The first week of any NBA season is loaded with unpredictable events, but the first week of 2012-13 has been as crazy as it’s been historic. As such, I am back with the top 5 value-risers across eight categories.
Time to play one of my favorite games within the fantasy game: trend vs mirage.
1. James Harden, Rockets: Many projected Harden to have first- or second-round value coming into the season, but few saw 82 points in his first two games. Through week 1, Harden is second only to Kyle Lowry across eight cats through three games, and “The Beard” should remain in the top five all season. Diagnosis: Trend.
2. Mo Williams, Jazz: Mo was one of my favorite sleepers coming into the season because he has always put up numbers as a starter. Plus, he’s the QB on a team loaded with young, athletic talent. Williams is ninth across eight cats after three games, averaging 22 points, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.0 threes. Diagnosis: Trend.
3. Kevin Martin, Thunder: Thanks in large part to 28 points on 6-of-8 shooting against the Hawks on Sunday, Martin is 11th across eight cats after three games. He is averaging 20.7 points in 30.3 minutes, but his track record of missing games overshadows his contract year status. Diagnosis: Mirage.
4. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers: I was actually mocked in my brother’s five-cat draft for taking Lillard in the third round of a 12-team league. That sound you hear is me laughing last. After seeing him blaze through Vegas, I was sold, and I’m not one bit surprised he’s 19th across eight cats after three games. Diagnosis: Trend.
5. Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers: Andy set career highs in rebounds (23) and assists (nine) in the opening win over Washington, and he kept the beat rolling over the weekend as well. After three games, he ranks 22nd across eight cats with rounded averages of 14-15-4 and a shooting percentage of .643. However, his history of injuries makes me think selling high is the way to go. Diagnosis: Mirage.
Rick Kamla is an anchor on NBA TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @NBATVRick and check out the rest of NBA.com’s fantasy coverage here.