It’s no surprise that Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo handily led the charge from a fantasy basketball standpoint last week as the “Greek Freak” notched four double-doubles in four games while Curry’s hot streak continued. But who were the week’s biggest busts?
Now more than two months into the 2015-16 season, the NBA community has a pretty good idea which players are going to lead the charge from a fantasy standpoint. Conversely, fantasy owners will have to take a hard look at players who continue to underperform — and act accordingly.
So each week, our friends at Point After will break down fantasy studs and duds at guard, forward and center. Positions will be determined by standard Yahoo leagues.
Note: The statistics referenced in this article cover games played between Jan. 11-17.
Stud Guard: Stephen Curry, Warriors
Key stats: 33.3 points, 5.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 three-pointers, 1.8 steals in four games
Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is often the best-performing guard each week (from a fantasy standpoint or otherwise). And while we should give hat tips to John Wall and Victor Oladipo’s one-game outburst, Curry was simply too good to ignore.
The sharpshooter, no surprise, continued to rain down shots from beyond the arc. He drained 8-of-16 threes against the Lakers and 7-of-15 in the loss to the Pistons.
Although Golden State dropped two games over this span — to Denver and Detroit, respectively — Curry poured in more than 33 points per contest and added significant amounts of rebounds and assists to his box scores as well.
Taking Curry No. 1 overall in fantasy has proven to be the best choice not only for his raw scoring abilities but also for his meaningful contributions in assists, rebounds and steals.
Dud Guard: Danny Green, Spurs
Key stats: 3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists in four games
A nightmare season for Green continued this week, as the veteran sharpshooter (who signed a four-year, $45 million contract last summer) was a complete non-factor as a fantasy contributor. In four games, San Antonio’s shooting guard went 3-of-14 from beyond the arc (21.4 percent) and was just 5-of-22 shooting overall.
Normally a reliable source for three-pointers, Green’s confidence and production have fallen off a cliff this season. He’s shooting a career-low 36 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from long range (the lowest mark since his rookie year).
For fantasy owners still holding onto Green in hopes that he’ll eventually bounce back and be a worthwhile contributor — he’s owned in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues at the time of writing — it’s time to cut bait with 28-year-old. If nothing else, look to free agents who can help your squad in other statistical categories.
Stud Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Key stats: 22.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks in four games
The “Greek Freak” played four games this week, notching double-doubles in all of them. Provided Antetokounmpo had three double-doubles all season prior to the past four contests, that’s especially noteworthy.
In 50 minutes played during an overtime victory against Atlanta on Jan. 15, the 21-year-old scored 28 points, snatched 16 rebounds and swatted three shots (all while shooting 10-of-18 from the floor).
Milwaukee’s youngster is posting career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and field goal percentage through 41 games of his third professional season. As a result, his player efficiency rating (PER) has continued its upward trajectory.
The growing pains will still be a prevalent part of Antetokounmpo’s maturation as a player — even during his phenomenal week, he turned the ball over 12 times. Nevertheless, this hot streak is an encouraging sign for the Bucks organization and Antetokounmpo’s fantasy owners.
Dud Forward: Nikola Mirotic, Bulls
Key stats: 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 28.9 percent field goal shooting in four games
After posting double-digit scoring games in five straight to start the month of January, Mirotic fell short of the 10-point plateau in three out of four contests this week. On Friday, Jan. 15, the 24-year-old did not start for Chicago and played just 15 minutes (going 0-of-4 shooting). That’s certainly not a good sign for Mirotic’s owners who thought he was poised to continue a January breakout.
Of course, as the visualization above shows, the Bulls’ offense scores approximately six points per 100 possessions more when the big man plays. If Fred Hoiberg’s crew sputters offensively, you can bet Mirotic will get ample opportunity once again. His fantasy value all depends on whether he knocks down his shots.
Stud Center: Paul Millsap, Hawks
Key stats: 21.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.7 steals in three games
Marc Gasol had a bounce-back stretch after being named our fantasy dud last week. DeMarcus Cousins was a beast, averaging 29 points and 14 rebounds in three games. It’s Millsap, however, who earns this spot with rock-solid play.
Though his seven rebounds per game was below his season average of 8.6, Millsap scored with efficiency (56.8 percent) and aided fantasy causes in other ways. Chiefly, by dishing out nearly four assists per contest, blocking shots, swiping steals and knocking down nearly 85 percent of his free throws.
All told, it was an across-the-board steady week for the 30-year-old, leading him to supplant his teammate Al Horford (who earned this spot last week).
Dud Center: Al Horford, Hawks
Key stats: 10.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 blocks, 41.7 percent field goal shooting in three games
Speaking of Horford, what a difference a week makes.
After earning the nod as the stud center seven days ago, foul trouble and rough shooting marred his production over the ensuing three games.
The former Florida Gator had twice as many turnovers (four) as points (two) against Charlotte on Jan. 13. He played 41 minutes in a loss against the Bucks two days later, shooting a ghastly 9-of-23 from the field. He grabbed just one rebound in 23 minutes against the Nets on Saturday.
Millsap picked up the slack for Atlanta, but the Hawks still lost two out of the week’s three games.
On the bright side for Horford’s fantasy owners, four of Atlanta’s next five games come against sub-.500 opponents: Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix and Denver. It’s worth noting. However, all four of those matchups will be played away from Philips Arena.
Note: This article was originally published on Yahoo Sports via a partnership with MTTG & PointAfter.