Dr. A’s weekly risers and fallers: Jonathan Kuminga, Julius Randle make the list


Several unexpected players have been returning surprisingly solid fantasy value over the past two weeks, while some huge names have been letting their fantasy managers down by struggling in multiple fantasy categories along the way.

Jonathan Kuminga, Kevin Huerter, Julius Randle, Walker Kessler and a struggling Josh Giddey all make an appearance this week. Here’s a look at five risers and five fallers over the past two weeks of the fantasy basketball season.


Jonathan Kuminga, PF, Warriors (26.2% rostered in ESPN leagues): Buoyed by his 11-of-11 shooting and 25-point performance Wednesday, Kuminga is absolutely on fire now that Steve Kerr is letting him play, so much so that he’s been a top 10 player over his past five games. During that stretch, Kuminga is clocking in at 25.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, 1.8 3-pointers and 1.2 turnovers on a ridiculous 65% shooting from the floor and 81% from the free throw line. He went off for a season-high 31 points with three boards, two steals and two triples on 12-of-19 shooting Thursday night, and it may officially be ‘Kuminga szn.’ Pick him up, hope the Warriors keep running him out there and beware that he’s been a 19th-round fantasy player over the course of the entire season, even with his outstanding play of late.

Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Kings (54.6%): Huerter’s been a bit of an inconsistent mess this season and has likely been added and dropped multiple times in most fantasy leagues. But he’s cooking right now, racking up top 15 fantasy value over his past five games. He checks in at 32.4 minutes, 17.4 points, 4.0 triples, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 turnovers on 57% shooting from the floor and 60% shooting from the free throw line. If you toss out the awful free throw shooting, he becomes a top 10 player over his past five games. Maybe he’s finally ready to play like this the rest of the way, but he’s been worthy of just a 13th-round fantasy pick over the course of the entire season.

Grayson Allen, SG, Suns (37.3%): Allen can’t seem to stay off this list and has been a top 20 player over his past six games. With averages of 16.3 points, 4.2 3-pointers, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.5 turnovers on 60% shooting and 92% free throw shooting, he’s simply rolling right now. And he’s basically been doing this for the Suns all season. Bradley Beal’s next injury might be just around the corner, but even if Allen’s teammates manage to stay healthy, he’s having a great season for the Suns. For the season, he’s a fifth-round fantasy value, meaning he should be rostered in every league imaginable.

Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Bulls (21.5%): The Bulls are having point guard issues and Caruso has really stepped up with averages of 11 points, 2.7 triples, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.9 blocks and just 1.1 turnovers along with 48% field goal shooting and 100% free throw shooting during his past seven games. That is good for top 30 production and those steals, blocks and 3-pointers are what we like to refer to as fantasy gold. And he’s been worthy of a sixth-round pick over the course of the season so there’s no reason to think he’s not going to keep playing well as long as he can stay healthy.

Vince Williams Jr., SG/SF, Grizzlies (25%): Williams’ low rostership has made him a regular on this list and he just keeps getting it done, returning top 35 fantasy value over his past seven games. He’s humming to the tune of 16.3 points, 2.6 3-pointers, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.1 turnovers on 53% shooting and 83% free throw shooting over that stretch. Memphis is devastated by injuries and simply put, Williams has been their best player for the last month. He’s also not going anywhere, especially if Jaren Jackson Jr. is shut down at some point.


Brandon Ingram, SF/PF, Pelicans (97.3%): Ingram has been an 11th-round fantasy player over his last five games and teammates Larry Nance Jr., Herb Jones and even Jordan Hawkins have been better in terms of fantasy over that stretch. Ingram has averaged 16.8 points, 1.6 3-pointers, 6.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.0 blocks and 1.6 turnovers, but is shooting just 38% from the floor and 77% from the line over his last five. Obviously, the shooting percentages and lack of steals and blocks have been his downfall of late and he’s been a respectable seventh-round fantasy value over the course of the season. He’s just not feeling it right now. On a side note, Nance is worth a look, quietly returning fourth-round fantasy value over his last six games.

Julius Randle, PF, Knicks (98.7%): Randle has barely been a top 130 player over his past seven games with averages of 22.3 points, 2.3 triples, 9.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, 47% shooting and 79% free throw shooting. Add in 4.0 turnovers per game and it’s easy to see why his ranking is so low. And it’s not like he’s having a great season, either, returning just 11th-round fantasy value over his 45 games played thus far. His name is bigger than his fantasy game and he might make for nice trade bait if your team is struggling with him anchoring it down.

Jalen Johnson, SF/PF Hawks (70.7%): Johnson has cooled off over his past eight games as the Hawks continue to be a sinking ship under Quin Snyder. Johnson has averaged just 14.3 points, 1.1 triples, 7.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.4 turnovers with 44% shooting and 54% free throw shooting. Those are rough numbers, but he can’t play any worse than this and there is some hope given his youth, steals, blocks and 3-pointers. Maybe the Hawks will make a deadline trade and get him some help, but he’s been just a top 140 player over the past two weeks. Try to hang in there with him if you can.

Walker Kessler, C, Jazz (78.8%): This has been a rough season for Kessler, who was a fifth-round fantasy player last season in 12-team leagues. He’s barely been a top 165 player over the past two weeks and clocks in around 80th overall this year. The past seven games have been particularly tough for Kessler with averages of just 6.3 points, 0.0 3-pointers, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals and 3.1 blocks on 72% shooting along with a dreadful 38% from the stripe. He’s literally doing nothing outside of field goal percentage and blocked shots, meaning he’s weighing fantasy teams down in every other category outside of turnovers (0.7). Target a manager who is desperate for blocks and see if you can abandon his sinking ship.

Josh Giddey, PG/SG/SF, Thunder (86.5%): Giddey has been glaringly bad over the past two weeks, returning just top 190 fantasy value for one of the league’s hottest teams. With Chet Holmgren, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams doing all the heavy lifting for OKC, Giddey has faded to the background during the past seven games. He’s posted averages of 10.4 points, 0.7 triples, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks and 0.7 turnovers on 40% shooting and 77% free throw shooting. And he really hasn’t been that much better over the course of the season, returning just 14th-round overall fantasy value. He’s a better player than this and will hopefully figure some things out in the second half. He could start showing up on waiver wires if he continues to struggle and is a player I’d certainly think about picking up, regardless of how bad the numbers look right now. But we’re over the halfway point of the season so it’s also entirely possible that this is just who Giddey is this year.

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