by Matthew Bellerose
Week 6 and players are becoming more difficult to sort. This week is all about the guards. There is some magic going around, and the Williams are not playing up to par. Keep looking to improve; there is a lot of season left!
Elfrid Payton PG Orlando Magic
Payton is in his sophomore season and he is playing much better than he was last year, yet I believe there is still room for improvement. He is on an improved team, and is improving drastically. His value is actually higher now than it was a month or so ago, but I think it will continue to rise. He is 12th in the league in assists, with a rising scoring average and shooting percentage. He is not necessarily a buy low, but rather a buy in general. He is a solid all around category contributor especially with the rise in points. If this trend continues he will definitely have great value for the remainder of the season.
Victor Oladipo SG Orlando Magic
Oladipo started the year blazing, but drastically cooled off when he was moved to the bench. The move to the bench was fairly surprising and sudden. Evan Fournier has slowed his production in his last few games, re-opening the door for Oladipo. If you have Fournier this is also a warning to you that you may want to let him go. Oladipo is a far superior player to Fournier, and he is the best scoring option on the Magic. In his last four games he is back up to the 30 minute mark, averaging over 15 points a game during that span. Even if he continues to come off the bench, he will be getting starter’s minutes. Buy him while his value is still low and expect him to work his magic and bring your fantasy team back to a high level.
DeMar DeRozan SG Toronto Raptors
DeRozan has seemingly taken a back seat to Kyle Lowry. Lowry went toe-to-toe with Steph Curry when the Raptors played the Warriors as DeRozan went 5-19 from the field for only 16 points. Don’t get all of this wrong, DeRozan is still the main scoring threat in Toronto. He is their guy. So his few recent games scoring in the teens is your opportunity to buy-low on the big time threat. While his scoring is down, his assists and rebounds are up, which is only a plus. While he does not give you the best field goal percentage, he is a very high point scorer, and can provide decent categorical production. Convince the DeRozan owner that Lowry has taken his spot, and snag DeRozan as your starting shooting guard.
Jamal Crawford SG Los Angeles Clippers
Crawford this year has been completely boom-or-bust. When he starts due to an injury, he is a threat for 30 points and 35 minutes. When he comes off the bench, he is in for just over double digits in scoring with no other categorical benefits. He is an excellent free-throw shooter if that is what you need, but he does not do anything else other than score average points. Now with supposedly a fully healthy lineup, he should fall back under his season averages of 14 points and under 3 assists. He is not the young, agile Crawford anymore. His job on the Clippers is to occasionally provide a scoring spark of the bench, something not useful for fantasy owners.
Louis Williams PG Los Angeles Lakers
Williams has been moved into the starting lineup, but that does not necessarily bode well for his fantasy value. He is no longer a top option in the lineup with Jordan Clarkson and Kobe Bryant throwing up excessive amounts of shots. He has always been able to command the second string, but now he must give way to the other shooters on the court. Before really reading into Williams I thought he would have been a better fantasy asset than he really is. He scores about 12 or 13 a game, but averages fewer than 3 assists per game. For a starting point guard, that number is far too low. The former sixth man of the year will help the Lakers better than he will actually help your fantasy team. He should move back to the bench on the Lakers, and on your team.
Mo Williams PG Cleveland Cavaliers
Well he was fun while he lasted. Williams came back to the Cavaliers to provide a secondary scoring option behind Kyrie Irving, and fill in for the injured point guard for the beginning of the season. Well he was playing great basketball, but now sits behind Matthew Dellavedova on the depth chart. He is barely averaging more than 20 minutes a game in his last five and that is with Kyrie still unable to play due to injury. Whenever you see a drastic decline in a player’s minutes that is an automatic sign of trouble. I thought his run would last longer than it did, but be sure to get off the train before it is too late. However, do not drop him for Dellavedova, for Dellavedova’s value will be even shorter than Williams. Williams can still catch fire off the bench, where as Dellavedova is there to give the ball to LeBron. Sell him if you still have the chance, if not look to a hot waiver wire add with long term upside.