Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: What to do with Kyrie Irving

We are just a few days away from the NBA Trade Deadline, which could throw fantasy teams for a loop. I took your questions from Twitter and Instagram to try and help you make the most of your fantasy team. Let’s get to it.

@noremaksnilloc Are there any likely trade deadline moves, and how many waiver acquisitions should you save if you have a move limit?

To address the first part first, there are no trades that are likely.

There, of course, will be trades, but the structure of past deals that we hear about are ones that have been discussed and rejected, so nearly every trade that goes down will be ones we have never heard of.

I would imagine the Cavs deal one of Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson, and the Pistons deal one or both of Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond, while it looks like Clint Capela could also be on the move, as could Marcus Morris, and also Montrezl Harrell.

I do think the deadline will be quiet this season.

As for the second part, it is vitally important that you keep most, if not all of your waiver moves for the deadline or any trades that happen this week. If you have four moves, I would keep all four and only use one if a long term injury occurs, or when the deals go down.

Often we have a deal or two happen Wednesday or Thursday, so you need moves for that, but don’t tap out before the deadline, and try to keep at least half of your moves for deadline day.

@Vincent91065027 Think OG Anunoby will turn things around come fantasy playoffs time?

Anunoby started off the on fire and people have been clinging on to the hope that we will see that continue.

Over the course of this season, he is averaging just 23.18 fantasy points per game and over the last two months, he has plummeted to being ranked outside the top 160.

Yes, Norman Powell is now out indefinitely, but in the Raptors’ first game without Norm, it was Terence Davis who got the minutes, while Anunoby saw only 21 minutes of playing time.

I love Anunoby as a player, but as a fantasy asset, he is entirely overrated.

I think if you are banking on him being some sort of fantasy playoff saviour, you will end up costing yourself victories waiting for that to occur.

@santiagocolman7 Kyrie Irving is always getting injured, is he worth having on your team?

It’s obviously frustrating if you drafted Kyrie this season.

On a per-game basis, he is ranked 12th in fantasy points leagues, but for total, cumulative value, he is 158th, playing in only 20 games due to his shoulder issue, a sore hamstring, and now a knee problem.

The knee injury looked scary and he is out at least a week, and I expect until at least after the All-Star break.

The beginning of Kyrie Irving's tenure with the Brooklyn Nets has been plagued by injuries - frustrating fantasy basketball owners. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Is he worth having on your team? Well, you aren’t dropping him and you can’t get equivalent per game value back in a deal, so the short answer is yes.

If we hear more at the break about him missing more weeks, then selling to get someone who plays onto your team is probably a decent move, but if he misses 5-6 games, dumping him is not an optimal situation.

@cuy2 Do you feel benching players is fair to get a desired matchup in the fantasy playoffs?

I feel pretty strongly about this. Yes. It is fair, and it should be encouraged with one caveat - that benching your players to lose a matchup is not so you can get a friend into the playoffs.

If you do that, you are a cheat and I would kick you out of my league.

But, benching your players to manipulate your current matchup, to allow a potentially weaker seventh seed to beat you, and then jump up into the sixth seed, for example, setting up an easier playoff matchup is absolutely something you could do and not feel any guilt over it.

Again, if that seventh seed comes to you asking to tank the matchup so they can get in, don’t. That’s wrong and ugly.

But if it is best for your team, and you’ve run the numbers, go ahead. It’s like benching players on a Sunday in a category league in order to win turnovers or stabilise your percentage categories. 

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye out for the next mailbag tweet to gather your questions.