ricky-rubio
USATSI

Week 4 of the 2021-22 NBA season is nearly halfway over. Some of the offseason's highly-touted point guard sleepers are in a position to climb the fantasy ranks at their respective positions. Some players who were considered afterthoughts ahead of 2021 have carved out significant roles.

Which players should fantasy managers aim to acquire? And which assets should be moved now? Here are eight of my favorite buy and sell candidates ahead of Week 5.

Five to buy

Buy High

  • Ricky Rubio: Rubio managers are about to get a massive boost from the Cavaliers point guard. He scored a career-high 37 points to go along with 10 assists in his last game. Collin Sexton's meniscus tear will lead to a larger role for Rubio, who entered Wednesday as a top-15 fantasy point guard in points league despite making just two starts in 11 appearances.
  • Tyrese Maxey: Maxey's ceiling was raised when it became apparent that Ben Simmons wouldn't start the season with the 76ers, and Philadelphia's health issues have made it clear that he's worth getting shares of regardless of whether Simmons returns. The second-year guard cracks the 76ers top five for total points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals. Joel Embiid has only scored four more points than the Kentucky product, who's logged at least 37 minutes in five consecutive contests. 
  • Will Barton: Barton has been the Nuggets' second option since the beginning of the 2021-22 season. While Michael Porter Jr.'s back injury doesn't make him a top-10 fantasy shooting guard, it does improve his long-term outlook. Barton is averaging 17.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per 36 minutes this year. His average of 33.2 minutes per contest could increase with MPJ out of the picture. 

Buy low

  • Darius Garland: Many projected a big season for Garland, but he's fallen short of expectations after averaging 19.8 points and 8.3 assists per game in six appearances without Sexton last year. Cleveland's second-leading scorer and top assist man is efficient as a shooter, and his volume should increase with Sexton out of the picture. Rubio's scoring won't be there every night. Garland could become Cleveland's top scorer in time, and his shooting splits (47.6-44-85) are ideal for Roto leagues.
  • Nic Batum: Batum has flourished since the Clippers' Marcus Morris started missing time with a lingering knee injury. The swingman has tallied at least 12 points and five rebounds in five consecutive contests and made four triples in four of those outings. He might not be Los Angeles' long-term third option, but his production and efficiency are ideal for every format. Batum is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from deep. Both marks are career highs.

Three to sell

Sell high

  • Carmelo Anthony: Anthony's scored at least 21 points in three of his last five games. The Lakers wing has played extremely well with LeBron James out. Anthony's efficiency has been outright ridiculous. He's shooting 50 percent from the field and 52 percent from three. While it's clear he'll play a significant role off the bench for Los Angeles this year, he won't be an elite fantasy top-15 power forward when James is on the court against consistently. Anthony's value will probably never be higher than it is now. The only thing that could change that is a serious injury to James.

Sell low

  • De'Andre Hunter: Hunter seemed to be one of the NBA's more promising 3-and-D prospects last season and is off to a slow start this year. His scoring, rebounding, and passing have taken a step back in year three. All three stats are at an all-time low for the Hawks wing. It's unclear whether the meniscus tear Hunter suffered last year is affecting his production, but he won't be taking on a larger role anytime soon.
  • Robert Covington: Covington is averaging just 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers' defensive specialist hasn't performed that poorly in either category since his second NBA season in 2014. Covington can be useful as a category booster because of his solid block and steal numbers. Still, it should be relatively easy to move on from him if your Roto team is solid defensively.