We have spent a lot of time looking at the young up-and-coming players around the league in this column. This week, we look at some guys who have been around forever. In sports terms, anyway. Let’s check out some of this week’s players on the rise and decline in the oldest edition of the Fantasy Basketball Stock Market.
Elton Brand: Solid Buy. Much as it pains me to recommend Elton Brand to anyone, the guy has really adjusted to his bench role and is earning more minutes because of it. Over his last three games, Brand is averaging 25 MPG, 13.7 PPG, eight RPG, and one BPG. He has also blocked 16 total shots this month. There’s no telling how long this will keep up but the first-overall pick of 1999 is looking like a decent fantasy option once again.
Bradley Beal: Strong Buy. The 19-year-old rookie has really stepped up his game this month, averaging 37.5 MPG, 19 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 1.5 SPG in January. Even with John Wall back, Beal is already hitting that potential the Wizards hoped for when they drafted him third-overall.
Raymond Felton: Strong Buy. After missing some time with a broken finger, Felton is expected back in the Knicks lineup January 26. Prior to going down, Felton was averaging 16 PPG, 6.4 APG, and 1.2 SPG and should be owned in just about every league once he returns.
Emeka Okafor: Solid Buy. As with Brand, I take no pleasure in suggesting you pick up Emeka. If you need rebounds though, this is definitely the place to look. Over his last 14 games, Okafor is averaging 10.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 1.3 BPG on 48 percent shooting and is a must-have if you are in need of defensive stats.
Jordan Crawford: Crawford has been the Wizards’ leading scorer all season, but the return of John Wall and some solid play in the Wizards’ backcourt could mean a significant decline in his minutes and opportunities once he returns from his ankle injury. Crawford has mostly been playing 35 MPG out of necessity, the Wizards (going 3-1 in Crawford’s absence) may not have that necessity anymore.
Jason Thompson: Thompson is a starter who has lost a lot of minutes with pretty mediocre play of late. He hasn’t played over 30 minutes in a game since the beginning of January and is averaging five PPG and not much else over his last four contests. This isn’t just a cold spell, it’s a significant reduction in Thompson’s fantasy potential the rest of the season.
JaVale McGee: Like DeAndre Jordan in Los Angeles, McGee is a widely owned fantasy center who simply shouldn’t be. For one, he has played over 20 minutes in a game just twice in nine games this month. Over the last eight games, McGee is averaging just 19 MPG, 7.8 PPG, and 4 RPG and can no longer be expected to put up the 12 PPG and nine RPG we saw last season when he was still with the Wizards.
Gerald Wallace: At just 30, Wallace has a lot of miles having played in the NBA since he was 19. It’s not hard to see those miles effects on him, he’s been banged up all season and has struggled to play at the level the Nets need him to be at all season. In nine games since Christmas, Wallace is averaging a mere 26 MPG, 5.7 PPG, and 4.8 RPG and right now there’s just no reason he should still be owned in 70 percent of leagues.
Chris Kaman: While Elton Brand has earned a bigger role for the Mavs, Kaman is losing his. Despite averaging 13 PPG and 6.3 RPG on the season, he is averaging just 21 MPG, nine PPG, and 5.4 RPG over his last seven. Starter or not, no one playing just 21 MPG is worth owning.
Jason Kidd: The 39-year-old Kidd looked great while playing alongside Raymond Felton but the season seems to be wearing on him. Over his last seven games, Kidd is averaging just six PPG and four APG and will see an even more reduced role with Iman Shumpert and Felton back in the backcourt.