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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J.J. REDICK, Orlando
Everyone’s favorite Dukie has entered the starting lineup and been showing all that he can do with a little extra run. Over that five-game span, Redick is putting up 21 points and 3.8 assists with 4.0 treys and 0.8 steals while playing over 38 minutes. The 4.5 dimes he’s averaging this season are way above his career norms, but the further we get into the season, it looks more like they’re here to stay rather than an outlier. Redick is guaranteed treys and steals, and shoots wonderfully from both the field and line, but if he keeps up his percentages and assists, he could wind up being the pickup of the year. For now, his upgrade to the starting five earns him a bump in the rankings.
JARRETT JACK, Golden State
Whether Steph Curry has been in the lineup or not, Jarrett Jack has been ballin’ out so far this year. He’s currently averaging 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists with 47 percent shooting from the field, 85 percent from the line, 1.1 treys and 0.8 steals, and has been the leader his young team relies on to come off the bench and control the game. While his experience and locker room qualities get you nowhere in fantasy, his owners have to be more than pleased with his performance based on his average draft position of 140. Jack has performed admirably in starting gigs when Curry is out (averaging 18.8 points, 8.8 assists, 1.3 treys and 0.8 steals through four games), and surprise, surprise – Curry is currently dealing with yet another sprained ankle. Curry’s demise is part of what’s moving Jack up in the rankings, but let’s not dismiss the rock solid season he’s been having thus far.
ERSAN ILYASOVA, Milwaukee
Ersan Ilyasova has been all over the rankings this year, and new coach Jim Boylan has him moving back up in this week’s edition. Ilyasova has finally earned some consistent playing time, as well as his starting job back, and is doing the most he can with it by averaging 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds with 2.7 treys and 0.7 blocks over his last six games. Almost all of his value comes from his ability to knock down treys while sustaining usual big man stats, so as long as he’s letting it fly from three, Ilyasova will hold major value. We don’t want to get too excited because we’ve seen this short term production for him before this season, but for now, we’ll give Ilyasova a slight jump in the rankings.
CARLOS DELFINO, Houston
Carlos Delfino might have one of the easiest jobs in the NBA. While James Harden and Jeremy Lin do all of Houston’s backcourt work in the paint, Delfino patiently waits behind the arc, waiting for a wide open three. Lately, those threes have been coming in great numbers. Over his last eight games, Delfino is averaging 14.0 points with 3.4 treys and 0.9 steals. The 2.5 treys per game he averages on the season rank him seventh in the league, making Delfino a great pickup and giving him a bump in this week’s rankings.
ZACH RANDOLPH, Memphis
Zach Randolph will always be a monster on the boards, but hasn’t been himself offensively of late. Over his last six games, Z-Bo is putting up just 12.3 points per game, 3.5 points under his season average, and shooting 43 percent from the field. Since his stats are empty to begin with (no treys, just under a steal, and a career-high half of a block per game, which is liable to come down), I can’t stress enough how important it is for Randolph to dominate both points and rebounds in fantasy. If he isn’t at his best in both of those categories, were going to have to drop him in our ranks a little bit.
STEPH CURRY, Golden State
The brilliant season being put up by Steph Curry is suddenly plagued by the same old story. Shockingly, he went down with another sprained ankle, and has missed his last two games, dropping him from untouchable in a trade to a possible sell high as soon as he gets back on the floor. He currently leads the league with 3.2 treys and is second in three-point percentage at 45 percent. Curry has helped turn the whole Golden State franchise around and each game he misses hurts his fantasy owners just as much as it hurts his team. Until he comes back and stays back, Curry is going to drop in the ranks.
CHRIS KAMAN, Dallas
The reemergence of Elton Brand is taking a toll on Chris Kaman’s value. He’s currently battling issues with a concussion, but even before that he was only averaging 7.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in his previous five games. His age and lack of guaranteed playing time is concerning, and this could be the beginning of the end for the 10-year veteran. There is always the hope that he can regain his starting role and still be productive, but for now we have to drop him in our ranks.
BRADLEY BEAL, Washington
Injuries and a bit of a rookie slump have derailed a season that was trending upwards for Bradley Beal. Over his last five games, he’s averaging just 8.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists with 0.6 threes, and has clearly been impacted by the ball dominance of John Wall. He missed his last game because of a bum wrist, and Washington may opt to sit him even longer if the injury lingers. Still, Beal is young enough that he can make a strong comeback, especially if he starts seeing a lot more time as the Wizards fall from the playoff race. Consider him a decent buy low, but for now he will drop in our ranks.
What players are you trying to scoop up in preparation for the fantasy playoffs?
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