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Fantasy Basketball Risers and Fallers for NBA Week 14


By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Eric Bledsoe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year.

In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back. These are the risers and fallers in the top-100 heading into Week 14 of the NBA season.

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Post-Week 13 Fantasy Basketball Risers

RISER - Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG, PHX)

Eric Bledsoe dropped a career-high 40 on the Raptors on Sunday night to cap off a strong Week 13. That was good enough for top-5 value last week, beating the likes of John Wall and Steph Curry with averages of 29.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.3 treys on 48.6 percent from the field. Mini-LeBron has been unaffected by the crowded backcourt in Phoenix and should continue to produce as long as he stays healthy. Now, this is where Bledsoe gets a little scary to own. He does have an injury history, but he’s also played 75-plus games three out of six seasons. In the other three, he’s played less than 44 games. Sometimes you just need to accept the risk and why not do it here with a top-40 performer on the season? Hold onto him until his legs fall off. I shouldn’t have said that.

RISER - Otto Porter (SF, WAS)

Last week, Otto Porter had back-to-back games with six triples and 20 points. On top of that, he shot a blistering 51.1 percent from the field, which placed him as a top-25 contributor last week. He’s had an efficient season with averages of 53.3 percent from the field, 78.5 percent from the line and 0.8 turnovers. He’s played well under Scott Brooks and one has to wonder if this can be maintained. He has the penchant to disappear offensively some games, but for the most part, this looks to be maintainable. If you’re thinking of selling high, I won’t disagree as he currently sits at top-16 value on the season as he puts up numbers in every category. Just a thought.

RISER - Nikola Jokic (PF/C, DEN)

How high can Nikola Jokic go? After what looked to be a bust at the start of the season, he returned top-6 value last week with 26.2 points, 11.2 boards, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 triples on 61.8 percent from the field and 78.9 percent from the line. Those numbers are drool-worthy. It’s not crazy to think that he keeps this up as the Nuggets have been looking for takers on Jusuf Nurkic. That means, front office has already chosen their building piece (like it ever should’ve been up for debate). Additionally, Kenneth Faried has been a constant in trade rumors for the past few seasons. If both were to move, that would secure Jokic into a top-20 finish for the season. That’s not his ceiling either.

 

Post-Week 13 Fantasy Basketball Fallers

FALLER - Pau Gasol (PF/C, SAS)

Pau Gasol had been struggling to keep up consistency since joining the Spurs, but did remain a top-80 asset in standard formats for his rebounding and blocks combo with reliable efficiency. He broke his hand and will be out for an estimated 4-6 weeks. To add salt in the wound, he suffered his injury during warmups. That’s just rotten luck. You just know the Spurs will be careful in bringing him back and he could see the odd rest day down the stretch if there’s lingering pain from the injury. Overnight, he went from a steady hold to a borderline cut candidate depending on the format you’re in. You’ll have to weigh your options on this one as he’s slated to miss the next month or so. If you can take the hit, then it’s probably worthwhile to hold. If not, then drop him and look for other viable options on the wire.

FALLER - Darren Collison (PG, SAC)

It’s hard to standby a buy-low with Darren Collison showing little signs of life with a clear path to minutes. In the past week, he’s averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals on 38.5% from the field. Still, the minutes were at 29.5 per game, so there’s that. In the same week, Ty Lawson averaged 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steals on 35.3% from the field in 23.0 minutes. Good for Lawson, but that’s just wrong on Collison’s end. DC is still the better talent in my mind so you’ve got to believe he’ll turn it around at some point. I’m still a believer in the buy-low value, but we’re offering pennies on the dollar here. At least that will reduce the risk of holding.

FALLER - Eric Gordon (SG, HOU)

Eric Gordon has played really well up to this point and saw a dip in production last week as he had a cold shooting stretch. We can chalk that up to a down week; everyone gets one. He’s still returning top-100 value on the season and has been launching threes at a Curry-esque pace. We were reminded, however, of his mortality in the past few weeks. Just two weeks ago, he returned from an ankle injury and had a slight scare with his right toe in the past week. Gordon has averaged a total of 52 games in the past four seasons, we’re sitting at 45. Is it time to sell or do we ride the wave and accept the risk? That’s entirely up to you and how dangerous you like to live. For the risk averse, I’d be selling once he puts together a few plus games. To be fair, he is having a career-season, so it’s probably worth the risk for the most part.


By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.