Fantasy Basketball Risers & Fallers: 01/18/16 – 01/24/16
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 benchwarmers will generally be ignored.
- Myles Turner (C – Indiana Pacers) – He’s a promising, yet raw rookie. Turner has been sidelined most of the year due to injury. After returning to the Pacers at the end of the year, Turner’s playing time has limited his fantasy value. Luckily for us, injury creates opportunity. Last week, Ian Mahinmi went down with a sprained left ankle opening up big minutes for Turner. In the last four games, Turner has averaged 20.5 points, six rebounds, three blocks and almost a steal in over 30 minutes per game. This outburst is certainly unexpected, but the quality of play plus the elite blocks make him a must-own in all leagues. Don’t be surprised if Turner runs into a few rookie walls or his minutes decrease when Mahinmi gets back from injury. Even so, it would make sense for the Pacers to figure out ways to get Turner more involved for the future of the team.
- Devin Booker (SG – Phoenix Suns) – The Suns finally decided to go with developing their young players and have given a starting role and big minutes to Booker over the last two weeks. In that time, he has averaged 33 minutes, 18 points, two rebounds, two assists and two three-pointers a game. While his playing time improves his value enough to be owned in most standard leagues, his lack of contributions in steals and blocks makes him only a worth a flyer if you need points and three-pointers. If you are in bigger leagues or dynasty leagues, you have to like his potential moving forward at just 19 years old.
- Chandler Parsons (SF/PF – Dallas Mavericks) – Parsons has been up and down all year but over these last two weeks has been on fire. He is shooting 56% from the field while adding 18 points, five rebounds, two three-pointers and a steal per game. This is the type of production owners have been waiting for while holding Parsons on their roster but don’t expect him to shoot that well for the rest of the season. We have seen flashes of great play from Parsons already, but those always drop off at some point. If you believe that his second half of the season will be an improvement, hold fast with Parsons or buy low when he slumps again. If you think Parsons is just a hit-and-miss type fantasy player, sell high now.
- Kevin Love (PF/C – Cleveland Cavaliers) – Love’s struggles continue with a fully healthy Cavaliers’ roster. Over the last two weeks, Love has averaged 12 points, one assist, one steal, two three-pointers and 11 rebounds on 37% shooting. Some of his struggles come from his shooting slump, but he is seeing fewer touches within the offense. The firing of Coach Blatt probably won’t help adjust the offense towards Love’s favor either. The fact that members of the Cavaliers thought the team meeting was about trading Love is even further evidence. A trade is probably the only thing that can save Love’s season. If your team is hovering around last, swinging for the fences by trading for Love at his low point might be your desperation play.
- Thaddeus Young (SF/PF – Brooklyn Nets) – Young’s impressive fantasy season has hit a wall over the last few weeks. His minutes are decreasing hurting his production. In the last week, his minutes dropped below 30 per game, and he has only averaged 12 points, five rebounds, a third of a block and third of a steal per game. I don’t see any way Brooklyn can continue to reduce his playing time. They need his production or need to trade him. A trade could kill Young’s value as he would probably come off the bench for his new team. You will need to follow his situation closely over the next few weeks to feel out your moves, and hope he comes out of his slump to sell high.
- Evan Fournier (SG – Orlando Magic) – Fournier’s hot start to the season has been proceeded by a gradual decline in production. Last week, he was removed from the starting lineup in favor of Victor Oladipo. While Oladipo owners are rejoicing, if you own Fournier you have some decisions to make. Shooting under 30% from the field in the last week has dropped Fournier’s points to 10 per game. His steals and three-pointers are still keeping value, but if his minutes take a big hit coming off the bench, you might only be able to drop him. Oladipo has the most talent in this battle, but if they can share minutes, Fournier could shoot his way out of this slump and retain his value. Move him if you can or wait and see.
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.