This week, let’s take a look at some players who have been trending upward over the last couple of weeks.
I’ll highlight one player at each of the five positions who has played well of late and could continue that trend in the coming weeks.
A few quick notes:
- While someone like Derrick Favors has excelled recently, he’s benefited from the absence of Rudy Gobert, and his value doesn’t appear sustainable, especially after Gobert returned to action Monday night. The list below does not include players who have seen an obvious bump in production due to an injury.
- The players that I will discuss are owned in most formats, so they are not guys you can go running to the waiver wire to pick up. They are players who, if you own, you could try to sell high on. Alternatively, you could try and buy low on these players if you suspect that their owner is not as high on them as they should be.
- Finally, I’ll list the players as a team — one player at each position. This way, it is easier to insert them in a position-for-position trade offer.
Point Guard: Donovan Mitchell, Jazz
Mitchell has been a revelation of late. After Summer League, there was some hype surrounding his play, and what he could offer to the Jazz’s offense. He started the season well but appeared, like any other rookie, to have some issues with consistency and efficiency. He was coming off the bench behind Ricky Rubio and Rodney Hood, but that soon turned around. Rubio had some issues with his Achilles, and Hood is currently battling an ankle injury. That’s opened the door ever so slightly for Mitchell, and he’s since solidified his position in the starting lineup.
Another factor working in his favor is that the team has looked fantastic with him on the floor. Utah had struggled on offense for the first month of the season and been relying completely on its defense to stay in games. Since Gobert went down, the Jazz have had to adjust their style as they did not have a true rim protector on the floor. Mitchell has not only been able to play more of a scoring role but has taken some minutes away from Rubio as the primary distributor.
If you own Mitchell, there is always a chance that he regresses at some point, so now would be a great time to sell high.
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Shooting Guard: J.J. Redick, Clippers
There are a ton of shooting guards I could have chosen to highlight, but I decided to go with one who has flown under the radar so far this season. There are a number of reasons Redick has gone basically unnoticed, not the least of which is the team that he is playing for. The 76ers have been exciting to watch, and all of the hype is around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. While the pair has been outstanding, Redick has slotted in well and is quietly having an excellent season himself.
Across the month of November, he scored in double-figures in all but two games, scoring at least 20 in six of those. He played over 30 minutes in every game and seems quite happy to play whatever role is required from him on any given night. His numbers are not going to jump off the page, but he is about as consistent as they come and provides elite value in three-pointers and free-throw percentage. He will also chip in with some steals, as well some assists from time to time.
Redick is a nice example of someone you could potentially buy low on. If you have a player who has been red hot for a week or so, like Alec Burks in Utah, you could make the offer. Redick is likely undervalued in a lot of leagues, but he a player who can help you in a number of categories without hurting you anywhere.
Small Forward: Justin Holiday, Bulls
Holiday is an intriguing player with a lot of unknowns to his game. He has been getting all the minutes he can handle and has been chipping in across the board on a regular basis. While he has had some dud games over the last week, Holiday has demonstrated some consistency to his game that had not been there in previous seasons. Over that period, he is averaging 16.5 points, 3.5 three-pointers, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks while shooting 46 percent from the field. Those numbers are clearly not going to hold, but it does show us the upside he can have on a terrible Bulls team.
The holdup with most people is that Zach LaVine will be returning from his knee injury at some stage in the next month, and that could take away from Holiday’s production. While this is true, I believe Holiday has proven that he deserves 30 minutes a night, and LaVine’s return will moreso impact Denzel Valentine and David Nwaba. LaVine is also going to be eased back into things, so even when he does return, he is not going to be seeing 30-plus minutes right away.
Holiday is a great example of a sell-high player. In deeper leagues,especially, small forwards are hard to come by, so if you can find someone who needs a backup small forward and is after some scoring and defensive stats, make an offer.
Power Forward: Zach Randolph
Randolph is a curious case. He is an odd fit for a rebuilding Sacramento Kings squad, yet he appears locked into solid minutes, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. He had some inconsistencies to begin the season, however, over the last two weeks, he’s provided some solid value. Randolph has scored in double figures in eight straight games, while shooting 56 percent from the floor and chipping in seven rebounds per night. Those are not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination, but they are valuable numbers in most formats.
Willie Cauley-Stein appears set to miss at least two games, if not more, giving Randolph even more short-term value. There was an expectation he would be rested multiple times during the season, but so far he’s only missed one game.
Randolph is another sell-high player, as this value is likely to fall off at some stage. The Kings are going to be eliminated from the playoff picture sooner rather than later, and eventually they could enter full tank mode. Players like Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere should eventually work their way into big minutes, leaving a veteran like Randolph as the potential odd man out.
Center: Myles Turner, Pacers
Turner was one of the potential breakouts for the season but was quickly derailed by a concussion in the first game of the season. After missing seven consecutive games, he returned to the lineup about a month ago and has slowly been rounding into form. He has been frustrating, to say the least, but looks to be getting back to where he should be, production-wise.
While Turner numbers over the last five games have still not been Earth-shattering, he has found some much needed consistency. Victor Oladipo has been going crazy over the last two weeks, as well, something that could regress slightly moving forward. If Oladipo’s production drops, Turner could be required to pick up some of the slack, further adding to his upside.
The buy-low window is still open for those owners interested in acquiring Turner, but expect it to close over the next few weeks.