Week 3 turned into a bit of an injury-fest in the NBA, and a lot of players are rising and falling as a result. We’ll look at what players are trending up and which ones are struggling, as point guards are suddenly available all over fantasy waiver wires. Injuries to Jamal Murray, Malcolm Brogdon and CJ McCollum will possibly have major fantasy ramifications over the next month or so.
Here are my Risers and Fallers as we prepare to enter Week 4 of the NBA season!
Luguentz Dort, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder, 23.5% rostered in ESPN leagues: Dort has been filling the stat sheet and had 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, three blocks and three triples in 36 minutes of Wednesday’s win against the Cavaliers. In four November games, Dort is averaging 17.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks and 3.5 3-pointers. He should be rostered everywhere with a four-game week on the horizon, especially with a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday set-up.
Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards, 15.4% rostered: Avdija is quietly having a nice season for the Wizards, averaging a career-high 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.1 3-pointers in 25 minutes per game. He has started in all seven games this season and was on a three-game heater before cooling off Wednesday night. Jordan Poole and Tyus Jones have been a bit disappointing for the Wizards, but Avdija has been cooking. Unfortunately, the Wizards only have three games in Week 4 (Mon./Wed./Fri.).
Marcus Sasser, PG, Detroit Pistons, 7.1%: Sasser has scored between 19 and 26 points in three of his last four games as Jaden Ivey continues to miss time with an illness. The Pistons are weird with how they use Ivey, and Sasser has quietly emerged as a fantasy force over the past week. In November, he’s averaging 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 66.7% shooting, but the Pistons only play three times in Week 4. Sasser is worth a look until we see what happens to him when Ivey’s back in action.
Keyonte George, SG, Utah Jazz, 3.2%: George has been a popular fantasy topic this season and it all hinged on when he might take over the starting point guard job for Talen Horton-Tucker. It actually happened Wednesday night, and my guess is he holds the job down the rest of the season. He had seven points, nine assists and a 3-pointer in 31 minutes in that one, while THT played just 20 minutes off the bench. Now’s the time to jump on George if you need a point guard. Unfortunately, the Jazz have three games in Week 4.
Skylar Mays, SG, Portland Trail Blazers, 0.4%: Malcolm Brogdon went down with a hamstring injury on Wednesday, joining Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson on the injured list. Mays came out of nowhere and went off for 18 points, two rebounds, 11 assists and two steals in 37 minutes against the Kings on Wednesday and could be in line for some very heavy minutes going forward. And unlike some of the aforementioned players, the Blazers go four times in Week 4. Pick him up.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Denver Nuggets, 4.4%: Jamal Murray is going to miss the rest of the month with a hamstring injury, and Jackson will be the starting point guard until he’s back in action. Jackson had 20 points, six assists and three 3-pointers in Wednesday’s start and played 32 minutes. The Nuggets only have three games in Week 4, but Jackson will be starting in all of them.
Jordan Hawkins, SG, New Orleans Pelicans, 7.8%: McCollum is out indefinitely with a collapsed lung and could miss a lot of time. Hawkins is starting in his place and has scored in double figures in four of his last five games and is averaging 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.2 3-pointers in his five November games. He should be solid for the Pelicans’ three games in Week 4 and may keep it going for another month or two.
Goga Bitadze, C, Orlando Magic, 3.7%: Bitadze is the new starting center for the Magic with Wendell Carter Jr. out due to finger surgery and is averaging 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks over his last three games. His scoring is a bit of a buzzkill, but he’s getting 20-plus minutes a game, blocking shots and doing nice things for the Magic. He has a four-game week starting on Tuesday, and if you need blocks and a center, he could be the answer.
Bismack Biyombo, C, Memphis Grizzlies, 6.2%: Biyombo has only been with the Grizzlies for two games but is averaging 8.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in them while starting at center. Xavier Tillman and Santi Aldama could buzzkill him at some point, but for now, Biyombo is the starter and can help fantasy owners in need of rebounds and blocks.
Josh Giddey, PG/SG/SF, Thunder, 90.6%: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dropping Giddey. But he has been turned into a traditional point guard for the Thunder and oftentimes finds himself standing around and watching as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams and Dort are doing the heavy lifting. He’s averaging just 26 minutes over his last two games, along with 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals over his last two games. And while he’s still a valuable fantasy asset, he can’t be counted on for big minutes or production with all of his teammates going off every night.
De’Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks, 27.4%: Hunter was hot coming into Week 3 but has taken a turn for the worse, averaging just 8.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers over his last three games. Jalen Johnson continues to trend up and Saddiq Bey isn’t going away, so hopefully this is just a slump for Hunter. But with just three games in Week 4, Hunter looks like a cut candidate if you want to drop him for a hot free agent.
Spencer Dinwiddie, PG/SG Brooklyn Nets, 80.8%: Dinwiddie has been a disaster over his last two games, averaging just 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 3-pointers with zero blocks or steals in 25 minutes per game. Cam Thomas went down on Wednesday and will miss a couple weeks, while Lonnie Walker IV went off for 21 points, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes off the bench Wednesday. Walker may be the big winner in the absence of Thomas, while Dinwiddie will have to figure things out if he’s going to bounce back. The Nets and Dinwiddie only play three games in Week 4.
Jaden Ivey, PG/SG, Pistons, 43.2%: The Pistons don’t seem excited about giving Ivey a starting job anytime soon and he’s been out for three games with an illness. Meanwhile, Marcus Sasser has been going off, Killian Hayes has been starting and Ivey has become an afterthought. He’s a drop candidate if you have your eyes on a hot free agent.
Andrew Wiggins, SF/PF, Golden State Warriors, 66.2%: Wiggins has been a disaster lately, averaging just 7.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks and 0.3 3-pointers over his last three games. He has hit just 9 of 31 shots (29%) over that stretch, and the Warriors only play three games next week. Wiggins can be dropped for a hot free agent, although he could turn things around at any time.
Bruce Brown, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers, 22.6%: Brown had scored in single digits in three straight games before waking up with 11 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in Thursday’s win over the Bucks. He’s a better player in reality than fantasy and is another player who can be dropped for a hot free agent, assuming Thursday’s line was a fluke. Add in the fact the Pacers only have two games next week and Brown looks like an easy drop.
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