Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: Veterans Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, Thaddeus Young among those trending
Catch up on the latest from around the NBA as we take a look at who has helped their stock in the early going.
Every two weeks, we'll take a look around the league to see whose stock is trending up or down. Here's the Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch:
Derrick White, SAN: White finally made his season debut Nov. 7, and after a quiet 16 minutes in that contest, he's been in the starting lineup over the last two games. White has parlayed the extended opportunity into averages of 12.5 points, 6.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals across 28.0 minutes over that brief stretch, and he appears set to remain on the first unit moving forward. On a starting five with three talented scorers to dish the ball to in DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay, White should continue to have plenty of opportunities for assists while also providing strong supplemental offense himself.
Collin Sexton, CLE: Sexton is making good use of a starting opportunity thus far in the wake of George Hill's shoulder injury, as he's averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Sexton is doing a little more shooting and a little less facilitating than the typical point guard. Though his first three games in the starting lineup, he's taken 14, 16 and 18 shots, connecting at a 45.8 percent clip. With Hill slated to miss at least two weeks, Sexton's run with the top unit should continue, and it's possible he could hold onto the job once Hill is back.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC: Speaking of rookie point guards, Gilgeous-Alexander also finds himself in such a position out West in the wake of Avery Bradley's lingering ankle problems. Bradley has already missed four games, and Gilgeous-Alexander has capitalized with three consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. He's checked off every box on the stat sheet in the last two, contributing a trio of blocks two games ago against the Bucks and a pair of steals versus the Warriors in an overtime win Monday night. The rookie is shooting an impressive 55.5 percent -- including 50.0 percent from 3-point range -- over the aforementioned 3-game span on 12 attempts per game. Although Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris will continue to spearhead the offense, Gilgeous-Alexander, who shot 48.5 percent across 37 games as a Kentucky Wildcat last season, is proving capable of contributing in his own right.
Malcolm Brogdon, MIL: Big things were already expected from Brogdon coming into this season, given that he'd proven to be a solid player over his first pair of pro campaigns. The 2016 second-round pick indeed had a consistent if unspectacular start over his first 10 games, but he threw in a couple of single-digit point tallies and also failed to top 17 points in any game. He's certainly kicked it up a notch overall during the past three, however, scoring between 20 and 23 points in those contests while taking at least 13 field goals in each game. While his usage will naturally fluctuate while sharing the floor with Giannis Antetokounmpo, it's encouraging to see Brogdon starting to get involved on a level approximating that of fellow first-unit mates Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe.
Avery Bradley, LAC: Bradley has already missed four games with his ankle injury, and as mentioned above, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is showing very well in his stead. The veteran had already been struggling prior to the injury, averaging just 7.1 points on 35.0 percent shooting, including 25.9 percent from distance. Given the rookie's success thus far and Bradley's own difficulties generating consistent offense, Bradley may not have his starting job waiting on him whenever he's healthy enough to return.
DeMarre Carroll, BKN: Carroll earns this designation for both his own strong play since making his season debut after offseason ankle surgery and because of the dislocated foot suffered by Caris LeVert in Monday's game. The veteran logged a season-high 24 minutes in that contest, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Projected to step in as the starting small forward role during LeVert's absence, Carroll will have a solid, two-to-three-month run as a key contributor for the Nets. If he an replicate last season's production, he'll be worth rostering.
Kyle Anderson, MEM: With Chandler Parsons' knee issues once again resurfacing, Anderson has been taking advantage of a bump in minutes in recent contests. The former Spur has back-to-back 13-rebound efforts, and he scored in double digits in two of the three games prior, as well. Anderson continues to offer solid production in assists and steals, and with fellow-wing Dillon Brooks now projected to miss 6-to-8 weeks with an MCL sprain as well, Anderson's minutes should remain consistent.
ALSO TRENDING UP: Glenn Robinson, DET
Caris LeVert, BKN: This designation is all about the injury LeVert suffered Monday night. The (unexpectedly) good news is that he has an opportunity to return at some point later in the campaign, but the lengthy absence, a capable fill-in in DeMarre Carroll and the fact he may not truly be back at 100 percent until next season all combine to dim his current outlook.
ALSO TRENDING DOWN: Dillon Brooks, MEM
Derrick Favors, UTA: Favors opened the season rather sluggishly, but he's bounced back nicely to rattle off eight straight double-digit scoring efforts and haul in between six and 10 rebounds in nine of his last 10 overall. Favors' shot attempts are still down in the single digits more often than not, but given that he puts up plenty of high-percentage tries, he typically makes good use of them. Just as important, Favors appears to be at full health at present, and despite his aforementioned tendency of generating much of his offense close to the basket, he's notably drained all four of the 3-point attempts he's put up over the last three games.
Larry Nance, Jr., CLE: Nance finds himself with some ample playing time at present, given the decimated nature of the Cavaliers' power forward position. Not only is Kevin Love out for an extended period due to his foot injury, but Sam Dekker will miss the next several weeks with an ankle sprain, while Cedi Osman is currently dealing with back spasms. Nance saw elevated playing time against the Rockets on Saturday and turned in an interesting, two-point, 14-rebound line, as he only went 1-for-8 from the floor. However, the big man is typically a much better shooter (between 52.6 and 58.1 percent in his first three seasons) and can obviously provide plenty on the rebounding front. He could well hold the reins of the top job at the four for the foreseeable future, making him an interesting commodity in Fantasy circles.
Thaddeus Young, IND: Young tends to have his downturns on offense each season, and he's in the midst of one at the moment. The veteran big has scored in single digits in five of his past six games, and he's managed between one and five rebounds in his last three. The minutes have dipped during that latter stretch, too, as Young has seen as few as 17 and topped out at 23. While he's got the talent to bounce back, he's taking more than two fewer shots per game than last season (8.5, compared to 10.7), which has led to a dip in scoring from 11.8 to 9.4 over his 14 contests.
Brook Lopez, MIL: The 30-year-old was all over the place on the scoring front to open the campaign, scoring as few as two points and as many as 21 over his first nine contests. There's been a recent improvement on that front, however, as Lopez has scored between 20 and 28 points in three of his past four contests, with the high point being a career-best eight 3-pointers against the Nuggets on Sunday. While he's still likely to have his ups and downs, it's possible that Lopez's current surge is a sign he's successfully integrated into the Milwaukee offense.
Dwight Howard, WAS: Howard finally got over the back troubles that cost him the first seven games of the season, as he's been able to suit up for the subsequent six contests. The veteran big man played 23 minutes in his first game, and he's ramped it up to as many 33 on a couple of occasions already. He's already boasted rebounding tallies of 10, 11 and 16 and looks like he'll be a viable Fantasy contributor, even as the Wizards' season may already be slipping away.
ALSO TRENDING UP: Tristan Thompson, CLE
Myles Turner, IND:
Like Young, Turner is also going through an offensive drought. The third-year center has failed to score in double-digits in four straight games and has between two and six rebounds in those contests -- not nearly enough to make up for the offensive shortfall. Even more concerning is that he's taken single-digit shot attempts in five consecutive games.
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