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Fantasy Basketball Stock Report: Buy low, Sell high

With over a month of the NBA season in the books, players are in the midst of building their fantasy basketball portfolios. At this point, there’s enough data to determine who’s trending up and who’s trending down. Ultimately, the goal of this article is to give you insight on potential targets you’d like to buy low or sell high. Remember to feel free to ask me on twitter if you have any fantasy basketball questions.

Fantasy Basketball Stock Report

Buy Low:

Kawhi Leonard, F – Toronto Raptors

Leonard’s first month as a Raptor is a breath of fresh air for fantasy basketball fans. His numbers on the surface are worthy of his late first-early second round selection on draft night. Yet, the Raptors have been very cautious with the former DPOY. He’s great when he’s on the floor, but Leonard played in just 13 of 18 possible games and one of those was cut short against Phoenix. Most of those absences were due to Toronto resting in back-to-back scenarios. The Raptors have just two more sets of back-to-backs until the turn of the calendar year. Leonard will get a shot to play close to 20 games from now until January 1 and solidify his early round output for fantasy basketball owners. The time to get him is now.

Jarrett Allen, C – Brooklyn Nets

While Allen’s numbers don’t pop out, he’s been a versatile player for the Nets. It’s not easy to find a big who can chip in two assists and shoot threes without hurting his nearly 60% shooting. Owners invested a late fourth or early fifth-round pick on Allen and could be frustrated with the mediocre return to date. Since Caris LeVert went down, Allen is averaging 17.6 points to go with 12.3 boards and 1.6 swats discounting Wednesday night’s dud (that was more due to Ed Davis going 8-8 and grabbing 9 boards).

With the Nets thin on talent, they’ll look to showcase D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen as their most promising assets. Owners in need of blocks should be trying to acquire the sophomore from Texas. Now is the time to pounce on a player that will chip in some decent peripheral stats on high percentages. Allen is a player that could explode within the coming weeks.

Donovan Mitchell, G – Utah Jazz

Mitchell owners have been frustrated all season and for good reason. Mitchell’s bread and butter last year was scoring, threes and steals and although the swipes have improved, his shooting splits have taken a step back from what was already a below average rate last season. Mitchell is also averaging a rebound less per game this year, and he wasn’t giving you much to begin with. Owners may very well be panicking at this point since Mitchell was drafted in the top three rounds in fantasy basketball drafts. Go out there and take advantage. The sophomore has actually improved on the defensive end and is slowly upping his passing game as well. Once the shooting splits get back up to par, his buy-low window will quickly close.

Sell High:

John Wall, G – Washington Wizards

Wall may be the hardest player to sell high on due to the drama surrounding the Wizards. Luckily for fantasy basketball owners, his numbers have been solid up to now. A full rebuild would likely see Bradley Beal and Otto Porter in new jerseys. Wall’s contract would be extremely difficult to move and he could find himself as the only real offensive threat in Washington. As of now, Beal is drawing the opponent’s top defender. If he leaves, teams will gameplan to contain Wall, and his shooting percentages will likely take a hit. Fantasy basketball owners should try to do what Washington can’t, and that’s to find a new home for John Wall.

Nikola Vucevic, C – Orlando Magic

For a fifth-round pick in fantasy basketball drafts, Nikola Vucevic has been one of the best bargains so far. But delving into his usage numbers show that he’s been vastly overperforming with high percentages on a similar usage from the past few seasons. Vuc is shooting a career-high 55.6% from the floor and 45.2% from deep. Compare that to a career 49.9% shooting and 30.8% from three, you can expect his form to wear off as the season progresses.

The Magic are somehow hanging around in the East with a 9-8 record. But there’s always the danger of Mo Bamba getting more looks if Orlando starts to take a tumble in the standings. Vuc is also in the final year of his contract that will pay him nearly $13M. He could be a valuable trade target for a contender at the deadline if Orlando is skeptical about re-signing him for close to the max. A change of scenery could really hurt a guy who is currently his team’s primary option.

Brook Lopez, C – Milwaukee Bucks

A popular sleeper pick leading up to fantasy basketball drafts, Brook Lopez has delivered big time. Over the past three seasons, Lopez has molded into a stretch big. As a result, 7.1 of his 9.4 shots per game are coming from behind the arc. The Bucks are the top 3-point shooting team in the league, ranking first in makes, attempts, and 9th in percentage. Lopez is a big reason for that. He’s draining 4.4 threes over his last five games, a rate that will be hard to maintain over the rest of the season. On top of that, Lopez was never really a contributor in the rebounding department. His career high in a season was 8.6 in his second year, not great for a big man. His role as a stretch big will hamper his boards even more.

If you have any fantasy basketball questions, feel free to ask me on twitter @JPBalladier

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