The back half of Week 15 is underway, and Thursday's NBA slate will only feature a pair of games. Fantasy managers won't have to do their usual amount of strategizing with such a limited schedule, so taking a look at ideal trades to make ahead of Week 16 could make a lot of sense. Several players seem likely to finish the first month of 2022 on a high note, while others seem destined to fall by the wayside. We've identified some assets on both sides of the spectrum.
So who should managers try to buy and sell? Here are five options to consider trading for or getting rid of:
Three to buy
- Anfernee Simons: McCollum is back after a month and a half layoff, but his return hasn't limited Simons' fantasy production. Portland's Damian Lillard stand ranks inside the top 20 for points and assists in January. He's averaged 20 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game since McCollum got back on the hardwood. Lillard will miss at least all of February, and there's no use rushing him back if the 10th-seeded Trail Blazers drop lower in the Western Conference.
- Jakob Poeltl: Poeltl isn't a household name like the rest of this year's top-10 fantasy centers, but his January stats are turning heads. The Spurs big man is averaging 14.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 blocks in the new year. He's tallied seven double-doubles in his previous 14 games, and he has no real competition for minutes, unlike Wendell Carter Jr., Steven Adams, and Ivica Zubac.
- Luke Kennard: Tyronn Lue is fed up with the sluggishness of his usual starters and is looking elsewhere for scoring. Kennard has been one of the league's most efficient snipers all year and is getting a chance to increase his shooting volume because of how much Reggie Jackson and others have struggled. The 25-year-old followed up a three-week absence by averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists over five games. His playing time has increased in three consecutive matchups. Kennard leads all players with at least 250 three-point attempts in three-point percentage (43.9).
Two to sell
- Cole Anthony: Anthony bounced back from a disappointing stretch on Tuesday by recording 19 points and 11 assists against the Clippers, but it's clear that the Magic point guard's ceiling isn't as high as it was earlier in the season. Anthony no longer has the keys to the offense, and Jalen Suggs has outpaced him in minutes four times in Orlando's last five games. Anthony's sure to pop from time to time with a strong stat line, but he's averaged 10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game on 34.2 percent shooting since Suggs returned from his thumb injury.
- Kemba Walker: Walker's return to the spotlight was exciting but brief. While the Knicks point guard was able to join the Knicks' regular rotation after a lengthy spell on the bench, he hasn't been able to recreate the brilliance he showcased in his 44-point performance from last December. Walker's averaging a mere 9.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in January on 38 percent shooting. He might be starting, but Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks have generally been more productive than him in reserve roles.