In Stock Up, Stock Down, we’ll examine players on the rise, those on their way down and opportunities to buy low and sell high in order to maximize your return.
Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz
The fact that Ingles is rostered in just 64% of Yahoo leagues is almost indefensible. With Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood no longer in the picture, Ingles is a must-own, must-start player in all available formats.
Ingles has gone on a heater in February, averaging 16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 3.4 3-pointers on 52.2% shooting, including an absurd 51.9% from deep. He’s obviously not going to stay this hot for the last third of the campaign, but Ingles’ across-the-box-score contributions make him an asset at a defining time of the year.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
Is anyone still worried about D’Angelo Russell’s return negatively impacting Mr. Dinwiddie? Although Victor Oladipo has an overwhelmingly strong case to win Most Improved Player, Dinwiddie is more symbolic of what the spirit of the award is supposed to represent.
Prior to the break, Dinwiddie was having a solid February with averages of 15.1 points, 3.7 boards, 8.9 assists, an elite 1.7 steals, and an impactful 2.4 3-pointers in a whopping 33.5 minutes per outing. His shot (33.3%) has abandoned him this month to date, but perhaps winning the Skills Challenge will help Dinwiddie renew an emphasis on efficiency.
Elfrid Payton, Phoenix Suns
Payton has not had a tough time assimilating to his new surroundings, and we should all be continuing to scratch our heads as to why Orlando gave up on this talent for just a second-round pick. Despite the fact that Payton is set to be a restricted free agent, the Magic didn’t get anything except a chance at a chance with this deal, and in the process virtually admitted defeat on their former lottery pick. Then again, this is the same team that traded Victor Oladipo (for Serge Ibaka) for Terrence Ross. Yeah, that happened.
As for Payton, he should be a highly motivated, walking triple-double threat with plenty to prove on a young Phoenix team that wants to get up and down the floor. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see Payton be a difference-maker in deciding playoff positioning before the fantasy postseason begins.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings
There is no reason Bogdanovic should be available in on any waiver wire. With the Kings playing for nothing but their future to close a true rebuilding season, the exciting “rookie” should be locked into a 30-plus minute per night role for the rest of the way.
Even before he was named Rising Stars MVP, a Bogdanovic breakout appeared to be on the horizon. Over his last five games prior to the All-Star Break, BB was firing hot with averages of 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.6 3-pointers on 28-of-67 (44.4%) shooting. The Kings are going to be putting the ball in Bogdanovic’s hands more often now that the failed George Hill experiment has come and gone.
C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Money McCollum has become synonymous with cashing out in the fantasy community, but C.J.’s February slip leaves room for a potential discount deal prior to the playoffs.
After tearing it up in January to the tune of 23.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.1 triples on 48.2% shooting—including 47.1% from distance and 88.9% from the charity stripe—McCollum has taken a step back in February with his numbers down across the board. And while he hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, McCollum is more attainable now than he has been at any point heretofore in 2018. My advice? Go get him.
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Kuzmania has been the rage throughout Los Angeles this season, but the surprising rookie started to hit a wall before the All-Star Break’s arrival.
In addition to Kuzma’s field goal percentage slipping for the fourth straight month down to 39.1%—the first time he’s dipped below the 40% barrier in his inaugural campaign—the rookie’s lack of supporting stats makes him a limited contributor. Kuzma really needs to bring more to the table, including improved efficiency, in order to be an asset to his fantasy general managers down the stretch.
Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Clippers
Bradley’s impending payday is going down with each passing day, and it’s fascinating to examine the parallels between him and ex-teammate Isaiah Thomas. A feared backcourt when paired together in Boston last season, both guards have now been traded twice in less than a year. And while each is working feverishly to re-establish their market value under the bright lights of Hollywood—albeit on opposite sides of Staples Center— it’s very much uncertain as to what the future holds for either guy.
Since joining the Clippers, Bradley has averaged a paltry 9.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and nothing else on 47.3% shooting. In addition to his dearth of production, Bradley’s three-point game has gone M.I.A. like Nick Saban, and the Texas product has not been shy in vocalizing how he feels about his current role in the Clippers’ scheme. Given what he’s capable of doing and the fact that unrestricted free agency awaits, Bradley is more than worth a dart throw given the market price.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers
It has been rough sledding for Covington this month. Through his first seven February games, RoCo has been driving fantasy nuts loco with averages of 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.7 3-pointers on an awful 36.4% shooting. For the first month this season, Covington is averaging less than two triples per game, and it’s not a surprise given the veteran forward hasn’t been able to find his footing (27.9%) from behind the three-point line. And with Covington taking a backseat to the rest of the starting five on the offensive end of the floor, it might be hard to expect a significant bump (14-16 points per game) in scoring. I wouldn’t be selling for pennies on the dollar, but it’s clear Covington’s current impact is a far cry from what we saw to begin the year.