• What’s up HoopBallers!

    I hope all of you are having an amazing playoff run and for some of you this might even be your championship week. If anyone who is reading this has been eliminated from the playoffs, then I applaud your resilience because I know if I lost I wouldn’t want to be anywhere close to any kind of fantasy basketball.

    I’m going to keep it short and sweet in this edition of Stock Watch and mainly just go over a couple of good pickups you might be able to scoop up for your championship week or semi-finals.

    With that being said, lets get into this week’s Stock Watch.

    Here are the “Stock Up” guys from two weeks ago 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:

    Damian Lillard (PG), Portland Trail Blazers: Stock Up

    C.J. McCollum (SG), Portland Trail Blazers: Stock Down

    Brook Lopez, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Stock Up

    Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Miami Heat: Stock Down

    Jalen Brunson, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks: Neutral

    This Week

    Thomas Bryant, C, Washington Wizards: Bryant has gone from being the hottest pickup of the season to being dropped almost everywhere and now he’s back again as a hot pickup. He’s had a roller coaster of a season but it seems like he’s going to end things on a very good note. He’s been replacing Jeff Green in the starting lineup over the past three games and he’s making the most of that opportunity, putting up 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds on 64.5 percent shooting in 32.9 minutes. Bryant is also a great free throw shooter, knocking down his attempts at a 80.0 percent clip and limiting his turnovers to only 2.0 per game.

    The Wizards only have seven games left and there’s no reason to believe that Bryant will be taken out of the starting lineup. His best production this season has come when he’s been starting and he should be able to post at least top-75 value considering he was flirting with early-round value earlier in the season. As a starter he’s attempting 10.3 shots, which is only less than Bradley Beal and Bobby Portis, and his 32.9 minutes are the third most on the team in that time span. He could end up being a guy who could truly help your team bring home the championship this year so go and scoop him up if you can.

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers are no longer eligible for the playoffs and now all of a sudden Caldwell-Pope wants to kick it into high gear. He’s the 34th-ranked player over the past two weeks and putting up 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.6 triples on 45.6 percent shooting in 30.8 minutes. The Lakers are a lottery-bound team, which still feels weird to say, but it’s true and there’s a good chance that LeBron sits a couple of their last eight games. If he does then KCP will have even more of an opportunity to fight for his next contract.

    Let’s not forget the Lakers only signed KCP to a one-year deal which means he’ll be a free agent at the end of this season and he probably won’t be back in the purple and gold, which means he’ll have to entice another team enough to take a chance on him. He’s taking 12.9 shots over his past seven games which is only less than LeBron and Kyle Kuzma and it seems like Caldwell-Pope is the number one option off of the bench right now. He’s on fire, motivated, and the Lakers have a pretty good upcoming fantasy schedule so he’s definitely worth taking a flier on.

    JaVale McGee, C, Los Angeles Lakers: Two Lakers back-to-back? Yes, here we are. McGee has been an absolute monster as of late and he’s actually the fifth-ranked player in fantasy over the past two weeks. Just last week he put up a career-high 33 points to go along with 20 rebounds and six blocks against the Nets and that’s not an anomaly. Over the past two weeks he’s averaging 16.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 3.1 blocks and only 1.6 turnovers on 71.4 percent shooting in 27.9 minutes.

    He’s attempting the fourth-most shots on the team in that time span and if his free throw percentage wasn’t so bad he’d be the second-ranked player in fantasy. Luckily his 46.7 percent from the charity stripe won’t affect owners too badly because he’s only attempting 2.1 per game. He’s got the third-highest usage rate on the team over the past three games at 20.0 percent and if you own him you’ve got to be ecstatic that this amazing production is coming at the perfect time.

    Seth Curry, PG/SG, Portland Trail Blazers: Seth Curry has really come on as of late and is actually outplaying his brother over the past week. Seth is the 36th-ranked player in that time span while Steph is sitting at 56 and although everyone knows the two-time MVP won’t stay there, it’s nice to see his brother shine a little too. Over his past three games, Curry is averaging 18.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.7 triples on 50.0 percent shooting in 33.4 minutes.

    He’s also only averaging 0.7 turnovers per game although he’s playing the second-most minutes on the Blazers behind Damian Lillard. On top of all of that, he’s an amazing free throw shooter as shown by the 90.9 percent he’s shooting from he charity stripe and he’s just recently started to come alive due to C.J. McCollum’s injury. McCollum will likely be out until the postseason which means he’ll be out for the rest of the fantasy season, so Curry is the guy to own next to Lillard in Portland.

    Stock Down

    Here are the “Stock Down” guys from two weeks ago 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:

    Paul George, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Stock Up

    Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors: Stock Up

    This Week

    Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors: Lowry hasn’t been great as of late and the fact that the Raptors have clinched a playoff berth in the East isn’t great either. The Raptors have seven games left and all seven of those games are very, very winnable with or without Lowry. In fact, according to tankathon.com, the Raptors have the second-easiest remaining schedule as the only playoff team they play happens to be the Nets, and even they’re kind of shaky right now. Lowry doesn’t have a good history with his end-of-season health and it’s very possible the Raptors could keep him out of a couple of games in order to preserve him for the playoffs. They’re trying to make sure they keep Kawhi Leonard this offseason and an early exit in an Eastern Conference without LeBron James won’t do that.

    Lowry has only played in three of his last seven games and in those three games he never got more than 28.3 minutes. He’s the 117th-ranked player over the past two weeks with averages of 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 3.3 triples on 50.0 percent shooting in 25.3 minutes. His skill isn’t the problem, it’s the fact that the Raptors are just too good to need him for the last stretch of the season and that’s going to end up hurting his fantasy owners. It’s too late to trade him so there’s nothing his owners can really do except ride the wave and try to prepare as best as possible for his upcoming “load management” rest days.

    Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Fantasy owners held Love for months thinking that he would come back and dominate after the All-Star break but that just hasn’t been the case. Over the past two weeks he’s the 125th-ranked player in fantasy and he just can’t seem to get his shot to fall. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 triples on 35.4 percent shooting in 28.1 minutes. Love isn’t even attempting the most shots on the team anymore — Collin Sexton is, and then Jordan Clarkson is second. What makes it even worse is that Love is averaging the most turnovers on the team with 2.2 over the past six games and that’s tanking his value even more. At the end of the day, the Cavs signed Love to a massive five-year, $113 million contract so he’s likely not going anywhere anytime soon but with only seven games remaining it’s not hard to see them shutting him down if anything pops up.

    Jarrett Allen, C, Brooklyn Nets: Allen was touted as a “breakout” player by so many analysts coming into this season and he’s fallen vastly short of those expectations. Over the past two weeks he’s the 118th-ranked player in fantasy with averages of 10.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on 52.6 percent shooting in 25.9 minutes. He always seems to be in foul trouble and he has trouble guarding a ton of big men so coach Kenny Atkinson can’t really keep him out on the floor too long, which of course hinders his value. He’s really a blocks and percentage specialist and even those aren’t too great right now so Allen really isn’t doing much for his owners at all. He’s only 20 years old so he’s got a ton of growing up to do but this season definitely wasn’t at all what everyone, including Allen himself, though it would be.

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