Klay Thompson finishes off strong January
Fresh off his season-high 32-point effort Tuesday, Klay Thompson dropped 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting with three 3-pointers against the Mavericks on Thursday night, putting his January averages at 18.7 points with 2.7 3s, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. That's the highest scoring average in any month of his career, and after a rough start to the season when lofty preseason expectations seemingly weighed upon him and he shot 38.6 percent from the floor, he ranks 21st on the 30-day Player Rater and is fourth in 3-pointers during that span. Thompson is poised to be one of the top 3-point shooters in the league for the next decade, although the area that can potentially hinder his fantasy value is field goal percentage. But his improvement over the past month and the natural increase in shooting percentage that often happens as a player matures bode well for his long-term value, and after a sluggish start to the season Thompson looks primed to be a top-30 player going forward. Considering his average draft position of 68.0, Thompson is paying dividends to those who selected him. And with Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and the rest of the surprisingly effective Warriors roster drawing attention away from him, look for his 3-point barrage to continue for the remainder of the season.
• Jerryd Bayless scored 23 points with six assists and two 3s against the Thunder as the Grizzlies played just nine players, continuing his recent surge in which he's averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 assists per game over his past five contests. His value has already been on the rise, and now that a high-usage player like Rudy Gay is out of the picture, Bayless' ability to create offense and dynamism will be valuable for the Grizzlies. His ownership has shot up to 37.1 percent owned, so it's time to pounce if you're looking for a boost in points, assists and 3s going forward.
• Carl Landry notched just 19 minutes Thursday night, and is averaging just 16.5 minutes per game in two games with Andrew Bogut in the lineup. Landry has been fantastic this season, averaging 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game on 52.3 percent shooting in 25.3 minutes per game, but with Bogut in the lineup it appears that his minutes will diminish, and his fantasy value will go with it. He's still worth a roster spot in deeper leagues, but if there's a better option out there in standard leagues, Landry appears droppable.
• Rodrigue Beaubois played 18 minutes Thursday, and is slowly working his way back into the Mavericks' rotation after averaging just 7.5 minutes per game in December. He's averaging 8.5 points with 2.3 assists, 1.3 3s and 0.8 steals in 17.0 minutes per game over his past four contests, and given the need for a legitimate backup for Darren Collison, it would be excellent for fantasy owners and Mavs fans if he kept inching toward productivity. His career averages of 0.7 3s and 0.7 steals per game in just 16.2 career minutes indicate high upside, so if he can continue earning more minutes he could find himself on the fantasy radar for deep leagues.
• Rudy Gay, Jose Calderon, Ed Davis and the rest of the players involved in the 3-team deal involving the Raptors, Grizzlies and Pistons could debut with their new teams Friday, and it's critical to monitor how their minutes shake out in their new digs. Gay's value will likely improve as he'll have the green light in Toronto, but Davis and Calderon could see decreased roles based upon how they're used. I'd hold off on making any roster-based decisions regarding these players over the next week, as it'll take some time for them to acclimate and one game is far too small a sample size in which to make drastic judgments about their value going forward.
• Chris Paul will sit again with his bruised kneecap, making Eric Bledsoe a must-start in all formats. He's averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game over his past five with Paul sidelined, and is providing fantasy owners with a glimpse of what he's capable of providing when he eventually gets his own team and sees increased playing time. Early indications are that he'll be a fantasy star, so be sure to start him with confidence as long as Paul is out.
• Carlos Boozer is questionable with a strained hamstring, making Taj Gibson an excellent spot start Friday night if Boozer is expected to miss the game. Gibson dropped 14 points with nine rebounds and two blocks Wednesday with Boozer sidelined and is an enticing source of rebounds and blocks anytime he's getting increased run.
• DeMarcus Cousins has been struggling mightily of late, averaging 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game over his past four contests. I wouldn't worry, and it might be time to float out a trade offer to his owner, as buying low on a high-upside player like Cousins could be a turning point in the season for a middling fantasy team.