Fantasy Basketball Week 7 Mailbag: Blockbuster feedback includes megastars Towns, Antetokounmpo
Mike Barner delivers his Fantasy Basketball mailbag to help with tough lineup decisions and close trade calls.
Not only is it the holiday season, but it also looks like trading season for Fantasy basketball based on some of the questions that I've received this week. These aren't minor deals being contemplated, either, so let's get to it and try to sort out which ones to make and which ones to avoid.
If you have a question that you would like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Plenty of big names here. I asked for more context given the magnitude of this deal. This is a head-to-head points league in which steals are worth three points, blocks are three points, rebounds are 1.2 points, assists are 1.5 points and there is a two-point bonus for a double-double and a four-point bonus for a triple-double.
The best player in this deal is without question Towns. He's having another monster season with averages of 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, one steal, 1.4 blocks and a whopping 3.8 3-pointers a game. His 28.7 percent usage rate rankings inside the top 20 in the league and isn't likely to decline anytime soon. The question: Is Ball enough to part with Simmons and Gobert?
Given the scoring format here, I'm inclined to stick with Simmons and Gobert. Even though Gobert doesn't carry the same type of scoring upside that Towns does, he can still crank out just as many double-doubles while dominating with blocks. Simmons not only has six double-doubles, but he's also a triple-double threat on almost a nightly basis. On top of that, he's averaging 2.4 steals a game. Ball is only averaging 10.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists a game and should continue to provide muted production playing alongside Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram.
These would be significant players to consider trading in a standard redraft league, but it really jumps up a notch dealing with dynasty league since you'd be building around these stars for years to come. Any time you get a chance to acquire Giannis, you have to seriously consider it, even if you are giving up a ton in the deal. He's only 24 years old, so he could be the leader of your squad for the next decade. As hard as it is to believe, he's improved this season with his averages of 30.8 points, 13.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers a game.
I have no problem trading Embiid in a dynasty league, despite his young age and high upside. He's been more of an injury risk than Giannis at this stage of his career and the Sixers are always going to take a cautious approach with him. The problem here is that either of the other two players that would have to be traded away both carry tremendous upside in dynasty leagues. I'd ultimately pass on the deal and build your team around your three stellar big men.
There have been several disappointing early-round picks in Fantasy this year, but some of them have been because of injury. In Robinson's case, injuries have not been the issue. The problem has been Knicks' coach David Fizdale, who has moved Robinson to the bench and only played him an average of 21 minutes a night.
Now, some of Robinson's playing time issues are self-inflicted since he is often in foul trouble. However, the Knicks are clearly a bad team, so they should be building around their young players. Instead, Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis are eating up some minutes that should be on the table for Robinson.
As bad as things have become, I'm not giving up on Robinson yet, especially in a dynasty league. If the Knicks make a coaching change and/or trade away a veteran or two from their frontcourt, Robinson could once again be in line for added playing time. He showed what he can do with an expanded role last season when he averaged 12.6 points, 13 rebounds and 3.4 blocks across 10 games in which he logged at least 30 minutes.
What would you do with Lauri Markkanen? Do you view him as a buy low option or should you cut bait if a decent deal comes along? - @DaglesBagels
Speaking of disappointments, that's exactly what Markkanen has been with the Bulls. Despite being limited to 52 games last season due to injury, he played well by averaging 18.7 points, nine rebounds and 2.3 -pointers a game. His Fantasy value is a bit limited, though, since he provides very little in terms of assists and defensive stats and has never shot higher than 43.4 percent from the field.
In their first full season with Jim Boylen as head coach, the team has inexplicably gone away from Markkanen. His playing time has decreased by nearly three minutes a night and his usage rate has fallen from 25.1 percent last season to 21.7 percent through 21 games. To make matters even worse for those who drafted him, he's shooting 35.7 percent from the field.
The best thing for Markkanen might be a coaching change, since he clearly hasn't taken to Boylen's offensive scheme. I don't think his value can get much lower right now, so if you want to throw out a low-ball offer for him, it's not a bad idea. If you already have him on your roster, you likely won't get much for him at this point, so see if he can string together a few strong shooting performances before you try shopping him.
SportsLine simulated every NBA game this week 10,000 times to produce Fantasy basketball rankings.
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