As the first half of the NBA season has closed, player values have fallen in place. Of course there are some exceptions. However, by this time statistics have evened out. The early hot streaks dissolve, and the underachievers have worked their way back into the fantasy hierarchy.
Still, you have to be ready for any changes come fantasy playoff time. Here are this week’s top risers and fallers in NBA fantasy.
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DIRK NOWITZKI, Dallas
It was only a matter of time before Nowitzki got back into his groove. The future Hall of Famer has put up 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 treys, 1.1 steals and 0.7 bocks over the last seven games and finally appears to have his legs beneath him. The good sign is that his defensive numbers have been trending up, and Dirk even went old school on Milwaukee and dropped 21 points and 20 rebounds a few games ago. He’s not going to be the elite scoring option he used to be, but a healthy Dirk Nowitzki may in fact heat up just in time to take some fantasy teams to the championship.
MONTA ELLIS, Milwaukee
While Brandon Jennings took a few games to get used to a rotation with the newly acquired J.J. Redick, Ellis didn’t miss a beat. Since the February 21 trade deadline, Ellis is averaging 23.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.7 assists with 1.2 treys and a ludicrous 3.5 steals. He’s the type of player that can get stats no matter who you put around him, and with Milwaukee sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, the need for all Bucks starters to log significant minutes is there. Continue to roll with Ellis in your lineup with confidence.
DERRICK WILLIAMS, Minnesota
I wasn’t willing to give Derrick Williams an automatic bump in the rankings directly after Kevin Love‘s injury, but his consistency has blown me away to this point. Love may return in a couple weeks, but Williams deserves all the praise in the world for how admirably he has filled in. He averaged 14.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.9 treys, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks in the month of February and has started the month of March off even hotter. Williams is putting up 21.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.6 treys, 0.6 steals and 1.0 blocks in three games to start March, and remains a rock solid start until Love returns.
MANU GINOBILI, San Antonio
Ginobili is getting a speculative bump in the rankings because of Tony Parker‘s ankle injury. It’s up to Ginobili to channel his inner 2010-self, when he averaged 4.9 dimes a game. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 2.0 treys and 2.0 steals, including a 15-assist performance against Sacramento last Friday. Until Parker returns, Ginobili is the go-to guard in San Antonio and deserves to be moved up in the ranks.