Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Tackling the Spencer Dinwiddie conundrum

It’s time, once again, to take your questions for fantasy basketball before Week 10 tips off, gathering the best queries from Twitter and Instagram to try and help you make the most of your squad. Let’s get to it.

@Tradewinds123: Any reason to pick up John Wall in a league with 2 IL spots in case he comes back this year?

There have been videos of John Wall dunking in pregame warmups. There are quotes from Scott Brooks refusing to rule him out for the season. Naturally, fantasy basketball managers get excited. John Wall has been a second-round player for many years, so, of course, people want to believe. Wall ruptured his Achilles in February this year as he recovered from another surgery on his heel.

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We saw DeMarcus Cousins return from his Achilles injury on January 18 after rupturing it January 26 2018. Using that timeframe, it means Wall could theoretically return in February, but his situation is also quite different from Cousins. Cousins was returning to play for the best team in the league, on an exception salary to try and secure a big free agency payday.

Wall would be coming back to a team out of the playoffs with a long term deal already secured. It also took Cousins a month of playing to exceed 30 minutes in a game.

So, while if you have a spare IL spot, adding Wall isn’t the worst idea, the thought that you won’t need that IL spot between now and a hypothetical Wall return seems inaccurate. Even when Wall returns, will he actually be the same guy?

Achilles returning players rarely are, and then you are holding a guy who may not be a top 100 player or even top 150 player in your fantasy playoffs. So sure, add him if you have space, but I wouldn’t feel aggrieved to drop him if another injury occurs on my squad.

@guyko11: Do you still consider Spencer Dinwiddie a sell-high guy right now? Or will he have value later on?

This is one of the toughest questions that I wrestle with each day. Dinwiddie has been unbelievable for the Nets, playing at an All-Star level, averaging 42.28 points as a starter since Kyrie Irving has been out.

The problem is, when Irving was playing, Dinwiddie was at just 27.14 points per game, a number which is barely a top 100 sort of guy in fantasy points leagues. It’s a big drop from top 20 down to outside the top 100.

Getting the timing right on a trade like this is tough. He is an obvious sell high because of the Irving impact, but what if Kyrie doesn’t return for another month. You lose a month’s worth of top 20 production.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has become an interesting fantasy basketball asset, thanks to his excellent play in Kyrie Irving's absence. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

But, if Kyrie is back after Christmas, then your top 20 player turns into a fantasy bench warmer and you get no return on investment. I am inclined to just hold Dinwiddie through the Irving injury, especially with no real concrete info about Kyrie coming out and when Irving does return, I just have to absorb the hit in value.

@longhi_m: Keep or sell Jrue Holiday? A lot of trade talks

First off, if you base your fantasy moves on maybe trades and rumours, you will end up losing the vast majority of the time.

Yes, people think the move for the Pelicans is to trade Holiday. Players like Holiday rarely move in season and David Griffin is now on record saying they aren’t looking to trade Holiday. Even if he gets dealt, I wouldn’t see a precipitous drop off in his value.

He isn’t going to go from starting and playing 35 minutes a night to playing as a 20 minute a night backup. He is really good, so any team that gets him would be to use him as a star type player. So, this applies to Jrue and all ‘rumours’ you hear, unless it’s a very rare situation, you can ignore these sorts of rumours because if you move based on them you will lose most times.

@_mattiaferrarii Kevin Love: keep or trade?

I included this question not for the specifics of a Kevin Love deal, but as a general overarching theory on trading in fantasy basketball. Quickly on Kevin Love, his risk of injury is real, as well as lower minutes, so he probably is someone to look to trade, but the other side of that coin is that the person trying to acquire him will be thinking the same way and your return is likely low.

Even if a player is a sell-high player, or a buy-low player, there isn’t one player who is always a player you must trade or must keep for that matter. If you get a top 50 player back for Kevin Love, then yes, he is a player you would trade away.

If the best player you get offered is Matisse Thybulle, then no, you just hold onto Love. Similarly, do you keep Love? Well, if someone offers me Zach LaVine, then no, you don’t keep Love. Same would apply if Bradley Beal was substituted for Love. You keep Beal unless someone offers you Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

Being rigid in your valuations or ideas around keeping or trading players is a way to lose in fantasy. Everything is relative, relative to what you get back, relative to the rest of your team, relative to your position in the standings.

But, yes, Mattia, if you get any sort of solid player, I would accept it for Love

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