• 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

  • Kyle Kuzma
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma dropped 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting in a win over the Hawks on Sunday.

    Kuzma is back into the swing of things and should cruise to late-round value. He added five rebounds, three triples and one block to the stat sheet.

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    LeBron James double-doubled in a 122-101 win against the Hawks on Sunday as he put up 33 points and 12 assists.

    James shot 13-of-21 from the field and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also grabbed seven boards and added one steal and one block to the box score. James' co-star Anthony Davis had an off night with 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting with five assists and five blocks. Both guys are locks for top-15 value.

  • Rajon Rondo
    PG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo played well on Sunday as he put up 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting in a blowout win over the Hawks.

    Rondo played 24 minutes, which is a season-high. He knocked down two 3-pointers and added three assists to the stat sheet. Alex Caruso played 21 minutes and had 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Rondo will likely be the preferred option of the two when his minutes restriction is lifted, but neither guy is worth owning in standard formats.

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
    SG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started for Avery Bradley (leg) and put up 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in a win over the Hawks on Sunday.

    KCP played just 21 minutes as the majority of this game was out of reach. Danny Green chipped in 11 points with seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks on 4-of-7 shooting. Green provides late-round value and is worth owning in most formats, while KCP is a streaming option while Bradley is out.

  • Trae Young
    PG, Atlanta Hawks

    Trae Young scored 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting in 39 minutes of action in a 122-101 loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

    Young turned the ball over eight times and shot just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc. He dished out seven assists and grabbed two steals as well. Young is going to produce top-20/30 value this season in 8/9-cat formats.

  • Jabari Parker
    PF, Atlanta Hawks

    Jabari Parker put up 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting with four steals in a blowout loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

    Parker has played well as of late, but this was not his best performance. He added eight rebounds, one assist and one block to the box score. Cam Reddish chipped in 11 points with three steals on 5-of-13 shooting. Reddish is still figuring out how his game translates to the NBA and can be left on the waiver wire. However, Parker should be owned in all formats.

  • Chandler Parsons
    SF, Atlanta Hawks

    Chandler Parsons played two minutes against the Lakers on Sunday and did not record a stat.

    Parsons managed to have a plus/minus of minus-10 in just two minutes of action. He will not have much of a role with the Hawks this season regardless of injuries.

  • Eric Paschall
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Eric Paschall took control of the Warriors' offense on Sunday vs. the Pelicans, contributing 30 points (10-of-17 FG, 8-of-10 FT), seven rebounds and two 3-pointers.

    Paschall was cooking in this one, and he has now scored 15 or more points in six out of his last eight games. D'Angelo Russell will be out for a couple weeks at minimum, and Paschall faces few challenges for touches from the remaining healthy bodies. He is not going to deliver many hustle stats or assists, but he has an excellent runway to pile up efficient points and steady rebounding figures to create mid-round value.

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green struggled from the field (2-of-10 FG) on Sunday, but was able to deliver six rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer.

    This is a realistic expectation for what Draymond can deliver alongside the kids left on the Warriors. He is not going to deliver the early-round production many were projecting for this season, but he will still create plenty of hustle stats while going for mid-round value.

  • E'Twaun Moore
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    E'Twaun Moore put up 10 points and seven rebounds in a win over the Warriors on Sunday.

    Moore put up 14,15 and 18 points in his previous three contests, so he cooled off in this one. However, he was limited to just 24 minutes as he had five fouls. Kenrich Williams also had a lackluster performance as he put up five points, 10 rebounds and four assists on 2-of-8 shooting. Williams has provided late-round value over the last two weeks and is a solid streaming option when the Pelicans are missing some key players due to injury. Moore is a deep-league scoring and shooting option, but his value disappears when Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Frank Jackson return to the court.