NBA Fantasy Watch: Stock Up / Stock Down

A quick look around the league at to examine which players have seen their fantasy stock spike…

Tommy Beer profile picture
Updated 12 months ago on
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Often the most important waiver wire additions are made during the first week of the NBA season. It’s the time of year when so much uncertainly surrounds teams, quality players may still be unowned. Shrewd owners can take advantage of this uncertainty by snagging difference-makers dirt cheap.

Additionally, it is also early enough in the season to “buy low” on potential trade targets before their value rises exponentially.

With that as the context, we’ll take a quick look around the league and determine which players have seen their stock spike and which player’s values have plummeted over the first few days of the 2013-14 NBA campaign.

Stock Up:

Perry Jones – Oklahoma City:
The carnage in OKC is considerable. Already dealing with the crushing loss of Kevin Durant due to a Jones fracture in his foot, the Thunder learned that Russell Westbrook suffered a fracture to the second metacarpal in his right hand on Thursday. OKC has yet to release a timetable, but 4-to-6 weeks seems reasonable. The reality here is that someone will have to fill the Grand Canyon-sized void left behind by the lack of OKC’s two best players. Thursday night, it was Jones who stepped up, pouring in a game-high 32 points and playing a game-high 42 minutes. Jones also chipped in seven rebounds, three assists and three triples. OKC will need someone to shoot and score for the next month-plus. Jones, although unproven, is as good a bet as any. (If you are in a deep league, PG Sebastian Telfair is also worth a short-term add. He’ll get as many minutes as he can handle for the time being. And Reggie Jackson will put up monster numbers once he returns.)

Chris Bosh – Miami HEAT:
As I wrote in the Top-150 overall rankings: “The last time Chris Bosh played a full NBA season in which he did not have to share the court with LeBron James as a teammate, Bosh averaged 24 ppg and 10.8 rpg. Bosh has always been remarkably efficient, and now with LeBron back in Cleveland and Dwyane Wade inevitably nursing injuries, Bosh will see his usage rate skyrocket.” So far so good for CB4. Bosh was a beast in the HEAT’s opener, finishing with 26 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three three’s. It had been over four years since Bosh posted a 25 point/15 rebound statline – as he didn’t do it once during LeBron’s four years in South Beach. However, it is important to note that Bosh notched eight 25/15 games during his final season in Toronto. That Bosh is back.

Ed Davis – Los Angeles Lakers:
Much like the shorthanded Thunder, the Lakers are another team who will desperately needs production from wherever they can get it. That situation became even more dire when they lost prized rookie Julius Randle for the season due to a fracture tibia. Enter Ed Davis. Davis came off the bench in Wednesday night’s loss, but still led the Lakers in minutes played and posted a stellar all-around stat-line: 14 points, nine boards, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Even if he isn’t inserted into the starting lineup, Davis will see plenty of PT and should continue to post solid numbers.

Channing Frye – Orlando Magic:
Frye contributed very little statistically in Orlando’s loss on Thursday night; but that wasn’t what mattered. The important take away was that he was healthy enough to start. Frye’s value had taken a major hit due to a knee injury suffered in the preseason. Concerns that he might miss weeks of the regular season drastically drove down his draft day price. In fact, he wasn’t drafted at all in many leagues. This is a guy who finished in the Top-75 overall in nine-category rankings last season due to his versatility and offensive efficiency. Go scoop him up if he is still on your league’s wire.

Stock Rising Honorable Mentions: Norris Cole (Miami HEAT), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Hornets), Donald Sloan (Indiana Pacers), Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic), Tony Wroten (Philadelphia 76ers).

Stock Down:

Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons:
Stan Van Gundy is a notoriously demanding coach. He’s not going to play guys based on reputation or pedigree. And, right now, Van Gundy seems to be sending a message to former lottery pick Brandon Jennings. Jennings played just 20 minutes in the Pistons’ season opener, and scored four points. On Thursday night, Jennings played just 16 minutes. D.J. Augustin came off the bench and scored 20 points in 33 minutes. Jennings may work his way out of the doghouse sooner or later, but for now the situation can’t be trusted.

Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder:
As noted above, terrible news for both OKC fans and fantasy GM’s that invested a first round pick in Westbrook. Here’s hoping he comes back sooner than expected. It will be interesting to see if the Thunder attempt to upgrade at PG via trade, or just ride it out for a month or so.

Enes Kanter – Utah Jazz:
Two relatively uninspiring performances for Kanter out of the gate, which is disappointing because many pundits were hoping for a breakout campaign from Kanter. He’s logged just 42 minutes over Utah’s first two contests, and hasn’t recorded a steal or a block. However, it’s still early. Try to be patient…

Samuel Dalembert – New York Knicks:
As the Knicks starting center, Dalembert was drafted with modest hopes he could be relied upon as a second center in deep leagues. Well, it may be time to examine other options. Dalembert played just six minutes and failed to score Wednesday night. Dalembert’s limited minutes had a lot to do with the Knicks trying to “go small,” but this is obviously not encouraging – especially when you consider the fact that big man Andrea Bargnani wasn’t even dressed.

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Tommy Beer is a Senior NBA Analyst and the Fantasy Sports Editor of Basketball Insiders, having covered the NBA for the last nine seasons.

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