Trading Fantasy players takes a certain finesse. You don't want to be that guy who spams the league with low-ball offers, but you also don't want to remain completely silent and discourage possible deals down the road. I've found the best method is to talk things out before proposing a trade in your actual league interface. Don't surprise people by asking for their best player. They'll reject it quickly and remember it later on. Causally discuss a multi-player deal via email thread or in person first to better understand the needs and wants of both teams. Category players especially need to be conscious of what other teams lack in terms of statistical production in order to leverage the right kind of offer.
(All stats up to date through Feb. 3 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)
Al Jefferson has been an absolute beast while Kemba Walker has been out -- at least until he played the Suns. After combining for 107 points and 42 rebounds in a three-game span, Jefferson went on to register just 10 and six Saturday against Phoenix. Still, he should shoot close to 20 times a game, so consider him an elite Fantasy center for the rest of the season. ... Dwyane Wade made a bunch of Fantasy owners hit the "withdraw" button on their pending trade offers when he dropped 30, 10 and five against the Pistons on Tuesday. He's bound to cause frustration down the road again, but these moments of brilliance might keep you from selling too low on him, as only a handful of guys in the league can achieve that stat line. Wade has even more value in Roto because he's one of the most efficient and versatile players in the league, shooting 55 percent from the field and helping himself to 1.7 steals per game on the year. ... The Suns keep getting better, and that steady improvement stems from the brilliance of their lead man, Goran Dragic. In the 17 games since Bledsoe went down, Dragic has averaged 22.5 points, 6.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.8 made threes per game while shooting 53 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line. Pretty fantastic production for a guy who was selected at the end of the fourth round in most drafts. ... I've been calling Randy Foye a must add for a while now, and he's been proving it lately. Brian Shaw's been notoriously stingy with how he hands out minutes, so the fact that Foye's gone three straight games logging 40-plus proves just how badly the Nuggets need him right now. Over the last four weeks, he's fifth in three pointers (39), 25th among guards in points per game (17.25) and 45th in assists per game (4.33) overall. If you play in one of the 31 percent of leagues where Foye is available, go get him now. ... Taj Gibson (81 percent) has now gone eight straight games with double-digit points. He's also shooting close to 50 percent and blocking 1.6 shots per game over the last two weeks.
Mike Scott (24 percent) hasn't been held to single-digit scoring since Jan. 6, an impressive streak of 11-straight solid games, averaging 14.1 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 54 percent from the field and 88 percent from the line. Pretty impressive considering he only gets about 22 minutes a night to do it. ... If you have solid free throw shooting, then maybe try to trade for Andrew Bogut, who's been Roto gold for the last month. He's hitting 70 percent of his field goals (!), grabbing 11.8 rebounds (!!) and blocking 2.7 shots (!!!) per game over the last 30 days. Too bad he's made just 14.3 percent of his free throws (?) over that span. ... Enes Kanter has been great over the last month considering his fluctuating minute totals. He's scoring 14.6 points on 57.9 percent from the field over the last 30 days. If only he could get more than the 23.8 minutes per game he's gotten in the span, then maybe his 6.3 rebounds per game would be a lot closer to double digits. ... More proof of Dragic brilliance: He and Wade are the only guards averaging at least 32 minutes per game while making more than 53 percent of their field goal attempts over the last month. ... But just behind those two sits Courtney Lee (32 percent), who's shot 53 percent from the field in 31 minutes a game over the last 30 days. ... Give it up for Rudy Gay, everybody. Once knocked for his inefficient shot-chuckery, Gay now sports a 56 percent field-goal rate over the last 30 days. Bravo, good sir. Bravo. ... Mario Chalmers (62 percent) has been flexing his Roto muscles over the last two weeks, averaging 10.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds on 52.6 percent from the field. ... The 48 percent of leagues Harrison Barnes is still owned in better not be Roto scoring, as the Golden State forward has a dreadful 31.3 field goal percentage over the last 30 days. ... Brandon Jennings and Jimmy Butler have been almost as bad, shooting 34.6 percent and 33.7 percent respectively.
J.J. Hickson is the kind of big man you could buy low on no matter how well he's playing. He gets it done ugly, and his name doesn't inspire much confidence for Fantasy owners. Still, he's averaged a double-double over the last 30 days while shooting 53 percent from the field. Hickson's player page displays some of the players he's currently being swapped for in CBSSports.com leagues, guys like Jodie Meeks and Channing Frye, who you probably picked up off the wire. ... Tobias Harris has seen fewer rebounds bounce his way since Nikola Vucevic's return. He's grabbed only 17 over the last three games, as opposed to the 29 he snagged in the three games prior to that. ... Lance Stephenson has already established himself as Indiana's best passer, but he's also been the Pacers' best rebounder lately as well, averaging 8.8 per game over the last 30 days. He leads the league in triple-doubles with four, and has recorded nine of his 16 double-digit rebound games in the last month. ... Jared Sullinger has gotten back on track the last two games, combining for 29 rebounds and 45 points in back-to-back outings. ... Rebound numbers have a lot to do with a guys' opportunity. Take Kenneth Faried for example. He's the only guy getting fewer than 25 minutes per game on the season but still grabbing 7.8 per game. Same thing with Jordan Hill, who's only received 19.7 minutes per game, but has made the most of it by grabbing 7.3 boards a game. Hill should be added if you need rebounds, as Pau Gasol is injured for the short term and on the trading block for the long term.
This might be the last week of the Kendall Marshall festival of assists, which has been going strong for over a month. Over the last 30 days, Marshall has accumulated 21 more assists than second place John Wall despite playing 77 fewer minutes. He's definitely earned a spot in the permanent rotation, but it's going to be hard for him to reach these lofty totals with veterans like Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake returning this week -- not to mention Kobe Bryant a little further down the road. Still, you've got to milk this cow for all it's worth, so send Marshall out there a few more times before pulling the plug. ... Reggie Jackson has been solid filling in for Russell Westbrook, but it looks like my colleague Chris Towers was right about him being a lackluster facilitator. He's averaged just 4.8 assists over the last 30 days, a pretty disappointing figure for a starting point guard. ... Knicks fans might not be too crazy about Raymond Felton right now, but at 78 percent owned he's the best source of assists you can get from free agency right now in Fantasy. His 6.2 dimes per game put him in the top 20 assist men over the last three weeks.
Mirza Teletovic (15 percent) could be shooting his way back into Fantasy relevance. He hit five threes Tuesday night, making the most of Andray Blatche's absence. Pick him up just in case his green light stays on for the next week. ... Other than his 2-for-10 night Tuesday, Tim Hardaway Jr. (36 percent) has been on fire from deep lately. He totaled 17 made threes in the five previous games. ... D.J. Augustin's 2.7 made threes per game over the last 30 days put him at fourth in the NBA over that span. Oh how the lowly have risen. ... Keep an eye on Evan Fournier's (20 percent) minutes, as the Nuggets will need backcourt help for the rest of the season. He only logged nine minutes Tuesday night, but he scored close to 20 points in each of the two games prior while hitting six combined threes. ... J.R. Smith is back to doing what he does best: knocking down threes. He's combined for 10 in the last two games, and has hit at least two in nine straight games.
Kyle Korver, Danny Granger, Norris Cole, Kris Humphries, Martell Webster, and Courtney Lee are all players owned in fewer than 80 percent of leagues who are hitting 90 percent or more of their free throws over the last 30 days. ... Meanwhile, Gerald Wallace, Larry Sanders, Kenneth Faried, and J.R. Smith might not be the free agents for you if you're lacking in free throw efficiency, as each of them is shooting worse than 60 percent from the foul line in that span. ... Zaza Pachulia is back from injury, and represents the opposite of what Milwaukee's other two Fantasy big men, John Henson and Larry Sanders, offer Fantasy owners. He's hit 46 of his 49 free throw attempts this season, and put together a solid 12, seven and two in his second game back. ... Boris Diaw's shooting percentages should earn him must add status in Roto. He's plying big minutes for the Spurs, hitting 56 percent of his field goals and 76 percent of free throws on the season. You won't do better than that as far as free agent centers go.
If you don’t have Anthony Davis, chances are you’re not leading in blocks. He’s tallied 25 blocks in a four-game span. Ridiculous. … James Johnson is still among the league leaders in blocks per game at 1.8 over the last 30 days. … Rudy Gobert might be one of the league’s best shot blockers, when you consider he’s getting a hold of 1.4 shots per game over the last 30 days while playing just 16.1 minutes a night. … Randy Foye has even blocked a couple shots lately – four in the last six games. Pick him up already. … Some of the best shot-blocking shooting guards include Dwyane Wade, Gerald Green, Terrence Ross and … Mike Dunleavy? That’s right. He’s totaled five blocks in his last five games. … James Johnson leads all small forwards in blocked shots per game over the last 30 days at 1.8 a night – better than Josh Smith and Kevin Durant.
Big guys can steal too. Thaddeus Young and Paul Millsap have been the sneakiest players in Fantasy over the last 30 days, averaging 2.9 and 2.4 steals per game respectively. ... Shaun Livingston represents a great pick up for deep Roto leagues. His assists have been disappointing, but it looks like he's established a role on the Nets, logging 30 minutes a game and recording 2.0 steals per game over the last 30 days. He also shoots 50 percent from the field and 82 percent from the line as a bonus. ... DeMarre Carroll is playing like a must add in Roto. He put together a 19, five and four outing with three steals Saturday against Minnesota. Pick him up for threes, consistency and well-balanced peripheral stats. ... What do Robin Lopez, Channing Frye, Ersan Ilyasova, Marcin Gortat and George Hill have in common? They're all Fantasy relevant players averaging less than one turnover per game over the last 30 days. ... It might be safe to call Tony Wroten the most turnover-prone player in the league. At his 3.1 per game over the last month, Wroten is the only player among the 50 sloppiest players averaging fewer than 20 minutes per game.