2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Buy Low-Sell High

by Greyson Adams
2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Buy Low-Sell High

We're into Week 3 of the basketball season, and chaos has ensued. The NBA standings are nowhere near what most people expected. The Jazz and the Blazers are premier teams in the league right now, while the Nets and Heat are scraping the bottom of the barrel. But will these standings stay like this for the entire season? Of course not. And the same can be said for the fantasy rankings, which is why I bring you the 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Buy Low-Sell High.

These are uploaded weekly to keep you updated with the latest basketball trends. A lot can change in a week, so you need to remain flexible and be open to changing your opinion of a player. These changes can come in many different ways: usage, lineup changes, injury, new opportunity, and the list goes on.

Each week the buy and sell categories will be split into three sections: my buy/sell of the week, my other main targets for each, and some honorable mentions that I don't feel as strongly about pursuing or trading away.

There will be different reasons to buy and sell each player. Make sure you read the context for each, as it may not line up with your league's scoring settings.

Disclaimer: This was written before the games on November 3rd, so all statistics and standings will not include these games.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Buy Low-Sell High

Buy of the Week: Darius Garland, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

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Garland managed to play 13 minutes in the season opener before leaving the game with an eye laceration. He returned Wednesday, November 2nd like he never left. Garland finished the game shooting 9/20 from the field and 6/7 from the line, with five triples, 29 points, five rebounds, twelve assists, and three steals. Some may believe this to be an opportunity to sell high. I think he will have a very high-level season and is still a buy.

Last season Darius Garland had a breakout year in which he was deservingly voted into the all-star game. His numbers along with the teams' newfound success made it obvious. These same numbers also gave him a top-40 ranking in 9-category fantasy leagues, and up to a top-30 ranking in points leagues (varies with scoring settings). This season, the Cavs added star guard Donovan Mitchell to play alongside Garland. This may seem like a downgrade for Garland due to a decrease in usage. I would argue the opposite.

Garland's usage rate last year was 22nd in the league at 27.8%. With the Jazz, Mitchell had the 6th highest usage rate at 32.9%. It may seem like a difficult task to keep both of these two at those numbers now that they are on the same team. But other examples tell us otherwise.

Players on the same team who each had a usage rate of 26% or higher last season, per Basketball Reference:

Each of these players was relatively successful for fantasy (talent is also a factor) so I would not worry about Garland's usage rate going down. Garland's current usage rate, in a very small sample of 56 minutes, is 29.1%. He has managed to increase his usage rate from last year, further backing my theory.

Mitchell's Positive Impact

I also believe the presence of Mitchell can relieve some of the defensive pressure that Garland faced last year, allowing him to be a more efficient player. Mitchell's impact on the team is already evident.

Garland is a talented player on a quality team who's been given the keys to the offense. Donovan Mitchell's arrival to the team will be beneficial to him rather than a detriment. Right now is the perfect time to buy, with some fantasy players still unaware that Garland has an immense ceiling.

Main Buy Targets

Tre Jones, PG, San Antonio Spurs

Tre Jones is currently shooting 37.3% from the field and has had a particularly bad stretch of games recently. With Primo now gone, Jones is one of the only true ball handlers for the Spurs. His assists numbers should remain very high, and his shooting percentages should see some positive regression soon. He does not have a lot of name value, so his price should be relatively low for what you'd be getting.

Joel Embiid, PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers

Speaking from personal experience, Embiid has been one of the more frustrating players to roster so far. His numbers have been great when he plays. But the biggest issue is he's already missed two games, and his numbers aren't good enough to combat that. I have faith that as the season progress, the current James Harden-centric offense will fade. We should see more from Joel Embiid.

Last year, we saw a lot of similarities to what we're seeing this year. Through the first five weeks of the season last year, Embiid was the 41st-ranked player in 9-category leagues. So far this season, Embiid is the 42nd-ranked player in 9-category leagues. This could just be a coincidence, but it seems eerily similar. You can be the judge of that.

Other Players to Buy

Deandre Ayton, C, Phoenix Suns

There are three good reasons to trade for Ayton: his injury, his low block total, and his high turnover total. I believe that none of these will last very long. The injury report states that Ayton will miss "at least a week" which could potentially mean more time. We don't know either way. On top of that, Ayton has been fairly disappointing in 9cat leagues, averaging only 0.5 blocks and 3.25 turnovers in his four fully healthy games. I expect positive regression when he returns, so buy low while he's out.

Anthony Edwards, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

Ant is not necessarily a buy-low, but his 9-category ranking has dropped due to his poor free throw percentage and his turnovers. You may be able to trade for him using someone with slightly lower stats but a higher free throw percentage if that's a category they're looking to improve. The main reason he falls here is that I love his ability to explode for massive games, even if he does eat Popeyes more than he should.

Sell of the Week: Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings

Kevin Huerter has started the year off on a tear, averaging 4.1 triples, 18.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on splits of 50.6% from the field, 51.8% from 3-land, and 78.9% from the charity stripe. These numbers combined with his low turnover rate put him at spot 42 in 9-category rankings, and a top 75 player in points leagues (standard Yahoo scoring). Huerter has looked great out on the court. He's confident in his shot and the fit in Sacramento is clearly a good one. Despite this, I still think he's one of the best sell-high candidates so far.

Shooters shoot. That's a saying I'm sure many of you know. Sometimes when shooters shoot, the ball starts to drop a lot more often. They heat up and their confidence grows, and the basket looks twice as big as normal. That's likely where Huerter is right now. Unfortunately, this doesn't last a whole season. This is not to say Huerter will be a bad player, just not as good. I would expect negative regression in his field goal percentage, his triples, and his points. Those are three of his four most valuable categories as of now (turnovers are the 4th).

Fox is also currently out for a short stint, so his counting stats will likely see a slight boost. This is the perfect time to sell high, and leave someone else holding the bag when he falls back to Earth.

Main Sell Targets

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai has been the BEST player in fantasy basketball in 9 category leagues. He's a super-talented player on a team that heavily relies on him. He is also a big sell-high to me and almost made it as my Sell of the Week.

If you have ever used Basketball Monster, it can show you a breakdown of the numbers and why everyone is ranked where they are using Z-scores for each category. It sounds very nerdy, and that's because it is. But moving on, Shai is currently at a value of 1.06 as his overall Z-score or 1.06 standard deviations above average. In other words, Shai is producing at an insanely high level. For reference, last year Nikola Jokic finished the year with an overall Z-score of 1.05.

This gives me some doubt that Shai can continue his current production. There's also the concern that Shai still plays for a tanking team, and he could sit out for longer stretches than normal, or even be shut down for the season. He's a big sell high right now, and you can most likely get first-round value out of him.

Lauri Markkanen, SF/PF, Utah Jazz

Like the Jazz, Lauri Legend is one of the biggest surprises of the young season. The Finnish forward has been given the green light and is thriving in his new role. But is it sustainable? I'm not too sure. Markkanen is shooting a career-high in 2-point attempts, at 9.8 per game. The last time he was close to this number was back in the 2018-19 season with Chicago, when he shot 8.9 twos a game. The big difference? Lauri is currently shooting 65.9% on his 2-point attempts, whereas in the 18-19 season, he shot just 47.9%. I'm not saying he'll start shooting that poorly again, but I have my doubts that he continues to be quite this efficient on his twos for the remainder of the season. I would sell high on him while he remains this efficient.

Others to Sell

Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton's absence has opened up more scoring opportunities for Johnson, and he's taking full advantage. Johnson has had back-to-back games with 5 or more threes while also grabbing some nice supporting stats, primarily boards and steals. Use this as a chance to sell him while Ayton is still out because the dip will likely be significant when the starting big returns.

Naji Marshall, SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans

Marshall has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of all the injuries with the Pels early this season. He's been solid, getting 33 or more minutes in each of the last four games. With Ingram returning very soon, it would be wise to try and get any value out of him as you can, likely as an add-on to a current trade you're thinking of making.

This concludes my 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Buy Low-Sell High segment. If you're curious, be sure to go check out week 2's buy/sell options here. Some of those options are still viable this week! And be on the lookout for my week 4 segment next week.


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