2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Buy Low-Sell High

by Greyson Adams
2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Buy Low-Sell High

Week 5 of the fantasy basketball season is here. With it has come a new batch of players who are over or underperforming. It would be best if you were doing your best to capitalize on these slumps or hot streaks, and that's why I'm here to help. This week I give you the 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Buy Low-Sell High.

Each week I will be providing a new segment of this, so be on the lookout next week as well! For anyone new, I divide the buy and sell players into three components: my buy/sell of the week, my main players to buy/sell, and lastly, my other players to consider. I've divided them up this way to show the different magnitudes of each buy or sell.

As a reminder, I am basing the majority of my picks on 9-category, or 9cat, leagues. I will also do my best to incorporate points leagues, but you should consult your scoring format to see if my picks fall in line with your league.

Disclaimer: This post was written in advance of the games on Thursday, November 17, so all stats and opinions will not include these games.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Buy Low-Sell High

Buy of the Week: Scottie Barnes, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors

Barnes has been pretty dreadful over the last 8 games, averaging 11.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks. He's shooting 35.1% on 13.5 shots from the field, all adding up to a ranking of 157th in 9cat, per Basketball Monster. Yikes. He hasn't looked much better on the court either. He's dribbling too much and shooting too many outside shots. He's not playing his game and it shows.

Despite this, I believe he has a great chance to bounce back. Not necessarily because of his development into a better shooter or 1-on-1 player. But more because of what this Raptors team is missing right now.

People tend to get excited for their own players when other players miss games. They get more opportunities to have the ball and produce because of that. But they forget to consider that sometimes this may actually be a detriment to some players. Players have to go outside their comfort zone and try to produce in ways they normally don't. They might have to face tougher matchups defensively now, with more attention on them than before. This is what I think is happening with Barnes.

Point Guard Scottie is not the answer

Both Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, the two main ball handlers for the Raptors, have missed time recently. Scottie has been thrust into the point guard role. He can successfully play this role on occasion, but should not be used in this way for the entirety of games. In games where both Siakam and VanVleet have been healthy (small 5-game sample size), Scottie has averaged 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks. He did this while shooting 52% from the field on 11 shots, good for a 9cat ranking of 64.

His rebounds and assists take a hit when the Raptors' star players are in. But that is nothing compared to the increase we see in his points, steals, and field goal percentage. The impact of VanVleet and Siakam is massive. VanVleet is back from his short stint out with an illness. Siakam is nearing his re-evaluation date, projected to be November 20th, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. I would try to trade for him before these two are both back on the court with Scottie, and we see the former rookie of the year get out of this slump.

Main Buy Targets

Isaiah Stewart, C, Detroit Pistons

Isaiah Stewart, affectionately known as Beef Stew, has just been diagnosed with a foot injury that will sideline him for at least 2-3 weeks, per Adrian Wojnarowski. This is very unfortunate for the big man, who was having a very solid year. The injury news has also been paired with the return of Marvin Bagley. Because of this, thousands on the Yahoo platform were dropping him as soon as they could. This is to show that his value is incredibly low right now.

But the return of Bagley seems to be a bigger hit to Saddiq Bey than to Stewart. Stewart was moved to the 4, and Bey to the bench. It's giving Stewart a chance to space the floor and shoot more triples. This could actually have a positive impact on his overall value, especially in points leagues where his efficiency isn't an issue. I believe you can get him for pennies on the dollar right now, and should do so if you're looking for a solid center to add to your roster.

Herb Jones, SG/SF/PF, New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans always seem to change their rotations based on matchups and who has the hot hand. In two of the last three games, Jones has been a victim of that, ceding minutes to both Larry Nance Jr. and Naji Marshall, who the coach preferred in those games. This has resulted in some very poor performances for Jones.

Many hoped for Jones to be elite in the stocks categories when they drafted him. He's shown flashes,  but it hasn't been nearly the same as it was last year. Over the last four games, Jones has had just one steal and one block total, which is very uncharacteristic of him. I would expect that Jones will most often get 30+ minutes a game and increase both his steals and blocks to more similar numbers from last year.

Other Players to Buy

Paul George, SF/PF, Los Angeles Clippers

George hasn't been bad by any stretch of the imagination. He also hasn't been returning the value managers likely expected with Kawhi Leonard out. His shooting splits are solid, but his counting stats are lower relative to last year across the board, sans points. Fewer rebounds, assists, and steals than last season. The Clippers have been off to a pretty poor start by their standards. Kawhi's injury concerns still loom large over the franchise, and I'm sure that that can affect the players.

As time progresses, they should get Kawhi back, or at the very least become more comfortable with the reality that they simply won't have Kawhi. In either case, I expect PG's numbers to increase, especially his steals, which are in even more of a slump than normal as of these past two weeks.

Sell of the Week: OG Anunoby, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors

Anunoby is playing some of the most efficient basketball on both ends of the floor that he ever has. Over the last two weeks, he's averaged 22.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, two assists, 2.1 steals, and one block, shooting 49.3% on 17.5 shots from the field and 82% on four shots from the line. Elite efficiency. There are a couple of issues with this.

The first issue is that this efficiency is unsustainable. Not just his shooting efficiency, but his efficiency overall. The Raptors' defense is predicated on long wings being able to get their hands in and grab steals and blocks. Even this type of disruptive defense does not typically lend itself to a player averaging 2.5 steals and 1 block, which are Anunoby's numbers on the season. We've seen Anunoby's steals numbers already begin to decline after being inflated by three games in a row of 5+ steals. A very impressive stat, but difficult to match going forward.

Offensively, Anunoby's drastic improvement does not seem realistic to maintain. Last year, he finished the season shooting 44.3% from the field on 14.5 shots and 75.4% from the line on 2.5 shots. He is a younger player, so I wouldn't be surprised at an increase here. But the current 4% increase in field goal percentage and the 7% increase from the line both feel unprecedented based on his current volume.

The second issue with Anunoby's current performance is the absence of Pascal Siakam. Per Stat Muse, Anunoby averages just 15.6 points shooting 47.2% on 12 shot attempts when Siakma plays. This is more of what I would expect from him. It is important to note that his steals numbers with Pascal are still an outrageous 3.1 per game, but I am still not convinced that can continue across a whole season.

Main Sell Targets

Jerami Grant, PF, Portland Trailblazers

Grant is playing out of his mind right now. Over the last two weeks, Grant is shooting 55.6% from the field and scoring nearly 27 points with nearly four made threes a game. Managers know that this is unsustainable, but even his 50.6% shooting on the year on 14 shots seems unsustainable. I would worry about regression into more of a top 75 player rather than the top 20 stats he's been putting up recently.

Bol Bol, PF/C, Orlando Magic

Bol's transformation into a usable rotation player has been one of the more shocking things I've seen to start the year. That's saying something considering how this year has started. Recently, however, Bol has taken another jump in the box score. He is averaging 17.7 points, 12 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks on 52.4% shooting over his last four games. This is mostly due to the absence of Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Wagner, and Cole Anthony, who have all been out for at least one game during this stretch.

His usage has been far above his norm. I expect his statistics to return to more modest numbers. He'll still be a solid fantasy player, but I wouldn't expect top-50 numbers from him once the Magic get back to full health.

Other Players to Sell

Buddy Hield, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers

Hield is shooting 9.6 threes a game at an astonishing 41.6%. Buddy has only ever shot 40% or higher on 3-pointers when shooting less than 8 attempts per game. Per NBA stats, he is shooting 100% from the right corner and almost 50% from the left corner.

These numbers are likely to decrease given his tendency to take very tough shots over defenders. Difficult shots like this that he is currently making will not always go in at the current rate, and this will negatively affect his field goal percentage. It may be wise to sell high while you can, however in a points league you probably are not worried about his efficiency, so I would hold him in that situation.

Spencer Dinwiddie, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks

Dinwiddie has been on fire as of late. But he has seemingly fallen back down to Earth as of his last game, where he shot 3/18 from the field. There is the case to be made that this inefficiency can be contributed to Luka Doncic's rest. Use this argument in your case to trade him away and you should find more success.

 

This concludes my 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Buy Low-Sell High column. Be sure to check back in next Friday for the next edition!

You can view last week's edition here.


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