Last week, I wrote an early-season panic meter about underperforming players. This week, I'm addressing players significantly outperforming expectations.

With some teams up to eight games, our sample size is growing, and it becomes easier to draw conclusions about what's real and what's not. This is also a great time to consider selling high on some players on extended hot streaks. Let's dive in:

A quick note: When referring to usage rate, it's the number from CleaningTheGlass, which includes assists. If you look at Basketball-Reference's usage stats, they'll differ since assists are not included. I think including assists is a better representation of a player's involvement in the offense, which is why I use CleaningTheGlass' usage.

Scottie Barnes, Raptors

Per-game 8-cat rank: 10

Barnes has been a monster to start this season, and he's second in Most Improved Player odds behind Tyrese Maxey. There are only two clear points of potential regression for the third-year forward – three-point shooting and shot blocking.

After shooting 29.0% on 2.8 threes per game in his first two seasons, Barnes is up to 42.1% on 5.4 attempts this year. I'm partially skeptical because he didn't project as a shooter out of college, and his free-throw percentage (75.9%) hasn't improved meaningfully. On the blocks side, his 2.1 per game is a massive increase over 0.8 last year. We can't be surprised if he's improved his timing and instincts, but he's actually contesting the same amount of shots inside six feet this year (7.0) as he was last year (6.8).

But what should provide fantasy managers with continued optimism is his 26.6 USG%, an increase from last year's 21.5 USG%. Even if his shooting and shot-blocking cool off, he should exceed the value on his ADP. Don't trade him unless someone is offering you a guaranteed top-25 player.

Cam Thomas, Nets

Per-game 8-cat rank: 38

Third in Most Improved Player odds, Thomas has completely taken over scoring responsibilities for Brooklyn while Cam Johnson has been out. His 28.7 PPG leads the Nets, casting a shadow over second-round fantasy draft selection Mikal Bridges.

From a pure scoring perspective, what Thomas is doing isn't unreasonable. He's one of the most talented bucket-getters in the NBA, and his efficiency tracks with what he was doing last season. Of course, he's giving you nothing from a supplementary stats standpoint, averaging only 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks.

What fantasy managers need to be wary of are his minutes (34.1 MPG). What happens when Johnson (and Nic Claxton) returns? Maybe it's as simple as Lonnie Walker and Dennis Smith are out of the rotation, while Royce O'Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith see their frontcourt minutes reduced. That could still leave 30+ minutes for Thomas. Realistically, Brooklyn isn't making noise in the Eastern Conference, so why not give an exciting 22-year-old prospect as many chances as possible? I'd trade him if someone gave me a bonafide Top 50 player in return, but I'd lean to hold otherwise.

Tyrese Maxey, 76ers

Per-game 8-cat rank: 15

Few players are capable of efficient offense to Maxey's caliber. At first glance makes you think he won't continue to shoot 50/44/93, but it sounds less ridiculous when you consider he shot 48/43/86 over the past two seasons. And his 1.2 turnovers is an unbelievable mark for someone averaging 25.5 points and 7.3 assists in 37.2 minutes. But again, he averaged just 1.3 turnovers over the past three seasons.

On one hand, you want to believe Maxey's shooting will decline and his turnovers will increase due to the bigger load he's taking on in the absence of Harden. On the other hand, he's only 23 years old and obviously capable of making overall strides. The more he plays, the more he looks like one of the league's up-and-coming stars. I'm all in and could not be persuaded to trade him outside of a Godfather offer (meaning something like Jayson Tatum).

Tyler Herro, Heat

Per-game 8-cat rank: 23

I was preaching Herro as a draft-day steal at his ADP (in the 70s) since he's exceeded that mark each of the past two seasons. Now, he's exceeding it by a lot more.

Most of what Herro is doing is sustainable because it's on increased volume with fairly normal efficiency. The guard is averaging 25.3 PPG on 45/41/92 shooting – well within range of his past two seasons' efficiency of 44/39/90. The only concerns I have at this point are his minutes (37.7 MPG) coming down to 32-34 and his elevated steals production (1.4 STL). Herro has never cleared 0.8 steals previously, and his deflections aren't up significantly. Miami is incredibly thin on playmakers, so the usage should stick. He's a hold.

Shaedon Sharpe, Trail Blazers

Per-game 8-cat rank: 49

From a fantasy perspective, Sharpe is just a points (20.1 PPG), threes (2.4 3PM) and FT% (81.3%) guy. His rebounds (5.9) are alright, but his 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals-plus-blocks leave a bit to be desired. Ultimately the concern here is that both his usage (21.7%) and minutes (39.0 MPG!) are elevated due to the absences of Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson. And his 21.7 USG% is actually pretty low for a non-specialist. I'd be looking to move off Sharpe sooner rather than later, especially before Simons returns. If a manager in your league is willing to part with a top-70 player, maybe even top-80, I'd strongly consider the offer.

Chet Holmgren, Thunder

Per-game 8-cat rank: 13

Holmgren is providing excellent fantasy value out of the gate through his shot-blocking and shooting efficiency. So, should we expect regression?

He will not shoot 53.8 3P% on 3.7 attempts the rest of the season. When that declines, it will drag down his 53.8 FG% because over one-third of his total field-goal attempts (10.0) are from distance. He's also shooting an absurd 90 FT% on 27-of-30. In college, he shot 71.7 FT%. In two seasons of Summer League, he shot 81.4 FT%. In four preseason games, he shot 75.0 FT%. Given that sample, you should probably expect 75-80 FT% rather than 90 FT%.

How about the blocks? Holmgren is averaging 2.4 swats per game – a number I believe is completely sustainable. He has excellent instincts and length, and he's leading the NBA in shots defended inside of six feet (11.4). The rookie's 2.4 blocks also track with what we saw in college (3.7), Summer League (3.1) and preseason (2.0 in 19.3 minutes).

I think Holmgren is only a sell-high candidate if someone is offering you a guaranteed top-25 or maybe top-30 player in return. His usage rate is only 18.6%, and I'm worried about injury in addition to regressing percentages. But the blocks upside alone makes it tough to move off the rookie.

Quick Hits

Kyle Kuzma, Wizards: Won't continue shooting 50/35/80, but he's also going to improve off of 0.2 steals. He's also seeing just 28.8 MPG – the hope is he can clear 30 consistently if the Wizards start playing competitive basketball games. He's also sporting a career-high 29.8 USG%. I think this is a hold.

Deni Avdija, Wizards: Expect the percentages (57/50/73) to come down, but it's good to see a career-high 19.4 USG%. Nobody on Washington is seeing consistent minutes, but Avdija hasn't exceeded 28 in any game. I don't mind holding on for the chance Kyle Kuzma gets hurt, but Avdija clearly won't continue the efficiency.

Tobias Harris, 76ers: Won't continue shooting 63 FG%, and probably won't keep up with 1.3 steals. Stable usage compared to last year.

Derrick White, Celtics: Won't keep shooting 64.7 FG% and 57.9 3P%. Also his 2.6 combined steals+blocks are due for regression. Usage is relatively stable from last year.

Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers: Won't keep shooting 53.8 FG% and saw increased usage while Darius Garland was out. But his 2.3 STL are interesting since his 4.2 deflections per game are a massive uptick from last year's 2.4.

Dillon Brooks, Rockets: I am begging you to sell high if anyone is buying. Please. He's on a career heater, shooting 59/56/94. He has never ranked inside the Top 100 in Fantasy and his current 16.2 USG% is the lowest of his career and a massive downtick from last year's mark of 21.5 USG%

Deandre Ayton, Trail Blazers: You might think he's playing badly, but he's ranked 21st in Fantasy. I don't think his rebounds (13.3 RPG) will come down dramatically. It's really the steals production (2.3 STL) driving his value. He's shockingly eighth in deflections per game (3.6). They'll come down, but I won't be shocked if he averages 1.5 STL this year.

Grant Williams, Mavericks: Williams takes 69% of his shots from three and is hitting them at 54.3%. When that comes down, so will his FG% and his 15.1 PPG. His usage rate hasn't changed from his time in Boston. I'd take any top-100 player for him without hesitation.

Russell Westbrook, Clippers: Career-low usage rate (24.4%) being offset by 53.3 FG% and 38.1 3P%, plus a relatively unsustainable steal rate (1.8 STL). The addition of Harden only hurts him.

Paul George, Clippers: Expect all his percentages (52/47/94) to decrease, as well as his 2.5 STL. Also has his lowest USG% (27.6) since 2017-18, and this is before Harden is fully implemented. I doubt anyone is buying, but I'd be looking to sell.

Kelly Oubre, 76ers: Consider yourself lucky if you've ever seen Oubre register an assist, as he's on pace to do it just 41 times this season. It seems possible he'll continue at 30 MPG, but don't expect the percentages (51/42/83) to hold. Move him if you can secure a top-100 player.

Jalen Duren, Pistons: Everything looks sustainable for Duren, who ranks 31st. He's a clear hold.

Ausar Thompson, Pistons: Put the work-in-progress scoring aside. Thompson is averaging 8.9 RPG, 3.8 APG and 3.4 BLK+STL. I believe a small regression could be coming defensively, but elite athleticism and defensive instincts were a selling point in his profile as a prospect. I'm also not sold on the 81.8 FT%, but he's shooting at a low volume (2.8 FTA).

Jalen Johnson, Hawks: There's no reason to worry about regression. Coach Quin Snyder trusts Johnson, who hasn't been out over his skis efficiency-wise or otherwise.

Mark Williams, Hornets: Williams won't continue shooting 81.0 FG%, and probably not 76.9 FT%. Otherwise, everything checks out.

Dennis Schroder, Raptors: Toronto is trusting Schroder more than most people expected. He won't continue shooting 41.7 3P%, but he's also better than 77.3 FT%. He has a 25.2 USG% and is ninth in touches per game. Look for things to continue mostly as is.

Marcus Smart, Grizzlies: This is a nice sell-high opportunity, though Smart's market will be muted with Ja Morant returning in just over a month. His 46.9 FG% is bound to come down, as are his 2.7 STL. However, it's worth noting he's second in the NBA in deflections per game (4.3), so don't be shocked if he stays over 2.0 STL.

Gordon Hayward, Hornets: The veteran ranks 58th. Expect regression on his 2.1 STL+BLK, but he's posting a 23.4 USG%. The last time he crossed 23 USG% was 2020-21, when he ranked 54th. It's a sell high though due to injury risk and the impending return of Miles Bridges.

Herbert Jones, Pelicans: Jones is fine to roster in category formats if you need defensive stats, but don't expect him to remain at 1.6 BLK. His 13.6 USG% is actually the lowest of his career, and he's just not a meaningful part of New Orleans' offense. Sell high.

Luguentz Dort, Thunder: If you've made it this far, you know what I'm going to say about Dort's 56.3 FG% and 51.4 3P%, not to mention his 13.9 USG%. Move him if you can get a top-100 guy.