Man, time sure does fly by! Week 8 of the NBA and fantasy basketball season is already nearing its end. With two whole months of the season complete, how is your team looking? Whether you are looking like a contender or need to make some adjustments to ensure a second half surge, having a pulse on the fantasy basketball stock market is a must. Let’s take a look at some of the recent rising and fall player stocks.
Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Stock Market Watch | Rising Stock
Fred VanVleet, SG/PG, Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors officially became the Tampa Raptors for the remainder of the 2020-21 season following this week’s announcement that they won’t return home due to Canadian travel restrictions. For guard Fred VanVleet, perhaps the new home base is a good thing. VanVleet is having his best season as a pro through the first eight weeks and there’s no sign of a slowdown in sight. Fantasy basketball managers who drafted him are certainly sitting pretty.
Entering Valentine’s Day Weekend, VanVleet’s season averages include 19.8 points, 6.6. Assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals. The former Wichita State Shocker has arguably been the Raptors’ best player this season. He certainly has been the most consistent, with injuries and poor fantasy basketball performances plaguing fellow stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. A slow start means the Raptors will need to keep stringing together wins to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference. VanVleet figures to continue being a major part of that going forward.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
The overall power rating of the Mavericks took a bit of a hit this week thanks to Mark Cuban’s comments that the national anthem doesn’t represent Americans. Moving on from that, the fantasy basketball stock of one Kristaps Porzingis is starting to take off. He has been a major buy-low candidate for a while now, and we saw why in Week 8.
Porzingis exploded in Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. His final line of 27 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and four assists served as a loud reminder to everyone of just what the Latvian unicorn is capable of. He took a cut in minutes on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks but still put up 15 points in the 19 he was allotted. The Mavs have been as disappointing a team as any over the first two months of the NBA season. Finally healthy, Porzingis is vital to turning things around and getting back in the Western Conference postseason picture. Fantasy basketball managers should take advantage of the integral role he will play going forward.
LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets
Fantasy basketball managers take note: the youngest Ball brother is probably going to go down as the best hooper of them all. LaMelo Ball is already making good on the third overall draft pick that the Hornets spent on him last year. The rookie has now scored in double figures in eight straight contests, highlighted by a 34-point effort against the Utah Jazz last week.
Scoring is great, but fantasy basketball category managers should be licking their chops here as well. Along with 14.3 points per game, Ball is averaging 6.1 assists, 5.8 boards and 1.4 steals as well. Coach James Borrego is affording Ball a substantial increase in playing time on a nightly basis and it has paid off thus far. Charlotte is surprisingly sitting in seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Could Ball be the difference-maker that catapults the Hornets to a playoff berth?
Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Stock Market Watch | Falling Stock
Jamal Murray, PG/SG, Denver Nuggets
It’s been tough sledding for Jamal Murray fantasy owners of late (as I may or may not know all too well). In Denver’s two games played thus far in Week 8, Murray has scored just 19 points in 62 minutes. Take away the scoring and Murray is a very average fantasy basketball player. His other statistical averages of 4.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals certainly aren’t blowing anyone away.
There is a possibility that these recent poor showings are just a couple of blips on the radar. Murray reportedly has been playing through a knee injury which could be another factor behind the limited production. For those looking to buy-low, it’s quite conceivable that Murray’s stock won’t get any lower than it is right now.
Mitchell Robinson, C, New York Knicks
Mitchell Robinson remains a nightly double-double threat given his prowess on the glass. Unfortunately, the average stats he has put up through eight weeks are not quite equivalent to the fantasy basketball draft capital that most owners used to get him. 8.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks aren’t overwhelming for a player averaging 29.2 minutes per game.
Robinson has failed to reach double figures scoring in each of the last nine games. That’s even with backup center Nerlens Noel being forced to miss a couple of contests due to injury. While Robinson remains a terrific points league player and a consistent supplier of rebounds in category leagues, one can’t help but wish for more given the playing time and situation around him.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
It’s hard to hold much fantasy basketball value when you aren’t able to play. That’s where we find ourselves with LaMarcus Aldridge. The 35-year-old veteran is no longer the player he once was on the court, but that’s only when he’s healthy enough to play. A hip injury is the latest ailment for Aldridge to contend with, and it’s no guarantee that he’ll be back to begin next week as was originally anticipated.
It’s reasonable for fantasy basketball managers to consider moving on from a player averaging 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists on a per-game basis. Keep an eye on Spurs rookie Devin Vassell. Aldridge’s absence enabled him to make his first pro start this week. The long, athletic Florida State product has a bright future ahead of him. It may be too soon to roster him outside of deeper leagues, but he’s a guy to have on your radar.