June 3, 2018, 1:45 pm
Welcome in HoopBallers! As we’ve gotten a little distance from the end of the season and the emotional highs and lows of the fantasy campaign have evened out, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year that was. I asked some select members of our tremendous HB staff, from feature writers to blurbers to podcasters to people in our journalism and scouting arms, to answer a handful of questions about another fun year of hoops and what went right or wrong in their fantasy endeavors. We’ll be bringing you those answers in the coming weeks.
Trades are probably the toughest part of fantasy ownership. You’re dealing with competing valuations that are almost never in sync, plus all sorts of fun subconscious biases working against you. Outside of the draft itself, trade season throws the most variables into the mix and it can be exceedingly difficult to navigate for even the most experienced fantasy owners. That (plus, you know, winning things) is what makes pulling off a successful trade so satisfying.
Trades tend to be tougher in leagues with more experienced owners, as those who have been around the block a few times are often more steadfast in their own assessments of players. The same can be said for deeper leagues, as it becomes tougher to assess the impact of new players as they fall further and further from the top-150. While those guys are mostly filler in bigger packages, nobody wants to lose out on any value.
Unfortunately, I fall into the extremely stubborn group and didn’t make any trades this season. There were some talks in the few weeks following the draft but I decided to see how things would play out before pulling the trigger on anything. Onto the experts, who are generally more fun than me.
I don’t do trades because I’m in too many leagues and stretched way too thin. Most of my leagues prohibit trading because they’re high stakes, too. One day I’m going to form a family band and kill time between shows by sending all of the same terrible trade offers people constantly send me.
Turning Lou Williams and Al Horford into Damian Lillard, who I then managed to package in a trade for KAT. My goal going into every year is to acquire another bonafide first rounder (in addition to the one I drafted), and last season I managed to squeeze Anthony Davis out of an opponent before the KAT fleecing this year. It’s hard to lose a league with two guys in the top-8.
Trading away Zach Randolph for John Henson – It isn’t the most glamorous trade, but getting rid of Randolph early on in the season proved to be huge for me down the stretch. Z-Bo barely played over the final few weeks, and while Henson isn’t incredibly productive, it was enough to get me through.
I had a few successful trades (including two involving me getting Joe Ingles’ top-60 value), but I’d say getting Lord Robert Covington for Taurean Prince and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the best. The trade went through right before RHJ got hurt and Taurean went on a months-long tailspin. By that time, Ro-Co wasn’t playing particularly well either but the 2-for-1 opened up an extra roster spot I used to ameliorate the situation. Come playoff time, Bellwood’s finest was up to his usual 3-and-D plus blocks and boards, spending most of the H2H playoffs inside the top-20 (and helping me to win my big money league) and finishing the season at No. 37.
Jayson Tatum for Gary Haris back in November. I tried floating Tatum to everyone because I couldn’t see him sustaining those insane numbers (50% from 3PT) and over the course of the entire season Harris ended up almost 30 spots higher.
It’s the second year in a row that I’ve been able to capitalize on a Giannis trade primarily because I target a manager that is literally dying to trade for him. Last year I was able to trade him in a package that included Marcin Gortat and Patty Mills for Victor Oladipo, Dario Saric, Brandon Ingram and Jabari Parker. This year I was able to swap him for Paul George and Clint Capela in a roto league, clearly getting the better part of the bargain in both situations.
I don’t play any redraft leagues anymore, I’m in all dynasty or keeper leagues. I guess the biggest trade I made this year was trading Lauri Markkanen and a 2018 rookie first-rounder for Andre Drummond around midseason. It ended fine. I didn’t win :(.
February 21, 2020, 10:51 pmJamal MurrayPG, Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray scored 21 points (8-for-16 shooting), six rebounds, four assists, one triple, one steal and one block on Friday.
Murray slipped and looked like he might have tweaked his groin at one point in this game but he finished with no apparent issues. Keep an eye on any news that may come out about this as time goes on, but he's been heating up lately and should remain a confident play down the stretch.
February 21, 2020, 10:50 pmFred VanVleetPG, Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet finished Friday's game against the Suns with 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
He actually struggled from behind the arc on Friday, going 2-for-7, but fantasy owners do not need to be concerned. FVV has mastered his current role for the defending-champion Raptors and is showing no signs of slowing down. He belongs in starting lineups across the board.
February 21, 2020, 10:49 pmWill BartonSG, Denver Nuggets
Will Barton contributed 16 points (6-for-12 shooting), nine rebounds, five assists, two triples and a steal in 32 minutes on Friday.
Barton's status coming into this game was uncertain but he looked no worse for the wear with a very strong fantasy line. The 32 minutes was also good to see as he looked healthy and productive. Keep him in your lineups as long as he's active.
February 21, 2020, 10:44 pmDario SaricPF, Phoenix Suns
Dario Saric (left ankle) scored eight points and added five rebounds and three assists in the Suns' road loss to the Raptors on Friday.
He got double the number of minutes that fellow Suns front court member Aron Baynes got in his return from injury tonight, so that is a good sign. If Saric can continue to receive 20 or so minutes per game, he is likely to maintain value the rest of the way. There's a good shot he is on the waiver wire unless you are in a deeper league and he is worth monitoring.
February 21, 2020, 10:39 pmAron BaynesC, Phoenix Suns
Aron Baynes (left hip soreness) played 10 minutes on Friday in his return from injury, scoring five points.
Nothing on his stat line was notable this evening. Given that Dario Saric also returned tonight from a stint on the shelf and the options the Suns already have in the front court, Baynes' fantasy presence looks to be nonexistent the rest of the way. If Ayton or Saric goes down, however, Baynes would immediately become relevant again.
February 21, 2020, 10:36 pmPascal SiakamPF, Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam scored 37 points, 12 rebounds and added three assists and three blocks in a 118-101 win over the Suns on Friday.
Siakam hit five threes and went 12-of-19 from the field. He has established himself as a true star in the NBA and fantasy owners are undoubtedly reaping the benefits of his great play. Keep starting him every time the Raptors play.
February 21, 2020, 10:33 pmAndre DrummondC, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andre Drummond put up a mixed-bag result on Friday, getting his ubiquitous double-double with 12 points (6-of-11 shooting), 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Drummond actually struggled in this game. Not only did he miss both free throw attempts, but also wound up committing seven turnovers as Bradley Beal appeared to have his number all night long. Drummond should perform a lot better than this, so just chalk it up to an adjustment phase as he acclimates to his new team.
February 21, 2020, 10:30 pmDevin BookerSG, Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker had 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds in Friday's losing effort vs. the Raptors.
He went 8-for-18 from the floor and missed four of his five threes. Maybe Booker was going through a bit of a Three-Point Competition hangover of sorts because he looked a bit rusty. He has been one of the most consistent players in the league this season. Look for him to shake it off tomorrow against a weak Bulls team.
February 21, 2020, 10:27 pmCollin SextonPG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton was a points machine in the Cavs' win over the Wizards on Friday with a team-high 25 points (8-of-17 FGs, 7-of-10 FTs), two rebounds, two assists and two treys.
Sexton's lack of assists and steals on a regular basis has been the biggest roadblock on his path to fantasy relevance. He's more of a points contributor and not much else on most nights. But at 25 points tonight, he's still an end-of-bench guy in standard leagues.
February 21, 2020, 10:26 pmDomantas SabonisC, Indiana Pacers
Domantas Sabonis notched 24 points (8-for-16 shooting), 13 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 37 minutes as the Pacers beat the Knicks 106-98.
Sabonis is a safe bet for points, rebounds and assists almost every night and Friday was no different. While some choose to nitpick at the lack of threes and defense, just enjoy the consistent baseline of counting stats he gives you if he's on your roster.