As the calendar turns to February, the end of the fantasy basketball season comes closer and closer to its end. As always, this makes every remaining day and week of the season that much more significant, as most of you are fighting for your playoff lives. This puts a greater emphasis on determining who is in position to step up their game over these next few weeks, and who might be trending in the wrong direction when they are needed most. So let’s dive into another Fantasy Basketball Stock Report, so we can identify a handful of players who could have a major impact on your chances of advancing to the postseason.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards
Last week, I talked about Rui Hachimura being traded to the Lakers, and what it did for his fantasy value. Now it’s time to discuss the other side of that trade, which is the space it opened up for Deni Avdija within the Wizards’ offense. The former lottery pick just had perhaps the best four-game stretch of his career, seeing over 30 minutes per game and taking advantage of the extra opportunities on the offensive side of the ball. In that span, Avdija is averaging 16.3 points and 9.5 rebounds, scoring a career-high 25 points in his last game against the Spurs. The 22-year-old helps across the board as well, chipping in 9 steals in his last six games, along with the ability to knock down shots from long range with 4 triples in his last three contests. With no lack of opportunity moving forward, Avdija figures to be a true candidate to be a late-season fantasy basketball hero as his stock continues to soar upwards.
Kenyon Martin Jr., SF/PF, Houston Rockets
All year I’ve been waiting for Houston to let KJ Martin loose, and it seems that time has finally come. A fantasy basketball stud in spurts last year, it was only a matter of time before the tanking Rockets gave him enough minutes to give him value across all leagues. Now seeing 30+ minutes a night with regularity, Martin has reached double figures in eight of his last nine, averaging nearly 15 and 9 on a really strong 57.1% from the floor. With the ability to contribute solid numbers in every category on any given night, the 22-year-old brings a great deal of potential assuming the minutes don’t go anywhere. And given the way he’s been playing, combined with how little the Rockets have to play for, I imagine his stock will only continue to rise.
Isaiah Hartenstein, C, New York Knicks
With Mitchell Robinson out for New York, all the talk has been about Jericho Sims as the big man to roster in his absence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Sims and I agree that he’s not a bad option if you’re a little desperate for some typical big-man stats. But Isaiah Hartenstein makes up the other half of this current timeshare, and a strong argument could be made that his game is even more fantasy-friendly. Hartenstein posted 16 points and 13 rebounds in his most recent game against the Lakers, and he had piled up 7 blocks and 3 steals in four games prior. He may have earned himself a larger share of the minutes moving forward after this one, so he’s very much worth keeping an eye on if nothing else, to see if his stock continues trending up.
Stock on the Decline
Thomas Bryant, C, Los Angeles Lakers
After a largely dominant stretch as the Lakers’ starting center, while Anthony Davis recovered, the Unibrow is back, relegating Bryant back to the bench. The big man has failed to reach 20 minutes in two of his last three contests, and he has topped double figures just once in his last four. Between Davis coming back and Hachimura showing up, the frontcourt in L.A. is suddenly much more crowded now than it was a week ago, and Bryant figures to be the one who suffers the most. At this point, it might take another injury for the former Wizard to regain fantasy basketball relevance.