Gary Harris: His modest Usage Rate (19.8) is tied for No. 123 in the NBA, yet Harris ranks as the No. 26 fantasy player so far this season. Already one of the quieter fantasy assets, Harris has only gotten better this year, and he’s going to go down as one of the bigger draft day steals. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaging 22.3 points while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. He limits turnovers and is one of only five players in the NBA who average 17+ ppg and 1.9+ spg. Harris is going to cost a much earlier pick in drafts next year.
Dewayne Dedmon: He’s back in action and has averaged 9.3 rebounds over the last three games despite seeing just 22 mpg. John Collins leads all rookies in PER (Jordan Bell is second) and needs to get increased playing time, but Dedmon should continue to see a role in Atlanta’s frontcourt, and Basketball Monster projects him to be a top-75 player over the rest of the season, yet Dedmon is owned in just 40 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Jarrett Jack: He’s averaged 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.1 steals while getting 30:16 mpg over eight contests this month, as Jack continues to start at point guard for the Knicks. He’s been a top-50 player over the past week and is owned in fewer than 30 percent of leagues.
Willie Cauley-Stein: It’s been an up-and-down third year for WCS, but he’s back to seeing good minutes, getting 29.8 mpg over the last five games, when he’s averaged 16.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 57.7 percent from the floor. Cauley-Stein’s playing time would’ve been even higher if not for foul trouble in recent games, and Sacramento has officially stated its plans to rest veterans more moving forward (Zach Randolph’s surprising value takes a hit as a result), so younger players like WCS and De’Aaron Fox stand to benefit, with the latter a cheap DFS target right now.
Josh Jackson: Devin Booker is back, but T.J. Warren is banged up, and the rebuilding Suns have every reason to give Jackson all the run he can handle down the stretch. The rookie has shown signs of improvement of late, getting 14.2 ppg over the last five contests. The 20-year-old has attempted 14 threes over the last three games, when he’s also been much more aggressive on the boards. Phoenix sports a top-three Pace in the NBA, and Jackson’s arrow is pointing up.
Ricky Rubio: He’s shot just 37.1 percent from the floor over the last 10 games, when he’s been the No. 140 player despite going 100 percent from the line. While his old team is one of the hotter in the league in Minnesota, Rubio has seen his apg fall from 9.1 last season to a career-low 4.7, and his spg (1.6) is also a personal worst. Utah has the third-lowest Pace in the NBA, and Rubio’s fantasy value has never been lower despite a career-high Usage Rate (22.2). Rubio is still just 27 years old, but it’s beyond discouraging to see no improvement with his outside shot to go along with depressed passing numbers.
Denzel Valentine: The sophomore has shown promise at times (he’s been a top-100 player over the past month) and has seen his role expand, but he’s about to take a hit in Usage Rate with Zach LaVine back in action. Valentine has totaled just 14 points during two games since LaVine returned, and he’s going to have to make big strides to take a leap in year three.
Markelle Fultz: Seriously, what is going on with his shot?
Robert Covington: He’s been in a shooting slump, going just 35.5 percent from the field over the last two weeks, a time in which his Usage Rate has been way down (14.4). Covington’s shot will likely bounce back soon, but when Philadelphia is healthy, he takes a backseat on a team with plenty of scoring options.