Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic.
Today's contributors are ESPN Fantasy's André Snellings, Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe.
What is one piece of strategy advice you have for our readers as we head into the post-holiday stretch of the fantasy basketball season?
Kyle Soppe: As we approach the midway point of the season, my advice would be to be real with yourself. Having conviction in your beliefs is one thing, but there comes a point in every fantasy season (for all sports) in which you need to admit a missed call and move on. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that ... we all miss on certain players, it's part of the fun in the whole exercise of fantasy sports.
The mistake you can't overcome is staying stubborn for too long. How many fantasy footballers saw their seasons crumble thanks to their unwillingness to move on from Jordy Nelson? Prepare for the second half of the season like you did for draft day: research all of the players and refresh your opinions. Makes the moves you need to win the rest of the season, regardless of how you would have viewed those moves two months ago.
André Snellings: My biggest advice at this time of the season is simple: engage. The new year is kind of a natural inflection point in the season, and it makes a great time to reinvest in your fantasy basketball team.
We're more than two months into the season, so on the whole, we've got a better idea of player value. Fantasy football is over, so many of the managers in your league may have more attention to pay to their fantasy basketball teams.
If you haven't already, start looking through the rosters of the other managers in your leagues, try to identify teams that have surplus in areas of need for you. Identify which teams have the players that you think might be undervalued at the moment, and also evaluate your own team for players who might make great trade bait. Start chatting up the other managers in your league, looking for guys who are just as engaged as you and willing to make moves.
You should, of course, still pay attention to the free-agency wire, but this far into the season, you're much more likely to change your team in a fundamental way with a trade than with a great addition. So ... engage. Try to find some moves that make sense for your team, and get them done.
We've left the early stages of the season behind, and now we're at the part of the campaign that the players might consider the doldrums. However, savvy fantasy managers should consider this championship time, because it's those managers who make the moves early who end up taking home those fantasy titles in April.
Jim McCormick: We're somehow 45 percent into the regular season. With so many minutes, shots and game logs to sift through, it's possible the data set through nearly 40 games is almost too big to use as an accurate appraisal of the fantasy market -- especially when seeking out fantasy free agents or concocting trades.
I think we need to apply a more specific view of the player pool to get a concise view of which players are providing positive production in recent games. By sorting through the Player Rater at small forward over the past seven days, we find the Hawks' Taurean Prince registers at sixth at the position over this sample, while the Nets' Caris LeVert is seventh and the Sacramento Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic is ninth at the position over this stretch.
All three of these wings are available in at least 60 percent of ESPN leagues. Seven days isn't a large sample, of course, but you can extend the view to 15 and 30-day windows to identify more enduring examples of surging players at each position.
Just like how some random catcher might rake for a few weeks in June, an otherwise forgettable stretch-4 might get atypically hot for a few weeks from the field. Injuries shift players into new and more rewarding roles for just a few games here and there. Midway through the NBA marathon, I suggest you apply a granular look at the player pool overall and each position over shorter recent samples to get ahead of the competition