Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: NBA Week 9 Value Trends

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Whose stock is trending up or down? Here’s the Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch:  

GUARDS

Gaining Value

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Collin Sexton, CLE: The rebuilding Cavs made the prudent move and cleared a path for Sexton to move into a full-time starting job by moving George Hill to the Bucks via trade. As a result, Sexton should be primed for plenty of run the rest of the way. The 2018 first-round pick just had a three-game streak of 20-point efforts snapped due to a bad shooting night against the Bucks on Monday, but the outlook moving forward is bright. Sexton has a usage rate north of 25 percent, and while he’s not providing much in terms of rebounds, assists or steals, he’s been a more efficient shooter than expected from both 3-point land and the field overall.

Kris Dunn, CHI: Dunn finally returned to action Monday night against the Kings, logging nine points, six assists and three rebounds across 20 minutes. It should be all systems go for Dunn moving forward, as his minutes figure to progressively bump up over the next few games. He’ll come off the bench again Wednesday, but the expectation is that he’ll take back the starting job within the next week. Dunn averaged 29.3 minutes over 52 games last season, and he should be locked into a significant role going forward as Chicago’s only high-end asset at point guard.

Jaylen Brown, BOS: Brown has come back from a three-game absence in fine form, shooting 56.8 percent since returning, including 58.3 percent from 3-point range. The third-year guard has progressively climbed out of his early-season malaise, as he’s shot 50.0 percent or better in five of his past seven games. His season-long 42.2 field goal percentage is still a few points south of expectations, but Brown — and the rest of the Celtics‘ role players — seem to have flipped the switch since the calendar turned to December.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Bryn Forbes, SA; De’Anthony Melton, PHO; Kevin Huerter, ATL; Damyean Dotson, NYK; Malik Beasley, DEN; Mikal Bridges, PHO; Jalen Brunson, DAL

Losing Value

Ryan Arcidiacono, CHI: Arcidiacono was heading in the opposite direction a few weeks back, but the combination of Kris Dunn’s return to health and his own struggles have his arrow now firmly pointing downward. The second-year guard has scored no more than seven points in the past six games, a stretch that includes a pair of scoreless efforts. Arcidiacono will likely still see regular minutes behind Dunn, but he can be safely ignored in nearly any format going forward.

FORWARDS

GAINING VALUE

Kyle Kuzma, LAL: Kuzma struggled with scoring and consistency over the first 18 games of the season, but he’s seemingly turned a corner over the past nine contests. The second-year wing has eclipsed 20 points in seven of those games, including a 33-point effort in Monday’s win over Miami. Kuzma is shooting just a shade under 51 percent from the floor during that same stretch, and he’s knocked down at least three 3-pointers in five of his last six contests. When Brandon Ingram returns — likely sometime next week — Kuzma could lose a few minutes per game, but in Ingram’s absence he’s emerged as the Lakers‘ clear No. 2 option behind a certain four-time MVP.

John Collins, ATL: Collins didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 12, but he’s made up for lost time in impressive fashion. The second-year big has already drastically improved many of his numbers over those of his rookie season, averaging 18.1 points (compared to 10.5 last season), 8.3 rebounds (7.3) and 2.6 assists (1.3), while also shooting better than 62 percent from the field. The past three games have been especially impressive, with Collins averaging 26.7 points and 12.3 rebounds over that span. Entering Wednesday, Collins has posted four straight double-doubles and has five consecutive games with double-digit rebounds. Given his talent and the opportunity for expanded minutes on a rebuilding team, Collins appears well on his way to meeting expectations, provided he can stay healthy.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Justise Winslow, MIA

Losing Value

Jared Dudley, BRO: Dudley is shooting a career-low 37.9 percent and he’s played just 11 and seven minutes, respectively, over the last two games. The veteran forward has only mustered double-digit scoring totals in three games all season, which has led to a paltry average of 4.3 points across 21.2 minutes. Meanwhile, fellow big Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been exponentially more productive, even as he too is performing under last season’s numbers.

CENTERS

Gaining Value

Bam Adebayo, MIA: Adebayo’s profile has risen considerably over the past three games during a starting stint in place of Hassan Whiteside (personal). The 2017 first-round pick has double-doubled in two of those contests, but that current stretch doesn’t totally encapsulate his recent success. Adebayo also posted 14-point/13-rebound and 16-point/21-rebound double-doubles during expanded opportunities in late November, and his current play could earn him additional minutes even once Whiteside returns. Regardless of how the Heat handle Whiteside in the short-term, Adebayo has shown enough flashes to justify high-end value in deeper or dynasty formats.

Mason Plumlee, DEN:  Plumlee has been solid all season behind Nikola Jokic, but he could be due for a boost in his overall production over the next several weeks. Coach Mike Malone appears likely to keep Trey Lyles on the bench despite Paul Millsap’s projected multi-week absence due to a toe injury, with Plumlee filling the veteran forward’s shoes instead. Plumlee delivered a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included an assist, two blocks and a steal over 35 minutes against the Grizzlies in his first starting opportunity Monday. It remains to be seen if he’ll continue to work alongside Nikola Jokic, something the Nuggets have mostly avoided this season, but given the injury situation Denver may not have much choice.

ALSO TRENDING UP

: Mike Muscala, PHI; Thomas Bryant, WAS

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