Dr. A’s weekly risers and fallers: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Franz Wagner make the list
Several unexpected players have been returning solid fantasy value over the past two weeks while some huge names have been letting their fantasy managers down while struggling in multiple fantasy categories along the way.
Bogdan Bogdanovic and Tyus Jones are turning it on, while Jimmy Butler and O.G. Anunoby have been heading in the wrong direction. Happy Holidays from Santa Doc!
Check out the Risers and Fallers as we prepare to enter Week 10 of the NBA season!
Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, Hawks (rostered in 65% of ESPN leagues): Shockingly, Bogey is returning first-round value in fantasy hoops over the past two weeks and has averaged 22.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 4.3 3-pointers on 48% shooting in December. I don’t know how to break this to you, but that’s first-round value material. He’ll take a hit with Jalen Johnson coming back sooner than later, but Bogey is worth rostering in every league imaginable and is one of the more underappreciated fantasy players in the NBA.
Tyus Jones, PG, Wizards (79.9%): Jones catches a lot of heat in these parts, mostly because of his association with the Wizards and Jordan Poole, but has been ballin’ out for the past two weeks. He’s averaged 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.9 3-pointers on 60% shooting in December for the Wizards. That’s second-round value, folks, and there is no one else to start at point guard in Washington. The slow start was brutal, but he’s turning into the guy we thought he’d be on draft night.
Kevin Love, PF/C, Cavaliers (6.8%): Love has returned third-round fantasy value over the last two weeks and has somehow averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 3.0 3-pointers in December. He’s 35 years old and I don’t see how much longer this can last, but to say he’s shocked fantasyland and been a solid value pick is an understatement. And, just for kicks, Jimmy Butler won’t be in uniform on Friday night.
Grayson Allen, SG, Suns (10.2%): Bradley Beal (ankle) has played in six (count ’em) games this season and Allen and Eric Gordon have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the Suns this season. Allen has been worthy of a fourth-round fantasy pick the last two weeks and is turning in averages of 13 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers on 48% shooting in his six December games. Beal is going to miss another week or two and the Suns’ two-game week is in the rearview mirror, as they play four times in each of the next two weeks. Pick Allen up and roll with him, and don’t forget about Gordon, either.
Aaron Nesmith, SF, Pacers (3.7%): Nesmith doesn’t start for the Pacers but he’s getting it done off the bench in Indy to the tune of fifth-round fantasy value over the last couple of weeks and had 14 points, five rebounds, four steals, three blocks and four 3-pointers against Memphis on Thursday night. He’s scored in double figures in eight straight games and was averaging 14.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers on 57.5% shooting over the month of December before Thursday night’s explosion. He’s been especially good lately and is a player available on all waiver wires that can help fantasy teams in a hurry. And after next week’s three-game schedule, the Pacers play four times in five straight weeks. Go get him!
Jimmy Butler, SF/PF, Heat (98.9%): Buckets is returning 10th-round fantasy value over the last two weeks and, yes, has already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Hawks, which would have been an incredible scoring opportunity for him. That makes two straight missed games with a calf injury and even when he’s playing, Butler hasn’t been playing his best. His name is bigger than his game, more missed games are coming and I’d recommend letting him go off for a couple of games and then trying to move him. By the time he’s ready to become “Playoff Jimmy” in real life, your fantasy playoffs will be over.
Alperen Sengun, C, Rockets (96.7%): I love Sengun, always have and always will, but he’s been worthy of only a 10th- or 11th-round value over the last couple of weeks. I’m not panicking on him at all, but simply including him here to let you know why your team might not be doing as well as you expected lately. Field goal and free throw shooting are much to blame for his struggles and his blocks, steals and triples have all been down over the past week or so. I’m still all-in on Sengun, but he’s not nearly as hot as he was to start the season. Now might be a good time to try to swipe him from a fellow manager.
Franz Wagner, SG/SF/PF, Magic (90.8%): Wagner has cooled off and only been worth an 11th- or 12th-round fantasy player over the last two weeks. He’s struggled with his free throw shooting and his regular shots haven’t been falling lately. His lack of blocks has also hurt his ranking of late, but he’s simply slumping right now and is still a big reason that the Magic are 16-11 and in fourth place in the East. He’ll get hot again and the Magic play four games in three of their next four weeks. Hang onto him, as this too shall pass.
Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, Nets (60.9%): Cam Thomas is shooting every time he touches the ball and it’s having a negative impact on both Mikal Bridges and Johnson, who has only been worth a 13th-round pick over the last two weeks. Johnson bounced back with 20 points and four triples on Wednesday against the Knicks, but last scored at least 20 points on Nov. 22 against the Hawks prior to that. He could use an injury or two to some teammates to emerge as a fantasy star again, but he’s still worth rostering in almost all leagues. His name might be bigger than his game at this point and you might be able to move him for a more consistent fantasy performer right now. But the Nets’ depth and Thomas’ gunning are both working against Johnson these days.
O.G. Anunoby, SF, Raptors (76.5%): Anunoby is a shell of the player we saw last season who returned third-round fantasy value and he’s been a 14th-round player, not only for the last couple of weeks, but for most of the season. I don’t know where the steals, blocks, boards and everything else that we loved about him went, but he clearly misses playing alongside Fred VanVleet and doesn’t seem to have a connection with point guard Dennis Schroder in Toronto. And he’s not the only one. Pascal Siakam is also a bit of a mess and we haven’t even heard Jakob Poeltl’s name this season. Anunoby is someone you might be able to trade given his big name, and I don’t see him turning it around anytime soon. The Raptors could blow up this team at the trade deadline, with both Anunoby and Siakam changing addresses.