FANTASY BASKETBALL: STOCK REPORT

Adam Zdroik, Staff Writer February 7, 2012

There hasn’t been a lot of middle-class players in the Stock Report lately, as it’s been filled with complete studs or complete duds. This week changes that outlook. Each side of the Market includes players in the middle of the road. Where they lie in the chart is where I think they are going.

Marcus Camby opens up the Bull Market as a bit of a surprise. Lessened minutes this are helping him stay healthy throughout the year. On the other end, less minutes for a player like David West isn’t what you want. West was supposed to be your starting power forward and now he’s putting up bench-worthy numbers.

Probably the biggest stock jump of the week goes to Mo Williams as Chauncey Billups could be done for the season with his Achilles injury. I wrote about Williams last week, so hopefully you wrapped him up then.

BULL MARKET

Marcus Camby, C, Trail Blazers: If a guy doesn’t score, he won’t get looked at. A lot of people look at points as the No. 1 deciding factor if they want to pick up a player or not. In Camby’s case, that is the opposite approach you want to take. Camby gets a ton of boards and blocks and also gets a surprising amount of steals for his height. He is the backup center that every Fantasy player needs, and yet he’s sparingly owned. The major factor for Camby this year is that he’s actually healthy, which doesn’t happen often with the big man. He doesn’t get a ton of minutes, but you should be fine with that. In five of his past eight games, Camby has at least 15 rebounds while averaging close to three blocks and over one steal per game. Those are some key numbers that can give you an edge in multiple categories.

Marcus Camby has survived so far. Photo Credit: IconSMI

Jason Thompson, PF/C, Kings: The Kings started the season with Chuck Hayes alongside DeMarcus Cousins until Hayes suffered an injury. J.J. Hickson was put into the starting role until they realized he was better suited as an energy guy off the bench. Enter Thompson, who had a nonchalant start to his career so far. After showing a lot of promise in his first couple seasons, he took a dive in his third. His averages are even lower this year, but that will definitely change soon. Since being named a starter, Thompson is getting close to 30 minutes per game. Along with that he has reached double-digit boards in five of those 10 starts along with 10 PPG. He still isn’t getting a ton of blocks, which is bit of a disappointment, but as long as Thompson does what he’s supposed to do, he should be able to hold off the others for the starting spot. If he does, he should finish the season on rosters in all leagues.

Paul George, SG/SF, Pacers: Without Brandon Rush to compete with for time, George is becoming a great draft pick for the Pacers. He figured to have a larger role, yet he’s exceeding all expectations so far this season, and he’s only getting better. He’s turning into a consistent scorer and a quality three-point shooter. At 6’8”, he’s tough to guard on the perimeter, and it’s showing in his percentages. (46% for 3PT). Because of his height, George is not only pulling down rebounds but also gets plenty of steals and blocks. Not to mention his scoring has been pretty consistent, now close to 20 PPG in a four-game stretch. For a player that can be classified as a SG, these numbers are golden and will only continue.

Jared Dudley, SG/SF, Suns: He began the season starting 13 straight games for the Suns. After a five-game losing streak, they decided to change things up and put Ronnie Price in the lineup instead. After a home loss to Toronto and a 38-point loss at Portland, Alvin Gentry went back to Dudley. Since he was renamed starter, Dudley is averaging 15 points per game, which is five above his season average. While he’s also listed as a forward, he’s mainly a shooting guard, as Grant Hill is the small forward in the lineup. So what you want from Dudley is points and three-pointers. He’s average in both of those categories, but the fact that he’s a starter with consistent minutes should be enough to like him. He gets some rebounds and steals, but it’s nothing to go after him for. If you need points, Dudley can supply it. I mean, he’s competing with Price and Michael Redd for time, so he’d better win out.

BEAR MARKET

David West, PF, Pacers: West’s move from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference wasn’t supposed to hurt his numbers much. The only problem is the Pacers are a more well-rounded team than the Hornets were. They spread the ball. The Hornets relied on Chris Paul and David West. West’s numbers have decreased along with his playing time. The Pacers don’t need West to play maximum minutes every night; they have a viable bench. He used to average 20 PPG. This year, West hit 20 points for the first time in the 22nd game of this season. A decrease in the rest of his numbers is inevitable with less court time. West used to be one of the best and most consistent PFs in the game. Now, he’s mediocre.

JaVale McGee, PF/C, Wizards: During the second half of last season, McGee put together a lot of huge games. In fact, he averaged over 30 minutes and close to a double-double and three blocks per game over March and February. With that production a lot of people were thinking McGee could improve and become a Top 10 center. Instead, the sailing hasn’t been as smooth this season. He’s averaging just under 30 minutes and is just under a double-double. The positive note is that his blocks are still there. Lately, his play has fallen off, though. In a game last Monday, McGee thought his shot went in and ran back on defense a tad early. Maybe his head isn’t totally in the game. An interesting point is that Kevin Seraphin is getting more playing time during McGee’s bad stretch. This run of bad games could easily continue to the All-Star break, which only means Stock Down.

Elton Brand, PF/C, 76ers: A sprained right thumb that has Brand out contributes to a disappointing season for his owners. Not many people thought Spencer Hawes would hurt Brand’s value, but it has. Even though Hawes has missed time, Brand was given more minutes and still didn’t do a whole lot with it. His career is on the downside; it’s obvious at this point. He’s still a quality option, but you can’t rely on him like the olden days. Once he comes back from injury, maybe someone will buy into him for his name. If so, go for it. When he plays, his minutes will be around the 30s and even then injury is always a concern.

*Stats up-to-date as of 02/07/12

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