March 13, 2019, 8:00 pm
What’s up HoopBallers!
Welcome to the fantasy playoffs my friends, it’s been a long journey but we’re finally here. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the playoffs in the Hoop-Ball Staff League but I did make the playoffs in the points league I have with some friends. I barely squeaked into it and my team is in no shape to even win a single week but hey, you never know what can happen. In that league, I’d say things really started to go down the drain for me when Victor Oladipo went down because he was my first-round pick and the clear anchor of my team.
I even stopped editing my lineup for a while, I figured that there was no point. However, I got back into the swing of things and won the last three weeks of my league in order to squeeze into the playoffs as the last seed. We’re nearing the end of the fantasy season and the regular NBA season but I hope that at least one of us can walk out of it with a championship.
With that being said, I wish you all the best of luck in the playoffs and I’ll see you on the other side.
Here are the “Stock Up” guys from last week with a little update on how their stocks have 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:
Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks: Stock Down
Dwight Powell, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks: Neutral
Patrick Beverley, PG, Los Angeles Clippers: Stock Down
Marc Gasol, PF/C, Toronto Raptors: Stock Down
Moe Harkless, SF, Portland Trail Blazers: Neutral
Damian Lillard (PG) and C.J. McCollum (SG), Portland Trail Blazers: I think this is the first time that I’ve ever included two players on the same team in one section of Stock Watch but I figured that I might as well. Both guys have been absolutely dominating as of late and are the number four and five players in fantasy over the past week. I’ll start with Lillard as he’s the more popular of the two and he’s the better player in almost every aspect. Over the past three games Dame is averaging 29.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.7 triples on 50.9 percent from the field in 36.8 minutes. He’s not even attempting the most shots on the team in that time span and yet he’s still carrying his fantasy owners.
One of the best parts about his recent play has been his incredible percentage from the charity stripe. Over his past three games he’s attempting 10.0 free throws per game, which is the third-most in that time span, and he’s knocking them down at an insane clip of 90.0 percent. It’s been an amazing three-game stretch for Dame and his partner in crime, C.J. McCollum, hasn’t been too bad either.
McCollum is averaging 28.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 4.3 triples on 54.2 percent shooting in 36.9 minutes. The 3-pointers are the fourth-highest of anyone in that time span and McCollum has really been letting it fly. He’s attempting the most shots on the team at 19.7 per game and he’s only committing 0.7 turnovers although he has the ball in his hands a ton. The fifth-seeded Blazers have been rolling and these two are a huge reason why. They’re 7-3 in their last ten and are currently on a two-game winning streak. Dame and C.J. couldn’t have picked a better time to turn things on and hopefully they can continue as their owners hopefully get deeper into the playoffs.
Brook Lopez, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Lopez has been great basically the entire season but he’s really stepped it into high gear over the past week. He’s actually the highest-ranked fantasy player on the Bucks, even above Giannis Antetokounmpo. Over his past four games he’s the 12th-ranked player in fantasy and putting up 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 triples on 54.3 percent shooting in 31.0 minutes. He’s also attempting 4.5 free throws per game over his past four and has yet to miss a single one, which is incredible. T
he Bucks have a pretty balanced scoring attack with six players taking more than eight shots per game and Lopez is still somehow managing to put up 15.5 points. The rebounds are also big for Lopez as he’s not really known to be the typical “rebounding” big although he’s 7’0. However, he’s averaging 8.0 rebounds right now and although that’s not incredible, it’s impressive for Lopez whose career average in rebounds is only 6.5 a night. Overall, he’s been amazing lately and his fantasy owners have got to be pleased.
Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Miami Heat: Olynyk has become Miami’s best big man and it didn’t take very long for him to overthrow Hassan Whiteside at all. It seems like every season Olynyk has a stretch where he becomes a must-own guy and this is that time. He’s the 17th-ranked player over the past week and he’s just been rolling as of late. Over his past three games he’s averaging 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.3 triples on 41.4 percent shooting in 31.3 minutes. The two most important pieces of that stat line are the steals and the minutes. He’s playing 31.3 minutes compared to Hassan Whiteside’s 20.4 and Bam Adebayo’s 25.9 and seems to have a firm grasp on his position as the team’s best big option right now. He’s one of only two players over the past three games to even average 30 minutes along with Josh Richardson.
The steals are abnormal for Olynyk as he’s only averaged more than 0.8 steals in a season once in his entire career. With that being said, the steals will likely decrease and even when they aren’t taken into account Olynyk is still the 59th-ranked player in all of fantasy. He’s also a stretch big who’s definitely capable of averaging two 3-pointers per game and always keeps his turnovers to a minimum. If he’s somehow on the wire in your league go change that and if you own them then just keep your fingers crossed that the minutes keep coming his way.
Jalen Brunson, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks: I have no clue what’s gotten into Brunson but the former Villanova guard has really put himself on the map. He’s been the Mavs’ best fantasy player over the past week with averages of 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 triples on 58.8 percent shooting in 34.4 minutes. He seems to have carved himself a place in the rotation as his 34.4 minutes are the second most on the team behind Luka Donic and his 12.8 shot attempts are the third most behind Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Brunson is also attempting 3.5 free throws per game and has yet to miss one over his past four so that’s helping his fantasy owners out as well. He doesn’t do much in terms of defensive stats but he’s providing in almost every other category, including field goal percentage, and doesn’t do a bad job in terms of turnovers either, only averaging 2.3 per game. He’s only owned in 30 percent of leagues so if he’s out there go get him right now as he could definitely help owners make some deep playoff runs.
Here are the “Stock Down” guys from last week with a little update on how their stocks have 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:
Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Indiana Pacers: Neutral
Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz: Stock Up
Paul George, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: This is PG-13’s first appearance in the Stock Down section all season and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Over the past week he’s the 120th-ranked player and just hasn’t been able to get his shot to fall at all. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 triples on a horrific 29.8 percent from the field in 35.2 minutes. After having the best season of his career and carrying his fantasy owners to countless wins, he’s choking when they need him the most. He’s actually attempting the third-most shots on the team over the past three games at 15.7, behind both Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder. He’s also committing a team-high 4.3 turnovers per game and when you’re committing more turnovers than Russell Westbrook you know it’s a problem.
George’s value has really plummeted due to the horrible field goal percentage and if you’re punting it then he’s back up to the 39th-ranked player in fantasy. That’s good news because George is a career 43.3 percent shooter from the field and is too good of a player to continue to shoot this poorly. He’ll turn it around sooner or later, his owners just have to hope that it’s the former of those two options because they’ll need him for the playoffs.
Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors: Just like George, this is Curry’s first appearance in the Stock Down section and it’s for similar reasons. Over the past week Curry is just the 131st-ranked player in fantasy and is averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 4.0 triples on 33.3 percent shooting in 34.7 minutes. Curry is still attempting the second-most shots on the team behind Klay Thompson in that time span but he just isn’t getting his shot to fall as much as we’re used to. He’s also only attempting 2.0 free throws per game which is much lower than the 4.4 he’s attempting this season or the 5.9 he attempted last season. With that being said, Curry is only knocking those free throws down at a rate of 75.0 percent which is completely unlike the man who’s got a career free throw percentage of 90.5 and has had the highest free throw percentage in the league four times in his career.
Perhaps the biggest problem lies in his turnovers as he’s averaging 5.0 per game over his last two, which is the most in the entire league over the past week. If you were to punt both percentages and turnovers, Curry would be the 18th-ranked player in fantasy but that’s just not realistic. I truly believe he’ll get back to his top-5 ways soon so if you own him in your league, don’t panic.