It’s time to send out fantasy basketball trades. Who knows maybe you’ll catch someone with a holiday hangover and complete a trade that wins you your league. This week we look at a couple of fantasy basketball players you can attempt to buy low on. Additionally, we have some recommendations for fantasy basketball assets you should consider selling high on. It’s time to improve your team in 9-category leagues.
Fantasy Basketball Buy Low
Gary Trent Jr.
Gary Trent is a nice role player that can score in bunches. For fantasy basketball purposes you wouldn’t think that archetype would be valuable in category leagues. Well, last season Trent was the 43rd-ranked fantasy basketball player on per game numbers. This season he’s currently ranked outside the top-100. Let’s figure out why that is.
First off, Trent’s minutes are down four per contest. So we should expect a decrease in counting stats. He’s attempting two fewer shots per game despite his field goal percentage being almost two percent higher. His threes made and rebounds are both down 0.7 a night. On top of that, Trent’s assists are down 0.6. These decreases add up, but the thing that I thought would put a damper on Trent’s fantasy basketball value this season was his steal rate. It’s only down 0.1 (1.6SPG this season). This makes me optimistic going forward.
There are two easy pathways to Gary Trent improving his fantasy basketball value this season. The first is free throw percentage. Last season Trent shot a career-high 85% from the stripe. This season he’s sitting at 78%. That drop of 7% has taken him a positive in the free throw percentage category to a negative. He’s also attempting a career-high 3.5 free throws per game this season. That adds more weight to the category. With a career free throw percentage is 81%, there’s no reason why he cannot shoot that the rest of the way. The other avenue to improvement is three-point percentage. He shot 38% from three at a higher volume last season. That’s also the same percentage he has shot from three for his career. Trent is currently shooting 34% from three this season.
You’d have to think that we will see positive regression to the mean. If that happens, we are likely looking at a boost in both field percentage and threes made. The Raptors don’t have much three-point shooting on the roster. If Trent turns it around they will be forced to rely on him. Now maybe the Raptors decide they aren’t good enough and become sellers at the deadline. Gary Trent would likely be the first player they shop as he can become a free agent this summer and would have a lot of interest from contenders. If traded there’s also the worry the situation could get worse which could negatively impact him in fantasy basketball. However, Nick Nurse already has demoted Trent to the bench and called him out for his defense. I’d argue the situation he currently is in probably isn’t the best, but not the worst either.
Ultimately, I believe in Gary Trent’s worth ethic and track record. He’s probably not going to be a top-50 fantasy basketball player like he was last season, but could he be in that 75-80 range for the rest of the season? Absolutely, and I would be willing to give up a fantasy basketball player in that 95-120 zone to acquire his talents.
You might have a small window to hop aboard the Desmond Bane train. He’s had a couple of duds since returning from injury so you may have an opportunity to steal him away for cheap. Prior to the injury, Bane was on an absolute tear that put him as the 24th-ranked fantasy basketball player on per game numbers. He has currently slid outside the top-40 and I’d be more than willing to be a buyer at that price.
Last season Bane ranked 36th in fantasy basketball playing under 30 minutes per game. Assuming he gets his feet under him and stays healthy he’s definitely better than that. We’ve seen a significant increase in scoring (+5PPG) as well as an increase in assists (+1.5APG). Furthermore, he’s taking 2.5 more free throws per game this season. Since he’s a 90% free throw shooter he’s been doubling in impact in the category. Desmond Bane is a 9-cat fantasy basketball god. Give up a top 40-50 player with the rights to your firstborn child and get Desmond Bane on your team.
Fantasy Basketball Sell High
Tyler Herro is currently the 37th-ranked player in fantasy basketball on averaged stats. If you have the opportunity to trade Tyler Herro for Desmond Bane stop reading and make that transaction now! I see you are still here so I will continue. Last season, Herro was the 88th-ranked player per game in fantasy basketball. What’s changed? Well, his stats are up in pretty much every category (FG%, 3PM, FT%, REB, AST, STL, BLK, & PTS). If you squint nothing seems outrageous, but I’m certainly a little dubious.
He’s shooting over 40% on threes and making almost 3.5 per game. Let me put this in perspective. For Steph Curry’s career, he’s averaged 3.8 threes made per game. Also, Herro is shooting 90.9% from the free-throw line this season. Do you want to guess what Steph’s career free throw percentage is? It’s 90.9%. I don’t want to come across as a Tyler Herro hater. He’s a good basketball player for fantasy basketball. And he is going to continue to be better than last season, but I have a hard time imagining him finishing in the top-40. So if you can flip him for a top-40 fantasy basketball asset I’d recommend it.
De’Anthony Melton has been a fantasy basketball cheat code this season. He was probably one of your final picks on draft day and has paid dividends. Now is the time to sell high in fantasy basketball. The Sixers are getting healthy. James Harden is a star. Tyrese Maxey is an up-and-coming star. De’Anthony Melton may be really good, but let’s be honest, he is an elite role player. I could see a potential lineup where these three guards play together, but I don’t think it will be a common enough occurrence to the point where Melton can maintain his 30 minutes per game. It’s a real shame because everything Melton is doing statistically seems within the range of outcomes for him given the increased workload. However, he’s going to lose 2-5 minutes when Maxey returns. This should negatively impact Melton’s fantasy basketball value.
He’s currently ranked 43rd in fantasy basketball. Historically he’s never been in the top 100 on per-game numbers. And that’s because he’s been a 20-minute guy for his career. (hit 23MPG last season). If I could turn De’Anthony Melton into a top-60 fantasy basketball asset via trade I’d do it.
What fantasy basketball trades have you made this season? Did you sell high or buy low on any players?