This season fantasy hoops owners have had to deal with an unusual amount of injuries, especially to center-eligible players.
Al Jefferson, Elton Brand, Andrew Bogut, and Andrew Bynum are out for the year. There is also a long list of big men who have battled or are battling injuries.
All of these injuries have created opportunities for the Paul Millsaps and Maurice Speights of the NBA to step up and deliver for fantasy owners—but is there a hidden value that we haven’t uncovered?
Let's apply come economics to the situation.
First, a "quality big man" is one worth owning in fantasy basketball. When the season starts we are at QD1, where supply meets demand.
When big men get hurt it reduces the supply of quality big men but the demanded hasn't changed and we have a shortage of quality big men. Occasionally, a bench player steps up and becomes a "quality big man" replacing the supply but this is not always the case.
With the shortage, the price (or value) of centers has risen because there is a lower quantity of quality big men demanded (or owned). Now we are at QD2.
Over time some owners will be able to replace the injured big men with people on their team, but others will need a new player to fill out their lineups/rosters.
This need creates and upward shift in the demand of big men and the new quantity demanded is somewhere between the initial quantity demanded and the shortage quantity demanded.
The new price for big men is higher than the shortage price which was higher than the initial price. We end at QD3.
So now, if you own a big man he is much more valuable than when you acquired him even if he hasn't improved much. Center-eligible players already have an inflated value due to the lack of quality at the position and when there are a lot of injuries it's time to sell.
You can't always sell your big men because they may be an integral part to your success, but if you have a surplus of them on your roster there is no better time than now.
Who to Trade?
LaMarcus Aldridge, F/C, Portland Trail Blazers
Although he's big in size, Aldridge's 17.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game are more like small forward numbers.
Like Aldridge, Sheed has a small forward-like game including 1.9 threes per game—but he doesn't board-up like he potentially could.
People either love or hate Sheed so find an Al Jefferson owner who needs him and pickup a dynamic scoring guard.
Nene, C, Denver Nuggets
The big Brazilian is having his best season ever but a big part of his fantasy ranking is coming from his 61.0 shooting percentage.
Right now Nene is a fantasy gem—someone in need of a center might be willing to part with a Paul Pierce or Kevin Martin.