over the last two weeks. He missed a game but is practicing. You should still be able to sell high here. Sengun has been the lone bright spot on this horrendous Houston team. His recent hot stretch is even more unsustainable when you realize he’s been so effective for fantasy basketball even with his free throw percentage in the toilet. Free throw shooting isn’t a strength for Sengun, but it won’t continue to be a must-punt situation. What also won’t continue is his steal rate which he doubled over the last 14 days. Blocks should also come down closer to just the one per game he was averaging this season. He’s a strong field goal percentage fellow. But I’d bet that the 65% he had going here goes back down to the 57.5% season number. Points and turnovers will likely decrease as his minutes decrease to a reasonable amount.

As a rookie last season, Alperen Sengun was outside the top 200 in fantasy basketball. He’s obviously a much-improved player. On the season he’s been a borderline top-60 fantasy basketball asset. However, I believe you can even sell higher than that based purely on what he’s down lately. If you can steal a top 40 player, make the move.

Have you been able to buy low or sell high in fantasy basketball this season?

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