It’s exotic European name day on the fantasy basketball stock exchange with plenty of points, rebounds, and vowels to go around. If you’ve been playing along with the stock market and waiver wire recommendations, it’s also time to drop some of the guys we invested in earlier in the season, either due to an injured starter returning early or simply regression. Let’s take a look at the top blue chip stocks to invest in this week and some to shed from your fantasy basketball portfolio.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues): As with any stock, it’s best to get in on the ground floor. Giannis is as blue chip as they come, despite being a rookie who just turned 19-years-old. He made his first start of the season on Wednesday against the Knicks and played a strong 42 minutes, putting up 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block.
Since getting a bump in minutes, he’s averaging 33 minutes per game, 11.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, a steal, a block, and two assists. He can play shooting guard, small forward, and power forward and has an athleticism and tool set perfect for filling out the stat sheet in fantasy.
Although the Bucks aren’t giving him a lot of shot opportunities yet, he’s great at drawing fouls, averaging seven free throw attempts per game since the minutes bump. Even if the scoring remains in the low double-digits, his rebounds, blocks, steals, and the occasional assist all combine for a very strong fantasy prospect. The kid has talent and ability for days.
Omer Asik (42 percent): Last season, Asik averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor. It didn’t take long for him to lose all of that fantasy value when the season kicked off as he and Dwight Howard just couldn’t mesh (that cliché). Now, Asik is likely packing his bags and is likely headed to Boston or maybe even Philadelphia. Either way, he is very likely to get traded, and soon.
Asik is worth taking a shot on and hoping he gets starter minutes. Although his play is far from what we saw last season, his averages are very close to what they were last year in limited time. Asik is averaging 8.7 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per 36 minutes. If he can get starter minutes in a better situation, there is no reason Asik can’t contribute at least the same amount as he did last season.
Beno Udrih (6 percent): The first two guys are players we’re thinking could be good longterm investments. There is no way that will be the case with Beno but he makes for a great two-week pickup for any fantasy team that needs help with assists. Last week we mentioned Pablo Prigioni as a good pickup while Raymond Felton is out. Well, now Prigioni is out too and Udrih is the starting point guard in New York. He started on Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month and hit 8-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-7 from downtown for 21 points while adding five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Don’t expect 20+ points from him, ever, but he should bring a healthy dose of assists, steals, and treys.
Channing Frye (45 percent): Last week it was time to bench Channing Frye and wait for his next hot streak. That didn’t take long. Over his last two games, Frye has put up 42 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and a block. He’s scored double-digits in five of his last six and, although the rebounds aren’t stellar, he is averaging five per game over that stretch. He’ll disappear at times but he definitely looks like a solid fantasy option to definitely keep on your team for the foreseeable future.
Nick Young (34 percent): I don’t like Young. He’s not a great shooter by any stretch and doesn’t contribute in any non-scoring categories. That being said, if you need scoring help in your lineup, there aren’t much better places to look. Rather than fall off, Young’s production has only improved since Kobe returned but he’s been putting up points in loads all season. He has now scored double-digits in 11 straight games and 16 of his last 17. Over his last 11, he is averaging 29 minutes, 17.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.1 threes, shooting a strong 42.6 percent from downtown. If you’re willing to take a hit in field goal percentage, he’s a good high scoring option to rack up some points.
Al-Farouq Aminu: Aminu was a good get while Anthony Davis was out but, with Davis returning early from his injury, Aminu was back to playing just 15 minutes on Wednesday. Time to drop him and pick up Giannis.
Jason Smith: Like Aminu, Smith was seeing added minutes and opportunities while Davis was out but has now played just 22 minutes in back-to-back games and his production has fallen off either way. Time to drop him and pick up Frye or Asik.
Terrence Jones: I’m not sure if I’m ready to sell on Jones but he’s certainly not starter-material right now. After a solid November and early December, Jones is averaging just 25 minutes per game over his last three, putting up just 4.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and shooting a rough 26 percent from the floor. Jones is reportedly dealing with an illness so I’m willing to give the 21-year-old a couple of games to get back in form but it’s looking iffy.
Corey Brewer: Over his first 22 games, Brewer averaged a solid 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 treys per game. Over his last four games, Brewer is averaging just seven points and shooting just 32 percent from the floor and miserable 8 percent from downtown. It’s a small sample size and Brewer was having a good season but he’s on the bench until he levels out and gone if he doesn’t soon.