Biggest Risers and Fallers of 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season
The 2013-14 fantasy basketball season is in full swing, and the opening stages have featured a handful of pleasant surprises and baffling disappointments.
Who is currently rising and falling in the NBA fantasy spectrum?
This slideshow highlights an array of individuals that are either performing as a stud or a dud.
Honorable Mention Risers
- Jordan Crawford, Boston Celtics: 13.9 points per game (46.4 percent from the field, 88.7 percent from the free-throw line), 1.5 three-pointers made, 5.4 assists per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, 1.0 steals per game
- Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers: 16.2 PPG (52.9 percent from the field, 78.3 percent from the free-throw line), 2.6 3PM, 4.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG
- Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers: 12.1 PPG (46.4 percent from the field, 63.6 percent from the free-throw line), 1.0 3PM, 6.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.7 SPG
- Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz: 13.4 PPG (51.2 percent from the field, 64.6 percent from the free-throw line), 9.5 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 1.2 blocks per game
- John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks: 11.3 PPG (51.9 percent from the field, 58.5 percent from the free-throw line), 7.0 RPG, 2.1 BPG
- Miles Plumlee, Phoenix Suns: 9.8 PPG (50.0 percent from the field, 45.8 percent from the free-throw line), 8.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG
- Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns: 18.6 PPG (48.9 percent from the field, 79.5 percent from the free-throw line), 1.2 3PM, 6.0 APG, 4.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG
Honorable Mention Fallers
- Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets: 6.2 PPG (45.9 percent from the field, 71.0 percent from the free-throw line), 3.6 APG, 2.7 RPG, 0.5 SPG
- Jarrett Jack, Cleveland Cavaliers: 9.6 PPG (42.5 percent from the field, 86.2 percent from the free-throw line), 3.7 APG, 2.7 RPG, 0.9 SPG
- Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: 12.9 PPG (43.7 percent from the field, 76.3 percent from the free-throw line), 7.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.8 BPG
- Chris Bosh, Miami Heat: 14.1 PPG (50.5 percent from the field, 79.3 percent from the free-throw line), 6.0 RPG, 1.2 BPG
- Gerald Wallace, Boston Celtics: 4.5 PPG (48.7 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from the free-throw line), 0.5 3PM, 3.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.5 SPG
Riser: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
- 13.5 PPG (63.5 percent from the field, 38 percent from the free-throw line)
- 13.0 RPG
- 1.9 SPG
- 1.4 BPG
Andre Drummond has become one of the game's premier big men in his second season, and his fantasy owners cannot be disappointed.
He not only ranks fourth in rebounds per game, but he also contributes in other categories such as points, blocks and steals. His average of nearly two steals per game is especially noteworthy coming from a center.
What's more, he also leads the league in field-goal percentage.
While it's hard to overlook Drummond's absolutely atrocious free-throw clip, there are very few centers who produce effectively in five categories (six if your league includes double-doubles).
At his young age, he figures to be an elite weapon at the center position for many years.
Faller: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
- 9.4 PPG (46.5 percent from the field, 64.3 percent from the free-throw line)
- 8.8 RPG
- 3.3 APG
- 0.9 SPG
- 0.9 BPG
Joakim Noah was an All-Star last season and compiled his best statistical campaign: 11.9 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.2 SPG and 2.1 BPG.
His performance in 2013-14 is a far cry from what he was doing a season ago. He still has value, but he's not one of the marquee fantasy centers at the moment.
What is especially perplexing is his diminishing marks in the defensive categories. They are both currently under one, which greatly limits his value.
Noah should make strides in the coming weeks, but maybe last year was a banner season that shouldn't be expected going forward.
He's certainly worth keeping, but there are plenty of better center options out there, perhaps even on your waiver wire if your league is not deep.
Riser: Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers
- 15.1 PPG (49.6 percent from the field, 74.4 percent from the free-throw line)
- 9.7 RPG
- 1.8 3PM
- 3.1 assists per game
- 1.6 blocks per game
I doubt anyone envisioned Spencer Hawes becoming a legitimate top-20 fantasy player, but he is having this type of initial stretch and his owners are surely delighted.
Hawes' fantasy stat line is virtually flawless. He collects points and rebounds, but his presence extends far beyond that. He is the rare big man who can also cash threes (at a high rate of 1.8 per outing) while not compromising a decent field-goal percentage (nearly 50 percent).
Further, he's also a sneaky source of assists and blocks. What's not to like?
With all that said, he is already coming back down to earth a bit. In the past 15 days, his line is as follows: 11.0 PPG (40.3 percent from the field), 1.5 3PM, 8.3 RPG, 3.0 APG and 1.5 BPG.
He remains a riser, but the recent decreased production is a sign that he was likely overachieving.
Faller: Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons
- 13.9 PPG (38.9 percent from the field, 55.1 percent from the free-throw line)
- 6.8 RPG
- 1.2 3PM
- 3.4 APG
- 1.6 SPG
- 1.5 BPG
Josh Smith epitomizes the type of fantasy player who drives an owner crazy. While you can't argue with his quality steal and block tallies, as well as respectable point and rebound marks, his lacking efficiency is maddening.
His despicable shooting percentage is largely a result of him playing more on the wing, since the Detroit Pistons have Drummond and Greg Monroe in the frontcourt. Smith, as a result, is launching more threes than he ever has (4.5 per game) and not connecting at a good rate (27.4 percent from distance).
Plus, not only are his percentages terrible, but he also coughs up nearly three turnovers per game.
Smith will still occasionally have his beastly nights where he reveals his worth, but so far during 2013-14, he has been erratic. Truthfully, he may sometimes be too risky to start.
Riser: Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic
- 21.9 PPG (47.5 percent from the field, 86.1 percent from the free-throw line)
- 2.3 3PM-per game
- 4.6 RPG
- 4.0 APG
- 0.8 SPG
Veteran Arron Afflalo has never pieced together a season quite like this, so owners can only hope that this persists.
He provides exceptional scoring, and you can't argue with where his percentage lies, especially when considering that he hoists over five threes per game.
And, he's more than a scorer, as he adds four APG to vault his value.
He has risen enough during 2013-14 to be a legitimate top-10 fantasy shooting guard. Since he's receiving plenty of minutes in the Orlando Magic backcourt (37.6), he should continue to be effective.
Faller: Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs
- 7.5 PPG (42.4 percent from the field, 100 percent from the free-throw line)
- 1.7 3PM
- 3.3 RPG
- 1.2 SPG
Danny Green notched 10.5 PPG during 2012-13 before busting out amid the NBA Finals. His barrage of three pointers (setting an NBA Finals record) gave reason to wonder if he would carry momentum into 2013-14.
Instead, he has taken a step back. He is only averaging 7.5 PPG, and he is just splashing 1.7 three-pointers per game, compared to 2.2 last year.
Since Green doesn't accumulate much in other areas, he holds little value at this point. This brings about frustration for owners who drafted him to serve as one of the game's best three-point threats.
Lastly, don't read into the remarkable free-throw percentage. He is just 4-of-4 on the season, a decidedly small sample size.
Riser: Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
- 19.3 PPG (44.3 percent from the field, 75.7 percent from the free-throw line)
- 8.0 APG
- 1.3 3PM
- 3.7 RPG
- 1.2 SPG
The NBA is loaded with talent at the point guard spot, and Ty Lawson can easily get lost in the shuffle. In terms of fantasy value, he was likely glanced over by many during one's draft.
Thus far, he's showcasing why he should be deemed as a prominent fantasy floor general.
His PPG (19.3) and APG (8.0) have both ascended from a season ago (16.7 PPG, 6.9 APG), making him one of the few points guards who scores and distributes at such a high level.
If you wound up with Lawson as your secondary point guard, there's reason to be thrilled. And you can't be upset if he's your featured playmaker, because he has made convincing progression in the season's first month and a half.
Faller: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 19.7 PPG (39.4 percent from the field, 78.4 percent from the free-throw line)
- 1.4 3PM
- 5.8 APG
- 3.4 RPG
- 0.9 SPG
While Kyrie Irving did just have a 37-point, 11-assist outburst, he has typically been leaving his owners wanting much, much more. This was supposed to be Irving's breakout year, but there have been more frequent signs of regression.
During 2012-13, Irving poured in 22.5 PPG (45.2 percent from the field) and 5.9 APG. Thus far in 2013-14, his scoring output has not only dwindled, but he's also poor in terms of efficiency. Plus, since he chucks up so many shots, he can regularly kill your shooting percentage.
What hurts even more is that he doesn't make up for this in other categories. His assist mark is quite average (and his turnovers are high: 3.3 per game), and he doesn't swipe steals at a high rate.
Irving is still worth being in your regular rotation, but hopefully you're not expecting him to carry you. He's really nothing more than a scorer and serviceable distributor whose inefficiencies you have to grin and bear.
Riser: DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
- 10.0 PPG (61.8 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from the free-throw line)
- 13.3 RPG
- 2.1 BPG
- 1.1 SPG
In years past, DeAndre Jordan was primarily just a shot-blocker who could also haul in seven or eight boards a night. He has developed much further under new coach Doc Rivers.
Jordan is averaging over six more RPG this season (13.3) than he did last (7.2). His PPG and BPG have also increased.
Jordan and Drummond are eerily similar fantasy centers. They're comparable in an array of ways, including their abysmal free-throw clip.
The free throws are disturbing, but there are now too many bright spots in Jordan's game for his one weakness to cloud things.
Faller: Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets
- 6.4 PPG (36.2 percent from the field, 88.9 percent from the free-throw line)
- 7.5 RPG
- 0.9 BPG
- 0.9 SPG
The Brooklyn Nets are a mess, and the demise of Kevin Garnett is a factor in this. From last year to this year, there's a noticeable change.
Some of this surely stems from chemistry issues in Brooklyn, but at any rate, Garnett's fantasy value has diminished so much that he may be worth dropping.
He is scoring sparsely, and his shooting percentage is shockingly low. Furthermore, his mediocre rebounding and blocking numbers don't make up for his lacking offense.
Garnett may turn things up a notch in the coming days, but don't anticipate significant improvements. The bottom line is that he's declining, and the Nets are a disaster.
Riser: Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
- 16.7 PPG (39.3 percent from the field, 82.0 percent from the free-throw line)
- 1.0 3PM per game
- 5.1 RPG
- 4.7 APG
- 1.3 SPG
If you can live with an unsettling field-goal percentage, Gordon Hayward is bringing much to the table during his fourth year in the league.
The scoring is evident, but he also notches nice figures in rebounds, assists and steals. While he's not quite at the level of a "do-it-all" wing like Nicolas Batum, he's not far behind him.
Plus, since Hayward is a free agent come the summer and will be seeking a long-term deal, he has every reason to exclaim his worth throughout 2013-14.
Faller: Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans
- 11.8 PPG (40.9 percent from the field, 75.4 percent from the free-throw line)
- 0.1 3PM
- 4.4 RPG
- 3.6 APG
- 1.3 SPG
Since winning the Rookie of the Year in 2009-10, Tyreke Evans hasn't taken a step forward and seems to have regressed. This has been on undeniable display since he joined the New Orleans Pelicans during the offseason.
Evans was a realistic pick to win the Sixth Man of the Year award, but he has not thrived in his given role with New Orleans. He is tallying a career-low in PPG, and his RPG and APG leave fantasy owners desiring more.
His percentage is also quite unsatisfying, particularly when viewing how rarely he hits a three.
Evans' minutes are the least they've been in his entire career, so that explains some of his limitations. Yet, he hasn't done much to earn more playing time, and he thus may not even be worth a roster spot unless your league is deep.
Riser: John Wall, Washington Wizards
- 19.6 PPG (41.3 percent from the field, 83.6 percent from the free-throw line)
- 1.2 3PM
- 9.1 APG
- 4.4 RPG
- 2.3 SPG
John Wall is displaying why he's now a top-10 fantasy weapon. He has taken his repertoire to new heights during 2013-14.
It's specifically worth noting his increase in PPG (up from 18.5), APG (up from 7.6), 3PM (up from 0.2), steals (up from 1.3) and free-throw percentage (up from 80.4 percent). He has simply rounded into form and become a complete fantasy point guard.
The only downside is a poor percentage from the field (41.4 percent), but that is easy to swallow when he is doing so much across the board. In his third season, he has unquestionably risen to the status of "fantasy monster."
Faller: Greivis Vasquez, Toronto Raptors (Previously with Sacramento Kings)
- 9.8 PPG (43.3 percent from the field, 93.8 percent from the free-throw line)
- 0.9 3PM
- 5.3 APG
- 1.9 RPG
- 0.3 SPG
Greivis Vasquez emerged as a solid fantasy point guard last season when he averaged 13.9 PPG and 9.0 APG for New Orleans.
If owners drafted him expecting similar contributions, they are undoubtedly irked by Vasquez's current output.
The problem here is not that Vasquez's skills have waned, but that he hasn't received ample opportunities to shine. He shared time with Isaiah Thomas with the Sacramento Kings, and he now figures to split time with Kyle Lowry.
Vasquez's stock has quickly fallen as a result, but that could change in the event that Lowry is dealt, of which there is speculation, according to ESPN.