As the first leg 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 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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STEPHEN CURRY, Golden State
Steph Curry was going to be moved up in the rankings even before Wednesday night’s 54-point outburst, but after witnessing the show he put on at the Garden live, I’m willing to put him in the top 10. On the season, Curry is putting up 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 3.3 treys and 1.7 steals. He leads the league in treys and even though owners still cringe anytime his ankle is merely touched, he will probably be off the board super quick in next year’s drafts.
AL HORFORD, Atlanta
A Josh Smith trade would have done wonders for Al Horford’s fantasy value, but despite Smoove’s presence, he is still one of the league’s hottest players. Over his last seven games, Horford is putting up 25.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.1 blocks. He has scored over 20 points in all seven of those games and has two blocks in all but one. While this hot stretch is probably a little fluky, Horford should still be considered a top 10 big man and has rock solid value. Still, I wouldn’t blame anyone for selling high if you can upgrade the Atlanta big man for a team need.
BRADLEY BEAL, Washington
Bradley Beal has been breaking out of his shell of late, giving us a glimpse into Washington’s bright future. Over his last five games, Beal is putting up 19.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.8 treys, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks. His biggest fantasy asset is his ability to get your team blocks from the shooting guard position, and Beal has been doing just that over his most recent hot stretch. A friend of mine and I always debate whether John Wall and Beal or Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters is the backcourt of the future for the NBA, and Beal has been making me look like a genius of late.
MARCUS THORNTON, Sacramento
Marcus Thornton had some serious lows this season, but it finally appears things are starting to look up. In his last two games, Thornton averaged 28 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 5.0 treys, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. He’s not a lock to score like this for the rest of the year, but still makes for a decent pickup if you need shooting guard help.
LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Portland
LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the league’s most underrated players, but his fantasy play has left much to be desired of late. Over his last seven games, Aldridge is putting up 19.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.9 blocks. While his scoring has not faltered, the lack of rebounding and shotblocking is a concern. He hasn’t had double-digit rebounds over that stretch and only has blocks in three of his last nine games. Still, this stretch is probably just an aberration for this All-Star, so look for him to bounce back as he tries to carry Portland to the playoffs.
RAYMOND FELTON, New York
It feels like Raymond Felton’s play has become increasingly worse with each month. In the month of February, he put up just 12.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.0 treys and 1.5 steals. He can’t keep anyone in front of him on defense, and his biggest strength, dropping dimes from the two-guard, has been nonexistent. He is averaging just 3.6 assists over his last seven games, and if it weren’t for his consistency in the steals department, Felton would find himself dropping much further. The Knicks as a whole have been slumping, and with Felton not helping the situation, we’re forced to drop him in the rankings.
J.J. REDICK, Milwaukee
J.J. Redick was the biggest loser of all the trade deadline moves, as his value in Milwaukee is far lower than it was in Orlando. Redick no longer has the freedom to put up any shot he wants, and with the trigger-happy Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis at his side, it will be tough to carve out a major role. Although his numbers don’t exactly reflect the change yet, Redick is moving down in our ranks because of his situation.
KLAY THOMPSON, Golden State
For as hot at Steph Curry has been playing, Klay Thompson has been playing just as cold. Over his last four games, he’s averaging just 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 treys, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. His shot has looked flat and his field goal percentage is suffering. This is Thompson’s first 82-game season, so perhaps the length is taking a toll. Still, Thompson’s jumper is too pretty to stay down for long, so look for him to bounce back. But until then, his rank is going to suffer.
Kevin also writes for the brand new Turnontheknicks.com. Catch them on Twitter at @TurnOnTheKnicks
Who will be the biggest riser over the second half of the season?
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