Fantasy Basketball Trade Analyzer: Early-season targets to buy low or sell high on (2024)

By Henry Weinberg, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Although the season started a week ago, it’s always worth monitoring trends and pondering action. Opportunities to improve a fantasy roster never cease. Follow the advice below on buying low, selling high, and everything in between to capitalize on bettering your squad.

Disclaimer — I'm not doing much selling high right now. At this early juncture of the season, I'll look to convert my trade chips into assets, but parting with players I value is only preferred if I'm confident I'm the recipient of the best player.

BUY LOW

Chris Paul, Suns

Paul has his doubters. The 37-year-old is not the offensive force he once was. But I’m bullish on Paul to capitalize on good matchups throughout the season. His assist production remains elite. He’ll also be a quality source of steals, setting up a floor of hard-to-find stats.

Yet, his stock is near rock bottom right now. Sunday marked one of the worst 3-point shooting performances of Paul’s career (1-8 3PT). His 3-point efficiency might never be revived, but it's not imperative. Chasing threes isn't as valuable as chasing assists or steals.

Many invested a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick in him. Some fantasy managers might be in panic mode on Paul, rationalizing his age and poor shooting as the beginning of the end. Swoop in.

Domantas Sabonis, Kings

Sabonis hasn’t pieced together a signature game yet this season. The repertoire is impressive. Sabonis averaged a career-high 12.3 rebounds per game after being acquired by Sacramento last season. He paired that with 18.9 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals-plus-blocks per game. He and Nikola Jokic are the only active players to hit those thresholds in point, rebound and assist production.

Sabonis is 26 years old, surrounded by shooting and slated to play more center than ever. His assist and rebounding production will thrive. Sunday’s double-double featuring 19 points and 14 rebounds marked his first game that met expectations, but the first boom has yet to arrive. He could be attainable for the right price.

Collin Sexton, Jazz

Poaching Sexton from an impatient fantasy manager would be a coup for the acquirer of Young Bull. Sexton has been quiet since his 20-point debut with Utah, shooting just 34.8 percent in 17.7 minutes per contest over his last three games.

In total, Sexton is averaging an unremarkable 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Mike Conley has the reins (8.5 assists per game) on facilitating duties, with Jordan Clarkson second at 5.3 dimes a night. There remains a decent chance that both could be jettisoned elsewhere by the trade deadline. Big-picture, optimistic thinking yields the potential for Sexton to be a league-winning player.

Sexton averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists during the 2020-21 campaign with Cleveland. With an upstart collection of shooters surrounding him in Utah, the 23-year-old's return to that level is possible.

Coming off a torn meniscus, Sexton will continue ramping up. He's the owner of a career 45.7/37.7/82.8 percent shooting slash. Don't lose track, or hope, of how good Sexton can be.

Norman Powell, Clippers

Powell is worth gambling on in deeper leagues. If your team could benefit from a scoring punch, he’s a cost-effective solution.

Powell’s first three games have been ugly, resulting in a combined 21 points (7-27 FG, 1-7 3PT, 6-9 FT), nine turnovers and unimpactful peripheral stats. I expect positive regression.

Powell has connected on 41.0 percent of his triples over the last three seasons, averaging 17.9 points per game. The Clippers' depth complicates his outlook, but it’s a lock that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will have rest days. Once Powell finds his rhythm, his shareholders will benefit from those boosts.

SELL HIGH

Bennedict Mathurin, Pacers

Shareholders of Mathurin in keeper leagues should have a death grip on him. Mathurin’s scoring talent is legit, and the volume is fantastic. The energy and confidence he plays with should fuel growth as well.

That said, his value may never be higher this season. Mathurin is shooting an unsustainable 42.9 percent from beyond the arc, and now he’s emerged from the shadows. Defenses are on notice. It began Monday night, as Mathurin (17 points, 6-16 FG, 1-7 3PT, 4-4 FT) put forth the type of realistic efficiency I expect to see semi-often.

Additionally, I expect Indiana to tank, which can create an unpredictable fantasy environment. Even with his outstanding start, I’m unsure if I buy him as a league-winning steal. Hype him as a top young player in the league (which he is) and he could yield a proven fantasy asset (or two).

Brook Lopez, Bucks

Lopez has showcased the epitome of his revolutionized game, canning seven threes and blocking seven shots in two games. That combination has fueled gaudy numbers — potentially gaudy enough to entice others. Lopez will never be the center of a trade, but now is a suitable window to gauge interest.

The motivation to sell high stems from an unsustainable block rate and his tendency to lull in production at times. Lopez has never averaged more than 5.0 rebounds per game in a season with Milwaukee. That puts pressure on the 34-year-old to score. Even in 2020-21, Lopez had 25 games with less than 10 points. Throughout the absence of Khris Middleton (wrist), Lopez could maintain inflated value on the trade block. Lopez fits in the "don't get too attached to your role players" category.

Fantasy Basketball Trade Analyzer: Early-season targets to buy low or sell high on (2024)
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