With trade deadlines fast-approaching in many leagues, it pays to have a firm grasp of player values as the fantasy season enters the home-stretch. That way you can make that last second move or non-move that puts your team over the top or into the playoffs. Without further ado, I’m going to mention some players, the category they belong in, and why.
1) Ron Artest
It took half a season, but owners are finally getting a return on their investment from Artest. In the last month, Artest has averaged seventeen points, two threes, four rebounds and four assists per game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line. With Tracy McGrady out for the rest of the season following microfracture surgery, Artest is the second option in Houston and should flourish.
2) Rudy Gay
This one has everything to do with the Grizzlies’ remaining schedule. They have 24 games remaining, tied for most in the league, and Gay’s value couldn’t be any lower with his poor free-throw shooting and lack of threes over the last month. He’s still a very talented individual that contributes in points, field-goal percentage, rebounds, steals and blocks. Go get him for next to nothing and you will be happy you did.
3) Baron Davis
Yes, Baron Davis has issues with field-goal percentage, and there is the potential the Clippers could rest him down the stretch. That said, the man is very prideful, and he is playing in his hometown. He knows he has had a subpar year and the atonement has already begun. Over the last week Davis has averaged eighteen points, two threes, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals a game on 50 percent shooting from the field. If you need points, threes, assists and steals, he is a perfect target.
4) Jermaine O’Neal
Just like Baron Davis before him, O’Neal is an injury risk. However, unlike Davis, O’Neal plays for a contending team that is fighting for playoff positioning with very little depth at his position. Also, his numbers since joining the Heat don’t exactly jump off the stat sheet, so you can get him on the cheap. If you want a center with the ability to get you fifteen points, seven rebounds and two blocks a game, O’Neal is your man.
Others to Buy: LaMarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Andre Iguodala, Randy Foye, O.J. Mayo, David West
1) Nate Robinson
I’m not suggesting you sell Robinson for whatever you can get. I’m merely saying he has played at a second round level for a month now and make the trade if you can get a first or second round caliber player in return. Expecting Robinson to score 24 points a game the rest of the year is unrealistic.
2) Charlie Villanueva
Again, it is a bit odd to suggest selling a guy ranked 14th on Yahoo in the past month, but I’m doing just that. The Bucks have the fewest games remaining in the league (20) and Charlie’s value is at its highest point after averaging 23 points and eight rebounds over the last month. If you can get a comparable option with more games remaining, I’d go for it.
3) Tim Duncan
Duncan is a great player, but Popovich is going to rest him down the stretch. Not to mention he’s battling a quad injury now. Someone will bite on Duncan’s 21 point, thirteen rebound, five assist averages the last month and give you a good player in return. Don’t pass it up when it happens.
4) Paul Pierce
See everything I wrote about Tim Duncan, and replace quad injury with a thumb injury. That tells you exactly why now is the perfect time to move Pierce. Not to mention the Celtics have a 2-3-2 closing schedule the last three weeks of the season.
Others to Sell: your Lakers (rest down the stretch), your Warriors (rest down the stretch), Richard Jefferson, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Shawn Marion
David Vauthrin is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. A native of Houston, Texas, David Vauthrin is a diehard Rockets fan. Having graduated with a degree in journalism from UT-Austin, it is believed his blood is not red, but rather burnt orange.
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