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Six Trending Players to Pick Up for Fantasy Basketball

Chris Ventra January 6, 2018 1:13PM EDT
Gerald Green (Hou) SG/SF – The first of our trending players has gained playing time with James Harden on the shelf for at least the next few weeks. Gerald Green has stepped up from zero minutes to 25-plus within the last few games, making him a solid temporary pickup for season-long formats. In Daily Fantasy formats, Green is even more tantalizing considering the extreme uptick in usage and his cheap price tag. In his last two games, Green has posted a minimum of 35 Fantasy points in standard scoring formats. The uptick in Green’s production is drastic and so too is the number of owners adding him; he’s seen a 100 percent waiver claim increase in Yahoo! leagues and now sits at 45 percent ownership.

Eric Gordon (Hou) SG – Like Gerald Green, Eric Gordon has become a trending player in Fantasy Basketball due to the James Harden injury. Gordon was already a valuable part of the Rockets’ rotation but with Harden unavailable, his value has increased drastically. An inexpensive option in DFS, Gordon could easily exceed his price tag right now, but take advantage before it rises rapidly. The longer Harden remains out, the more it will rise. It takes a whole team to replace the production Harden brings to the table, but Gordon and Green are currently the main beneficiaries of his absence.

trending players

Gerald Green has gained significant playing time since the injury to James Harden. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Michael Beasley (NY) SF/PF – Beasley’s a prototypical boom or bust play, which makes him a risky option for weekly season-long owners, but he’s a fantastic DFS play if selected in the right matchups. However, in Beasley’s last four games he’s had 51, 28, 33, and 45 Fantasy points respectively in standard scoring formats. Perhaps this recent positive trend is an indicator of things to come for Beasley and the 40 percent of teams who own him in Yahoo! leagues. Although still a very volatile option, Beasley remains an intriguing matchup play in DFS and a name to keep an eye on in season-long formats.

Marquese Chriss (Pho) PF/C – Chriss wasn’t seeing the minutes this season to be a Fantasy relevant player until recently. He’s averaged over 30 Fantasy points per game in his last seven contests. It’s no coincidence that Chriss’ usage has also increased to over 28 minutes per game within that seven-game span. Many experts foresaw output like this from Chriss before the season started, but the question is whether this is sustainable. Chriss is still very young with lots of potential, so his ceiling is high and unbound whether you’re looking for a relatively cheap DFS option or a long-term stud in season-long leagues. Expect him to be off the waiver wire soon, if not already, and his price to rise in DFS the longer his production stays strong. With an almost 20 percent recent increase, Chriss is currently at 60 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues.

Caris Levert (BKN) SG/SF – Still less than 50 percent owned, Levert isn’t a bad long-term add for Fantasy owners. When discussing the more consistent options in Fantasy Basketball, Levert is surely part of the conversation. In his last 11 games, Levert’s put up a minimum of 26 Fantasy points in eight of them, roughly 30 points or more in seven of them, and a minimum of 34 points in each of his last four. Levert missed the last Brooklyn Nets’ contest due to a groin injury and will likely miss one or two more games but supposedly, the injury isn’t too serious. Either way, it’s worth holding onto Levert in season-long formats due to the consistency and value he brings to a Brooklyn Nets team that doesn’t have much else to offer. Expect close to 30 minutes and 25-plus Fantasy points per game from Levert when he gets back to full strength, making him a very safe cash game option in DFS formats.

De’Aaron Fox (Sac) PG – The fifth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has had an up and down rookie campaign thus far, but the tide may be turning for the better. Fox was in a real lull before suffering a quad injury on December 19. He just wasn’t getting the minutes or numbers his owners were looking for before the season started. Upon his return on January 2, Fox immediately saw a major increase in usage, playing in close to 33 minutes of the game, the second-highest total of his young career. Fox also posted nearly 27 Fantasy points in standard Yahoo! scoring, possibly an indicator of things to come. With the Sacramento Kings looking to the future, expect Fox to grow within this offense and continue to see high usage rates as the season rolls along. The King’s have very few playmakers surrounding Fox, which leaves him as the main weapon moving forward with massive potential for season-long owners and those who play DFS.

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