KYRIE IRVING, Cleveland Cavaliers
You’re still going to have to give up a lot in exchange for a stud like Irving, but owners are fed up with his underachieving and are certainly more likely to deal him now than they were at the beginning of the year. The former Rookie of the Year is shooting a career-low 40 percent from the field and the rise in assists that was talked about all summer simply hasn’t happened. He’s also experiencing dips in free throw percentage, three-pointers and steals. Still, Irving is too talented to keep this play up. He will be at the forefront of Cleveland’s maturation as a team, so it’s worth it to send out an offer to a disgruntled owner.
DERON WILLIAMS, Brooklyn Nets
I know it sounds weird to target a guy who hasn’t been able to stay on the court so far this season, but don’t forget that there is A LOT of basketball still left to be played. Deron can probably be had on the cheap as the DNPs continue to pile up. The Nets are in total disarray right now, so as soon as he gets back, he’ll be thrown right into the fire. Williams will have plenty of opportunity for assists considering the talent he’s surrounded by, and may even become a bigger part of the offense with Paul Pierce sidelined for a few weeks. I wouldn’t pay too much, but it’s definitely worth it to send a feeler out there.
JEFF TEAGUE, Atlanta Hawks
Teague is having the best season of his young career but has been floundering after a red-hot start. Over his last five games, he’s putting up just 13.8 points, 6.0 assists, 0.8 threes and 0.8 steals, opening up a nice little buy low window. Teague has no competition for minutes, especially with rookie Dennis Schroder being sent down to the D-League, so if you’re looking for something a little more low key than the first two guys mentioned, he’s your guy.
JOAKIM NOAH, Chicago Bulls
Noah had a career year last season while Derrick Rose was sidelined, averaging a double-double with worthy contributions in assists, steals and blocks. This year, he has been off to a slow start, but things might change now that Rose is out of the picture once again. Most owners will be willing to part ways with him because of his injury history, and while there’s certainly some risk involved in acquiring him, Noah’s unique blend of assists with defensive stats can pay off in the long run. Target him now, before it’s too late.
RYAN ANDERSON, New Orleans Pelicans
Anderson will always have value to the fantasy game as long as he’s knocking down threes and blocking shots, but he’s about to go on a tear while Anthony Davis is sidelined with a broken hand. My advice would be to milk him for every stat he’s worth over the next couple weeks, and then sell him high before Davis is given a return date. Anderson will still be productive upon The Brow’s return, but for now, you can get a ton in return for him. So far, he has put up 27.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 threes and 0.5 blocks in two games without Davis.
JOE JOHNSON, Brooklyn Nets
Joe Johnson should win some sort of award for being the only Nets starter to stay fully healthy to this point in the season. He’s been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners, who probably didn’t expect much from iso-Joe in such a star-studded offense. However, he’s not going to be able to average 16-plus points and two treys all season. There are simply too many options on the Brooklyn roster for JJ to play this consistently on a game-by-game basis, so sell now before everybody returns. Luckily, you have a while.
JARED SULLINGER, Boston Celtics
Sullinger has been an early season surprise, and is a staple on my pickups posts, but I’m still concerned about his health and conditioning in the long run. The addition of the three-ball to his game has been a plus, and his averages as a starter are now up to 15.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.1 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a owner willing to acquire his services. Odds are, you didn’t pay too much to get Sullinger on your team, so look to upgrade him before it’s to late.
RAYMOND FELTON, New York Knicks
Felton is back from hip and hamstring injuries, and has played quite well over his last four contests, averaging 11.3 points and 6.5 assists with 2.0 threes despite playing just 29 minutes in last night’s blowout over Brooklyn. Still, he has been one of the main reasons for the Knicks futility on defense and is a liability to get hurt again. His shooting guard eligibility is his best fantasy characteristic, but if you can move him for a purer point guard, go ahead and pull the trigger.
Which players are you looking to make a play for right now?
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