Week 12 of the NBA season is behind us, and now it's time to reflect, overreact and assess the fantasy basketball landscape. We're a third of the way through the NBA season and equipped with plenty of data to evaluate player performance. With Week 13 underway, keeping tabs on the players showing sustained performance indicators or those due for a market correction is important if you're wondering if you should buy, sell or hold a specific player.
Let's dive into this week's risers and fallers.
Gary Trent Jr. - SG/SF, Toronto Raptors
Current per-game rank: 63
The Raptors are tumbling down the Eastern Conference standings, but fantasy managers only care if Trent Jr. continues to produce. He's been ballin' over the past month, ranking 26th in per-game value during that span. He's been even better recently though, finishing 8th in per-game value over the past two weeks.
His ascension up the ranks can be attributed to his improved efficiency — shooting 48 percent from the field while turning the ball over less than once per game over the last 30 days. He's upped his scoring to 22 per night and increased his free-throw percentage to 88% in that span.
But even though he's been playing some of his best basketball of the year, I think now is the perfect time to sell high. He's a career 42% shooter and has only shot over 44% once in four years. He's on track to do it for a second time (he's shooting 44% through Tuesday), but I think regression is imminent.
It's also glaring that he's averaging 41 minutes per contest in four games in January. That's no coincidence, considering that Trent Jr. is rumored to be "undeniably" available before the Feb. 9 trade deadline. And with the Raptors 1.5 games out of the play-in tournament, it's possible they're on the verge of making changes. The looming trade rumors would give me pause on holding onto him, so even though he's been a top-30 player recently, I'd be putting out some feelers before his value fades.
Thomas Bryant - C, Los Angeles Lakers
Current per-game rank: 101
The Lakers' big man has done a phenomenal job filling in for Anthony Davis. Since AD's absence, Bryant has averaged 16.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 threes and 1.0 stock over his last 13 games. He racked up eight double-doubles in the process, which is the seventh-most in the NBA over that span. He's provided second-round value for the past two weeks and has been 57th in per-game value over the past month.
Bryant's been a bully in the post, and it's exactly what the Lakers needed in their frontcourt without their All-Star center:
— LakersHighlights (@LakerHlghlights) January 3, 2023
Sadly, Bryant's resurgence may be winding down, with AD reportedly ramping up activities in the hopes of returning in a couple of weeks. And, as much as I hate to say it, now is the time to explore trade options. A move like this might carry a bit of risk considering that Bryant was on track to be a league winner, but AD's eventual return depresses Bryant's value significantly.
AD will likely be under a minutes restriction upon his return which could keep Bryant relevant for a few additional weeks, but the Lakers are still one game out of the play-in tournament and are nearing that sense of urgency. Despite providing little value in blocks, Bryant has been an ideal waiver wire pickup that's exceeded expectations. But do yourself a favor and trade him before it's too late.
PJ Washington - PF/C, Charlotte Hornets
Current per-game rank: 80
Washington has only missed one game this season despite the slew of injuries plaguing the Hornets franchise. Before LaMelo Ball's return, he and Jalen McDaniels have been arguably the best performing fantasy players on the Hornets, which continues into the new year. He provided third-round value in Week 12 and fourth-round value over the past 30 days. Washington is quietly having a solid season, so now is an ideal time to buy.
Even though the Hornets are throwing their name in the Wemby sweepstakes, Washington is playing for far more than a lottery ticket. The Hornets could not agree to terms on extending his rookie contract, which means Washington is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason.
He's an ideal stretch four who knocks down two threes per night while also racking up a lot of stocks. He's a player I'd look to target as he has additional motivation and is playing his best basketball of the season.
Al Horford - PF/C, Boston Celtics
Current per-game rank: 74
The Celtics big man continues to show why he's still a critical piece to a championship contender, but in fantasy, he's approaching drop status in shallow leagues. His minutes have been trending down over the past two months, going from 32 minutes in November to 28 minutes five games into January.
And with that decrease in minutes comes less production.
Don't be fooled by his ranking, because his early-season production props it up. He finished 270th in per-game value in Week 12 and has been 211th over the past two weeks. Horford is on pace to average career lows in points, rebounds and steals per game while also averaging the least amount of assists per game in nine seasons. Robert Williams' return has put less dependency on Horford, and while he's still a much-needed asset for a deep playoff run, I'd be looking to sell if he has a big game.
Kyle Kuzma - SF/PF, Washington Wizards
Current per-game rank: 140
Kuzma outperformed his expectations two months into the season, producing sixth-round value for fantasy managers. But, it didn't last long as Kuzma's lack of defensive stats, poor free-throw percentage and high turnover rate have pushed him outside of the top 100, and he's closing in on the top 150.
His ECR was 66 coming into the season, but his current ADP has dropped significantly to 99.2. With Bradley Beal in and out of the lineup, it's surprising that Kuzma hasn't impacted the box score more. He's been 197th in per-game value over the past two weeks and 164th in the past 30 days.
I'd sell Kuzma with the quickness. He has some appeal for scoring, rebounds and assists relative to his position, but you'd have to tank several categories to extract value from his current production.