Despite feeling as if the season is still in its early stages, the shocking reality is that we are just six weeks away from the fantasy basketball playoffs. It’s time to start looking to make that final push toward the postseason, and that starts with identifying player trends. Now is when it starts to become most significant to notice fast risers, as these are players who could potentially lead you on a championship run. Similarly, realizing when guys are trending down so you can cut bait before they tank your season is nearly as important. So let’s dive right into another weekly Fantasy Basketball Stock Report, where we take a closer look at a handful of players whose stock is quickly on the move.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Delon Wright, PG/SG, Washington Wizards
After years of falling in and out of mild fantasy relevance, Delon Wright has returned for what might hopefully be a longer stint in the realm of relevance. Wright has topped 20 minutes in five straight contests, going back-to-back games with double figures (11 and 15). The veteran guard has also compiled an impressive 19 assists in his last three games while making major contributions in every other typical “guard” category. Wright has knocked down at least one triple in four straight, while impressively adding multiple steals seven times in his last eight. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that, despite only taking 25 attempts, shoots it at 88% from the free throw line this season. Perhaps the greatest impact of all, however, is that the struggling Wizards have actually won three of their last five with Wright seeing increased minutes, so perhaps there is a chance that these extra opportunities stick around for the former Utah standout. No matter which way you slice it, his fantasy basketball stock is quickly on the rise.
Tari Eason, SF/PF, Houston Rockets
Thanks to a couple of injuries to key rotation players on the Rockets, Tari Eason received minutes in the upper 20s in back-to-back games, and the talented rookie did not disappoint. Eason started with a solid 14-point, 9-rebound performance with a three-pointer, before following it up with an even more impressive 11-point, 9-rebound game in which he added 3 steals and a pair of blocks. The injuries may have been what finally got Eason an increase in playing time, but hopefully, these two performances are enough to keep him locked into a larger role moving forward. Especially with the Rockets owning the worst record in the NBA, there is simply no reason not to feed the rookie minutes to have him develop over the final months of the season. If the opportunity does increase long term, we’re looking at a major difference-maker down the stretch across the fantasy basketball landscape.
Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers
One player whose stock is skyrocketing is Rui Hachimura. Traded over to the Lakers from the Wizards, the move is a perfect fit for his fantasy basketball value. Hachimura is expected to see bigger minutes for a Lakers team with which he should fit much better. Surrounded by playmakers, Hachimura should flourish once he finds a rhythm with his new teammates. After being barely relevant in fantasy leagues for much of the season, that seems to have changed in a big way down the stretch. Still rostered in fewer than 50% of leagues, don’t miss out if you have the chance.
Stock on the Decline
Pat Connaughton, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks
It took a while, but the Bucks are finally back to full strength. While great for their team, this is very bad for the fantasy basketball prospects of Pat Connaughton. Largely due to the return of Khris Middleton, Connaughton, who has filled in admirably, will slowly lose minutes as Middleton ramps back up to full speed, with the eventual inevitability that he will lose his grasp of the starting job. It is only a matter of time before he is no longer seeing enough minutes to be fantasy relevant, making him a potential three-point specialist at his best. With just 6 points in 26 minutes, his second lowest of the calendar year, Connaughton’s fall has already begun.