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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Dr. A’s weekly risers and fallers: Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson make the list

Several unexpected players have been returning surprisingly solid fantasy value over the last two weeks while some huge names have been letting their fantasy managers down by struggling in multiple fantasy categories along the way.

Brandon Miller, Onyeka Okongwu and Donte DiVincenzo are heating up while Khris Middleton, Immanuel Quickley and Klay Thompson have all been struggling.

Here’s a look at five risers and four fallers during the past week of the fantasy hoops season.


Risers

Brandon Miller, SF/PF, Hornets (68.1% rostered in ESPN leagues): Miller has been a Top 20 fantasy force over the past week, racking up ridiculous averages of 29.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.5 steals, 1.3 blocks and 4.3 3-pointers, all while shooting 50% from the floor and 86.7% from the line. He’s the last man standing in Charlotte and that could mean big things for fantasy managers in the final month of the fantasy season.

Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, Hawks (51.1%): Clint Capela (adductor) is out for 10 days or so and is also a trade candidate so it looks like it’s officially Okongwu season. Over his last four games, Okongwu has averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers per game, good for Top 25 fantasy value. He’s young and is going to have some rough nights, but the Hawks are starting to play better, could be bolstered by a trade and Okongwu looks primed for a big second half. His 3-point shooting has been particularly impressive of late.

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Knicks (37%): In four games this month, DiVincenzo has taken the opportunity provided by Julius Randle’s shoulder injury and run with it, returning Top 25 fantasy value along the way. DiVincenzo has racked up averages of 28.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 5.3 triples per game during this hot stretch. Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks are loving what they see out of DiVincenzo, and he’s a big part of the reason they’ve won so many games in recent weeks.

Brandin Podziemski, SG, Warriors (14.1%): With Klay Thompson struggling, the rookie Podziemski is providing Top 35 fantasy value over the last week with averages of 11.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.2 steals on 45.1% shooting from the field. Unless Thompson finds some confidence soon, Podziemski should continue to dominate, although he hasn’t hit a 3-pointer since January.

Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Knicks (9.8%): Achiuwa has quietly been a Top 60 player during the past two weeks and will see a boost as the only healthy big man in New York after Isaiah Hartenstein went down on Thursday after aggravating his Achilles injury. Over his last seven games Achiuwa has averaged 11.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.4 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers while hitting 49% of his shots and knocking down 75% of his free throws. It’s time to move on him.

Fallers

Khris Middleton, SF, Bucks (82.7%): Middleton has been just a Top 120 player over the past week and was last seen on crutches while leaving the arena on Tuesday night due to a sprained left ankle. He missed Thursday’s game and could miss more, which is a bad sign for a player who can’t help fantasy teams the same way he did a few years back.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Pelicans (87%): Prior to Wednesday’s game when he injured his calf and played only 11 minutes, Valanciunas had been just a Top 120 player during the previous week with averages of 17.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.3 blocks and 0.0 3-pointers. Sure, the points and boards are fine, but there’s not much else happening here, while he’s hitting just 64% of his free throws, to boot. He is questionable for Friday’s game against the Lakers.

Immanuel Quickley, PG/SG, Raptors (59.1%): Quickley has been outside the Top 150 over his last three games by averaging 16.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.0 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers over his last three. The points, assists and triples are fine, but the lack of steals, combined with 37% shooting and 70% free throws make him difficult to use in category leagues.

Klay Thompson, SG/SF, Warriors (48.2%): Thompson appears to be struggling mentally to accept the fact he’s not the player he once was and it’s been kind of sad to watch. He’s not even closing out games for the Warriors these days while Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski have become fan favorites for the Warriors, who are finally starting to play better. The surgeries and age have caught up with Thompson and he’s averaged just 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last four games. The 36.4% shooting in that span is disastrous and he gone to the line only twice in those four games.

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