Fantasy Basketball Stock Watch: D’Angelo Russell trending up

D’Angelo Russell should stay aggressive with the Nets having nothing to lose down the stretch.. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

By Juan Blanco, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
 

POINT GUARD

Trending Up

Quinn Cook, GSW: Cook has shined over the last two games as the starting point guard in place of Stephen Curry (ankle), racking up averages of 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals against the Kings and Sun,s while draining 70.0 percent of his shot attempts. The 24-year-old has some seasoning despite limited NBA experience, as he played all four years at Duke and started from his sophomore season on. A smooth shooter whose skill set looks ideal for the Warriors’ fast-paced attack, Cook should generate some short-term Fantasy value, though he’ll sink back into a reduced role once Curry returns.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Cameron Payne, CHI

Trending Down

Milos Teodosic, LAC: Teodosic had some bright prospects coming into the season, considering he’d put together an impressive, multi-year career overseas. He averaged 16.1 points and 6.7 assists per game last season for CSKA Moscow of the VTB United League, but it’s seemed as if he left his shooting stroke across the pond,.

Teodosic has managed double-digit scoring efforts in only 17 of 40 NBA games and has yet to even hit the 20-point mark. Most recently, he’s posted single-digit point tallies in five of the last seven games, a span during which his shot attempts have dropped to a modest 6.4 per game. With other, more effective backcourt options like Austin Rivers and Lou Williams in the fold, Teodosic’s Fantasy prospects aren’t overly bright as the regular season winds down.

SHOOTING GUARD

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D’Angelo Russell, BKN: A number of guards have their arrows pointing up, but none carry the upside of Russell, who’s scored 20 to 32 points in four of his last six games. He’s put up between 14 and 22 attempts in those contests, and he’s getting his hands on the ball plenty, despite splitting time with Spencer Dinwiddie. Brooklyn also continues to play at a top-10 pace and remains competitive despite their complete lack of postseason aspirations, while the Nets’ shoddy defense is helping ensure they’re frequently embroiled in high-scoring games. While Russell’s shooting will inevitably go through some fluctuations, he’s a pretty sure bet to remain aggressive, especially with the Nets having nothing to lose down the stretch.

It’s also encouraging that Russell recently reclaimed the starting point guard position, with Dinwiddie shifting to the bench beginning Friday in Philadelphia. Russell is more of a point guard than a shooting guard, of course, but he’s dual-eligible in Yahoo leagues.

ALSO TRENDING UP: Kyle Korver, CLE; Jeremy Lamb, CHA; Nick Young, GSW; Corey Brewer, OKC; Tyreke Evans, MEM

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Tony Snell, MIL: Snell is often the forgotten man on the Bucks, as he’s been held scoreless or finished in single digits in 15 of his last 18 games dating back to Feb. 1. He’s putting up a full shot attempt less per game than last season, and Snell is averaging just 4.8 field goal attempts over the last 10 contests. He doesn’t make for the shortfalls elsewhere on the stat sheet, either, as Snell is averaging just 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game on the year.

SMALL FORWARD

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Khris Middleton, MIL: Middleton has turned it up a notch recently as the Bucks jockey for playoff positioning, as he’s averaging 23.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists across the last five games. Middleton is shooting a stellar 54.8 percent from the field during that span, including 54.2 percent from three-point range. The sixth-year wing has a trio of 20-point efforts and one 30-point tally during that stretch, which has helped push his scoring average to a career-best 20.0 points per game on the season. Middleton is also posting per-game career highs in rebounds (5.2), field goal attempts (15.4) and three-point attempts (7.2).

ALSO TRENDING UP: Maurice Harkless, POR; Taurean Prince, ATL; Tim Hardaway, Jr., NYK

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Justin Holiday, CHI: Holiday’s fantasy value has been besieged by a couple of factors recently, one being multiple DNP-CD designations since the All-Star break as the Bulls shift toward developing young talent. The combination of a league mandate to not sit veterans and a multitude of injuries has thrust Holiday back in the rotation on occasion, but the results have been decidedly underwhelming. Holiday has posted single-digit scoring totals in five of the last six active games, and he’s seen fewer than 20 minutes in each of his last three games.

POWER FORWARD

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Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN: Hollis-Jefferson missed an extended stretch of games due to a groin injury, and after taking a few outings to find his footing, he appears to have hit his stride recently. RHJ has scored 18 to 23 points in four of the last five contests and has been equally impressive across other categories, leading to averages of 18.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steal across a 27.8 minutes per game during that span. As with Russell, the Nets’ pace of play — as well as their lack of a team-controlled 2018 first-round pick — also helps Hollis-Jefferson’s cause.

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Domantas Sabonis, IND: Sabonis is currently dealing with an ankle injury that will cost him a third straight game Monday, but he’d been heading in the wrong direction prior his absence. After an extended stretch of strong play earlier in the season, the second-year big has seen a rather sharp downturn, scoring in single digits in nine of the last 13 contests. Playing time has been a factor, as he’s averaging a modest 21.1 minutes over the last 10 games. The acquisition Trevor Booker, as well as the return of Glenn Robinson III from injury, have contributed to the drop-off.

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CENTER

Trending Up

Jonas Valanciunas, TOR: Valanciunas’ usage has often been hard to trust, but he’s developed into a fantasy force in his own right of late. The sixth-year big man rattled off five double-doubles over a six-game span before seeing only 22 minutes in an upset loss to the Thunder on Sunday, and he’s taken double-digit shot attempts in five of the last nine games.

Valanciunas has even seen an uptick in playing time during that stretch, logging at least 27 minutes in five contests. With his elite level of work on the boards, Valanciunas will typically be able to salvage his stat line,s even on nights when he may not put up as many field goal tries.

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Jarrett Allen, BKN: Allen had provided plenty of reason for optimism when he first started seeing consistent opportunity in late-January, as he posted double-digit scoring efforts in 13 of the subsequent 16 contests, along with four double-doubles. However, things have taken a turn for the worse lately, with Allen scoring fewer than 10 points in five of his last six games. He’s only taking an average of 5.8 field goals over his last five games, and while he typically offers serviceable production on the glass, it isn’t to the level that allows him to truly make up for any offensive shortfalls.