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.
ANDREW BOGUT, Golden State
After drafting Bogut last season and watching him succumb to the injury bug, I promised myself I wouldn’t touch him this year. Even though he just came back from yet another injury and played a season high 29:54, he’s still moving down in the ranks. His numbers are only on the fringe of ownable to begin with at 6.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just over 23 minutes a game. Throw in his notorious injury history and the fact that he admitted to feeling slowness the day after playing almost 30 minutes, and I’m ready to jump ship and drop Bogut way down in my rankings.
JASON TERRY, Boston
I thought that Terry would take command of the Celtics backcourt stats once Rondo was lost, but despite playing 27 minutes a night he’s still not producing. Over his last three games, he’s averaging just 8.6 points, 4.7 dimes, 1.3 treys and 1.0 steals. Terry is still guaranteed playing time and deserves to be owned, but shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily.
BYRON MULLENS, Charlotte
Despite all of the stars in the fantasy basketball world, believe it or not it’s players like Mullens who can help take you to a championship. He was one of the league’s hottest pickups at the beginning of the year, but because of injury has been widely available for quite some time. Mullens boasts quietly respectable averages of 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 treys, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks this year, but has been bothered by his knee recently, and is letting it affect his game. His sporadic minutes and nagging injuries drop Mullens in the rankings unless he can prove to be healthy down the stretch.
Who will be your secret weapon down the fantasy stretch?
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