Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: Who's up, who's down in the NBA in Week 14
Catch up on the latest from around the NBA as we take a look at who has helped their stock most in the last few weeks.
Whose stock is trending up or down? Here's the Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch for Week 14, focusing on players who have helped and hurt their value most over the last few weeks:
- Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris, DAL: J.J. Barea is out for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles, leaving Brunson and Harris as potential beneficiaries. Brunson has already gotten solid run this season during Dennis Smith, Jr.'s various absences and has flashed with a handful of double-digit scoring efforts and serviceable shooting. Meanwhile, Harris is much more of a known commodity and knows the Mavs system thoroughly. Both will naturally remain in backup roles as long as Smith is healthy, but each should see an uptick in minutes moving forward, enhancing their deep-leave value, at minimum, for the time being. And with Smith reportedly on the trade block, more minutes could become available soon.
- Delon Wright, TOR: Fred VanVleet continues to be an obstacle to backup point guard minutes for Wright, but the latter is seeing increased run recently in the two-guard rotation behind Danny Green. Wright has scored in double digits in four of the last six contests, logging over 20 minutes in each of them. The 26-year-old is shooting 43.6 percent from the floor — including 34.2 percent from three-point range — and even a slight uptick in accuracy combined with the recent upward trend in playing time would represent a nice boost to Wright's Fantasy value in deeper formats.
- Alec Burks, CLE: Someone has to score points for the Cavaliers, and for the moment Burks has stepped up to the plate. He began seeing starter-level minutes almost immediately after arriving in Cleveland, and he's now found himself in the lineup for 10 of the last 11 contests. During that 11-game span, Burks is averaging 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists with 48/49/85 shooting splits. Over just the last five games, those numbers bump up to 14.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists on roughly the same efficiency. Burks has been a frustrating player to own in the past, but for now it looks like his Fantasy value is sustainable.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC: The 2018 first-round pick may have officially hit a rookie wall. Heading into Monday's game against the Pelicans, Gilgeous-Alexander had scored in single digits in seven of eight games. He then went scoreless over 13 minutes versus New Orleans, with two early fouls undoubtedly playing a part in coach Doc Rivers turning to Patrick Beverley. However, Gilgeous Alexander also hadn't logged more than 23 minutes in any of the previous eight contests either, so a reduced role has been his reality for some time now.
- Abdel Nader, OKC: Nader's latest display of efficiency off the Thunder bench came Saturday night against the Spurs, when he racked up 15 points on perfect shooting (six attempts) over just 17 minutes. The 2016 second-round pick has scored between nine and 18 points in six of the last eight games in which he's seen double-digit minutes, and he seems to have carved out a modest but steady role in the backcourt rotation in the continued absence of Alex Abrines. With OKC's second unit badly in need of some scoring punch, Nader should continue to enjoy a similar degree of opportunity so long as Abrines remains out.
- Richaun Holmes, PHO: Even as Deandre Ayton continues to play well, Holmes has carved out his niche as a productive backup big, averaging 12.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.4 blocks/steals over the last seven contests. He's also hitting 80 percent of his free throws and better than 71 percent of his field goals. Given his relatively small role — 19.3 MPG — Holmes' upside is limited, but he's a versatile option at both frontcourt spots and, due in large part to his efficiency, has been a top-20 Fantasy producer among forwards over the last two weeks.
- James Ennis, HOU: Ennis has ceded the starting small forward job to third-year wing Danuel House for the moment. Ennis' minutes have been in the teens in five of the seven games he's played since returning from an injury, and in single digits in another contest during that span. Already limited offensively overall, Ennis' numbers are naturally down across the board with the reduced opportunity.
- Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN: Towns has been generating even more prolific production than usual since late December. Prior to Tuesday's disappointing performance in a blowout loss to Philadelphia, Towns had 10 straight 20-point games, with double-doubles in nine of those contests. A sharp jump in usage has been responsible for his recent rise. After putting up 20 or more shot attempts on only five occasions over his first 35 games, Towns hit the mark in seven of the last eight contests coming into Tuesday. Moreover, he's been outstanding on the defensive end recently, as he has five games with at least four blocks over the last 11 contests attests.
- Nene Hilario, Rockets: Nene appears poised for a multi-week run as a starter now that Clint Capela is slated to miss 4-to-6 weeks due to ligament damage in his right thumb. The veteran's minutes will still be limited, as evidenced by the 14 he logged versus Memphis in Capela's first missed game Monday. However, with only the underachieving Marquese Chriss and the unproven Isaiah Hartenstein behind him, Nene should remain the front-line option at the five when the Rockets go away from their frequent small-ball looks.
- Al Horford, Celtics: Horford has seen a dip in his season numbers across multiple categories, and he's especially on a downturn recently. The veteran has scored as few as two and no more than 12 points in the last six games. Horford does have a double-double during that span, but he's also only pulled down between two and four rebounds in three other games. He's been less involved in the offensive end in several of those contests, with the latest example coming against the Nets Monday — Horford took just five shot attempts, even with both Kyrie Irving (thigh) and Marcus Smart (illness) out of the lineup.
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