April 4, 2019, 6:17 pm
Welcome to the final edition of Stock Watch this season, by the time all of you have either finished your leagues or are in the final week right now. I’d love to know how many of you actually walked away with the fantasy gold, so feel free to tweet me @najeeadams_ and let me know. It’s been a great season, filled with ups, downs, triumphs, failures and everything in between and I truly believe we’re about to witness one of the craziest offseasons in years. However, we’re still pretty far away from that, we’ve still got the playoffs and of course the Finals before we get to the good stuff.
With all of that being said, I hope you all had an amazing season and I hope that I was able to help at least one of you this year. Before I get into Stock Watch, let me just offer one last shameless plug. If you like the Brooklyn Nets or just want to support two college kids trying to make it big in this sports industry, go listen and subscribe to the Hoop-Ball Nets podcast on iTunes and leave a five-star rating and review.
It’s been a pleasure writing Stock Watch this season and I can’t wait to make things even better next year. Here’s one last edition to get you through your most important week. See you all soon!
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:
Thomas Bryant, C, Washington Wizards: Stock Up
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers: Stock Up
JaVale McGee, C, Los Angeles Lakers: Stock Down
Seth Curry, PG/SG, Portland Trail Blazers: Stock Down
Christian Wood, PF, New Orleans Pelicans: Wood should’ve been on this list two weeks ago so excuse me but here he is, finally. He’s been absolutely eating as of late in pretty limited minutes which really makes me wish they’d play him more. Over the past month, Wood is the 50th ranked player with averages of 15.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.6 blocks and 0.4 triples on 58.0 percent shooting in only 23.1 minutes. If we were going by his per-36 stats, Wood would be putting up 24.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.5 blocks which is absolutely incredible. Another great thing about Wood is the fact that he’s only averaging 2.0 turnovers over the past two weeks which only adds to his value.
The Pelicans only have three games left and he should see a good amount of run in those games as his minutes have already gone up to 25.1 over the past week. If you grabbed him a couple of weeks ago then you’re an absolute genius and if you’re still looking for someone to help you seal the deal in your final week, he could be your guy. He should be owned everywhere right now.
Justin Holiday, SG, Memphis Grizzlies: Holiday has been amazing as of late and over the past two weeks he’s playing the second most minutes of anyone on the entire Grizzlies roster. In his past seven games he’s averaging 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.3 triples on 43.2 percent shooting in 34.1 minutes. He’s actually not doing anything great, he’s just managing to provide value in all areas which makes him well worth owning right now. The Grizzlies have no shot at the playoffs, currently sitting at 31-46, and they’ve got four games left which means Holiday has plenty of time left to help his owners.
He’s attempting 10.6 shots over the past two weeks which is the fourth most on the team in that time span. However, Jonas Valanciunas, who takes the most shots at 17.8, is out for the season and Mike Conley is questionable almost every single game. Holiday will face off against the Mavericks twice and the Pistons during his last four games and both of those teams are amongst the top half of the league when it comes to the field goal percentage they allow to their opponents. He’s a 3-and-D guy and he deserves to be owned right now.
Alex Len, C, Atlanta Hawks: Dewayne Dedmon is out for the season and that means that Alex Len should have the green light for the next three games. Over the past week he’s been the 78th-ranked player in only 23.1 minutes so imagine what he could do if he was getting at least 28. In that time span he’s putting up 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 3.0 triples on 65.6 percent shooting with only 1.3 turnovers. The only thing holding Len back from being a top-50 guy is the fact that he just doesn’t play enough minutes because everything else looks to be spectacular.
He’s only attempting 10.7 shots per game but he’s been hyper-efficient as of late and that’s one of the reasons he’s worth owning. I will say, his last three games come against the Bucks, Pacers and Magic which all rank in the top-8 of least amount of points allowed in the paint so it’ll be a tough matchup. However, the opportunity should be there and he’s only owned in 23 percent of leagues so go scoop him up now if you can.
Sterling Brown, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks: If you’re not a Bucks fan, you probably have no clue who this man is, I definitely didn’t. Well, he’s only owned in 7 percent of leagues and could be a crucial piece of some championship-winning teams down the stretch. Over the past week he’s the 31st-ranked player in all of fantasy with averages of 18.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.0 triples on 51.2 percent shooting in 30.9 minutes. Brown is playing a ton of minutes because the Bucks have basically locked down the number one seed and are resting their key players, which means Brown has the green light to do as he pleases.
The Bucks are 2-1 in their last three games and that’s when Brown has really been playing big minutes. Why would coach Mike Budenholzer play his star players when they’re still winning games without them? He wouldn’t, which means Brown should have a ton of opportunity coming his way over the next four games. If you’re in your championship week I would highly recommend picking up Brown because he could be the difference maker you’ve been looking for.
Walt Lemon, G/F, Chicago Bulls: With a name like Walt Lemon Jr., you’ve got to produce in fantasy. Well, Lemon is doing so as the Bulls are extremely banged up with no chance at a playoff berth. Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr and Wendell Carter Jr. are all out right now. That’s literally the Bulls’ entire starting lineup out with injuries and the likelihood of any of them returning with just three games left are slim-to-none. That has given birth to a ton of opportunity on the Bulls and Lemon is making the most of it.
Over the past two weeks he’s the 34th-ranked player in fantasy with averages of 16.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 3.0 steals on 51.2 percent shooting in 30.2 minutes. The 30.2 minutes are the second most of anyone on the team in that time span behind only Shaq Harrison and Lemon is attempting the most shots on the team right now at 14.3. He’s become their go-to guy now that all of their real go-to guys are gone. He’s only averaging 1.7 turnovers per game and is owned in 4 percent of leagues so he’s worth a look if you need some help.
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:
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors: Stock Up
Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Stock Down
Jarrett Allen, C, Brooklyn Nets: Stock Down
Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: Butler has shown flashes of the dynamic player we know he can be but he just hasn’t been that same guy on the 76ers. He’s been used to being the only great player, or at least the best player, on his team and that hasn’t been the case in Philadelphia. Over the past week he’s the 131st-ranked player in fantasy with averages of 12.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 triples on 31.6 percent shooting in 35.4 minutes. The shooting percentage is obviously not too great and neither is his percentage from the charity stripe. Butler is shooting just 66.7 percent from the free throw line on 5.0 attempts per game over the last week which isn’t helping boost his value any.
He’s basically gone from being the number one option on a team to being Philly’s number five option. Yes, he’s the fifth option on the 76ers. Over the past week, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick are all taking more shots than Butler. Not only will that affect a player’s production but it’s got to effect his morale as well. I truly believe that whether or not the 76ers win a championship is irrelevant for Butler, he’s leaving regardless and unfortunately for fantasy owners, he won’t be the driving factor to your championship that you probably hoped he’d be.
D’Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets: There is no doubt that this has been a breakout season for Russell, but it’s crunch time for the Nets right now and he’s hit a shooting slump at the worst time. The Nets are 39-40 right now and they’re tied with the Magic, who are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Right now they’re sitting at the seventh seed but they are only half a game ahead of the ninth-seeded Heat, which means they’ve got to win games. However, the Nets have the hardest rest-of-season schedule in the league according to tankathon.com and have to play the Bucks, Pacers and Heat in their final three games. That game against the Heat could very well decide who gets into the playoffs just as the Nuggets and Timberwolves game did last season.
Well, D’Angelo Russell, the team’s leader, best player and only All-Star will need to step up and possibly carry his team into the playoffs. The question is, is he capable of doing so? Over the past week he’s the 150th-ranked player in fantasy with averages of 24.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.5 triples in 31.3 minutes. Those stats sound amazing don’t they? Well let me tell you the rest of his averages in that time.
He’s putting up 5.0 turnovers and shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line while attempting 23.8 shots. The 40.0 percent is decent, not amazing, but it’s decent. However, the 5.0 turnovers aren’t going to do anything but help other teams bounce the Nets from the playoffs. This was the worst time for Russell to get reckless with the ball and the Nets are 3-7 in their last 10. It should be an exciting next three games for the Eastern Conference and if Russell can clutch up and will his Nets into the playoffs then his season will get a nice little bow wrapped atop it, but if not, everything he worked so hard to prove this year might go right out of the window.
With that being said, thank you all for sticking with me this year and I hope you’ve all had a great season and also have an amazing offseason. See you all after the NBA Finals wrap up!