Every two weeks, we’ll take a look around the league to see whose stock is trending up or down. Here’s the Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch:
Eric Bledsoe, MIL: True to form, Bledsoe has had his ups and downs, but he’s stepped it up a couple of notches recently. He has eclipsed 20 points in four of his past eight games after having only done so once all season prior to that stretch. Bledsoe’s shot attempts haven’t seen much of a boost during that span, but his accuracy certainly has — he’s hit at least half of his shots in six of those eight games, raising his field-goal percentage to a career-high number.
Reggie Jackson, DET: The veteran has hit or gone over the 20-point mark in three of the past six games, something accomplished only three times over the first 15 games of the season. He has also hit 15 3s over that span, and while Jackson’s usage is bound to fluctuate while sharing the floor with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, he’s still generating his best scoring average (16.0 points per game) since 2015-16.
J.J. Redick, PHI: With Markelle Fultz out indefinitely, Redick has returned to the starting lineup, and he already has a pair of 24-point efforts, as well as a 23-point outing in his past five games. The 34-year-old is averaging 18.4 points on a career-high 14.0 shot attempts per contest — including 7.6 3PA/G, also a career-high. And regardless of what transpires with Fultz, it’s tough to imagine the shooting-starved Sixers removing Redick from the starting five anytime soon.
Frank Ntilikina, NYK: Ntilikina has become the forgotten man in the Knicks’ backcourt rotation, and even a knee injury to Trey Burke doesn’t figure to create much opportunity for the second-year guard. Ntilikina has been a DNP-CD for the past two games amid reports that the Knicks may no longer view him as a long-term piece. While he could always re-emerge in what has been perhaps the most fluid rotation in the league, Allonzo Trier looks like the preferred choice to soak up minutes behind Emmanuel Mudiay for the time being.
Josh Hart, LAL: Hart looked to have wrangled the starting two-guard spot away from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope early in the season, but he sunk back into a lesser role in the second half of November. Hart has been dealing with an ankle issue of late, and he has just one double-digit scoring game in his last eight contests. Hart averaged more than 20 minutes per game in that span, but that’s six fewer than his average over the first 15 games of the season (26.1 MPG).
Kent Bazemore, ATL: Bazemore is in for an extended run as the Hawks’ starting small forward with Taurean Prince due to be in the shelf for multiple weeks due to an ankle injury. Bazemore already has an extensive track record as a starter at two-guard, and he’s highly capable of filling out the stat sheet with sufficient minutes. He’s already averaging career-bests in steals and blocks, and he’s hitting better than 44 percent of his field goals despite shooting sub-30 percent from 3.
Lauri Markkanen, CHI: Markkanen has only played two games since making his season debut following a right elbow sprain, but he already appears to be in midseason form. The 21-year-old started off with 10 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes Saturday against the Rockets, and he followed up with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double in 32 minutes against the Pacers on Tuesday. While his shooting is naturally rusty (12 for 38 thus far), that will undoubtedly come around in time. What’s most encouraging is that he doesn’t appear to be under a minutes restriction.
JaMychal Green, MEM: Green suffered a broken jaw in the second game of the season, which caused him to miss 12 games. In the meantime, rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. has made a strong impression, but Green has issued a reminder of what he’s capable of since his return. The fifth-year veteran has scored in double digits in five of his first eight games back, and he’s brought down between seven and nine rebounds in six of those contests. Green is also providing Fantasy owners a little something extra this season – he’s shooting a career-best 42.1 percent from three-point range.
Rodney McGruder, MIA: McGruder is holding down the starting small forward job in Miami for the moment, but he isn’t producing at the clip he was earlier in the season. McGruder has scored in single digits in three of his past four non-injury-shortened games, shooting under 40.0 percent in each of those contests. Playing time hasn’t been at fault, either, as McGruder has logged between 27 and 36 minutes in those games. What makes the downturn especially disappointing is that both Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson were missing from the lineup during that span with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. McGruder had scored in double digits in seven of the previous eight games before his current stretch, so it’s been a rather abrupt drop for his Fantasy owners.
Marc Gasol, MEM: The veteran recently put together a four-game streak of 20-point efforts, including a pair of double-doubles. While he snapped that streak against the Nets on Friday with 15 points and 15 rebounds, Gasol is carrying his best 3-point shooting percentage (41.6) of any season in which he’s averaged more than one attempt per game. He’s approaching five attempts per game and, entering Wednesday, holds the second-highest scoring average (18.0 PPG) of his career.
Rudy Gobert, UTA: Gobert has been at his best recently, notching multiple blocks in five straight games, equaling his longest stretch of the season. He’s posted four double-doubles during that span, and he’s currently tying or exceeding his career-bests in scoring (15.5 PPG), rebounds (12.8 RPG), assists (1.8 aPG), steals (0.9 SPG), field goal percentage (69.2%) and shot attempts (8.6 FGA/A).