Many fantasy leagues are starting to show some separation in the standings and it's time to make moves that can help save your season or win your league.
Check out the Risers and Fallers as we prepare to enter Week 6 of the NBA season!
Reggie Jackson, PG, Nuggets 6.6% rostered in ESPN leagues: I've had trouble quitting Reggie with Jamal Murray out until December and the Nuggets playing four times this week and next. Add in that he went off on Monday for 21 points, a 3-pointer, three rebounds, six assists and a steal on 9-of-15 shooting when Nikola Jokic was ejected, and he's off to a fantastic start to this two-week stretch. I don't think he's a long-term play, but with two more games this week and four more in the next scoring period, he's at least worth rostering in most leagues.
Herbert Jones, PG/SG, Pelicans (44.7%): Despite his offensive deficiencies, Jones has somehow returned first-round fantasy value over his last four games with averages of 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.8 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers while shooting a crisp 19-of-32 from the field, good for 59%. The fact he's only rostered in 45% of fantasy leagues is the only thing more shocking than him returning first-round value over the last couple weeks.
Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Bulls (17.7%): Caruso has somehow posted third-round value over the last two weeks and has scored in double figures in six straight games for the Bulls. He's averaged 14.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.7 triples over his last six games and has been able to do this with Coby White playing a ton of minutes for the Bulls. The blocks and steals are the key to his success, and he's been blocking enough shots for two weeks that it doesn't look like a fluke.
Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Hornets (60%): Most of the questions about Bridges and his murky outlook for this season have been answered as he's been worth a fourth-round fantasy pick during the past week and should be getting an increased role over time. He's already replaced P.J. Washington as the team's starting power forward, and in just three games this season he's averaged 16.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 3-pointers. Ironically, his one poor shooting game (3-of-13 on Monday) resulted in his first double-double of the season with 14 points, 15 rebounds and five dimes.
Santi Aldama, PF, Grizzlies (15.4%): Aldama has suddenly come to life with Memphis dealing with so many injuries, and he had 28 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and six 3-pointers against the Celtics last Sunday. He's averaged 23 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.3 3-pointers over his last three games heading into Wednesday night. If he plays well against the Rockets in that one he's going to quickly become a very hot pickup. Let's just hope he didn't go on one of those three-game temporary tears.
DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, Bulls (99.4%): DeRozan's commitment to the mid-range game doesn't translate well in either fantasy or reality, and he's only been an eighth-round fantasy player over the last two weeks. He was hurt by a 3-of-13 shooting performance on Nov. 13 and, as usual, his lack of threes, steals and blocks don't do him any fantasy favors. He's not someone any manager should be thinking about dropping, but if you want to trade him for a hotter option, his name should carry more weight than his game.
Dennis Schroder, PG, Raptors (81.5%): After a hot start, Schroder has cooled off to the tune of ninth-round fantasy value over the last two weeks. But he's still the only point guard in Toronto and is going to put up numbers until further notice. His value was hurt by back-to-back-to-back games that saw him shoot a combined 6-of-28 from the floor, but he bounced out of that funk and has played much better over his last three games. In fact, he averaged 21.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.0 3-pointers over that stretch, but also had just one steal and zero blocks in them. Now is a good time to make a buy-low offer on Schroder.
Cade Cunningham, PG/SG, Pistons (96.1%): Cunningham is a tough pill to swallow right now, returning just 13th-round fantasy value over the last two weeks but still putting up solid counting stats. He's scored at least 18 points in three straight games, and while his rebounds and assists are solid, his poor field goal shooting and lack of steals and blocks, combined with high turnovers is really hurting his value. He's not far from becoming a complete player, but until he gets his shot right and starts stealing the ball, his name is going to be bigger than his game. Managers should consider moving him for a big name that will do more harm than good to their rosters.
Julius Randle, PF, Knicks (98.1%): Randle has basically been struggling with his shooting all season and has been just an 11th-round fantasy value over the last two weeks. He is coming off a seemingly big game with 21 points and 14 rebounds against the Timberwolves on Monday, but he hit just 6-of-16 shots with zero steals or blocks in that one. And the fact that his shooting is so shaky for a big man, combined with his two blocks and two steals over his last five games, is hurting his value. He's another big name with solid trade value that might be easy to move for a more valuable player.
Pascal Siakam, PF/C, Raptors (98.1%): Siakam is obviously not someone fantasy managers will want to kick to the curb, but his ninth-round fantasy value over the last couple of weeks is a far cry from where he was drafted. It's more of the same with Siakam, as he's not producing steals, blocks or 3-pointers and has had some bad nights shooting the ball from both the field and free throw line. He's simply another big name who can likely be easily moved for a more valuable fantasy player.