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Buy, Sell or Hold: Jrue Holiday and Trevor Ariza?


If you're a good fantasy NBA owner, you should always be trying to improve your team. That means being on the lookout for price drops of good players playing poorly and taking advantage of your players performing above their respective value. Pulling the trigger on a deal at just the right time can make your team stronger by a long margin when both of those guys get back to their usual business.

If you see something you agree with here, you can try to take advantage of the situation and make your team better. And all for that one goal, one wish, one desire. The Fantasy NBA Championship!

Below are my Week 15 fantasy basketball buy low and sell high candidates.

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Buy Low, Sell High Advice for Week 14

Are You for Real, Jrue Holiday?

We are witnessing some insane ballin' from Jrue Holiday lately! One look at his averages is enough to understand just how good he was in the last 14 days: 22.9 PTS with 2.4 3PM on 56.9 FG% and 73.3 FT%, 3.4 REB, 8.9 AST, 2.1 STL, 1.1 BLK and 3.4 TO in 36 minutes a game. He also double-doubled in three of those seven games. That's enough for fourth place in average stats in my Yahoo 10-cat (double-doubles is the 10th cat) Head-to-head league. Jrue's on fire! Now that field goal percentage is just crazy. Especially if you factor in the fact that he took 4.9 threes a night. And so are those dimes and defensive stats. All of those are way up from his career averages of 6.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.4 blocks. He can't possibly keep that up, can he?

Probably not. His usage rate is up from 23.6% to 25.6% while the Pelicans' star player Anthony Davis saw his usage drop from 33.4% to 32.1%. His minutes are also up from 30 per game to 36. Now Davis did miss one game and logged just 16 minutes in the next one, but played 33, 40, 41 and 41 minutes in the four games after that. It's difficult to imagine Jrue taking that much shots with Davis back to full health.

Furthermore, Holiday is always a major injury risk. In his past three seasons in New Orleans, he played a total of 139 regular season games. In addition to that, Pelicans are known to shut down their injury prone players if the playoff train has left the station. They are currently sitting in the 13th place in the West, three games behind Portland and Denver who are sitting in the eighth and ninth spot.

Owners would be wise to trade Jrue and the risks he brings to the table along with his undeniable talent if they can find a decent deal. Depending on your needs and your league settings, and of course what other owners are willing to give up for Holiday you should be looking to get at least a top-40, top-50 player in return for him. If another fantasy owner in your league is infatuated by Holiday you could hit a jackpot with a guy like Klay Thompson or Kemba Walker. But in more realistic terms, Serge Ibaka or Gordon Hayward would be less risky options for your team the rest of the way, if they fit your needs. Especially Ibaka, who could profit if a possible Nikola Vucevic trade takes place.

Baller Move: Sell high 

 

Time to Panic on Trevor Ariza?

Ariza is definitely feeling the cold this winter. He has hit just 10 of his 43 shots from the field in his last six games. That's good enough for 23.3 FG%, 6.5 points with 1.5 threes. He did hit all 10 of his free throws and is adding 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.2 blocks and 1.2 turnovers. Even when he is shooting abysmally, Ariza still finds ways to help your team, doesn't he?

His season averages have him ranked at 47 in my league, and no wonder with him treating his fantasy owners to 11.9 PTS with 2.6 3PM on 41.8 FG% and 73.2 FT%, 5.5 REB, 2.2 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.3 BLK and 0.9 TO in 34 minutes per game. Now the free throws aren't really great, but he only takes 1.4 per game. The points aren't spectacular either and field goal shooting is below average, but those can be easily forgiven given the fact that he takes 7.0 three-point attempts a night and hits 2.6 of them. His value, apart from the threes, lies in his out of position rebounds and even more so in the steals where he is tied at the top of the NBA with John Wall with 98 steals apiece so far this season.

Ariza fits really well in his coach Mike D'Antoni's high volume three-point shooting offense. Houston is third in the NBA in offensive rating which means they score a lot. Moreover, they are fourth in fast break points per game and Ariza is second to only superstar James Harden among the Rockets with 2.7 fast break points per game.

Those seasonal stats, and maybe even something slightly better should be expected from Ariza the rest of the way. That is good enough for fourth-fifth round value. Since Ariza has been slumping hard lately and is ranked well outside the top-100 for any short-term period, you could try to sway his owner with an offer of someone around the 70-80 mark. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a ridiculous outing on Feb. 1 scoring 38 points and contributing across the board, so you could use that breakout performance to swap him for a higher-ceiling player like Ariza. If Ariza is owned by a Victor Oladipo believer, that trade could also make sense.

Before you act on this, be sure to check if Houston's schedule during your fantasy playoffs is in sync with your fantasy team. They play just 10 games in weeks 20-22. But he might be worth it if you agree with me that the spring sun will melt the ice off Trevor's hands.

Baller Move: Hold or buy low