WE have a big enough sample size now to evaluate NBA fantasy dudes and what to expect from them for the rest of the season. Some of them offer a ton of upside and might not be showing it yet, while others are teetering on the edge, with a drop off in production potentially on the horizon. By no means am I saying you need to go ALL IN on trading/trading for the 10 players below, but making the right move for them should definitely be in your thinking.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
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Tauren Prince – Atlanta Hawks, SF, 15.6% ownership
WITH Prince sidelined (at least tonight against Charlotte) it might be wise to adopt a wait and see approach for the rest of the week. That being said, the sophomore Hawk is bound to get a bunch of opportunities on this rebuilding team. His production has been down slightly, but I expect Prince to improve for Atlanta when he gets back to full strength, even if John Collins returns to the lineup soon.
Wendell Carter Jr – Chicago Bulls, PF/C, 70.2% ownership
IT’S pretty obvious that Wendell Carter is going to get a ton of opportunity in Chicago this season. With Bobby Portis out Carter has excelled averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in the last seven games. Couple that with Robin Lopez copping DNP’s and Carter has the chance to be a nightly double-double for the remainder of the Bulls this season.
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Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz, SG, 99.3% ownership
A rough start leaves Donovan Mitchell owners frustrated at the second year star, opening the gates for opposing coaches to pry him away. He has played in only one of the Jazz’s last three games with his shooting numbers down slightly. However, his shot attempts and minutes are up meaning the time to pounce on Mitchell is now. It will be hard to tempt Mitchell owners to give him up, however, if you have the pieces to facilitate a trade, go for it.
Rajon Rondo – Los Angeles Lakers, PG, 33.1% ownership
RAJON Rondo’s box scores will be impacted by Lonzo Ball’s presence all season long. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t roster the Lakers floor general though, who actually totalled more minutes than Ball in the last two outings. Rondo’s incredible playmaking makes him a threat to chalk up 10+ assists each game and the ability to fill up the stat sheet in other areas gives him a bunch of fantasy upside.
Dwight Howard – Washington Wizards, C, 89.5% ownership
DON’T expect Dwight to return to his golden Orlando days, but he can still be a valuable fantasy center on your squad. I might be the only one who hasn’t given up hope on Howard, who had 20 points in his season’s debut and followed it up with a double-double in 31 minutes. Even though some coaches are worried about his injury, Howard’s numbers are only going to go up from here on out, so make a trade for him while you still can.
T.J. Warren – Phoenix Suns, SF, 68.1% ownership
THIS is hardly a sell-high, but T.J. Warren needs to be sold period. I’ve always been a fan of his, but with Phoenix prioritising youth over everything, even at the age of 25 T.J. appears on the outs. He doesn’t offer a lot outside of scoring from a fantasy perspective, so if you can fool someone into taking him off your hands, pull the trigger.
Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies, PG, 89.0% ownership
EVEN though Mike Conley has been consistent for years, I have a hunch the inevitable decline is going to start rearing its ugly head. He seems to have recovered fully from a heel injury that saw him play just 12 games last season, but Conley’s days as a top fantasy floor general are numbered. Memphis starting out 5-2 has seen his numbers spike as well so it might be a bold, yet smart move to deal Conley before it’s too late.
Nikola Vuceivc – Orlando Magic, C, 85.3% ownership
THIS one might be a reach, but I’m struggling to see how Nikola Vucevic fits in with this teams future. My money is on Orlando adopting a youth movement sooner rather than later, which could see Mo Bamba take the starting reigns from Vuc. The current starting center has balled out early on, overachieving in my eyes, averaging nearly 18 points and 10 boards per game. His 52.9% shooting from behind the arc is also naturally due to regress, making Vucevic a risky sell high candidate, but still a candidate nonetheless.
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Nemanja Bjelica – Sacramento Kings, SF/PF, 44.3% ownership
SPEAKING of overachieving the 6-4 Sacramento Kings are one of the early season surprises with Nemanja Bjelica a big statistical beneficiary. The first year King is posting career high’s almost across the board through his first 10 games, starting all 10 of those contests. That streak might be in jeopardy when Bogdan Bogdanovic returns (perhaps as soon as this week), with a lot of his other numbers due to take a hit as well. My advice, sell while he still has some value.
Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets, PG, 99.7% ownership
YOU don’t win fantasy leagues by making safe moves and trading Kemba might seem ballsy, but it’s not as farfetched as you think. An absurd hot streak to start the season has inflated Walker’s numbers making him seem like a top-tier talent. Don’t get me wrong, Kemba is a great player, although I don’t think he’ll keep up his 28 PPG average and you might be able to convince someone else to take him off your hands and gets a king’s ransom in return.
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