Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: Finally healthy, Chris Paul moving in the right direction

Every two weeks, we'll take a look around the league at whose stock is moving up, and who is on the way down. We'll be reacting to the latest news and performances, with an eye on who might be for real and who is just on a hot streak.   

Point Guards
Up
Chris Paul Houston Rockets G
Paul finally made his return to the court on Nov. 16 after having been sidelined with a knee issue since the opener, and has looked good over his first pair of contests. In those two games, Paul is averaging 14.0 points, 8.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 3.0 made threes on 50.0 percent shooting overall. He bumped his minutes from 21 to 24 in his second game and should be back to a full workload by the weekend.
Up
Eric Bledsoe Milwaukee Bucks G
Bledsoe is adapting well to his new home, scoring in double digits in five of his first six games and averaging 12.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. His shooting (36.1 percent) is still a work in progress, but in an offense that's heavily skewed towards Giannis Antetokounmpo --- and to a lesser extent, Khris Middleton -- Bledsoe's 25.7 percent usage rate thus far is encouraging.
Up
Spencer Dinwiddie Brooklyn Nets G
Dinwiddie has taken the reins of the starting point guard job in D'Angelo Russell's absence and is already thriving in his new opportunity. He's topped 20 points in two of his first three games as the starter and is averaging 9.0 assists overall during that span. Given Brooklyn's fast-paced, high-scoring attack, Dinwiddie projects for ample usage as long as Russell remains sidelined, which is expected to be for several more weeks, at a minimum. Dinwiddie looks like a must-start Fantasy option in this role.
Up
Mario Chalmers Memphis Grizzlies G
Like Dinwiddie, Chalmers is in for extended run thanks to an injury to a front-line player, as Mike Conley is set for a multi-week absence. Chalmers has a pair of double-digit scoring efforts in his first four starts and is also averaging 4.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
Down
Jerian Grant Chicago Bulls G
Kris Dunn appears to have taken Grant's starting point guard job for the time being, as the latter has been in the midst of a week-plus slump after a strong start to the season. Grant has scored in single digits in six of his last seven games and is shooting just 34.8 percent over his last four. With a minute reduction apparently in his immediate future, his stock is heading south, making him droppable.
Down
Tyler Ulis Phoenix Suns G
Ulis continues to be afforded a starting opportunity over Mike James, but save for one game, he hasn't been able to parlay it into any meaningful production. The 21-year-old guard is averaging a modest 6.0 points, 4.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals across 24.8 minutes in his five games with the first unit, rendering him one of the more marginal Fantasy options among starting point guards at present.
Shooting Guards
Up
James Harden Houston Rockets G
Given the impossibly high bar he's already set, it's quite the feat when Harden actually trends above it for an extended period. Such is the case recently, however, as the prolific sharpshooter is averaging 35.7 points and 10.2 assists over his last six games, a span that includes a 48-point effort, two double-doubles, a triple-double and four games with six three-pointers apiece. Chris Paul's return may put a slight dent in his usage, but conversely, it also affords him one of the most effective facilitators in the league with which to continue piling up the numbers.
Up
Jimmy Butler Minnesota Timberwolves G
Butler has started to look like himself after an acclimation period in Minnesota, eclipsing 20 points in four of his last six games after only accomplishing the feat twice in his first nine contests. He continues to fill out the rest of the stat sheet in typical fashion, as well, and although there are plenty of mouths to feed on the talented Timberwolves, Butler appears to be settling into his comfort zone.
Up
Nicolas Batum Charlotte Hornets G
The oft-injured Batum is healthy again after an elbow injury, and has shot encouragingly appears to already be back to form. He's averaged 13.5 points on 44.4 percent shooting over his first four games, along with 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 three-pointers across 29.0 minutes. While Kemba Walker is the driving force in the Hornets' offense and Dwight Howard has made his presence felt, Batum has wasted no time in jumping into the fray, already averaging 11.3 shot attempts per game.
Down
Andre Roberson Oklahoma City Thunder G
Roberson has, unsurprisingly, become a complete offensive afterthought with the arrivals of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Roberson posted career-best scoring and rebounding numbers last season, but he's scored no more than nine points in any game thus far, and has put up five or fewer points in eight consecutive contests. He has essentially no Fantasy value.

 ALSO TRENDING UP: Gary Harris, DEN; Victor Oladipo, IND; Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL; Allen Crabbe, BRO 

Small Forwards
Down
Norman Powell Toronto Raptors F
A hip injury is currently keeping Powell off the court, but he'd been struggling even before the injury. The third-year forward was scoreless over a quick seven minutes in the game that he was hurt, but he'd scored in single digits in seven of his prior 10 contests as well. Powell is currently sporting career lows in overall shooting (40.9) and three-point (30.8) percentage.
Up
Rodney Hood Utah Jazz G
Hood has bounced between the starting lineup and bench, but he's been able to produce regardless of his place in the rotation. He's averaging a career-high 17.4 points per game and is also boasting a career-best 40.2 percent success rate from three-point range. He's stepped his game up even further recently, averaging 22.8 points (on 47.2 percent shooting, including 44.2 percent from behind the arc), 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his last four.
Up
Harrison Barnes Dallas Mavericks F
Barnes continues to be one of the most dependable cogs in a Mavericks offense that's still trying to find its way. The veteran wing enjoyed a solid first season in Big D last season and is surpassing many of those numbers thus far, averaging a career-high 19.4 points and 7.0 rebounds. Barnes has been more aggressive than ever from long distance as well, taking a career-high 4.1 three-point attempts per contest.
Up
Marcus Morris Boston Celtics F
A sore knee cost Morris the first eight games of the season, but he's quickly made his mark on a blistering hot Celtics squad. The veteran big man has hit double digits in the scoring column in six of his first nine games and is providing his usual solid work on the boards, averaging 5.7 rebounds. His shot has quickly rounded into form as well, as he sports a 44.6 percent success rate from the field, including 38.7 percent from three-point range.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Kyle Anderson, SA; C.J. Miles, TOR; Denzel Valentine, CHI

Power Forwards
Up
Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets F
Faried could be in for an extended stint as the Nuggets' starting power forward now that Paul Millsap is out indefinitely following wrist surgery. How many minutes per night that will translate to is still to be determined, considering head coach Mike Malone has options such as Juancho Hernangomez and Trey Lyles at his disposal, and he can also shift small forward Wilson Chandler over to the four. However, if Faried does see an appreciable bump in minutes, he should be in line to offer the above-average scoring and rebounding numbers he's generated in seasons past.
Up
Derrick Favors Utah Jazz F
Favors has stepped up his contributions in the wake of Rudy Gobert's knee injury, and it's already resulted in appreciably better offensive numbers. The eighth-year pro has his scoring average back up to 11.8 points after mustering a modest 9.5 per game last season, and he's boosted his shooting percentage to 52.7%, up from last year's 48.7% figure.
Down
Marquese Chriss Phoenix Suns F
Chriss was expected to blossom in his second full season, especially with the opportunity to hold down the starting power forward job. However, the results have been largely underwhelming from an offensive standpoint, as he's seen his scoring average drop from 9.2 to 6.7 points per game. Chriss has been notably less aggressive, taking just 5.9 shot attempts per game after averaging 7.7 in his rookie campaign. He's only hit double digits in the scoring column on two occasions thus far, and although his rebounding and assist numbers have seen slight bumps, Chriss won't maximize return for Fantasy owners until he can jack up his offensive contributions.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Dirk Nowitzki, DAL

Centers
Up
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies C
Gasol has taken on a greater workload in the wake of Conley's injury, generating a 28.0 percent usage rate with his teammate off the floor thus far and already posting a pair of double-doubles in the three games the latter has missed. Gasol has also put up 20 shot attempts or more in those contests, something he hadn't done in the first 13 games of the season when Conley was available.
Up
Greg Monroe Phoenix Suns C
Monroe finally took the court Nov. 16 following his arrival from the Bucks and immediately produced a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double in 26 minutes versus the Rockets. He's scored a modest 16 points over 37 total minutes in the subsequent pair of contests, but given his extensive body of work as a scorer, expect Monroe to make the most of his minutes on the floor, regardless of where he slots on the depth chart.
Down
Timofey Mozgov Brooklyn Nets C
Mozgov hasn't seen the court in the last two games and played just six minutes off the bench against the Celtics in the contest prior to that stretch. He's been struggling to generate Fantasy-relevant numbers when he's been in the lineup anyhow, as he's averaging just 5.0 points and 4.4 rebounds across a sparse 14.9 minutes, the second-lowest allotment of playing time of his long career. The veteran big man is likely to continue giving way to the likes of Jarrett Allen and Quincy Acy going forward, keeping his Fantasy value decidedly depressed. There is no reason to own him.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Dwight Howard, CHA; Enes Kanter, NYK; Steven Adams, OKC; Robin Lopez, CHI    

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