Fantasy Basketball Risers & Fallers: 12/21/15 – 12/27/15
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.
- Ish Smith (PG – Philadelphia 76ers) – The 76ers made an interesting trade bringing Ish Smith back into the fold. We have already seen what Smith can do when he is given the keys to the offense. In New Orleans, Smith was able to string together stretches of high-quality standard league value when he was playing starter’s minutes. Immediately after joining Philly, Smith got the start and scored 14 points with five assists, two rebounds, a steal and a block with one three-pointer in 31 minutes. Time to jump back on the Ish Smith bandwagon. All those in need of guard stats should snag him back up immediately.
- Bismack Biyombo (C – Toronto Raptors) – Biyombo has really given Toronto the defensive anchor it needed in the absence of Jonas Valanciunas. Over the last two weeks, Biyombo has increased his production averaging and elite 15 rebounds and three blocks. Though he doesn’t contribute much anywhere else, these two elite level stats make him a must-own standard league player. Even with Valanciunas’ return looming, Biyombo has played well enough to warrant heavy minutes in the rotation and should still provide quality value.
- Dennis Schroder (PG – Atlanta Hawks) – Schroder’s minutes are on the rise and even at just 22 minutes per game he is putting up standard league value. In those 22 minutes, he has averaged 14 points, two rebounds, five assists, two steals and one and a half three-pointers over the last two weeks. His ability to give quality production in limited minutes makes him a break-out candidate if he can jump into a starter role. All deeper league teams should own Schroder and I would take a flyer and hold on him in most standard leagues.
- Jeff Teague (PG – Atlanta Hawks) – One of the reasons for Schroder’s improvement in production has been Teague’s decline. Over the last two weeks, he has only played 27 minutes per game averaging almost identical stats to Schroder who is accomplishing that level of production in just 22 minutes. Teague is just getting over an ankle injury and has been a little slow to recover. He seemed to make some improvements over his last few games shooting closer to his field goal average from last year (46%) over his average from this year (42%). His value moving forward will rely on his ability to get easy baskets at the rim. If he continues to improve this might be the last chance to buy low on Teague.
- Roy Hibbert (C – Los Angeles Lakers) – Hibbert has never really been a stellar fantasy prospect though he should provide rebounds and blocks at his size. So far this year, he has been a fringe standard league player, but over the last few weeks, his minutes and production have dropped significantly. Over the last seven games, he is only averaging six points, less than five rebounds and a little under a block in 22 minutes. Not to mention his below 40% field goal percentage from a center. Run hard and fast away from Hibbert.
- Victor Oladipo (PG/SG – Orlando Magic) – Oladipo owners could not have been happy when their potential breakout guard got moved to the bench. Even coming off the bench, he was still reaching the 30-minute mark. But now Coach Skiles is starting to limit his playing time and his value is in freefall. The lack of confidence and minutes is obviously diminishing his effort. Over the last week, he shot under 30% and averaged seven points, four assists, zero steals, zero blocks and four rebounds in just under 25 minutes per game. At this point, you have to worry about his value the rest of the season if Coach Skiles is going to limit him so severely. On the other hand, his value could not be any lower, which makes him the number one buy-low candidate in fantasy right now.
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.