NBA Stock Watch: Draymond Green rising, Damian Lillard falling


Draymond Green: He’s averaged 17.0 points, 12.4 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 blocks and 2.3 3pt over his last seven games. That span included three straight triple-doubles, a category in which he leads the NBA with seven (next closest is Rajon Rondo with four). Green no doubt benefits from playing in Golden State’s system that ranks second in Pace and first in Offensive Efficiency by a wide margin, but he impressively put up a 10-11-16-2-2 line in a game in Houston that Stephen Curry sat out last week. Green is averaging career-highs in essentially every category, and he actually leads the Warriors (and all forwards in the NBA) with 7.4 apg. He’s greatly improved his outside shooting and fills the box score unlike any other player in the league. Green has been the No. 4 ranked fantasy player over the past month, and his Usage Rate should continue to increase while Curry’s dealing with a shin injury that likely won’t heal for at least four weeks. Green isn’t a sell-high candidate (his ADP was outside the top-25), because if a draft were held today, he’d easily be a first round pick.

Jusuf Nurkic: He’s back from knee surgery and went for 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks Wednesday. The big man has averaged 2.0 blocks over three games since his return while seeing just 13:48 mpg. Nurkic is still a bit raw offensively and will hurt your FT%, but he’ll be a big help in rebounding and blocks and could easily get more than a steal per game moving forward as well. He’ll see an increase in minutes the further removed he is from surgery, as Nurkic is the future at the center position in Denver. He’s just 21 years old, so there’s plenty of upside and room for growth. Nurkic is owned in just 53 percent of Yahoo leagues, a number that will quickly start to rise in the next couple of weeks.

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Terrence Ross: He’s going to see a big jump in Usage Rate with DeMarre Carroll missing the next 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Ross still isn’t starting, but James Johnson is an underwhelming alternative. Ross has averaged 1.6 3pt over just 23:14 mpg during his brief career, so the former top-10 pick is a must-add for those in need of triples (he’s owned in just 16 percent of leagues). It also helps that he plays for a Toronto team sporting the sixth-best Offensive Efficiency (104.3) in the NBA.

Zaza Pachulia: He’s averaged 14.2 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 80.8 percent from the line over the past two weeks (six games), a span in which he’s been a top-30 player. The big man had previously never averaged 8.0 rpg during any season of his 13-year career, but he’s grabbing 10.7 in 2015/16. Pachulia also currently holds career-highs in PER (18.36) and True Shooting Percentage (57.2). He’s not going to help in blocks, but Pachulia has been the No. 75 ranked player this season and is still available in more than a quarter of leagues.

Kemba Walker: Over the past two weeks, Walker has gotten 26.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.4 spg, 0.7 bpg and 2.1 3pt while hitting 95.6 percent of his free throws, a span in which he’s been the No. 1 overall fantasy player. Despite a similar Usage Rate as he’s always had, Walker is in the midst of a true breakout thanks to improved shooting. He’s also really increased his volume of late, averaging a whopping 22.3 field goal attempts over the past six contests. To put that in perspective, the NBA leader in FGA this season is Damian Lillard with 20.0. The league’s leading scorer (Stephen Curry) has averaged 19.1 FGA. Walker obviously isn’t going to keep this up (Nicolas Batum should return soon enough), but he’s going to turn a major profit for those who drafted him (his ADP was 60).

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Damian Lillard: He’s likely going to be just fine, and there’s no reason to panic, but it’s worth pointing out just how poorly Lillard has played of late. He’s shot 39.1 percent from the field over the past month, which is especially brutal considering he’s attempted 20.4 field goals per game over that span (he leads the NBA in FGA this season). Lillard’s Usage Rate (31.2) ranks top-five in the NBA, which isn’t unexpected thanks to all the players Portland lost in the offseason, and that’s mostly a benefit to his fantasy value, but it’s also resulted in a career-high 3.6 tpg. Teammate C.J. McCollum has actually held more fantasy value than Lillard so far this season, and there’s some concern his plantar fasciitis lingers.

Kevin Love: Over the last two weeks, he’s averaged just 11.3 ppg while shooting an ugly 37.2 percent from the floor and 61.1 percent from the line, when he hasn’t been a top-75 player. It’s likely just a short-term shooting slump, but Love’s Usage Rate is going to drop with Kyrie Irving now back in action. Over the last month, Cody Zeller has held more fantasy value than Love, and Matt Barnes isn’t far behind. It doesn’t help that Cleveland currently sports the third-lowest Pace in the NBA.

Markieff Morris: He’s shot 35.1 percent from the field over the past five games and is now buried on the Suns’ bench, getting DNPs even. Clearly unhappy after his twin brother was traded, Morris badly needs a trade out of Phoenix. He’s still owned in nearly 50 percent of leagues but should be dropped in all of them. The Suns’ frontcourt is a total mess right now. I expected more from Alex Len.

Stanley Johnson: I admit I bought into the preseason hype with Johnson, when he was even discussed as a possible Rookie Of The Year dark horse. Instead, he’s shooting 39.5 percent from the field (35.4% over the past two weeks), and he committed as many turnovers during his last game (five) as he’s attempted free throws over his past eight contests. Johnson should obviously be held in dynasty leagues, but he’s currently owned in a third of Yahoo redraft formats, which is far too high.

Tobias Harris: He’s been the No. 150 ranked player over the past two weeks, when he’s averaged 10.4 ppg with little else and getting just 8.7 FGA. He’s just 2-for-16 from downtown over the past five contests, a span in which he’s recorded just one steal. Even during a season that felt like something of a letdown, Harris got 17.1 ppg last year, and he’s getting 13.8 so far in 2015/16. The 23-year-old should bounce back and be considered a top-50 type player moving forward, making him a possible buy-low target, but Harris has really disappointed his owners lately.

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