• What’s up HoopBallers!

    So you know how I usually use this section to discuss what’s on my mind before getting into the Hoop Ball league and the actual Stock Watch article? Well, this week there’s really nothing crazy on my mind.

    Well, of course there are things on my mind but nothing really worth boring all of you with. See, I’m a college student and #FinalsSzn is approaching very quickly. That means there will be a lot of 4 AM study sessions and cramming going on over the next two weeks so I’m really trying to mentally prepare myself for that at the moment.

    On that note, if anyone reading this is good at Metaphysics feel free to hit me up on Twitter @najeeadams_ and help out a fellow fantasy basketball lover. I can’t guarantee any form of payment whatsoever but just know you’ll be helping out a nice young man whose parents would destroy him if he failed a final.

    Any takers? No? Okay cool, thanks guys.

    Let me get into the Hoop-Ball staff league and update you all on that really quickly.

    So, things have gotten bad, very bad. The once first place team now sits at fifth place with a record of 35-26-2, which isn’t all that bad of a record to be honest. However, it’s not like we’re on the rise — we’re on the deep, deep decline and I don’t see things getting better in the foreseeable future. I took a big chance taking both Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic and I’m certainly regretting it now.

    Honestly though I feel as though my team shares the most in common with the Brooklyn Nets. Just like them, without Caris LeVert my team absolutely sucks. I know I said I would fix it last week but I just have no clue how. Well, I do know how but it would involve a ton of work and to be completely honest this league doesn’t pay the winner so um, do I really want to do all of that work?

    (First-Place Editor’s Note: I don’t know, it doesn’t seem that hard from up here.)

    I guess we’ll find out now won’t we. If by Week 12 I don’t feel like things are picking up, then I might have to do something drastic but until then I’m going to wait and see if my once amazing team can find their rhythm again.

    Now, without all of that out of the way lets 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:

    Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets: Neutral

    Robert Covington, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Neutral

    Luka Doncic, PG/SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks: Neutral

    Elie Okobo, PG, Phoenix Suns: Stock Down

    Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, Brooklyn Nets: Neutral

    Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies: Neutral

    This Week

    Malcolm Brogdon, PG/SG, Milwaukee Bucks: Brogdon has emerged as the Bucks’ second-best fantasy asset over the past two weeks and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

    Now I know what you’re thinking, “Don’t the Bucks have Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton?”

    Yes, they do which is why I said “over the past two weeks.” Just hear me out, in no way am I saying that Malcolm Brogdon is more skilled than Bledsoe or Middleton even though I believe the gap between Brogdon and Bledsoe isn’t as wide as people think. I’m just trying to say that Brogdon has by far been the Bucks’ best player behind the Greek Freak over the Bucks’ last six games. In those six games, Brogdon is the 18th ranked player in fantasy with averages of 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.8 triples and only 1.3 turnovers on 60.5 percent shooting in 32 minutes.

    The 32 minutes are the second most behind Giannis and the fact that he’s giving his owners all of that production while only averaging 1.3 turnovers really separates him from the rest of the pack. Both Bledsoe and Middleton are averaging 2.3 turnovers over the Bucks’ last six games even though they are playing less. Brogdon is also averaging 55.5 touches per game this season which is once again second to Giannis’ insane 86.1. Brogdon is continuing to get better and better as the season progresses as he’s the fifth ranked player in fantasy over the past week ahead of guys like Damian Lillard, James Harden and LeBron James.

    He’s got a 18.0 percent usage rate but over the past month he’s been taking more shots per game than Bledsoe while also being more efficient so his numbers could be here to stay. The former Rookie of the Year is the 57th ranked player on the season and with his numbers continuing to trend upwards, he could be in for a true top-50 finish.

    Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic: Gordon seems like he’s one of fantasy’s most volatile players. One week he’s the seventh ranked player in fantasy and shooting 60.0 percent from the field and another week he’s the 115th ranked player in fantasy averaging 3.0 turnovers per game on 33.3 percent shooting. Well, this has been one of his good weeks.

    He’s the 21st ranked player in fantasy over the past week and averaging 19.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.0 triples on 53.6 percent shooting in a team high 34.3 minutes. He’s also averaging 1.0 turnovers per game which is almost a full turnover less than the 1.8 he’s averaging on the season. Overall, Gordon is just having one of his good weeks, but do I think he can finally sustain it? I’m honestly not sure but if I had choose an answer I’d say no. Not because I don’t think Gordon is good because that’s not the case, but I just believe he’s not the focal point of the offense and in my opinion that would need to happen for him to sustain top-25 value.

    On the season he’s the 49th ranked player in fantasy and taking less shots than both Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic. In fact, he doesn’t even have a top-3 usage rate on his own team because Fournier, Vucevic and Terrence Ross are have him beat. However, to play devil’s advocate, maybe taking on a lesser role in the offense is what Gordon needs to sustain his good shooting percentages. With him being the focal point he’s bound to miss a ton of shots which could sink his value. However, if he knows his role and is comfortable in a lesser one it could end up helping his value more than hurting it. It’s clear that Vucevic is the Magic’s best player and I don’t see them taking the ball out of his hands anytime soon so Gordon will be taking a backseat for the foreseeable future. Still though, I’d buy low on him because I just managed to convince myself he’ll be able to keep up the improved play for the majority of the season so you might as well go do it too.

    Damyean Dotson, SG, New York Knicks: Coming into the season, if you read all the names of the Knicks guards you would’ve never guessed that Damyean Dotson would be the best, or even second best, one. Think about it, these are all the guards the Knicks have: Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Mario Hezonja, Frank Ntilikina, Ron Baker and Dotson. Now it’s fair to say that throughout the season Tim Hardaway Jr. has consistently been the best one of them all. However, Dotson is coming in at second best and he’s trending up as the season continues.

    While Hardaway Jr. is the 64th ranked player on the season in 24 games, Dotson is the 102nd ranked player in 19. Now, lets look at their recent play. Over the last two weeks, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 16.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.4 triples and 1.9 turnovers on 32.7 percent shooting in team-high 35.3 minutes. On the other hand, Dotson is averaging 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 3.3 triples and 0.3 turnovers on 62.5 percent shooting in only 26.1 minutes. Hardaway Jr. is taking 16.1 shots per game compared to Dotson’s 10.0 and somehow Dotson is still averaging more points on an incredibly higher percentage. Oh yeah, not to mention Hardaway Jr. is the 208th ranked player in that time compared to Dotson’s 10th overall ranking.

    Trey Burke is set to miss a couple more games and the Knicks might have given up on Frank Ntilikina so Dotson could have a ton of rest-of-season value. He’s getting his owners points, triples, rebounds, steals and amazing percentages without even averaging half of a turnover. Somehow he’s only owned in 35 percent of leagues so I urge you to go scoop him up if you’re lucky enough to have him on your wire.

    Honorable Mentions

    Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Orlando Magic: Isaac had a ton of hype surrounding him coming into the season, especially from us over here at Hoop-Ball and he had everyone looking like they were wrong. However, he’s beginning to turn things around. Over the past week he’s the 74th ranked player in fantasy and while that isn’t amazing, it’s progress considering he was the 155th player two weeks ago. His minutes are ramping up as he’s playing 29.4 over the past week which is the third-most on the team and he finally seems to be healthy. He’s averaging a steal and a block over his past three games and that’s not even scratching the surface level of how good he can be defensively. He’ll continue to knock off the rust and trend up going forward so I’d buy-low now before he really breaks out.

    Richaun Holmes, PF/C, Phoenix Suns: Another Hoop-Ball favorite, Holmes is finally getting it going this season. Over the past four games he’s the Suns’ best fantasy player and the 47th ranked player overall. He’s not playing a ton of minutes either and most of his minutes are coming in blowouts but he’s making it clear that he deserves a permanent spot in the rotation. He’s averaging 19.9 minutes over the past week and putting up 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks on 63.0 percent shooting. The defensive stats are insane in only 19.9 minutes so imagine what he could do for owners if he was getting 23-25 per game. He’s owned in 21 percent of leagues so there’s a good shot he’s available in yours. He might not be a long-term solution but for right now he’s most definitely worth owning.

    Community Choice

    This week’s Stock Up Community Choice player is Miles Bridges who was recommended by the podcast king Dan Besbris.

    I agree with Dan 100 percent, Bridges is on the rise. I remember him destroying the competition in the preseason and him being one of the first big pickups of the fantasy season but he’s been quiet since then. However, over the past week he’s the 63rd ranked player in fantasy and actually the Hornets’ second best fantasy asset behind Jeremy Lamb. He’s only playing 22.0 minutes per game over the last three games but he’s attempting 10.0 shots in that time which is the third most on the team behind Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. He’s shooting 50.0 percent from the field and averaging 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.7 triples so he’s worth adding if he was dropped in your league.

    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:

    Dennis Smith Jr., PG, Dallas Mavericks: Neutral

    John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards: Neutral

    C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Portland Trail Blazers: Stock Up

    This Week

    Lonzo Ball, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: Ball has been having a bad season overall as he’s the 156th ranked player in fantasy compared to the 78th ranking he finished with last year. Now of course, his production was in jeopardy with the arrival of LeBron James but there is no way he should be this bad.

    Over the past two weeks he’s the 180th ranked player in 29.9 minutes while averaging 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 0.7 triples on 42.6 percent shooting. The only thing that he’s really providing for owners are the steals because everything else is very, very disappointing. Ball is someone owners expected six or seven assists per game from so for him to only be giving them 3.4 is unacceptable. He’s also shooting 40.0 percent from the free throw line which absolutely kills owners although he isn’t even taking a full free throw per game.

    He’s also averaging 2.9 turnovers per game despite having the ninth-highest usage rate on his team at 15.4. The problem with Ball is that he has so much upside, yet he just hasn’t been able to truly reach it yet this season. Rajon Rondo is also on his way back soon which will undoubtedly take minutes away from Ball although I still expect him to start. If his name wasn’t Lonzo Ball, he’d most definitely be getting dropped in leagues because Landry Shamet, Monte Morris and D.J. Augustin are all ranked higher than Ball over the past two weeks yet Morris and Shamet are owned in less than 12% of leagues while Augustin is owned in less than 50% of them. Ball on the other hand, despite being the 180th ranked player, is still owned in 80 percent of leagues.

    I’m not saying Ball deserves to be dropped, I’m just saying don’t be blinded by his name alone. If possible, I’d ship Ball off to an owner who values him more than he should be and get him off of my hands.

    Jarrett Allen, C, Brooklyn Nets: Allen was yet another player who was surrounded with hype coming into the season and yet another player who has disappointed. Allen is the 84th ranked player on the season which wouldn’t be bad if he hadn’t been being projected as a top-50 player by a ton of analysts. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 blocks on 59.8 percent shooting in 28.1 minutes this year and that’s not bad at all for a second-year player. However, he’s been severely trending down as of late which is why he’s landed here in the Stock Down section.

    Over the past two weeks he’s dropped to the 199th player in fantasy. He’s barely hanging onto top-200 value and the defensive stats have almost vanished. In that time he’s averaging 11.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.0 turnovers on 61.2 percent shooting in 30.5 minutes. With Allen, the one thing owners knew they were getting were blocks and as of late that absolutely hasn’t been the case. He has no game outside of the paint and the Nets are a fast-paced team, they aren’t going to just dump it down to him in the post and let him go to work. Allen gets most of his points off of the pick-and-roll and the Nets have been down big in a ton of games recently, forcing them to take more chances and therefore limiting Allen’s production. Overall, I’m not giving up on Allen I’m just urging owners to temper expectation for the rest of the season.

    Andre Drummond, PF/C, Detroit Pistons: Drummond comes in as the 111th ranked player in fantasy over the past two weeks and it looks as though he’s back to shooting horribly from the free throw line. In 31.3 minutes he’s averaging 16.6 points, 15.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 2.0 blocks and 2.6 turnovers on 52.6 percent shooting. In all honesty that’s a pretty monster stat line and the steals and blocks will really help owners. However, the horrible 31.7 percent from the field for a guy who takes 5.9 shots from the charity stripe per game really sinks owners. Not to mention the 2.6 turnovers which isn’t very good for a guy at the center position. The bottom line is that Drummond is going to keep getting big minutes no matter how many turnovers he racks up and no one really knows whether or not he’ll turn it around from the free throw line. I’d buy low on Drummond because he’s a monster and extremely valuable to the Pistons franchise.

    Community Choice

    This week’s Stock Down Community Choice player is Justin Holiday who was recommended by, yes you guessed it, Dan Besbris.

    I once again agree with Dan, what a shocker. Holiday has been good for his owners this season as shown by his No. 32 ranking on the entire season. However, over the past week he’s been on the decline and is down to the 61st ranked player in fantasy and is shooting 32.6 percent from the field. Due to his high ranking in leagues you’d probably be able to ship him out and sell-high to an owner who’s struggling in return for a buy-low player.

Fantasy News

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers

    Despite being traded to one of his only preferred long-term destinations, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Anthony Davis will still enter free agency next summer.

    Davis could sign an extension this summer but he will play out the string and try to maximize his earnings. The Lakers have a year to sell Davis on remaining in Los Angeles, and one imagines that playing with LeBron James and whichever other stars that duo can lure to Staples Center is a pretty good pitch in and of itself. Davis has earned the right to test the market as one of the top players in the game but it would go down as a mild surprise if he didn't end up happy in the one place he's been clamoring for since the start of the saga. Not that unexpected things haven't happened in the NBA before, of course.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Josh Hart - G - New Orleans Pelicans

    Josh Hart will be traded to the Pelicans, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Hart gives the Pelicans a third young asset to go along with three first-round picks, joining Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in the deal. He battled knee injuries throughout last season but proved to be one of the more versatile and effective players on a laughable Lakers roster. A jack of all trades and master of none, expect Hart to fill multiple roles off the bench for a Pelicans team that hasn't gotten consistent wing production in the recent past. It's a tough spot for fantasy value, however, as he's now blocked in the backcourt by Ball and Jrue Holiday.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker - G - Charlotte Hornets

    Following Saturday's blockbuster acquisition of Anthony Davis, Marc Stein is reporting that the Lakers will make Kemba Walker one of their top targets in free agency.

    It makes sense, as point guard is a major position of weakness on the roster with Lonzo Ball headed to New Orleans. Walker and Kyrie Irving are the top of the PG class, and though Charlotte can offer Kemba a boatload of money on a supermax deal, it's impossible to argue that they give him the same shot at winning that the Lakers do now.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Brandon Ingram - F - New Orleans Pelicans

    ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Brandon Ingram is included in Saturday's Anthony Davis trade.

    Ingram will step right into a prominent role for the Pelicans, who have struggled to find production out of the small forward slot in recent years. His fantasy game still has plenty of holes but he should make a decent late-round flier if you're hunting for someone who can bring some points, rebounds and the occasional defensive stat. Be wary of his percentages, but a young, rebuilding squad with an eye on the long-term future is a nice spot for Ingram to land. Keep in mind that Ingram's season was cut short by deep vein thrombosis in his right arm, though he is expected to be ready for next season.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Lonzo Ball - G - New Orleans Pelicans

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Lonzo Ball will be headed to the Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade.

    Ball will be joined by Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. There were reports last season that the Ball camp doesn't feel New Orleans is the best basketball fit for his career, though a pairing of Ball and Jrue Holiday would provide elite defense. With Ball presumably headed to a roster that will actually build around him rather than make him a role player, it's possible that he turns in a big bounce-back fantasy season. His health looms over everything, but a healthy Ball in a featured role could still deliver on all his pre-draft hype.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers

    The Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 selection in next week's draft, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    This is the big domino to fall in what's expected to be a crazy offseason, and Davis heading to the Lakers will have a ripple effect that changes things drastically for numerous other teams. A Davis-LeBron James duo is about as good as it gets, and the Lakers have to be considered title contenders as they shift their attention to filling out the rest of the roster. They've now become one of the most attractive destinations for free agents and have to feel good about retaining Davis long-term, all while retaining Kyle Kuzma. New Orleans can start fresh around presumed top pick Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday, and it's possible that they dangle the No. 4 pick in the draft to help acquire a player that can provide immediate help to the roster. Getting three young players and three first-rounders is nice business for a team dealing a player who was hammering away at their leverage.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Frank Kaminsky - F/C - Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets have not yet made their decision on Frank Kaminsky's qualifying offer for next season.

    If they extend an offer, worth $4.5 million, Kaminsky will be a restricted free agent. Despite his strong finish to the year, it would be a surprise if he returned to Charlotte. Kaminsky was out of the rotation entirely for the bulk of the season and even requested a trade at one point before injuries allowed him to get back into the mix. The Hornets might not want to spend $4.5 million on a player that's so low on the depth chart, especially with Kemba Walker's potential supermax contract putting them into the luxury tax.

    Source: Charlotte Observer

  • Kemba Walker - G - Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets have been trying to move up from the 12th pick in next week's NBA Draft.

    Charlotte wants to get a player that can immediately improve the roster as part of the sales pitch for Kemba Walker. Walker has said that he's willing to take less than the supermax if it helps the Hornets build around him, but it would be an awful lot of money to pass up. Either way, Charlotte should look to get production out of their rookie contracts because the team's cap sheet is fairly ugly. If the Hornets can't move up, look for them to make their pick at 12 and try to upgrade the roster via other avenues this summer.

    Source: Charlotte Observer

  • Salah Mejri - C - Dallas Mavericks

    Salah Mejri is shooting 500 three-pointers per day in order to expand his game.

    The 33-year old Mejri said Rick Carlisle made the suggestion late last season as a way of adding more years to his career. Mejri played only 11.1 minutes across 36 games for the Mavs this season but did start shooting a few threes as he made 11-of-34 for 32.4 percent. He made only one total in the previous three seasons. The 7'2", 236 pound center is an unrestricted free agent but expressed his desire to stay with the Mavs. He is planning to play for Tunisia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup that starts on August 31.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Lance Thomas - F - New York Knicks

    Ian Begley is reporting that the Knicks are expected to waive Lance Thomas in hopes of re-signing him at a discounted price.

    Thomas is due to make $7.6 million next season but only $1 million is guaranteed so this is the obvious move to free up more cap space. Thomas played 46 games for the Knicks last year with only 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 17.0 minutes but his, “leadership and professionalism is held in high regard in the organization and he is respected for his mentorship to younger players.”

    Source: SNY