As the first leg of the NBA season has closed, player values are falling into 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.
*** *** ***
ANTHONY DAVIS, New Orleans Pelicans
Davis has successfully made a leap over one offseason that I can only compare to Derrick Rose‘s MVP season of 2011. He’s been helping out in every category but assists, and boasts whopping defensive averages of 11.2 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 3.1 blocks. His rise to stardom has Davis pegged as a sure first rounder for years to come. Anyone who drafted him later than that is reaping the benefits.
GREG MONROE, Detroit Pistons
The Pistons frontcourt was a murky situation heading into the season, but in the early going, Monroe is separating himself from the rest. Offseason rumors had him being shipped out of town in no time, but averages of 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks has to have Joe Dumars and company reconsidering. He has clearly looked like the most polished big man on the team, leaving him with nowhere to go but up in the fantasy rankings.
DANNY GREEN, San Antonio Spurs
Green hasn’t quite picked up where he left off in the NBA Finals, but that pace would have been impossible to keep up anyway. While he has thrown in the occasional clunker, he’s averaging 14.0 points per game over his last three contests, including games with five and six threes made. He finally appears to be breaking out of his early season slump, despite putting up a goose egg in Wednesday night’s contest. A shooter like Green will never stay down for long.
JEREMY LIN, Houston Rockets
What has gotten into Lin lately? After dropping 31 points on the Raptors, he followed it up with a performance of 34 points, 12 assists and nine threes a couple nights later in Philadelphia. Then, Lin took his show back to Madison Square Garden, scoring 21 points on his former Knicks teammates. His season average is up to 18.4 points and those who were panicked by the presence of Patrick Beverley can finally relax.
DERON WILLIAMS, Brooklyn Nets
A preseason ankle injury had owners skeptical, but a slow start followed by another ankle problem has them hovering over the panic button. Williams is averaging just 11.1 points and 7.4 assists on the young season, but more importantly is only playing 28 minutes a game. Jason Kidd is expected to bring his veterans along slowly, which is devastating for fantasy owners. With more DNPs possibly on the horizon, Deron is definitely dropping in the rankings.
LARRY SANDERS, Milwaukee Bucks
One dominant season in blocks was enough for most fantasy owners to draft Sanders in the first few rounds, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to meet his lofty expectations anytime soon. He was off to a slow start to begin with, putting up just 2.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in four games, but a thumb injury sustained during a nightclub fight has put owners over the edge. Those who chose him are forced to wait about six weeks for the return of his services, leaving him nowhere to go but down in the fantasy rankings.
ZACH RANDOLPH, Memphis Grizzlies
Z-Bo’s empty stat lines were easy to put up with when he was pushing 16-plus points and 11-plus rebounds a night, but with those averages steadily declining, he’s no longer worth the headache. On the season, he’s averaging just 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks, his lowest totals since his sophomore year with the Jail Blazers in 2002, and is putting up just 8.1 rebounds per game. He’s still a productive, ownable player, but his game is finally starting to decline, taking his fantasy value with it.
STEVE NASH, Los Angeles Lakers
For years and years, Nash was one of my favorite players in the league to watch. Unfortunately, we’re now forced to watch him deteriorate in front of our eyes. Sitting out a game during back-to-backs made him impossible enough to own, but now back irritation has forced him to the sideline for a couple weeks. All good things must come to an end, so I’m sadly declaring Nash’s fantasy career over.
Which players have been the biggest disappointments this season?
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @DimeFantasyDoc.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.