Fantasy Basketball Risers/Fallers: 11/23/15 – 11/29/15
In this weekly column, I will be focusing on the best/worst performances over the past week. I will focus on out of the ordinary trends, or players that have strayed greatly from their average draft position. Great performances by top players or bad performances by bench warmers will generally be ignored.
- Draymond Green (SF/PF – Golden State Warriors) – Green has been hitting another level from the start of the season, but I wanted to take a moment to truly appreciate his improvement. The unique tool in the Warriors’ toolbox had himself a masterful week by almost averaging a triple-double along with a steal and close to three blocks a game. I want to say that these performances are above average for Green, but who is to say that the 25-year-old cannot get better?
- Robert Covington (SG/SF – Philadelphia 76ers) – Covington had a slow return from his right knee sprain, but suddenly sprung to life over the last week. The most promising trend was his return to starter’s minutes at 36.2 per game. He managed to average 19 points, almost four three-pointers and just under six steals per game. Covington was able to establish value in the three-pointer and steal categories last year, and his insane performance over the last week shows that he will continue to provide that value moving forward. Don’t expect four three-pointers and six steals every night, but the 24-year-old has room for improvement on a team desperate for NBA talent.
- C.J. Miles (SG/SF – Indiana Pacers) – Miles is a streaky shooter, and he is currently shooting the lights out from beyond the arc. With the Pacers going small, there is more room for Miles to get playing time over last year. He is currently an elite choice for three-point shooting and over the last two weeks was averaging almost five three-pointers per game and shooting 53% from the field. I don’t expect Miles to suddenly set a career best at field goal percentage this year, but the design of this Pacers team is creating open shots for him. Be prepared for his averages to dip back to career norms. Don’t be afraid to sell high on Miles.
- Avery Bradley (PG/SG – Boston Celtics) – Bradley has taken advantage of Marcus Smart’s injury by providing 20 points, two and a half steals and three three-pointers a game over the last two weeks. Bradley will provide quality fantasy value in threes and steals for as long as smart is out, which could be for another couple weeks.
- John Wall (PG – Washington Wizards) – Wall has severely fallen off due to the inability to get any of his shots to go down. Wall is shooting 39% on the year and dropped to 33% over the last week. For owners who are punting field goal percentage, this won’t be too much of an issue since this was never a huge strength in Wall’s game. The problem is that his scoring and assists are down as well. Even though this is a bad slump, Wall’s talent and playmaking ability still make him one of the top guards in the league. I would consider him a buy-low candidate while his slump continues.
- Al Horford (PF/C – Atlanta Hawks) – After getting out to an incredible start, Horford hit a wall over the last two weeks. His scoring and percentages are down along with his blocked shots. Horford’s value comes from the ability to do a bit of everything while shooting a high percentage from the field. His addition of a three-point game has hurt his field goal percentage, but make him valuable in a category that he formally did not contribute toward. His poor performance can mostly be linked to a shooting slump and a lack of playing time due to blowout games. Nothing to worry about here.
- Karl-Anthony Towns (C – Minnesota Timberwolves) – For some incredibly strange and unknown reason, Towns averaged only 22 minutes per game last week. His minutes have steadily declined since the start of the season, but in no way can that be correlated with his lack of performance. He is still providing fantasy value in these limited minutes, but owners cannot be happy about the lack of playing time. The Timberwolves might just want to save the wear and tear of a long season on their incredibly talented rookie. Not a great sign for owners but Town’s talent is worth a roster spot in all leagues. If you don’t want to deal with the minutes swing from week to week, you will want to sell high when you can.
Mike Catron rambles on about the fantasy impact of NBA box scores and provides other insights on strategy at WatchtheBoxes.com. You can follow him on Twitter @WatchtheBoxes where he will be live tweeting various NBA games, answering your fantasy questions and mostly retweeting stuff you need to know from people you already follow.