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Fantasy Basketball Risers and Fallers for NBA Week 19

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 19 of the NBA season.

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Post-Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Risers

RISER - Robert Covington (F, PHI) - Lord Covington has stepped up in a big way after finishing November shooting 30.8 percent from the field with averages of 8.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. He was always collecting those rare-cat stats with 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.8 triples, but the shooting percentage dampened his value. Since December 1, Covington has shot 42.2 percent from the field with averages of 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.1 threes. His shooting percentage will never be great (career 39.0 field goal percentage), but if he can keep it in the 40’s then we can look passed it with his ability to rack up the steals, blocks and treys. With Ersan Ilyasova getting shipped at the deadline, it should free up even more opportunities for Bob Cov. He could easily get cold without a moments notice, but it looks like Brett Brown is ready to unleash him moving forward. So he should be able to feast for the Sixers for the rest of the season.

RISER - Serge Ibaka (F/C, TOR) – Serge has moved to a great situation in Toronto, looking to play meaningful games in the tightened Eastern Conference. Dwayne Casey has opted to use Ibaka as the center in their smaller lineups, which has come at Jonas Valanciunas’ expense (20 minutes per game since Ibaka’s arrival). Serge does have the penchant of disappearing on the glass, but it looks like Casey won’t be shy to run him out there as he’s seen the floor at the end of the games (35 minute average in two games with Toronto). The defense he brings is far more valuable to Casey, so as long he’s willing to be a shot-blocking presence, he’ll continue to see the end of games. So far, so good.

RISER - Marcus Smart (G, BOS) – The absence of Avery Bradley (achilles) has propelled Marcus Smart into standard league must-own status. Over Week 17, he’s returned top-50 value in standard 9-cat with averages of 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 threes on 48.1 percent from the field. On top of that, he’s been providing the hustle and defense Brad Stevens needs with Bradley out. That’s bought and earned him the appropriate playing time. Just remember, Bradley has been practicing with the team and is expected back at some point. That should really hurt Smart’s value, so if you have the opportunity to sell for a top-100 asset, I would certainly jump on top of that.


Post-Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Fallers

FALLER - Reggie Jackson (G, DET) – The Pistons tried to unload him, but it looks like R-Jax is going to finish off the season in Detroit. The emergence (or re-emergence) of Ish Smith in the backcourt has overshadowed Reggie’s stinky play as of late. Stan Van Gundy has paired both guards up at times, but it’s still impeding value from Jackson on a real and fantasy perspective. Over his last five, he’s averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 assists, 1.4 threes and 1.2 steals on 45.2 percent from the field in 25.9 minutes. The numbers are somewhat inflated by some big nights, but the most important takeaway here is the shot attempts (8.4) and the minute averages. He’s teetering on standard league value, returning top-120 value over the last two weeks, so he should be held until the wheels fall off or he loses his job completely. The timing is rough since we’re approaching playoffs, and if you need to cut him loose in favor of someone that’s producing right now, then that’s what you’ll have to do.

FALLER - Al Horford (F/C, BOS) – Horford has been one of the biggest disappointments this season after moving to Boston in the offseason. In the past two weeks, he’s returned just under top-200 value in standard 9-cat with averages of 8.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.8 threes on 37.0 percent from the field on 9.0 attempts. The minutes (30.9) are there, but his usage (20.3 percent) paired with a career-low in field goal percentage (45.2 percent) and rebounds (6.6) has really hurt him. At this point, it’s too tough to drop him in even the shallower formats, so he’ll be your burden from here on in. Let’s hope he starts to pick it up with the East really tightening up.

FALLER - Tyson Chandler (C, PHX) – I’m not sure why it took Phoenix this long to realize they need to develop their young stars, but hey… we’re here. Chandler has picked up DNP-CDs over the last couple of games after teams failed to bite on any trade scenarios from the Suns. Alex Len and Alan Williams have absorbed most of the center minutes in the small sample size after the break, which has relegated Chandler to a veteran locker room role. He remains a drop candidate in all formats and will probably finish the season in warmups as long as Len stays healthy. A bit of a waste on the fantasy front as Chandler had put together a decent season with 11.4 rebounds on the season. The right move from an organizational standpoint though.

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.

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