With a week of the 2022-23 NBA season already in the books, we now have a sample size just large enough to start making somewhat unwarranted projections on the rest of season outlooks for every team and player in the NBA. While this is obviously a near impossible task, one thing we can do with ease is look at who has seen their stock rise over this first week of action, and who has seen their stock tank in the early going. The Trailblazers, for example, have seen their stock take a massive forward leap, as they surprisingly sit 4-0 atop the league standings. The 1-3 76ers however, cannot say the same. These statements can just as easily be made for a number of impact fantasy players across the league, so let’s dive in and identify a few standout players who, for better or worse, have seen their stock move in a major way.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Atlanta Hawks
After an offseason full of concern about how Dejounte Murray would pair with Trae Young from a fantasy perspective, those worries have quickly been put to rest after three games. Averaging 39 minutes per contest in the early going, Murray is on triple-double watch every night with 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.3 assists to go with 1.7 triples and a whopping 3.3 steals per game. Those numbers could make him a top 10 overall fantasy player this season if he can keep up this torrid pace, so his stock is quickly on the rise as a now unquestioned elite backcourt option this season.
De’Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings
De’Aaron Fox saw his numbers slip a bit while sharing ball-handling duties with Tyrese Haliburton for the majority of last season, but the hope was that his assist numbers would climb back up as the primary point guard for the team once again. While this has been the case, Fox has done much more than just bolster his passing stats, as the 24-year-old point guard has shown off a greatly improved shooting stroke to foreshadow what could be a career year. On an impressive 59.4/45.0/71.4 shooting line through his first three games, Fox has averaged 31.7 points, 5.7 boards, 7.0 assists, 3.0 threes, and 1.3 steals per contest to look like one of the premier guards in the NBA. Anyone who drafted him in fantasy should feel great about their selection, as the point guard’s stock rises toward top 20 overall territory.
Nick Richards, C, Charlotte Hornets
Through the first three games of the season, Nick Richards has come out of nowhere to post two monster double-doubles and early-season averages of 15 points and 9 rebounds off the bench for the Hornets. In just his third year in the league, this could be the season in which he makes a name for himself, as Charlotte doesn’t exactly have the best group of talent at the center position. With just a 32-year-old Mason Plumlee ahead of him on the depth chart at the moment, Richards should have plenty of opportunities to continue to prove himself, and at this rate, it’s only a matter of time before he surpasses the veteran to see major minutes on the floor. His stock is shooting upward right now, and the only question that remains is if these performances are a fluke or a sign of things to come. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the latter.
Stock on the Decline
Mo Bamba, C, Orlando Magic
Through Orlando’s first four games of the season, Mo Bamba has failed to see more than 15 minutes of action in any contest, scoring just 12 total points on 23.5% shooting, and failing to record a single blocked shot thus far. Meanwhile, Bol Bol has outplayed Bamba by a wide margin, averaging 10.0 points, 4.8 boards, and an impressive 2.8 blocks in just 16 minutes per game to this point, making a serious case for more playing time. This would be very bad for Bamba, who is seeing his stock plummet due to these recent developments. If Bol continues to impress while Bamba fails to find his rhythm, it will only be a matter of time before he is riding the bench with no consistent playing time.
Collin Sexton, PG/SG, Utah Jazz
What’s going on in Utah? Coming into the season, the expectation was that Collin Sexton would have the green light and be able to rack up meaningless points for a rebuilding Jazz squad that basically had a fire sale before the season began. What has happened through the first four games of the year however has been quite the opposite. Utah is off to a shocking 3-1 start, and Sexton is playing just 18 minutes per game off the bench. All he has been able to do is muster up an inefficient 12.3 points per game with very little in the form of peripheral stats, giving him very limited to no fantasy value if this pattern were to continue. As a result, his stock is quickly on its way down until something changes in Utah, as he isn’t even the first or second option off the bench right now.