4 Fantasy Basketball Buy-Lows
A few weeks ago, I highlighted some sell-high options that included the likes of Al Horford, Carmelo Anthony, and Ja Morant. Each of these players has seen his value fall since that article was published (and no, I’m not counting Ja’s injury – he was coming down prior to that). Today, I’ll give the same treatment to some guys you should consider buying while their value is at its lowest. I had planned to write about Nikola Vucevic, but his huge night against Charlotte spoiled that for me. Here are four buy-low candidates for your fantasy hoops leagues.
It’s been quite a disappointing season for Beal who, despite Washington’s success, has seen his fantasy value take a huge hit from what it’s been across the last two seasons. Beal currently ranks 35th in 9-cat formats, though that’s a far cry from the first-round value he’s produced in each of his last two campaigns.
Could it be that Beal just isn’t as involved in the offense now that capable scorers such as Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell are in the mix to ease Beal’s workload as a scorer? Not really. Beal averaged 23 shot attempts over the last two seasons, but that number has only taken a small dip to 20.1 shot attempts per game in 2021-22. His free throws have been cut in half thanks in large part to the NBA’s new rules on fouls, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture.
Over the last five seasons, Beal has shot 47.1% from the field and 36.5% from three, while averaging 26.6 points and 2.6 triples. His efficiency has taken a tumble this season, as he’s shooting just 43.6% from the field and 27.2% from three. His FG% is the lowest it’s been in seven seasons, and the long-range accuracy is easily the worst mark of his career.
Improvements in shooting will boost his fantasy value in percentages and lead to improvements in points and triples. His rebounds and assists are up from a season ago, so all Beal needs to do to take a step forward is break out of this current slump. A respectable shooter doesn’t stay cold forever, and it’s only a matter of time before Beal starts posting the huge stat lines to which fantasy managers have become accustomed.
Fantasy managers have had plenty of beef with Stew this season, as he’s ranked just 153rd in 9-cat formats. That’s not ideal for a guy who was regularly drafted in Rounds 6-8 of 12-team drafts.
Stewart finished his rookie season ranked 135, but he closed on a high note and provided seventh-round value over the final 19 games of the season. In that span, he averaged 11.5 points, 8.8 boards, 1.8 blocks, and 1.1 dimes while shooting 53.9% from the field and 70.0% from the charity stripe.
Scoring, blocks, and FG% are down this season, but there’s certainly reason to be optimistic. Stewart recorded his first double-double of the season Tuesday against Portland, and he’s recorded a block in four straight. His playing time is on the rise as well, and Stewart has logged at least 27 minutes in each of his last three games.
BI was the 32nd ranked fantasy player last season with healthy averages of 23.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.3 triples, 1.3 combined blocks/steals, and 2.5 turnovers. His 47/38/88 shooting splits boosted his value as well.
It’s a different story for Ingram this season, as his points, assists, stocks, and triples have fallen along with his efficiency. Currently ranked 76th in 9-cat leagues, the Duke product is shooting just 43/37/84 splits, and some positive regression in the shooting department would inject some life into his fantasy value.
In addition to his depressed stats and shooting percentages, the window to acquire Ingram may be wide open with news that Zion Williamson has been cleared to practice in full. The return of Williamson would likely put a damper on Ingram’s chances of a mid-season bounce-back, but there’s no timetable for Williamson’s return, and he’ll likely need extended time to get back into playing shape before making an impact on the court again.
SGA finds himself in a similar to position to Beal, as his shooting has dragged his value down substantially this season. His scoring is just a tick below what it was last season, and he’s improved his steals and rebounds. His assists have understandably declined with No. 6 pick Josh Giddey primarily running the PG position, but SGA still dishes 4.6 dimes per contest.
Last season, Gilgeous-Alexander’s shooting splits (51/42/81) were tremendous, though they’ve fallen precipitously to 41/31/77 this season. Those are major dips across valuable categories, which accounts for his drop from the 28th ranked player in 2020-21 to his current ranking of 54, over two rounds lower.
His shot attempts have increased this season, but he’s shooting threes at a much higher clip than ever. That lower-percentage shot at least partially accounts for his drop in efficiency, but he’s certainly performing below his potential. Positive regression is sure to come, and it’s worth a try to float out an offer for SGA that may be below market value.
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