As the first leg of the NBA season has closed, player values have fallen in place. Of course there are some exceptions, like if some of these players just happened to start off ice cold or riding a hot streak. However, by this time statistics have evened out. The early hot streaks dissolve, and the underachievers slowly work their way back into the fantasy hierarchy.
Here are this week’s top risers and fallers in NBA fantasy.
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MARCIN GORTAT, Phoenix
After a slow start to the season, Marcin Gortat has been turning it on and then some of late. Last year, Gortat broke out with 15.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game, but seemed to be missing Steve Nash at the beginning of this season. Luckily for his fantasy owners, he seems to have figured life sans Nash out. Since the calendar has flipped to 2013, The Polish Hammer has had single-digit rebounds in a game only three times, averaging 12.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks over that nine-game span. He should be a lock to dominate your field goal percentage and rebounds from here on out.
TY LAWSON, Denver
The only thing that kept me from ranking Ty Lawson higher in weeks past is his lingering bout with a foot injury, but his recent string of play simply can’t be ignored. Aside from a clunker Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, where George Karl played him for only 20 minutes in a blowout, Lawson has put up 19.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists, with 1.2 treys and 1.0 steals over his last five games. The speedy 5-11 point guard has looked as quick as ever and appears to be over his most recent injury. Lawson is moving up in the rankings now and can only move up higher if he keeps up his current pace.
TRISTAN THOMPSON, Cleveland
When Anderson Varejao went down with injury, it was bad news for everybody in Cleveland not named Tristan Thompson. Thompson has been a beast on the boards as of late, bringing down 13 of them in all but three of his last ten games. Over that span, he’s averaging 14.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks. He’s also cleaned up his field goal percentage a bit during that stretch by shooting 50 percent from the field, a huge improvement over last year’s 44 percent. All isn’t hunky dory for Thompson’s owners, though. Even with his current rise in the rankings, Varejao will be back before the season ends, and no matter how hard Byron Scott tries, both of these big men’s styles wont mesh well together on the court. It’s impossible for both Thompson and Varejao to go off on the same night, making Thompson an intriguing sell high, especially considering where you drafted him or picked him up off the waiver wire.
ERIC BLEDSOE, Los Angeles Clippers
I don’t think Eric Bledsoe will be a lasting force and barely recommend picking him up, but watching him play is electrifying. Starting three games in place of the injured Chris Paul, Bledsoe has put up 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals, numbers that would be awesome if he wasn’t, well, stuck behind a leading MVP candidate on the depth chart. It reminds me of the exact situation that Darren Collison was in a few years ago when all of his fantasy value was sapped up by CP3 in New Orleans. Bledsoe is a hard-nosed player waiting to break out, but the Clippers would be foolish to trade him away and give him that chance. Still, Bledsoe will be moving on up in the rankings for now.