Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: Josh Jackson's arrow pointing up

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RISERS

Josh Jackson

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With Devin Booker and T.J. Warren both sidelined with injuries, Jackson has been the biggest beneficiary, averaging 13.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.2 spg over the last four contests (29 mpg). It’s frustrating that it took injuries to give last year’s No. 4 pick extended run, but the 21-year-old should be given a greater opportunity moving forward even when Phoenix gets back to full strength. Jackson’s at least now back on the fantasy radar.

Josh Jackson’s arrow is pointing up now that injuries have given him the opportunity he needs to produce solid numbers. (AP Foto/Rick Scuteri)
Josh Jackson’s arrow is pointing up now that injuries have given him the opportunity he needs to produce solid numbers. (AP Foto/Rick Scuteri)

Clint Capela

Things haven’t gone as planned for Houston this year, but Capela hasn’t been to blame. He’s averaging career-highs in ppg (18.1), rpg (11.8), apg (1.7) and bpg (2.2) while shooting 66.5 percent from the floor. Houston’s running the third-slowest Pace in the league, but it hasn’t hurt Capela, who’s been the No. 5 fantasy player over the last two weeks and continues to see his arrow pointing up.

Damyean Dotson

There’s seemingly a different Knicks player worth picking up every week with the team dealing with injuries and a rotation in constant flux. Dotson is the latest hot waiver wire add after averaging 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 3.3 3-pointers over the last four games (when he’s been a top-10 player over the last two weeks). The second-year guard’s shooting will likely come back to earth soon, and coach David Fizdale’s rotations can be unpredictable, but Dotson’s shown enough upside to stash given the uncertain and wide open situation in New York.

Malcolm Brogdon

He’s taken a step up in year three while also benefitting from coach Mike Budenholzer’s uptempo system (the Bucks rank fourth in Pace). Over the last two weeks, Brogdon has averaged 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.2 three pointers while shooting 59.5 percent from the field. He’s been a top-20 fantasy player during that span. He’s also one of the better free throw shooters in the game (albeit without attempting many), and there’s upside for even more should the injury-prone Eric Bledsoe go down at any point this season, too.

Montrezl Harrell

He currently sports the third-best FG% in the NBA and sits exactly one spot behind last year’s teammate DeAndre Jordan in 9-cat leagues at No. 60, although Harrell’s draft cost was much cheaper. The energetic center is a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, averaging 16.5-7.2-1.0-1.7 off the bench and helping the surprising Clippers to the current No. 3 seed in the West. In fact, Tobias Harris was just named Western Conference Player of the Month, and Danilo Gallinari has been one of fantasy’s bigger early season hits as the No. 26 player, so the Clippers have been generous to fantasy owners so far.

FALLERS

Jabari Parker

He’s been a disaster defensively and from downtown (28.9 percent) but has been a solid fantasy option thanks to seeing 32 minutes a game. But that’s changed with Lauri Markkanen’s return, which has sent Parker to the bench and decreased his Usage Rate. Parker is just 23 years old, so there’s hope he can still improve, but it’s discouraging he sports a career-worst PER (12.98) during his fifth year in the league. Parker is a fringe fantasy option now that he’s no longer in a starting role, especially with Bobby Portis returning soon as well, further crowding Chicago’s frontcourt.

Andre Drummond

This is scoring dependent, as it’s hard to complain about a player leading the league in rebounding by 2.1 boards more than the next most, and Drummond’s also averaging a career-high 18.3 ppg. But those in leagues that count FT shooting have been majorly disappointed with Drummond, who’s gone from 60.5 percent from the stripe last season to 47.3 this year. He’s also seen his Assist Ratio get cut more than in half this year compared to last. Drummond is a tremendous rebounder with improving offensive skills, but he’s back to being more of a top-75 type fantasy player than top-25 with his free throw shooting woes.

Dario Saric

He’s taken a fantasy hit since getting traded to Minnesota, where Saric’s minutes per game have dropped by more than eight as he continues to come off the bench behind Taj Gibson. His shooting has picked up some after a slow start to the year in Philly, but Saric has fallen outside the top-150 since getting dealt to the Timberwolves, and there’s no reason to expect his situation to change anytime soon.

Nicolas Batum

Charlotte sports the league’s sixth-best offensive efficiency, but unfortunately Batum is featured little in it, as his Usage Rate (14.6) is the lowest since his rookie season back in 2008/09, and his PER (11.67) is a career-low. A top-100 fantasy player each of the past eight seasons, Batum hasn’t cracked the top-180 over the last month. He’s still owned in three quarters of leagues, but competitive owners can probably do better.

Fred VanVleet

He’s shooting just 29.6 percent from the field over the last four games, taking a step back instead of enjoying the same success as his teammates in Toronto this season. VanVleet is passing better this year but has struggled with expanded outside shooting. At this point, it will take a Kyle Lowry injury for him to possess much fantasy value, making him a viable drop right now.

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