Week 4 Fantasy Basketball Stock Market: Jones, Sullinger, Green
Not every waiver wire pickup is going to last. Just because a player isn’t likely to keep up his hot production long-term, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t roll with the guy while he has the hot hand. Exhibit A: Markieff Morris. In previous articles, we’ve wondered who this ballin’ mystery man was and what he had done with the real Markieff. Still, we rode his streak out and got some solid production out of it.
Fear not. After four games averaging 22.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals on 70 percent shooting, the real Markieff has been found. Over his last four games, Morris is averaging just 4.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and shooting a miserable 19 percent. Luckily, we have plenty of good-looking buys you can redeem your Markieff Morris for so let’s look at our top buys and sells for Week 4.
Terrence Jones (Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues): An afterthought in the first few games of the season, Jones has quickly solidified himself in the Rockets’ starting lineup. In five games as a starter, Jones is averaging 14.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and shooting 56.6 percent. He’s even shown some decent long-range skills for a big man, nailing five of his 10 three-point attempts. He’s locked into the lineup and is absolutely worth owning in every league, especially with Omer Asik seemingly on his way out.
Jared Sullinger (26 percent): Brad Stevens continues to shuffle his lineup and Sullinger has made it as the newest starter at power forward. He made the most of his first start, putting up 19 points and 17 rebounds against the Spurs. Despite inconsistent usage off the bench, Sullinger has still managed double-digit points in all but two of his 11 games so far. Over his last six games, he’s averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, and shooting 52 percent and figures to see a minutes bump now that he’s in the lineup.
Gerald Green (25 percent): Although he doesn’t offer much outside of scoring, the journeyman sharpshooter has come alive of late. Although he’s usually the sixth man and not a starter, Green has started six of the Suns’ last eight games and is averaging 16.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and nearly one block per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor and 47.5 percent from downtown over his last nine games. Even off the bench, Green will see plenty of minutes and can help your fantasy roster rack up some points.
Martell Webster (36 percent): As Trevor Ariza continues to deal with a sore hammy, Martell Webster has run with his extra minutes. Over his last four games, Webster is averaging 16.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He’s also averaging three three-pointers per game while shooting a solid 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. He’s a must-start as long as Ariza is out but we’ll see if he has decent value once Ariza heals up.
Trey Burke (61 percent): The ninth-overall pick in this year’s draft returned from his finger injury earlier than expected and looked solid as he racked up 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting along with a steal, a rebound, and an assist in just 12 minutes of court time. Burke was in the pre-season conversation about strong Rookie of the Year candidates and should see his court time build up fairly quickly. He’s an excellent scorer who should be able to help in the three-point, steals, and assists categories as well and should be owned universally.
Markieff Morris: Ah, Markieff. We hardly knew ye. Morris has made just one of his last 13 field goal attempts and has played 28 combined minutes over his last two games so his hot ride is over. It’s time to drop him but keep an eye on his production so you can snatch him up for his next hot week.
Brandon Bass: Brad Stevens took Bass out of the starting lineup for the first time on Wednesday and the veteran forward has now played just 20 minutes in two consecutive games. After a good-looking start when he averaged 13.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 48.5 percent over his first six games, Bass is averaging just 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and shooting just 40.6 percent in seven games since. He doesn’t have a lot of upside either way so you can safely let him go.
DeJuan Blair: After a decent start himself, Blair has played just 23 minutes over the Mavs’ last two games, putting up just two points and four rebounds. It’s unclear why since Blair had scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting against the Magic before playing just seven minutes against the 76ers and 16 minutes against the Rockets. He’s a solid contributor when he plays 25 or so minutes per game but he’s not a high-upside guy so you won’t lose any sleep if you drop him now.
Marcus Thornton: Thornton has been too hit-and-miss for head coach Mike Malone and has earned two consecutive DNPs this week while rookie Ben McLemore and Jimmer Freddette got all of his minutes. Thornton is a volume shooter and hasn’t had much success in that regard. He has only put up double-digit points in four of the Kings’ 11 games this season and is shooting a miserable 36.8 percent from the floor and 28 percent from downtown. He’ll likely resurface again, or get traded, but he’s not good enough to spend a valuable bench spot on while he spends his games on the sidelines.