• What’s up HoopBallers!

    First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and to those who don’t, well then, Happy Thursday!

    Thanksgiving is definitely my second favorite holiday behind of course… Christmas. Speaking of being thankful, I’m thankful to Panda for reminding me to post the “Community Choice” forum post on Monday night because I definitely would’ve forgotten. I was literally about to break the promise I made only one week ago, sheesh. However, we’re good. The post was created on the forum and everything is fine.

    Let me update you on how I’m doing in the Hoop-Ball Staff league really quickly. So when you last read about my team, I was the first place team in the league and playing Panda. Well, a week later I’m not the second place team in the league after losing pretty badly to Panda, who is now in first place. My team has really gotten beaten up over the past two weeks. I lost Caris and then right after that I lost Rondo and our waiver wire isn’t anything to write home about.

    As I write this, I’m losing 4-5 to the eighth place team in the league. I have hope that I can come back and win but there’s also this feeling within me that everything is about to take a deep, deep drop with this team. Losing Caris was only the beginning and now I feel like it’s only a matter of time before the ship truly sinks.

    Wow, that got dark.

    On a lighter note, I’m still undefeated in my points league with my friends from home. My team is very top-heavy though, depth will definitely be the death of me when I do lose my first game. However, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and as long as I’m undefeated I don’t plan on making a trade unless I get a crazy offer that blows me away.

    Enough about me, let’s get into Stock Watch.

    Stock Up

    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:

    D’Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets: Stock Up

    Brook Lopez, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Neutral

    Derrick Rose, PG/SG, Minnesota Timberwolves: Neutral

    Pascal Siakam, PF/C, Toronto Raptors: Stock Up

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, LA Clippers: Neutral

    This Week

    Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Boston Celtics: Okay so Hayward has already been in Stock Watch but like, this Celtics situation is just so interesting. They’re currently 9-9 and the eighth seed in the East after being touted as a lock for the Eastern Conference Finals coming into the season. Hayward has recently been moved to the bench and these are his stats on the season: 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 triples on 39.2 percent shooting in 27.2 minutes. However, over the past four games he’s the 54th-ranked player in fantasy which is right around where his owners drafted him. In that time span he’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 triples on 40.0 percent shooting in 31.9 minutes. In fact, over that time span he’s playing the second-most minutes on the team behind only Kyrie Irving.

    Now yes, Hayward is coming off of the bench, but do you really think a coach as brilliant as Brad Stevens doesn’t know that he’s one of his best assets and much, much better than Aron Baynes, who they’ve been starting recently? Hayward will be in when it matters and as he continues to show that he can play big minutes without re-injuring himself, he’ll be integrated even more. Remember, Hayward suffered a gruesome injury five minutes into the very first game of last season and has been rehabbing ever since. The 39.2 field goal percentage would be the lowest of his entire career as he’s shot at least 41.3 percent every single year so I definitely believe that’ll level out soon enough. His value is at an all-time low so I would suggest going and snagging him from an owner who really, really regrets their decision on draft day.

    Nikola Vucevic, PF/C, Orlando Magic: If you haven’t noticed, Vucevic is putting up an amazing season and its been really quiet. He’s the 10th-ranked fantasy player on the season and the sixth-ranked player over the past two weeks, while also having by far the best season of his entire career. On the year Vuc is averaging 20.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 triples on 55.4 percent shooting in 30.7 minutes. Every single stat you just read is a career-high for Vucevic and he doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down as the Magic are currently 9-9 and sitting at the seventh seed in the East, ahead of the Celtics.

    With Vucevic being their best player they’ll need him to keep playing well in order to hold their playoff spot. He’s literally providing for owners in every single category while also not hurting them too much in turnovers as he’s averaging only 2.2 a night. He’s been a huge steal for owners who drafted him in the late-30’s or early-40’s. I don’t think he’ll finish the year as a top-10 player but top-20 is certainly in reach. His owners are probably trying to sell-high so go get him and laugh in their face when he continues this dominance as the season goes along.

    Collin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs drafted Sexton to be their PG of the future and now that George Hill is dealing with an injury, it looks like they’re ready to see if he actually is. Over the past two weeks Sexton is only the 151st-ranked player in fantasy and that’s why this is the perfect time to go buy him. It’s about the upside with Sexton and there’s a ton of it.

    Over the Cavs’ past four games Sexton is taking the most shots on the entire team with 15.4 attempts per game while also playing the most minutes. It’s clear that they’re ready to move on from Hill and it’s very likely Sexton starts for the rest of the season. He’s averaging 18.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists on 45.5 percent shooting over those same four games. He’s also been able to keep his turnovers to 1.8 and that’s impressive for someone who plays as fast as Sexton. If you’re in a points league he’ll be much better but even in category leagues he should be better than he is right now. The assists should rise as he gets more comfortable so get get him now.

    Community Choice

    This week’s Stock Up Community Choice player is Kelly Oubre who was recommended by none other than Dan Besbris.

    Oubre is the 64th-ranked player in fantasy over the Wizards’ past three games and actually the second-highest ranked player on the Wizards roster over that time. Yes, Oubre has been a better player than both John Wall and Bradley Beal over that time span. In only 23.2 minutes he’s averaging 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 triples on 54.2 percent shooting from the field. Otto Porter is still playing more minutes at 31.6 but at this point it’s hard to not think Oubre will continue to creep up in minutes. He’s definitely worth grabbing in all leagues.

    Stock Down

    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:

    Draymond Green, PF/C, Golden State Warriors: Neutral

    Enes Kanter, C, New York Knicks: Stock Up

    Myles Turner, PF/C, Indiana Pacers: Neutral

    This Week

    Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: Aside from his game-winner vs. the Hornets, Butler’s time in Philadelphia has been very disappointing. Over the past six games Butler is the 66th-ranked player in fantasy with averages of 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.5 triples on 45.3 percent shooting in 36.0 minutes. The 36 minutes are the second-most on the team behind Ben Simmons yet he’s only taking 12.5 shots per game which is less than both Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick. See, the Sixers have made it clear that they run through Joel Embiid and the arrival of Butler hasn’t derailed that plan as Embiid is still the ninth-ranked player in fantasy. Ben Simmons is a player that needs the ball in his hands to be effective and so is Jimmy Butler, but it doesn’t make sense for the Sixers to stunt the development of their 22-year-old stud in Simmons to appease the 29-year-old Butler. With that being said, Butler going to the Sixers was bad for his fantasy value although it was good for the Sixers as a team. If you can sell him based on name value alone, I’d go do it.

    Victor Oladipo, PG/SG, Indiana Pacers: Over his past four games Victor Oladipo is the 138th-ranked player in fantasy, which is a huge drop off from where he was drafted earlier in the year. In those four games he’s averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 triples on 32.2 percent shooting in 27.7 minutes. All of those numbers are down from where they were last year especially the percentage, steals, minutes and points. Last year Dipo averaged 23.4 points per game, led the league with 2.4 steals, played 34.0 minutes per game and shot 47.7 percent from the field. He probably isn’t going to reach the 2.4 steals again this season but there’s no reason why he can’t match all the other statistics. Right now the biggest issue is the horrible shooting percentage and that’s undoubtedly going to change. He’s simply in a slump right now and while his current knee injury isn’t making things any better, I’d say this is the perfect time to try and trade for him. Go and buy-low on a top-20 player when it’s all said and done.

    Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, Utah Jazz: Mitchell was hyped up by so many people coming into this season after having a stellar rookie year. However, he hasn’t quite been able to live up to it for most of the season. He’s the 61st-ranked player on the year and the 124th-ranked player over the past two weeks. Mitchell is averaging 20.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.7 triples on 40.3 percent shooting in 32.7 minutes. He’s playing the most minutes on the team and still attempting the most shots but without recording many other counting stats he’s not as valuable as people thought. He’s definitely still worth owning but temper expectations for the second year player.

    Community Choice

    This week’s Stock Down Community Choice is Taj Gibson, who was recommended by Dan Besbris.

    Over the past two weeks Gibson is the 187th-ranked player in fantasy while only plain 25.0 minutes per game. With the acquisition of Dario Saric and Robert Covington, the Wolves just simply don’t need Gibson to play as much. Saric is playing 28.8 minutes while Covington is at 33.8 and it makes sense as they are much, much younger than Gibson. To produce in fantasy you need opportunity and in order to gain opportunity you have to play a good amount of minutes. With Gibson losing time, his value has certainly come into question.

Fantasy News

  • Alfonzo McKinnie
    SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Alfonzo McKinnie finished outside the top-350 in both 8- and 9-cat leagues while averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.7 turnovers in 14.8 mpg across 40 contests with .427/.215/.710 splits.

    McKinnie has proven to be a nice depth piece for three teams in his NBA career after going undrafted in 2015. He has a non-guaranteed contract for next season and is off the fantasy radar outside of the deepest of leagues.

  • Kevin Porter Jr.
    SG-SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Kevin Porter Jr. impressed many in the fantasy community with his showing from 2019-20 as he posted 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 threes and 1.9 turnovers in 23.2 minutes with .442/.335/.723 splits across 50 games.

    Porter even logged three starts in his rookie campaign and returned 208/260 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues. The Cavs have had a glaring hole on the wing ever since LeBron James left in free agency and Kevin Porter Jr. is poised to become their starting small forward in years to come. Similar to most players, his biggest challenge will be his efficiency as he starts to see more minutes and an increase in usage.

  • Larry Nance Jr.
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Larry Nance Jr. produced 102/82 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues while averaging 10.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 threes and 1.1 turnovers in 26.3 mpg with .531/.352/.676 splits.

    Nance played in 56 out of a possible 65 games in 2019-20 and was in the starting lineup in 10 contests. His fantasy arrow appears to be pointing up as Tristan Thompson is a free agent which should allow more opportunity for the legacy heading into next season. From January 20 on, Nance was a 6th/4th round per-game value and will likely find himself inside the top-100 next season with top-60 upside.

  • Brandon Clarke
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    In an interview with Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Brandon Clarke confirmed that he has recovered from his right quad injury by stating, "over these past five to six weeks, I've gotten back to the player that I was. I feel like I'm pretty much the same health that I was pre-injury."

    All of the news coming out of the Grizzlies' camp is positive with a fully healthy squad heading to Orlando. Clarke had an excellent rookie season prior to the injury as he posted 104/80 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues and will likely improve upon those numbers as he continues to hone his craft.

    Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal

  • Malcolm Brogdon
    PG, Indiana Pacers

    On his twitter account, Malcolm Brogdon (COVID-19) announced to fans that "I'm feeling well. and I'm ready for Orlando."

    Brogdon's positive test result was reported on June 24 so he has had 14 days to recover from the virus. It appears that the Pacers will have Brogdon available for the resumption season and he should continue to see an increased workload with Victor Oladipo sidelined.

    Source: Malcolm Brogdon on Twitter

  • Pau Gasol
    C, Free Agent

    Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops.net reported that Pau Gasol is expected to sign a one-year deal with FC Barcelona as he prepares for his final Olympics in 2021.

    Gasol has had a storied career in the NBA, making six all-star games and winning two NBA championships with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant but his days playing NBA basketball are in the rearview. It will be exciting to see the Gasol brothers play for their native country one last time before Pau retires from basketball entirely.

    Source: Varlas Nikos on Twitter

  • Isaiah Roby
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Isaiah Roby will sit out the restart of the NBA season in Orlando after having a minor procedure on his right plantar fascia.

    Roby played 11 minutes total across three games for the Thunder so far this season. This news doesn't impact the fantasy or reality landscape of the resumption season.

    Source: The Oklahoman

  • Kevin Love
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    After only playing in 22 out of 82 contests in 2018-19, Kevin Love was able to suit up for 56 out of 65 games this season and produced 49/58 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues.

    For the first time since the 2015-16 season, Love's total fantasy value exceeded his per-game value due to several injuries he had incurred over the last four years. He posted 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.6 threes and 2.5 turnovers in 31.8 mpg with .450/.374/.854 splits. Love can continue to produce standard league value moving forward with the caveat that he has a tendency to miss more than the 13.8 percent of games that he missed in 2019-20.

  • Matthew Dellavedova
    PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    In his first complete season with the Cavs since winning a championship for them in 2015-16, Matthew Dellavedova saw 14.4 mpg across 57 games including four starts.

    Delly was outside the top-350 in per-game value for 8/9-cat leagues. The tenacious defender struggled mightily with his efficiency with .354/.231/.865 splits and can be left off fantasy radars heading into the 2020-21 campaign. It is even possible that he doesn't find a way back onto an NBA roster next season as he is now an unrestricted free agent.

  • Tristan Thompson
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Tristan Thompson was able to hang on to 134/158 per-game value in 8/9-cat leagues after a strong start to the year and finished the season averaging 12.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.8 turnovers while shooting .512 from the field and .615 from the charity stripe in 30.2 mpg.

    Thompson was a great player to select at the ends of drafts as he was able to produce top-95 value in 8/9-cat leagues in the first 19 games of the season. He is an unrestricted free agent and it would be surprising to see the Cavs bring him back as they already have Kevin Love, Larry Nance and Andre Drummond ($28.75 player option) signed in the frontcourt.