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Fantasy Basketball Risers and Fallers for NBA Week 16


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 16 of the NBA season.

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Post-Week 15 Fantasy Basketball Risers

RISER - Blake Griffin (F/C, LAC)

The Chris Paul (thumb) news was kind of a bummer for Clippers fans, but at least they got Griffin back, who’s been holding his own the past five games. Since returning to the lineup, Blake’s averaging 23.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals on 53.2 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the line plus a highlight dunk on Kevon Looney. So much for rust. The injury looks to be behind him and Blake hasn’t been limited since re-joining the squad. Additionally, the Clippers have been slowly falling in the standings, so Doc will need all he can get from his All-Star power forward. All we can do at this point is pray that he doesn’t sustain another injury down the stretch. You could probably sell-high here, but I like Blake’s situation for the rest of season.

RISER - Dion Waiters (G/F, MIA)

Josh Richardson (foot) has been dealing with injury all season, which has allowed Waiters to step into an extended role. Waiters hasn’t let the opportunity slip, returning top-40 value in 9-cat over the last two weeks with averages of 21.9 points, 3.1 triples, 4.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks on 50.4 percent from the field. Huh? I’m as shocked as anyone that Waiters has been able to bounce back this season after averaging a career-low in points with the Thunder last season. J-Rich hasn’t been able to go through full contact practices just yet, so Waiters will have at least a little more time to drop buckets from the perimeter. I think it’s still a good opportunity to try and sell him before the backcourt mix gets a little tight again. If not, Waiters should still provide good scoring numbers as long as he suits up.

RISER - Marcin Gortat (C, WAS)

Before Monday night’s game, Marcin Gortat had a streak of five straight games with a double-double, averaging 16.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks on 72.0 percent from the field and 88.9 percent from the line during that time. The Polish Machine keeps putting up numbers, year after year. The free throw percentage (65.7) has taken a dip, but on 2.0 attempts, it’s easy to swallow. The Wizards have surprised everyone with their recent play and now sit on top of the in the Southeast division. Scott Brooks is going to roll with his starters as long as they’re able to lace up, so Gortat should be punching in these productive numbers until the end of the season.

 

Post-Week 15 Fantasy Basketball Fallers

FALLER - Dirk Nowitzki (F/C, DAL)

Dirk Nowitzki had a miserable past week with averages of 8.3 points, 1.7 treys, 5.3 boards, 0.7 steals on 40.0 percent from the field. He’s actually been playing much better than that previously, so while he does have little upside, Dirk is a definite hold moving forward. In the previous 10 games before last week, Dirk was averaging 15.1 points, 1.6 threes, 6.3 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 1.3 blocks on 43.3 percent from the field and 80.6 percent from the line. The Mavs are only a few games out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference after a rough start. That likely means Rick Carlisle will feel less obliged to give Dirk maintenance days down the stretch. Nowitzki isn’t returning value in regards to his ADP (56), but remains a must own in deep-leagues and should be owned in standard formats for with his ability to contribute across the board. There might be some rough patches, but a strong hold is warranted.

FALLER - Zach LaVine (G, MIN)

Zach LaVine tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season for the Wolves. There’s bad news, there’s horrible news, then there’s this. LaVine was having his best season as a pro with averages of 18.9 points, 2.6 threes, 3.4 boards, 3.0 assists and 0.9 steals on 45.9 percent from the field and 83.6 percent from the line in a whopping 37.1 minutes per game. That production will be sorely missed. He’s an instant cut in re-draft leagues, but if you’re in a keeper/dynasty setting, you have to wonder if the injury will affect his athleticism in the long run.

FALLER - Trevor Ariza (G/F, HOU)

Trevor Ariza has been ice cold from the field, going 21-for-82 (25.6 FG%) in his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s averaging 6.9 points, 1.5 threes, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals in 35.5 minutes. If you drafted Ariza, then you know his value comes from his ability to rack up the threes and steals without impacting turnovers (0.9 this season) due to the low usage (14.3% this season). He’s never been a good shooter with a career average 42.6 percent from the field, so we know he can have his cold spells. There’s no need to panic here, as he should be able to shake this off and have better shooting nights. On the plus side, he’s still putting up solid threes and steals numbers and he’s locked up the small forward minutes.


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.