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Fantasy NBA is similar to the stock exchange sometimes. Depending on how a player performs in a given period, his value around your fantasy league can rise or drop. How many times did that guy who is almost always near the top sell his player just before he started slumping? And remember when he bought Ricky Rubio for next to nothing last November when he was playing abysmally and then won the league when Rubio turned it around?

You have to be wary of those predators seeking a discount on a player on your team who is in a slump. Don't lose your patience too fast, or it might come back to bite you. Just like that Rubio owner from last year. Instead, become one of these "fiends". When your player is hot, and you don't see him keeping it up for too long, it is wise to try and move him for another guy who you have more faith in. As long as that guy you're taking on has more value or upside of course.

Fate would have it that Rubio is slumping. Again. Will he gather himself? Again? And Chicago's much disputed rookie Lauri Markkanen is pulling a "Kristaps Porzingis" at the moment. Will he be able to keep it up? Read more about it in our Week 6 fantasy basketball buy low and sell high column right here at RotoBaller.

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Buy Low, Sell High Advice for Week 6

Are You for Real, Lauri Markkanen?

To fully understand the circumstances that led to Markkanen having this much value this early, we have to take a trip one month to the past.

It's Oct 17 and the 7th pick from this year's draft is buried in Chicago's power forward depth chart behind both Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic. Portis is a big Bulls' project who is expected to finally step into his role as a leader in his third season in this young, rebuilding roster. Nikola Mirotic is one of the most talented and experienced guys on the team, at just 26, and has just signed a 2-year, $27 million contract. So Lauri figures to get 10-15 minutes of the bench and later, if he performs well and gets a bit lucky, crack the 20 minute mark as Chicago goes into tank mode. It's a regular October day and it's a little bit windy in Chicago, pretty typical for this time of year, and Lauri is just happy to be going to practice for an NBA team and is pretty excited to come off the bench a few days from now in his NBA debut.

Then, his two main rivals for the starting PF spot, Portis and Mirotic, get into a fight, Portis throws a punch. Mirotic suffers a face fracture and is sent to the hospital making him unavailable for the next month or more. Portis gets suspended and returns to basketball on Nov 8.

Suddenly, the Fin is starting. And he's killing it, too!

Markkanen has proved all of his critics wrong by averaging 15.6 PTS with 2.6 3PM on 44.7 FG% and 81.1 FT%, 8.0 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.6 BLK and 1.4 TO in 31 minutes in his first 14 NBA games. That has him in the top-50 in fantasy on the season. Now, even though Portis has been back for six games now, Mirotic is yet to return. And there are talks that they don't want to play with each other and that one will have to be traded, which would allow Markkanen to keep it up. But if the trade doesn't happen, Lauri will be stuck in a bit of a time share.

Even though, out of the three, Markkanen clearly has the biggest upside and the most talent, it is possible that their presence could hurt his value. To be honest, I believe that he will still be quite valuable and that he will get 25-30 mpg the rest of the way. But top-50 value is a bit of a stretch.

If you can get some decent value for Markkanen, like Goran DragicDennis Schroder or, the hero of our next story, Ricky Rubio, I would definitely advise you to consider making the switch.

Baller Move: Sell high

 

Time to Panic on Ricky Rubio?

I have to be honest with you. The "fiend who is almost always near the top" from the beginning of the article who picked up Rubio from the waivers last year... That's me. And my friend Tesho, who released him after his slow start to the season regretted it big time. So much so that he picked him up again this year.

It didn't work out so far for him with Ricky's switch to Utah not going as smoothly as his fans had hoped. His 13.3 points with 1.1 three-pointers on 37.1% from the field and 92.6% from the line, 3.8 boards, 5.3 dimes, 1.8 steals, 0.1 blocks and 3.4 turnovers in 30 minutes per contest is only just enough for top-100 value in standard leagues.

And Rubio did start off pretty well, but then fell off a cliff in his last six connecting on just 28.6% of his field goals for 8.3 points and 0.2 threes, 3.3 assists, 4.5 assists, 1.7 steals, no blocks and 2.3 turnovers in 26 minutes per game. He even missed a game due to an Achilles issue and played just 16 in his first game back and his last to date. This gives his owners hope that when he heals from that, he will be back to his old ways. And when Rudy Gobert returns from his injury in a couple of weeks, they should once again form a lean mean pick-and-roll machine.

The buy low window is definitely wide open on Rubio at the moment and you would be wise to try and use it. My man Tesho is a lot more careful this time around, and he already said NO to my inquiry once. But I believe Rubio would be a great addition to my team, and that there could be quite a few Double Doubles next to his name the rest of the season, so I will try to float him another offer or two. Trevor Ariza is the guy I'm looking to turn into Rubio, but if you have another player currently around top-50/60 like red hot Tyreke Evans or  Darren Collison, I would make the swap for Rubio in a heartbeat.

Baller Move: Hold or buy low

 

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