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Fantasy Basketball Risers and Fallers for NBA Week 17

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 17 of the NBA season.

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Post-Week 16 Fantasy Basketball Risers

RISER - Andrew Wiggins (G/F, MIN)

Since Zach LaVine (torn ACL) was announced out for the duration of the season, Andrew Wiggins has seen a noticeable bump in offensive efficiency in his past five games. The former first-overall pick is averaging 27.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.4 threes on 52.0 percent from the field on 20.0 attempts. That’s pretty tasty numbers. The Wolves have the likes of Brandon Rush and Shabazz Muhammad to replace LaVine’s 18.9 points and 2.6 threes. Both players are capable of offensive bursts, but Wiggins will be relied on heavier as he becomes the first, second and third perimeter option on offense. As a Canadian, I tip my toque to you, Mr. Wiggins. Sorry.

RISER - Nikola Jokic (C, DEN)

I can’t get enough of this guy. Let’s take a minute to remember that Nikola Jokic was dropped in leagues due to a start that had him looking like this season’s fantasy bust. If you were able to snag him off the wire for free, then kudos to you champ. Last week, Jokic went into the Garden and dropped a career-high 40 points, adding nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and 2 treys. Fantasy gold. On the season, he’s returning top-15 value with real potential to break into the top-10. Jusuf Nurkic was also shipped late in the week, so Denver’s made it extremely clear who they’re putting their chips on moving forward. To think, Jokic was taken in the second round in his draft is insane. To be fair, the 2015 draft class has been one of the best to date. There’s nothing to do here, but reap the rewards ‘til the end of the season.

RISER - George Hill (G, UTA)

When George Hill’s able to suit-up, he’s been a solid contributor across the board with season averages of 17.9 points, 3.5 boards, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.0 threes and 1.4 turnovers on 48.3 percent from the field and 79.7 percent from the line. It’s been his ability to stay in the lineup that has been the issue for Hill most of the season. Hill had a rest day last week, but with Utah wanting a top seed and looking like the favorites to win the Northwest, Quinn Snyder shouldn’t be shy in using his top point guard here on in. Still, the chances he misses a few games nearing fantasy playoffs is a decent bet. A sell-high is justified. He’s returned top-30 value in his last five games, so don’t give him up for just anything.


Post-Week 16 Fantasy Basketball Fallers

FALLER - Jabari Parker (F, MIL)

Last week, Jabari Parker tore his left ACL, ending his season. What’s worse is that this was the same knee that held him out of his rookie season. This dampens his brilliant breakout campaign with averages of 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 triples on 49.0 percent from the field on 16.0 attempts. That was good enough for top-60 value in 9-cat, with potential to break into the top-50. His timetable to return is 12 months, which really hurts his dynasty and keeper league outlook. He’s an obvious drop in re-draft leagues, but Milwaukee is sure to be cautious with his return next season, so how should we approach the long game with Jabari? There’s more questions than answers here.

FALLER - Reggie Jackson (G, DET)

Reggie Jackson has had a rough February, only returning top-250 value with averages 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 threes on 31.8 percent from the field in 24.6 minutes. He looks a bit hobbled, so it could be the knee tendinitis flaring up, which kept him out for the first month or so of the season. It also doesn’t help when Ish Smith has upped his play as well. Rest of season, I don’t see Ish as a serious threat to take R-Jax’s job, but in the short-term it’ll sting. The timing also stinks because we’re winding down the playoffs. For Jackson owners, you’ll have to hold unless you could salvage some value for him. I hope we don’t find out the knees are in worse shape than we thought.

FALLER - Greg Monroe (C, MIL)

Jason Kidd is at it again. I blame myself for thinking that Greg Monroe would be able to hold down a 25-plus minute role. He’s the best big Milwaukee has, but Kidd still refuses to unleash for at least a solid bench role. For February, he’s only seeing 20.7 minutes per game and averaging 10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks. On top of this, he’s only putting up 7.0 shots per game. Like most players in the league, his production is boosted with additional minutes. Still, when Monroe could see 20-29 minutes per game, he’s putting up averages of 13.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.5 blocks on 55.4 percent from the field on 10.0 attempts. That’s a decent boost from his 11-19 averages. He’s putting up top-80 value on the season, but it’s been a pretty bumpy ride. You can continue to hold, but if Kidd goes into another high minute Monroe cycle, I’d look for immediate buyers.

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.