If you’re reading this, you probably made it to your fantasy basketball semifinals. Congratulations! It always feels good to make a deep playoff run in your fantasy league, surviving and advancing through each week, but there is still much work to be done. Assuming you’re in a heated battle right now in an attempt to make it into the championship, you need every edge you can get over your opponent. This means identifying the latest trends to see which players are on the rise, and who might not be worth keeping around over these final days. So let’s dive right in and examine a handful of these players who could have a major impact on your fantasy matchups.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Austin Reaves, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers
I cannot stress enough how well Austin Reaves is playing during this crucial time in the fantasy basketball season. Reaves has become the top playmaker for the LeBron-less Lakers, and to say he has risen to the challenge would be an understatement. The undrafted 24-year-old has reeled off double-digit scoring efforts in nine straight contests, exploding for 35 points against the Magic on Sunday. He is also averaging over a three a night and has chipped in 5 or more assists in six of his last eight. With the Lakers fighting desperately for a spot in the postseason, they are going to stick with what is working, and Austin Reaves is working. His stock is sky-high and he should be started with confidence in all fantasy basketball leagues until further notice.
Trendon Watford, PF/C, Portland Trailblazers
Similarly to how he finished last season, Trendon Watford has stepped into major minutes down the stretch and he is taking advantage of that opportunity. The big man has reached double figures in five straight, racking up 5 threes and 9 steals in that time as well. He has also pulled down 6 or more boards in four of his last five, and is even chipping in 4 assists per game in that stretch. He is contributing across the board, and has a busy schedule over the next week, making him an ideal impact player down the stretch for your fantasy basketball squad.
Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Utah Jazz
Just like Austin Reaves, Talen Horton-Tucker has taken advantage of a starting role and increased playmaking opportunity to become a strong contributor across the stat sheet. THT is averaging 16 points, 5 boards, and 5 assists over his last 11 games, featuring a 37-point, 8-rebound, 10-assist effort against the Hornets. He has proven capable of being a true triple-double threat with this type of opportunity, and there is no reason to believe that opportunity is going away in the immediate future. As long as the Jazz continue to start him with confidence, you should too.
Stock on the Decline
Paul George, SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers
After suffering what appeared to be a gruesome injury, the diagnosis is that Paul George will only be out of action for a few weeks with a knee injury. George and the Clippers dodged a bullet. However, there is no reason to hold onto him in fantasy leagues, as he will not return in time to make an impact for your fantasy basketball team. It always feels strange to drop one of the best players from your roster, but unless you want and are able to stash him on the IR for the aesthetic, cutting him must be done.
Tyus Jones, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
Tyus Jones has been a tremendous difference-maker for many fantasy teams down the stretch, filling in admirably for Ja Morant and making the most of the opportunity. Unfortunately, if you are someone who has Jones but not Morant on your team, Morant is back and ready to return to his full allotment of minutes. This means that Jones will be back in his reserve role any day now which, while still very valuable for the Grizzlies, does not provide the same value to fantasy basketball. His stock is trending down due to the unlikelihood that he maintains even half of the production he’s been contributing during Morant’s absence.