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Fantasy basketball buy & sell: Week 18

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It’s crazy to say, but it’s time to sell Anthony Davis.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Here are three players to buy and two to sell in fantasy hoops this week. The buys are guys who’s stock is down for whatever reason (coming off injury, in a prolonged slump, just got traded, etc) while the sells are guys who’s value will never be higher—or they’re about to spend the rest of the season on limited minutes because the league is making their team play them but also the team doesn’t want to play him because he’s injury prone and they want to make sure they can trade him this summer (vague I know)—and it’s time to capitalize on their recent production.

Shoutout to Harrison Barnes and Otto Porter Jr. who were both traded immediately after last week’s post when I had them both as buys. Hopefully you bought Porter who’s been great since arriving in Chicago, averaging 17.7 points. That’s a win in my book.

Onto this week!

BUY

Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Orlando Magic

Fultz finally has a new team and honestly, this is what he needed: to get out of Philly and start over with a new team and a new organization. I hope the best for the kid. Here’s to a rejuvenated career!

While the 76ers were never going to turn the offense over to Fultz (there’s that whole Ben Simmons issue there), that won’t be a problem in Orlando. The Magic gave up a bit to get Fultz onto their team so you can bet they’re going to use him and try and get the best out of him. Don’t forget, this is the number one pick of the 2017 draft we’re talking about. Like the one that happened just two seasons ago. At this point you can probably get him for cheap from whatever fellow league mate has him and I think he’s well worth the risk.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Memphis Grizzlies

Valanciunas is still making his way to Memphis—he’s waiting on his immigration papers to be approved—which makes now the perfect time to buy him everywhere you can. And I say now is the perfect time because as soon as Valanciunas starts playing again, no one’s going to want to part with him.

Obviously the Grizzlies are sans-Marc Gasol and his 33.7 minutes per game which means there’s a huge hole for Valanciunas to fill once he’s able to play in the US. So far this season, JV ranks 183 in ESPN’s player rater on only 18.8 minutes per game. Imagine what Valanciunas could do in Memphis even if he’s given 28 minutes instead of Gasol’s full 33 minutes per game. I would fully expect JV to jump well into the top-100 and even possibly into the top-50. Like I said, now’s the time to buy.

Caris LeVert, SF/SG, Brooklyn Nets

Caris LeVert is back people and if he’s available in your league, you need to go get him right now. If some Nets fan in your league has held onto him since November, now’s the time to trade with this person before they remember just how amazing LeVert is. With that being said, let me remind you just how amazing LeVert is.

Here are LeVert’s per game stats through the first 14 games of the season (before he got injured): 18.4 points (47.5%), 1.4 threes (31.1%), 4.3 boards, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals. There are five other players in the NBA right now averaging that statline while shooting at least 47.5% from the field: LeBron, Durant, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry and Blake Griffin. That’s it. If LeVert returns to that level of production, you’re getting a top-20 fantasy player for cheaper than any of those guys.

SELL

Anthony Davis, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

I’ll let you in on a little secret: Davis was who I was talking about above in the intro for this article. Shocking, I know.

Sure it’s a bold proposition to trade the fifth best player in fantasy basketball right now but I’m almost certain Davis’ workload will be wildly inconsistent for the rest of the season. The Pelicans aren’t going to want to play Davis is regular 36 minutes per game because a) they want to tank and get a high draft pick and b) they don’t want Davis to get seriously injured given that they want to trade him for literally every first round pick ever created this summer. Anthony Davis isn’t going to be a top-5 fantasy guy rest of the season and trading him now hopefully will net you at least serviceable returns.

Jonathan Isaac, PF/SF, Orlando Magic

Natty just wrote about Isaac as a player who should be on everyone’s rosters and I don’t blame him. Isaac has been a monster this last week and ranks 10th in ESPN’s player rater for the week. That’s huge for the sophomore prospect. However a lot of Isaac’s recent fantasy production has been built upon his fantastic defensive play in which he’s averaged 3 blocks per game across his last five games. That’s helped boost Issac into the top-10 for the week. Issac’s still a strong fantasy player without those blocks, but he’s not the guy he’s been this past week. I would sell high on him while his name is popular and everyone is looking to get their hands on him.