Bojan Bogdanovic has made an immediate impact since returning to the court. Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images
Several unexpected players have been returning solid fantasy value over the past two weeks and some huge names have been letting their fantasy managers down while struggling in multiple fantasy categories along the way. Coby White and Bojan Bogdanovic have been risers, while Klay Thompson and Jalen Green have been struggling recently.
Check out the Risers and Fallers as we prepare to enter Week 8 of the NBA season!
Coby White, PG/SG, Bulls (rostered in 41% of ESPN leagues): White has scored in double figures in seven straight games and has averaged 19.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 4.4 3-pointers and just 2.1 turnovers over that stretch. He's been a mid third-round fantasy player over the past two weeks, Lonzo Ball is out for the year and Zach LaVine has likely played his last game for the Bulls. White's not going to win you an assist title, but he's unchallenged for minutes and should be a staple in the Bulls lineup for the rest of the season, assuming the Bulls don't land a better point guard at some point. The Bulls play four games in each of the next two weeks.
Bojan Bogdanovic, PF/SF, Pistons (38.8%): He's been back for only two games but Bojan played well in both of them and ranks as a second-round fantasy player over the past two weeks. He's averaging 22 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.5 3-pointers thus far and while he's likely to be shut down at some point this season for the two-win Pistons, it looks like he's going to play a big role for the foreseeable future. The Pistons go 4-3-3-4 schedule-wise over the next four weeks.
Malik Monk, SG/SF, Kings (30.6%): Monk is one of the few things working off the Kings bench right now and has been a late fifth-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. He's scored at least 21 points in three of his past four games and at least 10 points in six straight. Over the aforementioned four-game stretch, Monk has averaged 20.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.5 3-pointers, hitting 27-of-51 shots, good for 53% shooting. The Kings play four games in three of their next four weeks.
Al Horford, PF/C, Celtics (20.3%): Horford has been filling in nicely for Kristaps Porzingis (calf) and has been a fourth-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. Horford had a dud in Monday's loss to the Pacers and Porzingis should be back Friday night. But the Celtics are going to attempt to keep both players healthy and they should both still see meaningful minutes on a nightly basis. Horford's value is financed by his steals, blocks and 3-pointers and while his numbers won't blow you away, he's going to help fantasy teams more than he hurts them on most nights.
Dereck Lively II, C, Mavericks (15.8%): Buoyed by his monster line on Dec. 2 when he went off for 20 points, 16 rebounds, a steal and seven blocks on 9-of-9 shooting, Lively has been a third-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. He has at least two blocks in four straight games, a steal in three straight, double-digit scoring in two straight and has hit 20-of-24 shots over his past four. The Mavs play four times in each of the next four weeks and it's officially Lively time, even if we've already seen his best game of the season come and go.
Julius Randle, PF, Knicks (97.3%): I'm listing Randle here only because he's been much improved over the past couple of weeks, returning mid fifth-round fantasy value after struggling for the early part of the season. There's hope.
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Klay Thompson, SG/SF, Warriors (79.7%): Klay simply hasn't looked right this season and many folks are saying he's washed up. He's hit just 25-of-69 shots over his past five games (36%) and is shooting just under 40% on the season. A career-low 35% from downtown is most of his problem and has resulted in him averaging just 15.5 points per game, his fewest since his rookie season. Additionally, he's not stealing or blocking shots and his assists and rebounds are also down from last season. He's been a late 10th-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. Yuck.
DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, Bulls (99.3%): DeRozan has scored 29, 24 and 19 points in each of his past three games but is still returning just mid-11th-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. A lack of 3-pointers, rebounds, steals and blocks, along with some missed free throws and poor field goal percentage are all culprits in his low ranking and the eight-win Bulls might be about ready to pull the plug on their season. Now is not a bad time to think about moving DeRozan, especially since his lack of fantasy value isn't easily detected with a quick glance at his stat line, along with the fact he's still averaging 21.9 points on the season.
Pascal Siakam, PF/C, Raptors (99.3%): Siakam is another deceiving fantasy player, scoring 24.3 points over his past three games, but still returning just 11th-round fantasy value over the past two weeks. Poor shooting, a lack of rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and 3-pointers are all to blame for his low ranking and it's interesting that both Siakam and O.G. Anunoby have been struggling while playing with Dennis Schroder as their point guard. Siakam can quickly turn his ranking around by making some triples, blocking some shots and swiping some steals but he hasn't lived up to the hype thus far.
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Jalen Green, SG, Rockets (83.5%): Green has scored 15 or fewer points in three of his past four games, has a total of two blocks and zero steals over that stretch and is returning just mid-14th fantasy value over the past two weeks. He's getting plenty of minutes each night but the Rockets are running everything through Alperen Sengun thus far and Green's lack of peripheral stats is hurting him. He's worth rostering, for sure, but trading him for a more complete player, such as Herbert Jones, makes sense to me.
Jordan Poole, PG/SG, Wizards (89.7%): Apparently we should just reserve a spot for one of the NBA's most interesting (and disappointing) players right here every week. He's returning just 15th-round fantasy value over the past two weeks and has been a 16th-round player over the course of the season. Poole's 40% shooting, a lack of 3-pointers (1.9 per game), 2.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals are all to blame for his struggles and poor ranking. And given that the Wizards are just 3-17 on the season, you have to wonder how long they'll let Poole have free reign in the offense. He still has a chance to turn it around, but the Wizards aren't going to get much better this season and at some point you have to think they'll start experimenting with the lineup to get a look at their unproven players, which could spell even more bad news for Poole's future.
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