Fantasy Basketball Trade Analyzer: Now that the real-life deadline is over, how can we capitalize?
By Alex Barutha, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
The NBA trade deadline didn't disappoint. Despite the rumors, we didn't see the Raptors blow things up, but we got some monster deals with the Nets trading Kevin Durant to the Suns and Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks. The next biggest trade was the three-team deal between the Lakers, Timberwolves and Jazz. The Lakers injected some life, the Wolves got veteran leadership at point guard and the Jazz moved off a few rotation players.
There's a good chance a trade affected your fantasy rosters. Managers relying on Russell Westbrook are in scalding-hot water; managers who stashed Zach Collins or Mark Williams are ecstatic; managers who have Bojan Bogdanovic are relieved.
If you're in a standard Yahoo fantasy league, your trade deadline is March 2. Hopefully, your league-mates were inspired by the real-life activity and will be willing to wheel and deal.
Without further delay, let's answer some questions you might have about fantasy trades after the real-life deadline:
What are the trade possibilities around the three major deals?
In theory, Durant going to the Suns is a downgrade for him, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. CP3, Booker and Ayton will need to score less, and Durant will need to pass less. I hesitate to call any of them a sell, though I'd be the most concerned if I were rostering Paul. His scoring has declined for a third straight season, and he should be able to focus on passing even more now that Durant is around. Plus, it will be easier to give Paul rest days to keep him fresh for the playoffs. It may be wise to field offers, especially if you don't need the assists.
For Brooklyn, it's a boost for a lot of players. Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Seth Curry are a wait-and-see (he's been injured). They'll all see more touches than ever, but good luck prying them away from their respective fantasy managers. One thing I'd monitor is Nic Claxton's scoring. He was the beneficiary of tons of defensive attention on KD and Kyrie, leading to easy looks at the rim. Without as much gravity on the court, will those looks be there? He's not creating offense for himself. I'd consider selling high.
For the Mavericks, neither Kyrie Irving nor Luka Doncic's stats have taken a meaningful hit since joining forces. The team is so shallow, especially for other playmakers, that they'll need to continue doing everything. Christian Wood's 24-point performance on Monday probably takes him out of the running for a buy-low candidate, but I'm still interested. He's coming off an injury and is getting eased back in. Ultimately, it all holds.
Regarding the Lakers in the three-team deal, I'm not sure there are any savvy moves. D'Angelo Russell's usage probably takes a hit, but I doubt there's a fantasy trade market for him until we see him play alongside LeBron. No one is buying Schroder, Beasley or Vanderbilt, either.
For Utah, I'm conflicted about the Jordan Clarkson and Kelly Olynyk markets. They're vets on a young team, but it's a 29-30 team with just three more losses than the four-seeded Suns. Vanderbilt, Conley and Beasley were good, but I don't think the Jazz will suddenly be awful. See what you can get for Clarkson and Olynyk, but don't feel pressured to sell. Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen are buys due to increased usage, but who's selling?
Minnesota is the least-affected team here, essentially swapping D-Lo for Mike Conley. I like the Conley fit as a veteran leader and intelligent passer. He's a buy if you need assists. A sneaky move is making a swing for Rudy Gobert. His adjustment to the Wolves has been bumpy all season, but he and Conley played together in Utah and have pick-and-roll chemistry. Don't be shocked if Gobert starts putting together bigger scoring nights. He just had 21 points against Dallas on Monday.
Some veterans on bad teams didn't get traded, and they're still on my roster. Now what?
Bojan Bogdanovic, Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward are the players who fit this category for standard leagues. You got lucky with them not being traded, but are they trustworthy for the rest of the season?
No. Keep trying to trade them. You may get higher offers than before now that their roles are stable. What you get back, or whether or not you even want to trade them, might depend on when your league's season concludes.
Late March into April is when vets on bad teams historically come up with phantom injuries. If you're in a league that extends through April, it's a tougher sell. However, if your league ends a bit earlier, there's less risk for a fellow fantasy manager, or even yourself, in rostering them.
How can I lift my team from the bottom of the standings at this point in the year?
Many fantasy managers give up at this point if they're in the bottom third of their league's standings, though that also depends if your league enacts a punishment for the manager in last place. Or maybe you are just prideful and don't want to finish last.
Ultimately, you need to take risks on high-end players and stay aggressive and active on the waiver wire. Trade for Karl-Anthony Towns, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kristaps Porzingis — guys who are dealing with injuries or have an injury history. Offer those managers security by handing over two players, then take some big swings on the waiver wire and/or become an extremely-active streamer — an under-utilized strategy in many leagues. Find those four-game week players and make claims on a ton of them. Make sure you get someone.