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Fantasy Basketball Risers and Fallers for NBA Week 20

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 20 of the NBA season.

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Post-Week 19 Fantasy Basketball Risers

RISER - Bradley Beal (G, WAS) – Well, he’s proven me wrong this season. After struggling with injuries in his career, Beal has put together a great season in both fantasy and real hoops. He’s holding career-highs in points (22.9), assists (3.6), free throw percentage (81.8), field goal percentage (48.1) and usage (26.4). The Wizards are holding down the third playoff spot and will look to secure the top seeding with John Wall and Beal at the helm. Scott Brooks will roll with his studs until the playoff picture is locked in.

RISER - Seth Curry (G, DAL) – Seth has been matching his big bro with top-8 return since the break (Steph – 9th overall since break) with averages of 23.3 points, 3.2 boards, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.3 triples on 57.8 percent from the field on 15.0 attempts. He’s been on fire, helping the Mavs stay in the playoff picture as they sit two games from a playoff spot. With the Mavs releasing Deron Williams, it has allowed Rick Carlisle to pair Yogi Ferrell and Curry in a much quicker backcourt tandem. The Mavs are looking like they’ll be chasing a playoff spot until the last day, so Curry will be out there every night with an unquestioned path to minutes.

RISER - DeMarcus Cousins (F/C, NOP) – Boogie notched his first win with the Pelicans on Sunday with a beastly 26 and 15 line. After some speculated that a slow down was forthcoming, Cousins has posted averages of 23.0 points, 15.4 boards, 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.4 triples on 46.3 percent from the field (16.4 attempts) and 82.1 percent from the line (7.8 attempts) beside Anthony Davis. That’s top-10 value since the break. Unfortunately, it hasn’t translated to the wins column, but the New Orleans fans have something to look forward to with their twin towers continuing their pace beside each other. The Pelicans are third last in the Conference, but only sit three games out of a playoff spot. If they can make a late push, then anything’s possible with a little under 20 games left on the season. Expect Alvin Gentry and company to continue to go through Boogie and AD until the playoff picture has been defined.


Post-Week 19 Fantasy Basketball Fallers

FALLER - Thaddeus Young (F, IND) – Thad is slumping at the wrong time. As we approach the fantasy playoffs, Young is averaging 5.6 points, 4.4 boards, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.2 blocks on 46.7 percent from the field on 6.0 attempts since the break. He’s dealing with a wrist injury, but you can tell it’s affecting him big time. We know what he’s capable of with career averages of 1.4 steals and 5.9 rebounds, but it’s just poor timing that Thad is playing through an injury in order for the Pacers to lock up a spot in the tight Eastern Conference. If it’s crunch time and you need a win this week or next, then you’ve got some decisions to make.

FALLER - Marcin Gortat (C, WAS) – The arrival of Bojan Bogdanovic has allowed Scott Brooks to go small when needed, with Gortat the odd-man out in these situations. He still closes out games and is there for important stretches, but the minutes have trended downwards since the trade deadline. Since the break, he’s averaging 9.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks on 44.4 percent from the field in 26.4 minutes. That puts him outside the top-200 in that span. The return of Ian Mahinmi has also allowed Brooks let Gortat get extra rest after seeing a heavy minutes output to start the season.

FALLER - Jonas Valanciunas (C, TOR) – While we’re on the topic of trade deadline acquisitions, Serge Ibaka has destroyed the value of Jonas Valanciunas. He hasn’t seen 25-plus minutes since February 12. Since the break, he’s averaging 9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.7 blocks in 19.0 minutes. That’s just bad. If you haven’t cut him yet, I would certainly do so if I’m chasing a playoff spot and if you’re securely in a spot, I’d scour the wire for something better. Dwayne Casey has stopped going to JV for answers.

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.