For a player who was once in the discussion for the title of “best point guard in the NBA”, the fall of Deron Williams has been alarming — in both real life and in fantasy basketball.
One of the Ten Commandments of fantasy basketball (well fantasy sports in general really) is getting value. We do it in our drafts, looking for guys who will exceed their draft slot in terms of what they give to us. We do it when we scour the waiver wire, looking for a player who will contribute to our team over the course of the season. And we also need to do it in the trade market.
The fantasy basketball trade market is a lot like the stock exchange. Buying stocks at their lowest price and then selling them when they get as high as you think they will go is the way you make money dabbling in stocks and shares. The same goes for fantasy basketball. You try to trade away a player on your team who you don’t think can sustain his current level of production and you trade for players who are currently underperforming, hoping they regain their mojo once they are on your team.
Over the next few days, I’ll present to you a few guys you should be looking to trade for in order to bolster your squad as we inch towards the fantasy playoffs, as well as some players you should be looking to cash in your chips on.
Buy Low: Deron Williams, PG, Brooklyn Nets
Deron Williams has missed 16 games so far this season due to his bothersome ankles. Obviously, that’s not an ideal foundation to build a winning fantasy basketball squad, considering that in the 25 games he has played, Basketball Monster.com ranks him as the 94th best player.
If you drafted Williams in the second round (or heaven forbid, the first) your team must be struggling. In fact, an owner in one of my leagues drafted Marc Gasol (whom I also discussed as a buy low target previously) in the first and backed it up with Williams. Suffice to say, he’s comfortably bringing up the rear of the standings.
But all is not lost for Williams’ season. On Friday he played his third game since returning from the injury, albeit off the bench, but posted just his fifth double-double for the season. He finished with 18 points and 11 assists in almost 35 minutes off the pine.
That’s why he is a buy low target right now. His owner must’ve been tearing his hair out over him, still most likely just waiting for his fragile ankles to go on him again. The fact that he has played all three games off the bench since returning may be enough to cause his uninformed owner to sell low on him. That is where you swoop.
I doubt there’s any way he can get back to second-round value, as was his preseason projection, but he could still finish with top 50 value, possibly averaging 17 points and seven assists. After he came back from his ankle treatment during last season’s All-Star break, Williams was the number six fantasy player over the next two months, averaging 22.9 points (on 48.1 percent shooting), 2.8 three-pointers and 8.0 assists.
If he can give you numbers like that following his most recent treatments on that worrisome ankle, you’ll have made out like a bandit.
I’ll be doing all I can to get Williams onto my fantasy teams and you should do the same. Trevor Ariza, Dwyane Wade, Anderson Varejao, Tony Parker, Arron Afflalo and Brandon Jennings are some players I’ll be looking to trade in order to acquire Williams. Good luck and happy trading!