Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Just because Black Friday isn't until next week doesn't mean fantasy basketball owners can't start selling early.
There's opportunity here and now to make a profit on certain players.
Even waiting another week could cause owners to have to accept Black-Friday- level sales prices for some of these players compared to what they can get now.
These players fall into two categories: the Unsustainably Hot and the Injury-prone.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors - Thompson is one of the premier long- distance shooters in the NBA, but he's not this good. Nobody is, not even Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. Thompson has attempted 6.8 threes per game this season, not far off from the 6.4 he took in 2012-13, and is hitting 48.8 percent of them, or 3.3 per game. He's shooting 52.5 percent on his 14.9 field-goal attempts per game, up from 42.2 percent on 14.7 shots per game last season. The difference in shooting percentage has helped Thompson increase his scoring average by 4.0 ppg, from 16.6 to 20.6. The Warriors guard doesn't offer much production besides his scoring and threes, so once he goes cold from behind the arc his fantasy value will drop.
Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic - Afflalo has scored at least 25 points five times already in 2013; it took him until Dec. 31 last season to accomplish that. He's averaging 22.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 threes per game through 11 contests. In his first six seasons in the NBA, Afflalo made 38.3 percent of his threes on 2.6 attempts per game. This season, he has made 3.0 of 5.5 per game, or 54.1 percent. Not only will his 3-point percentage slip, but his shots per game and free-throw attempts likely will as well when Tobias Harris (ankle) and Glen Davis (foot) make their season debuts.
Wesley Matthews, Portland Trailblazers - Matthews' field-goal attempts in each of the previous three seasons fell in the 11.6-11.9 range, but he has taken just 10.6 per game this season. The dropoff has been unnoticeable because Matthews has made 50 percent of his 5.5 threes per game, allowing him to average 15.9 ppg. The guard has been a very good 3-point shooter in his career, making 40 percent of his shots, but a 50 percent rate isn't sustainable on 5.5 attempts per game. Matthews also has made 57.4 percent of his two-point shots, nearly 10 percentage points above his career rate, even though 63.8 percent of his shots have come from 16-plus feet away from the basket.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans - Fantasy owners should feel fortunate that Gordon has even supplied us with 11 straight healthy games. He has played 30 minutes per game so far and produced 15.8 points, 2.2 steals and 1.6 threes per game. Instead of dealing with the potential headache the fragile guard may cause the rest of the season, those who took a shot on him late in drafts should cash out now for a safer talent.
Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors - Amazingly, Bogut played 43 minutes Wednesday against Memphis and didn't come away with major ankle issues. After being limited to 44 games the last two season and playing fewer than 70 in five straight seasons, Bogut has started all 12 games in 2013-14. He's only averaging 7.0 ppg but he has corralled 8.8 rebounds, dished out 2.3 assists and blocked 1.8 shots per game. He's also averaging 10.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg and 2.7 bpg over his last three contests.
Nene, Washington Wizards - Nene already has dealt with a calf/Achilles tendon injury this season and missed two games in early November, but he has been a force when active. He has scored at least 20 points in three straight games and is averaging 32 minutes, 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks through nine games. He always seems to be dealing with some type of ailment, however, so it's unlikely his bill of health will remain clean for long.