Fantasy Basketball Risers & Fallers: 02/01/16 – 02/07/16
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.
- LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C – San Antonio Spurs) – Aldridge was a popular pick to regress on the year, but you always knew the Spurs would figure out how to use Aldridge in their system. As the season progressed, Aldridge has seen his role increased and has become comfortable with what is expected from him in a team-based offense versus the ball-heavy process he thrived with in Portland. This means fewer touches, but his efficiency has improved greatly. In the last week, Aldridge has caught fire by scoring 26 points, seven rebounds and over two blocks while shooting almost 60% from the field. The block numbers won’t hold, but Aldridge is averaging over 50% shooting on the season. Aldridge has found his stride and the Spurs need him to continue on this path to compete against the best teams in the league.
- Marvin Williams (SF/PG – Charlotte Hornets) – Williams is proving to an outlier to the normal progression of an NBA player. At the age of 29, Williams has found himself thriving in a pace-and-space system, something he was rarely allowed to participate in before the whole league decided to copy the Warriors. Williams has never finished in the top 110 players on averages in fantasy but is currently sitting at the 50th best fantasy player. In the last two weeks, Williams has averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, two and a half three-pointers and almost a block and a steal a game. Turns out that being a stretch four suits his skillset. During this two week span, he is shooting well above his normal average. Take this opportunity to sell high.
- Victor Oladipo (PG/SG –Orlando Magic) – It has been a strange year for Oladipo. He’s been relegated, had his minutes cut and has been in and out of various rotations. He is finally starting and in the last week has averaged 23 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, half of a block and over one three-pointer per game. He is shooting a red hot 55% from the field which will definitely return to normal numbers, but this is the type of break-out productivity we expected from Oladipo at the beginning of the season. I would expect him to play well to close out the season, but Coach Skiles could switch rotations at any time. He is talented enough to ride him to the playoffs, but I wouldn’t blame anyone who wants to sell high at his peak production.
- Chris Bosh (PF/C – Miami Heat) – Bosh has had a steady decline in production over the last month. I would assume it is due to him carrying the team all year. In the last week, his shot has all but disappeared. He has still scored 17 points a game, but the rest of his stats took a hit. Expect Bosh to rebound after some rest during the All-Star break. This is a great buy-low opportunity if you need a scoring big man with average blocks and rebounds.
- Zaza Pachulia (C – Dallas Mavericks) – Pachulia has logged a lot more minutes for Dallas this year than he did in Milwaukee. Over the last two weeks, he has been worth nothing but a source of rebounds. In the last month, he has only averaged eight points, two assists, 10 rebounds and just under one steal per game. Pachulia is known to have productive stretches, but those are always temporary. Keep an eye on him after the All-Star break.
- Jae Crowder (SF/PF – Boston Celtics) – Crowder has been playing injured over the last few weeks which has hindered his production. In the last eight games, Crowder has averaged 10 points, five rebounds, one three-pointer, half of a block and just over one steal per game. He is in a bit of a shooting slump, but that will pass after he recovers from these lingering injuries. This is a good buy-low opportunity for this nine-category breakout player.
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.