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Fantasy Basketball: Time to Finally Sell High on Kawhi Leonard?

It’s the optimal time in fantasy basketball to sell high on Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi playing well over the last month may have created a sell high window that wasn’t there earlier in the season. If you are rostering Mason Plumlee I’d also look to sell high based on his recent play. On the flip side, I would try to buy low to acquire Jalen Williams and Trae Young. This is your sell high and buy low column for week 14 of the fantasy basketball season (9-category leagues).

Fantasy Basketball Sell High

Kawhi Leonard

Earlier in the season, I classified Kawhi Leonard as a diamond hands hold when some of the fantasy basketball community was panicking. It may be time to finally sell. We know Kawhi doesn’t play back-to-backs. Ultimately, I worry that he could miss games with an extended injury out of the blue. If Kawhi is the only risk asset in your fantasy basketball portfolio it might be okay. So I’m not saying he’s a must-sell. If there is a good deal out there, consider it. Kawhi Leonard has had four top-five finishes in fantasy basketball for his career on per-game numbers (six top-10). When he’s healthy and on the court, he’s among the elite superstars in the NBA. On the season, Kawhi has been a top 50 player per game. If we dump that rough start and look at the last month, he’s been a borderline top-15 guy.

I view most players’ value based on their per-game stats, but I don’t think you can do that for Kawhi anymore because he’s missed so many games. If we look at Kawhi’s total stats value for fantasy basketball it’s been outside the top 175 because he’s only played 21 games. That doesn’t mean I’d sell him for a fringe top 100 guy. However, I would suggest targeting players in that 25-50 zone. Some examples could be Trae Young, Anthony Edwards, Desmond Bane, Bam Adebayo, or Pascal Siakam. Or maybe you could try to target a boring less buzzy name in the top 25 like Nikola Vucevic or Domantas Sabonis.

Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee is a middling NBA player. He’s having a moment right now and you should definitely sell your shares before he’s worth less than an FTX token. For the season Mason Plumlee has been a top-125 asset per game in fantasy basketball. Over the last 30 days, he’s on the fringes of the top 50. 275th was his rank just a season ago. Plumlee has been in the league for like a decade and has never been a top-100 player based on his averaged stats. His fantasy value typically comes from field goal percentage, rebounds, and low turnovers.

It’s hard to imagine Mason Plumlee playing close to 30 minutes a night after the All-Star break. Maybe the Hornets are trying to showcase him for a potential trade right now, but it’s farfetched to assume Mason would get these minutes on a better team. If the Hornets keep him post-trade deadline why wouldn’t they just give Plumlee’s minutes to rookie Mark Williams? This team is bad and should be tanking. Giving significant minutes to an average at best veteran like Mason Plumlee doesn’t make sense. If you can sell him on his recent play in your fantasy basketball league, do it. I highly doubt you can get a top-50 player for Mason Plumlee. Try to sucker someone into giving you a top 75 guy.

Fantasy Basketball Buy Low

Jalen Williams

Jalen Williams may be a rookie, but it seems like he is figuring things out. He was likely a free agent or waiver wire pickup in your fantasy basketball league. Jalen’s last game was a dud in which he only scored one point, missing all nine of his field goal attempts. It could be a great opportunity to throw a lowball offer to try to obtain Jalen’s services the rest of the way.

For the season, Jalen Williams has been just outside the top 150 in fantasy basketball on per-game numbers. However, prior to the outlier dud game, Jalen had a nice stretch of weeks where he was delivering roughly top-50 value. If I was looking to acquire Jalen Williams in my league I’d shoot out an offer of a fringe top 100 player to try to complete the deal. Make sure he fits your team build as much of Jalen’s fantasy basketball value is derived from his high steal rate.

Trae Young

Trae Young is very much a buy-low. Trae has been the 45th-ranked player in fantasy basketball based on averaged stats this season. If we flip the calendar back to last season, he was a backend first-round guy. What’s changed? Aside from averaging one fewer rebound and point per game, it’s the shooting percentage. Trae has not shot this poorly from three since his rookie season which is aiding in the decrease in field goal percentage.

I’m not banking on him shooting 51.2% on twos and 38.2% on threes like he did last season. I think 50% and 36% respectively could be in play the rest of the way. That should bump up his field goal percentage by at least one or two percent. For fantasy basketball purposes, that wouldn’t make him a necessary punt FG% guy anymore. Unfortunately, he’ll continue to be a punt turnovers guy so just keep that in mind. Over the last month, Trae Young improved his fantasy basketball stock by shooting better. It seems like he’s turned the corner and if you can buy him at his per game rank for the season (45th) I’d consider doing it. I would make sure Trae fits your team build for fantasy basketball purposes.

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