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Fantasy Basketball: Callin’ For John Collins

Get Jordan Poole on your fantasy basketball team. I’m also callin’ for you to acquire John Collins. Damian Lillard’s been red hot. Yes, that’s right you should sell high. While you are at it if you have shares of Chris Paul it might be time to unload before the bottom falls out. This is your sell high and buy low column for Week 17 of the fantasy basketball season (9-category leagues).

Fantasy Basketball Buy Low

Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole getting a $128M contract was absurd. What was more absurd though was how high his ADP got heading into the season. He struggled in the month of November largely due to poor shooting. January looked a lot better for him as he improved his shooting and made fewer mental mistakes that resulted in high turnovers. He was also playing a season high minutes that month (34MPG).

With Steph Curry out for a lengthy period of time, one would expect Jordan Poole’s minutes to stay high. He is likely going to get all the shots he wants. On the season Jordan Poole is outside the top 150. Points, threes made, and free throw percentage have been his positive categories. He’s been a significant negative in field percentage, rebounds, blocks, and turnovers. Last season those negatives across the board weren’t nearly as bad for Poole. On top of that, threes and free throw percentage were stronger categories for him.

Over the last six games (two weeks), Poole has been way outside the top 200 in fantasy basketball. Bring your favorite swimsuit and get in on the Jordan Poole party right now. Throw whatever lowball offer you can think of out there to get him. It’s going to be a wavy ride but he should be a top 100 fantasy basketball asset. If I had Jordan Poole’s confidence I’d say probably even closer to that top 75 zone for 9-cat formats.

John Collins

There have been frustrations with John Collins in Atlanta. Could this be the year the Hawks trade him? If Collins does get moved his situation for fantasy basketball should improve. This season Collins is at his lowest number of shot attempts per game since his rookie season. He’s managing to play 30+ minutes a night but just hasn’t been heavily involved in the offense. Over the last month, Collins has been a borderline top 125 fantasy basketball asset. And over the last two weeks that has fallen closer to 150 range. The dropoff rather late looks mostly due to free throw percentage. That should rebound to season/career norms.

For the season, Collins has been a positive in blocks and rebounds while committing a low number of turnovers. He also tends to skew neutral in free throw percentage. If we look to prior seasons he was a large positive in field percentage and scored enough to put him neutral or slightly positive in points. John Collins has been a top 50 fantasy basketball contributor numerous times in his career. He’s still only 25 years old so age isn’t playing a factor in a potential decline.

Maybe the Hawks don’t trade John Collins, but I do expect them to make some sort of move that cleans up their rotation. Capela and Okongwu have both played well this season. However, they don’t pair well on the floor together so maybe the Hawks move off one of them. That could open up more opportunities for John Collins if he can get some backup center minutes and get more touches around the rim. What should you give up to acquire John Collins in fantasy basketball? I would offer a top 100 player. My prediction for the rest of the season is that Collins will provide value in that 50-75 zone. Hopefully, the points and percentages come up.

Fantasy Basketball Sell High

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has been blazing hot as of late. It’s hard to imagine him keeping up this high usage considering he’s 32 and has had health issues pop up. Dame has been the top player in all of fantasy basketball over the last two weeks. In that time he’s averaged 40.5 PPG with bonkers percentages from both the field and free throw line. Field goal percentage doesn’t tend to be his strong suit so expect regression there. For the season he’s been a strong producer in points, threes made, assists, and free throw percentage.

Historically Dame’s best finish in fantasy basketball came in 2019-20 where he finished 3rd in per-game stats. The following year he finished 10th. And he’s had one other finish inside the top 10 (2017-18). Damian Lillard could very well finish as a top-10 fantasy basketball player this season. The Blazers seem committed to chasing a playoff spot. I don’t question the talent. Given Dame’s age and recent injury issues this feels like a sell-high moment. Feel free to target the elite fantasy basketball performers this season.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul was reportedly almost traded this week for Kyrie Irving. Obviously, Irving ultimately got dealt to the Mavs. Chris cannot be happy about hearing his name mentioned like this. It may or may not impact his play going forward. But what will impact his play is the return of Devin Booker. Chris Paul was roughly 4PPG better without Booker this season. Although his assists were 1.5 greater per game with Booker. So what does this mean for fantasy basketball? CP3 has been a little better without Booker. It feels like it could be time to sell on Paul. He’s been banged up this season. Paul had missed some games and when playing he seems to put up one stinker a week. Chris will turn 38 in May.

He’s had a glorious fantasy basketball career. He had a stretch of eight straight seasons of being a top 5 finisher. That ended almost a decade ago, so we have been in the decline phase with Chris for a while here. He’s no longer a positive producer in points for fantasy basketball. His two bankable categories this season have been assists and steals. And he’s been a noticeable negative in field goal percentage. He was super steady in that category for the longest time which is rare for a point guard.

It just feels like the bottom is falling out. And if the Suns are preparing to move on from Chris maybe we should be as well in fantasy basketball. I thought the Suns would be committed to him until the end of his contract but they are seeing the decline too. It pains me to say this but I would be willing to move on from Chris in fantasy basketball if I could get a top 40 reliable player back.

Have you bought low or sold high in fantasy basketball with the NBA trade deadline fast approaching?

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