As the first leg of the NBA season has closed, player values have fallen in place. Of course there are some exceptions, like if some of these players just happened to start off ice cold or riding a hot streak. However, by this time statistics have evened out. The early hot streaks dissolve, and the underachievers slowly work their way back into the fantasy hierarchy.
Here are this week’s top risers and fallers in NBA fantasy.
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PAUL GEORGE, Indiana
Paul George has been going off lately and is proving why he is worth a bench spot on the All-Star team this year. Over his last six games, George has almost been a 20 and 10 guy, averaging 19.3 points and 9.2 rebounds with a whopping 4.0 assists, 3.0 treys and 2.7 steals. He’s been one of fantasy’s pleasant surprises this season, especially when you consider his average draft position of 41. At this point, George isn’t threatened at all by the return of Danny Granger, who will be on a minute restriction and come off the bench upon his return. At 22 years old, Paul George has nowhere to go but up in the rankings for years to come.
JOHN WALL, Washington
John Wall is back and despite playing limited minutes, he’s producing big stat lines that will only get bigger when he gains more playing time. In his first seven games, he’s averaging 14.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists with 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks, and has looked like the same old John Wall we’ve come to know. He needs to develop his jumper, especially from three, to be the fantasy stud he one day projects to be, but for his career, he averages 4.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks, which are hard to come by from his position and considered elite point guard production. There were some concerns with Wall’s lengthy absence, but it looks like everything is working out just fine in Washington, presenting a great buy low opportunity and a bump in the rankings.
JEFF TEAGUE, Atlanta
Atlanta started off the season red hot but has recently been in a downward spiral. With Josh Smith being suspended a game and then thrown on to the trading block, followed by the loss of Lou Williams for the rest of the season, things couldn’t really be going much worse for the Hawks. Still, somebody has to step up and for the last couple weeks, Jeff Teague has been playing up to his full potential. He’s putting up 16.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists over his last five games, and is doing everything he can to keep the Hawks’ ship from sinking too fast while staying afloat in the rankings.
AL-FAROUQ AMINU, New Orleans
I’ve written about Al-Farouq Aminu a few times in my pickups pieces and over a few weeks, he’s gone from waiver wire fodder to being easily ranked in the top 150. Aminu’s defense was never in question. His length and quickness allows him to guard almost every position and he rebounds above average for a small forward. However, lately he has been able to contribute on offense as well. Over his last four games, he’s averaging 13.5 points to go along with his usual 10.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocks. If you need to rely on Aminu for offensive output, you’re going to be disappointed, but his most recent string of hot play has earned him a bump in the rankings and a much brighter fantasy future than we thought he had a few weeks ago.