Buy Low, Sell High: Fantasy Basketball Week 5

Buy Low:
Carmelo Anthony is having a rough week. In his last two games, he’s totaled 16 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and a block, while shooting 5-of-21 (24 percent) from the field and hitting zero three-pointers. Melo’s shooting woes have plagued him all season, as he’s shooting just 39 percent from floor so far in the 2011-12 NBA season. If your league counts field-goal percentage as a category, ‘Melo is not much more than a top 50 fantasy asset – if your league doesn’t count that column, he surges to the top 20. All that said, he’s coming off a forgettable week for a Knicks team that looks about as healthy as Lindsay Lohan. But with Baron Davis on the way back and some kind of changing wind on the way (one can hope, right?), a guy as talented as ‘Melo is can’t be mired in this slump for too much longer. He won’t get cheaper than he is right now.

Amir Johnson has been close to worthless lately. In his last four games, Johnson is averaging 3.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.8 turnovers per game. But the reinjured calf of Andrea Bargnani opens up the door for Johnson to get more minutes. Remember that some of his best games this season came when Bargnani was sidelined. Buy him on the cheap – really cheap.

Andre Iguodala‘s stat lines have looked shaky lately. In his last four games, he’s averaging 8.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 turnovers, while shooting 40 percent from the field and 63 percent from the charity stripe. Also, Iguodala has hit just one three-pointer in his last five games. This buy-low recommendation is based mostly on the hunch that his shooting from the field and, consequently, his scoring and three-point making will improve sooner than later. After all, Iggy has career averages of 46 percent shooting from the field and 0.9 threes made per game, and is right around those marks for the season.

Chauncey Billups was on a nice little streak earlier this month, but he’s shooting a nightmarish 2-of-17 (12 percent) from the field in his last two games. For the season, Billups is shooting just 33 percent from the field, so despite hopes that playing alongside CP3 would change his perennially poor accuracy from the floor, it appears that blemish on his fantasy value will stick with him this season, too. That said, Billups is averaging otherwise healthy marks of 15.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.2 threes per game for the season. Expect him to get back on track shortly.

Gerald Wallace has been the definition of unreliable lately. After a hot start to the season, Wallace has seen his value plummet since the middle of January. In his eight games since Jan. 13, Crash has shot 42 percent from the field and 48 percent from the free-throw line. For the season, he’s still shooting 48 percent from the field and 65 percent from the line. Add to this his bothersome sprained finger and it’s easy to call him a good bet for a discounted price. As his finger heals, expect Wallace’s fantasy value to do likewise.

Dwyane Wade, Al Jefferson, Marcus Thornton and any other productive fantasy players who are injured should be considered buy-low candidates.

Sell High:
Anthony Morrow is on a nice little comeback trail at the moment. His game log tells a tale of a roller coaster fantasy player and owners shouldn’t expect that to change now. Morrow’s started the last two games, but that’s thanks to MarShon Brooks‘ inflamed left Achilles tendon. Once Brooks returns, Morrow’s fantasy value will be spotty once again. Package him in a deal while his value is somewhat appealing.

Shawn Marion‘s last handful of games has been impressive. In fact, since Jan. 18, he’s averaged 18.4 points, 7.8 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 threes per game. However, it should be noted that his last three games were for a Mavs team without Dirk Nowitzki, who’s taking some time off to get his body right. Once Nowitzki comes back in better shape, fantasy owners can presume Marion will see his value settle back down. His owners should try to trade him away before Diggler returns.

Brandon Jennings is having a stellar season so far. He’s improved his points, assists, steals, threes and shooting percentages, which are no small feats. However, owners should note that Jennings is shooting just 35 percent from the field in his last three games. Given his history of poor shooting, fantasy owners should see his last three games as a friendly warning shot.

Paul Millsap has been a top five stud since Jan. 11, and most recently finished with a huge game against the Raptors on Wednesday. However, Al Jefferson was absent from that last game. While that alone isn’t reason enough to make Millsap a sell-high candidate, the fact that Derrick Favors started, played nearly 42 minutes and posted 16 points, 12 boards, an assist, a steal and a block that night might be. If Favors can establish himself for however long Jefferson is out with his bum ankle, he might cut into Millsap’s minutes after Jefferson returns.

O.J. Mayo has looked good in his last five games, during which he’s averaged 15.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.4 threes per game, while shooting 48 percent from the field. But Mayo’s history of streakiness is well-documented, and with Zach Randolph set to return in about a month, the shooting guard’s role in the Grizzlies’ offense could once again be limited sooner than his owners would like. He can probably fetch a decent player with better long-term prospects on the market right now.

Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.

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