• We’ve already gone through two weeks of the fantasy season and odds are things are either going really good for you, or really bad for you.

    If you’ve won both of your weeks odds are you’re on cloud nine, boasting to your league mates about how you have the best team in the league. So, what I’m about to say isn’t for you.

    If you’ve lost both of your weeks, like I have, you’re probably rethinking your entire team.

    An entire offseason of prep, reading articles and listening to podcasts just for you to lose both of the first two weeks and be ridiculed by everyone in your league.

    Well, here’s some good news: Don’t Worry.

    It’s as simple as that.

    In my case, I have both Myles Turner and Chris Paul sitting on my IR. So it’s pretty hard to win with my second and third round pick both injured and Steph Curry, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon can only carry my team so much.

    We’re not even through a quarter of the fantasy season yet, so please don’t overreact and make a ridiculous move due to panicking.

    Just remember, it’s only week two.

    Now let’s dive into this week’s addition of Stock Watch, where we take a look at a couple of players trending in the right direction and a couple whose stocks are on the decline.

    Editor’s Note: You can get the Hoop Ball Premium Membership for FREE (normally $29.99) by signing up as a new user with DraftKings. Check this page to see how the promotion works.

    As a reminder, here are last week’s “Stock Up” guys with a little update on how their stock has changed, with “Stock Up” meaning they’re still on the rise, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Down” meaning they’re on the decline:

    Last Week’s Risers

    The Phoenix Suns: Neutral

    Ben Simmons, F, Philadelphia 76ers: Stock Up

    Dejounte Murray, PG, San Antonio Spurs: Stock Down

    DeMarre Carroll, SF, Brooklyn Nets: Neutral

    Darren Collison, PG, Indiana Pacers: Neutral

    John Collins, PF, Atlanta Hawks: Neutral

    De’Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings: Neutral (He’s in a slump right now, but he’ll turn it around soon.)

    Stock Up

    Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers

    Now Dipo should’ve been on this list last week but I left him off because I wanted to see one more week of early round production from him, and he gave it to me.

    Yes, Myles Turner is down right now which is most likely boosting Oladipo’s value. However, in the one game that Turner played, Dipo still posted 22 points, four assists, five rebounds and four steals on 6-of-12 shooting while also taking 10 free throws.

    The breakout is real for Oladipo. He’s putting up top-12 value in 9-cat leagues and he shows no signs of slowing down. He’s posting career highs in points (25.5), blocks (0.7), steals (1.8), free throws attempted and FT percentage (7.2 and .884) while also shooting the lights out, going .500 percent from the field and .469 percent from behind the arc, which are also career highs.

    In Turner’s absence, Dipo has truly looked like a superstar for the Pacers. With the Paul George era ending, could it be the beginning of the Oladipo era in Indiana? I doubt he’ll be as good as PG, but he’ll surely try.

    It’s his fifth year in the league and he’s really starting to look like that player the Orlando Magic spent the second overall pick on. If you can somehow trade him for a bona fide superstar then go ahead, but if not, I’d be ecstatic to stay on board and watch him terrorize the league this year.

    Otto Porter Jr., SF, Washington Wizards

    Otto Porter continues to improve each and every season, and that trend doesn’t seem to be stopping this year.

    Porter is putting up top-7 value right now, currently ahead of Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. He obviously won’t keep this up, but the progress is definitely encouraging. Porter is legitimately helping owners in every single category, averaging 18.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks and 2.7 steals on an insanely efficient .557 percent from the field while also shooting .517 percent from behind the arc.

    He won’t be able to keep up the field goal percentage, but there’s no reason not to believe that it can’t stay above .516, which is what he shot last year. Each year of his career, his field goal percentage has gotten better so if that trend continues he could he going for .520 this season. His steals will most likely go down but his free throw percentage will definitely improve, as he’s only shooting .692 percent right now – the worst since his rookie season.

    If someone in your league truly believes that Porter will be better than LeBron, DeMarcus, KAT or KD than sell him immediately before the person comes to their senses. If not, then I’m fine holding him and riding it out. He put up top-25 value per-game last year in 9-cat leagues, and there’s a good chance he’ll be matching that or possibly even outplaying it this season.

    Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic

    Vucevic has been one of the main catalysts in getting the Magic their 5-2 record which is good enough for second in the East.

    He’s putting up top-15 value right now, averaging 20.7 points, 1.4 blocks, 8.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists on .555 percent shooting from the field and .406 shooting from behind the arc. He’s never averaged 20 points in his career, and with the emergence of Aaron Gordon I’d bet on that trend continuing. Vucevic is playing the best basketball of his career right now and he usually starts out the season hot.

    Not only will he regress in points, but 3-point percentage and field goal percentage as well. He’s currently outperforming Rudy Gobert, Marc Gasol and Kristaps Porzingis and I’d rather own all three of them over Vucevic for the rest of the season. He also has a history of breaking down as the season progresses and has only played more than 60 games twice in his six year career.

    With Aaron Gordon finally breaking out for the Magic and Evan Fournier coming into his own, the shot attempts and opportunity will go down for Vuc. If anyone in your league is high on Vucevic, sell-high right now because there is no chance he keeps this up.

    Honorable Mentions

    Kelly Olynyk, C, Miami Heat: A Hoop Ball Sixer, Olynyk continues to impress this season, as we knew he would. He’s averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.8 blocks in only 23.7 minutes and is putting up top-65 value for someone you probably took in the ninth round or later. Even when Hassan Whiteside comes back, the Heat have already said they want to play them together at times, and even if not he’ll continue to feast off the bench. He won’t keep putting up sixth round value, but a top-120 finish is certainly a possibility.

    Jeremy Lamb,SG, Charlotte Hornets: Lamb is making the most of his time without Nicolas Batum and he’s playing the best basketball of his career by far. He’s averaging 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists on .457 shooting from the field and .385 shooting from beyond the arc. He’ll regress when Batum returns but that shouldn’t be until after the New Year. He’s putting up top-100 value on a Hornets team that’s lacking scoring at the guard position behind Kemba Walker. Ride him out now and if he continues to feast, sell him in December before Batum returns.

    Malcolm Brogdon, PG, Milwaukee Bucks: The reigning Rookie of The Year is following up his stellar rookie season with an even more impressive sophomore one. His minutes are up from the 26.4 he played last year to 34.4, and he looks like a much more polished scorer. He’s averaging 15.8 points on .475 percent from the field and .478 percent from three. His assists (4.2) and rebounds (2.8) are down,averaging 4.0 assists and 2.2 rebounds this season, but his steals are up from 1.1 to 1.6. Other than Giannis and Khris Middleton, the Bucks are lacking a solid third option until Jabari Parker comes back and Brogdon seems to be filling in very nicely. He’s putting up top- 55 value right now and you’re a very happy owner if you took him on draft night.

    Here is last week’s crew of “Stock Down” guys with an update on how their stock has changed in the past week with “Stock Down” meaning they’re still falling, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Up” meaning that they’re on the rise:

    Last Week’s Fallers

    Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF, New York Knicks: Stock Up

    Avery Bradley, SG, Detroit Pistons: Neutral

    Gorgui Dieng, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Neutral

    Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors: Stock Up

    Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, PG/SG, Denver Nuggets: Stock Up

    Brandon Ingram, SF, Los Angeles Lakers: Neutral

    Stock Down

    Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Conley is coming off of arguably the best year of his career, and he was being overlooked by many owners in drafts due to his lack of flash.

    However, Conley has always been a solid source of stats. You know exactly what you’ll get with Conley, and somehow that steers owners away from him. Well, he’s off to a shaky start this season and hasn’t been able to be consistent throughout his games. This season he’s averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds on .368 percent from the field and a horrific .261 percent from beyond the arc. Some foot pain is the most likely culprit at this point, but he’s going to get better either way.

    Those percentages are harsh and they’re most likely hurting you if you own him right now, but he’ll turn it around. He’s never shot below .422 percent from the field in his entire 10 year career and there’s no reason to believe he’ll do it this year. He’ll also pull up his 3-point percentage, never shooting below .330 percent in his career. Not only will the percentages come up, but the assists will as well. 4.3 assists for Conley is an abnormality as he’s averaged at least 5.3 since his 22-year old season in 2009-2010.

    He’s outside of the top-90 right now and there is no way that sticks for Conley as he was top-25 last year. If you own Conley hold tight and if not, float out a buy low offer now because there’s no way that Conley is this inefficient all season.

    Serge Ibaka, PF, Toronto Raptors

    Ibaka is currently injured but his outlook this season has been trending down anyway. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 0.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in only 27.2 minutes. The blocks are a career low and he just doesn’t seem to be tracking down the ball as he once used to.

    Not only is he not providing many blocks, but his rebounds are at a career-low as well. With Jonas Valanciunas grabbing boards in Toronto, Ibaka’s numbers have dipped. On top of that, he’s taking less high-perentgage shots in the paint because of his obsession with taking 3-pointers. His 2-point attempts and 3-point attempts are both at 5.2 per game and he’s knocking down the threes at a .385 clip.

    He’s putting up top-60 value right now, and the Raptors don’t seem like they plan on playing him more than 30 minutes, which will limit his opportunity. There are many high-level players that haven’t hit their stride yet and once that happens, Ibaka’s value will surely decrease. He’s a lock for top-80 value but with his injury risk and Toronto’s pretty packed front court, Ibaka’s outlook doesn’t seem to be looking up.

    Brook Lopez, C, Los Angeles Lakers

    When Lopez was acquired by the Lakers this offseason the expectation was that he’d be the best player on their team, rack up big minutes, and produce on a young Lakers team that still needed to grow.

    Well, seven games into the season and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Coach Luke Walton doesn’t seem to want to play Lopez big minutes, and even when he’s in he’s not capitalizing on his opportunity. Walton is the type of coach that doesn’t exactly have a set rotation or a set amount of minutes he wants to have his players out on the court. If the bench unit goes on a run he’ll keep them in the whole fourth quarter, even if it means Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram or Brook Lopez don’t touch the court.

    Unfortunately, the units that always seem to make the run never seem to involve Brook, therefore limiting his playing time. Now I’m not saying that Walton is a bad coach, but his rotation is questionable at best and it certainly makes a lot of sense to get your best players in the game to better ensure a win.

    So far, Lopez is arguably having the worst year of his career, averaging 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 blocks in only 23.8 minutes per game. The points, rebounds and minutes are all career lows, as well as his shooting percentage. Lopez is shooting only .388 percent from the field and .250 percent from beyond the arc. These low percentages are part of the reason why Lopez can’t stay on the court. He’s not a dominant force out there, and as such he’s not making it hard for coach Walton to bench him. He was thought to be the Lakers’ best 3-point shooter going into the season, and the Lakers themselves talked about how his shooting ability provided so much for them. Well, that ability doesn’t seem to be on display very much this season.

    Lopez is putting up top-100 value right now, but you expected much more when you drafted him in your fifth or sixth round. He likely won’t be this bad all season, as the Lakers will develop more chemistry and learn how to use him, along with the fact that this is a contract year for him so he’ll have motivation to perform. You can probably get him for dirt cheap right now, so float out an offer to his owner but beware not to give away anyone too valuable because Lopez is a wildcard right now.

    Honorable Mentions

    Nerlens Noel, C, Dallas Mavericks: Noel should’ve just taken the contract offered to him in the summer because this season he definitely won’t be earning himself more money than that. His starting job isn’t secure as the Mavericks like to run Harrison Barnes at the four, which forces Dirk Nowitzki to the center position and Noel to the bench. Maybe once Seth Curry returns the rotation will favor Noel more, but the Mavericks could easily just move Wesley Matthews to the small forward position while keeping Barnes at the four. On the season Noel is averaging 7.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 0.9 blocks while only playing 19.4 minutes per game. The upside is clearly there, but until the Mavericks choose to unleash him, it’ll be hard to hold on to him in 12-team leagues.

    Dewayne Dedmon, C, Atlanta Hawks: The Dead Man hasn’t been all that owners expected him to be this season, but it’s still early. He is providing a solid source of rebounds, but the low end scoring and blocks just aren’t there. He’s averaging 7.4 points, 0.9 blocks and 7.4 rebounds in only 24.6 minutes per game. The emergence of John Collins is not a good sign for Dedmon owners, but he’s still a hold in standard leagues. His blocks will likely increase and with that, hopefully his minutes.

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Lopez was traded for, not signed – and he has no years left on his deal, so they really made no commitment to him.

Lopez is older, getting less minutes, on an expiring contract and on a rebuilding team with youth at his position. Not a recipe for huge usage in the second half – if he stays in LA. At this point, owners have to hope for a trade or he’s very likely to be shut down in the fantasy playoffs.

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