Our new weekly fantasy basketball column – Risers and Fallers – takes a look at the players you should consider getting your hands on, as well as others you might want to start considering off your roster.
Let’s take a look around the league, starting with Memphis.
Jackson Jr years., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
Over the past month, Jackson has been a top 10 fantasy player with 16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and a whopping 3.4 blocks while shooting well from all over (52.1 FG% and 79.6 FT%). Jackson helped propel the Grizzlies to second place in the West and they are only 0.5 games behind the Nuggets for the top seed. It also doesn’t hurt to win 11 straight matches and it’s hard to believe that JJJ is only 23 years old.
Add to that the fact that the Grizzlies finished the regular season at 4-3-4-4-4-4 on a weekly schedule, and JJJ seems like one of the top addition priorities in the entire league. It will come with a hefty asking price, but making a move for Jackson makes sense. And if you’ve already got it, just hang on and enjoy the ride. If he continues to progress at this rate, he will be a fantasy first-round pick for the next eight years or so.
Nick ClaxtonPF/C, Brooklyn Nets
Claxton has been a top 15 fantasy player over the past 30 days and has become one of the Nets’ most consistent and important players. He averaged 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.5 blocks over the past month, hitting 70.7% of his field goal attempts.
His free throw shooting is a problem under 60 but that is the only blemish in his game at this point. He’s finally a loser to handle most of the center duties in Brooklyn himself and the Nets finish the regular season with a solid weekly schedule of fantasy games (4-4-3-4-3-4).
It’s worth trading for if you don’t have to break the bank and it’s a perfect trade candidate between a manager who wants to offload their free throws and one who’s already punishing them. Claxton finished Thursday’s game with 18 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and three blocks after failing to catch a single rebound in the first half.
Walker KesslerC, Utah Jazz
Kessler has been a top 20 player for the past two weeks, highlighted by his 20-point, 21-rebound, two-block performance against the Timberwolves on Monday. Walker is running with three consecutive double-doubles at the moment, has scored in double figures in four consecutive games, and has notched double figures in rebounds in six of his last seven games.
yes, Kelly Olynyk He (ankle) hurt again but the Jazz are now just starting to figure out what they have in Kessler. After a surprisingly strong start to the season, the Jazz are now flopping, sitting in sixth place in the West with four teams trailing (including the Clippers and Warriors) by just 0.5 games and the Blazers only one back.
If they are completely out of the chase, Oleynik should become an afterthought and likely let Kessler do his thing in order to gain experience for next year. And even if the Jazz stay on the hunt, one of the reasons they’re there is because of Kessler. Love his outlook for the rest of the season and he’s probably the most surprising starter we’ve seen this year.
Kyle AndersonSF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Anderson is having a nice January and has been flirting three times over his last three matches. His averages for January were 10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.9 steals, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 three-pointers coming into Thursday night and then he went for 20 points, 10 rebounds, six dimes, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in that game. Over his last three points, SloMo averaged 15.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 three-pointers. Not bad for someone who is only listed in 16% of ESPN’s tournaments.
I have no idea how long this will last, but it should be on the list everywhere now. He was a worthy seventh round pick of the season and has been valuable in the second round over the past two weeks. It should be on the list everywhere and I’m not even sure about the eventual return Rudy Goubert And Cities Carl Anthony It can slow down a roll, so to speak.
Galen DoreenC, Detroit Pistons
Duren has been a Top 40 player over the past two weeks and averaged 11.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting well from both the court (75%) and the line (80%) over that stretch.
The Pistons are one of the most blatantly destroying teams in the league right now and they have no interest in winning any games they don’t accidentally get into. Not only did Doreen turn 19 in November, but he’s been credited in just 9.7% of ESPN leagues. He is on track for a major accomplishment and should be on many more lists.
Mr. OkongwuC, Atlanta Hawks
It was fun while it lasted however Clint CapellaHis 10-match calf injury layoff was over and he was already starting to split minutes with Okongwu again. Okongwu has been a Top 40 player for the past three weeks and has given the Hawks a nice glimpse into what the Atlanta center position might look like over the next 10 years or so.
Okongwu averaged 10.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in January but we got a new dose of reality when Capella played on Mondays and Wednesdays. Okongwu saw his lowest two minutes (25 and 27) since December 27 and backed up a pair of 13 and 20 rebound games with three and five games respectively in Capella’s two games. Yikes. Meanwhile, Capella played over 20 minutes on each, scoring in double figures and grabbing six rebounds on each.
The Falcons will likely look to move Capella and his massive salary at some point, but they also love his playoff experience and still think they are a better team with him than without him. And that’s bad news for Okongwu and his fictional directors. Hopefully, you will be able to deal with him directly before Capella returns.
Mitchell RobinsonC, New York Knicks
You might say, “Thank you, clear captain,” but in case you missed it, Robinson broke his thumb on Wednesday and will be out for at least three weeks and more than likely an entire month. And it really is very bad.
Robinson averaged 6.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks in January and wasn’t shooting enough free throws to hurt anyone. And while it’s bad news for fantasy directors, it’s also bad news for the Knicks, who are currently ranked seventh in the East. Isaiah HartensteinAnd Jericho Sims And Obi Tobin The position will be filled over the next month or so, but no numbers jump off the page. It will be a center committee and while I don’t know who will appear, my guess is that Hartenstein might be the most consistent of the trio.
But what I do know is that the Knicks’ internal defense has taken a major blow with the loss of Mitchell and fantasy managers will either have to dump him on IR or drop him and move on.
Terry RoserPG/SG, Charlotte Hornets
Rosier is still cooking for the Hornets but they are in a tight race with Victor Wimpanyama and the 28-year-old Rosier averaged 24.6 points in January. At some point, logic would dictate that the Hornets would shut it down, citing a back injury or some other ailment.
It makes sense to ride it until the wheels drop, and while there’s no guarantee they’ll actually lock it, it only makes sense for them to do so. Charlotte has a good playoff schedule but they also have a two week slap in the heart of the fantasy playoffs (Week 22). Now seems like the right time to start considering dealing with him while his fairy value is high, even with his loss lamelo ball Ankle injury on Wednesday.
Chris PaulPG, Phoenix Suns
Paul has missed 20 games so far and the Suns are adrift without him, though he barely held on against the Nets last night after opening up a 24-point lead in the second half. With Thursday’s victory looming, Phoenix has lost 12 of its last 14 games and three straight.
Paul is currently dealing with a hip injury, but the 37-year-old’s knees also take a lot of mileage, and it would be impossible to trust him. And with them being the current No. 12 seed in the West, Paul would be a candidate from the top of the list if they don’t make a spot run once they do. Devin Booker healthy. Let CP3 come back and post two solid lines and then do whatever you can to move it.
Michael Porter Jr., SF / PF, Denver Nuggets
It’s starting to look like MPJ is a better player in real life than she is in fantasy. He averaged 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers on 48.3% shooting in January.
He’s barely been worthy of selection in the 10th round over the past month and nothing I’ve seen leads me to believe he’ll suddenly turn it around and become the fantasy monster we’ve all been waiting for. And with so much crime in Denver running through it Nikola Jokic And Jamal MurrayWith Aaron Gordon Porter seems stuck in role-player territory.
Let it warm up for some gaming and then move it around for a more reliable/value option. And while the Nuggets play a lot of the four weeks in the fantasy playoffs, they also only have two games in that crucial Week 23.
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