Each week, we’ll examine two players that have gone in opposite directions in the past week previous week and their prospects for the immediate future.
Fire: Louis Williams
Williams has been playing well all season but has been absolutely unstoppable over the past week, averaging 24.5 games, 2.8 3-pointers, 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals in his last four games.
Williams’ .571 FG% and .938 FT% during that span make him the third-best roto player over the past seven days, according to Basketball Monster. He’s jumped to 23rd overall this season.
(NOTE: This was written BEFORE Tuesday’s game, when Williams scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting with four 3-pointers, five assists and one steal.)
Now as bizarre as this may seem, Williams scoring pace this season is actually behind last season’s, when he averaged 19.5 points per 36 minutes (this season: 17.5 per 36 minutes).
The difference lies in Williams playing 10 more minutes per game shooting 49 percent from the floor – a huge improvement over his .420 career shooting percentage. He is also shooting .827 from the line.
Now I’ll buy that Williams has become an 80 percent free-throw shooter. His career trend from the line in his first four seasons (.615/.696/.783/.790) shows gradual improvement.
But I am in no way believing that a 6-foot-2 point guard with a subpar shooting percentage has turned into a near 50 percent shooter from the floor. Not going to happen. He shot less than 40 percent from the floor last season and it’s just too far of a jump.
Furthermore, Williams is still only making 28 percent of his 3-pointers this season, so it’s not as if he’s become a sharpshooter.
There is little doubt that Williams’ time for fantasy relevance has arrived. Andre Miller’s departure made sure of that. The preaseason projections had him as an eighth-rounder with averages of 15.9 points, 5.0 assists 1.0 3-pointers and 1.3 steals with percentages of .412 from the floor .786 from the line.
I still expect him to land close to those numbers because he can not possible keep shooting this well. He’s definitely valuable, just not THIS valuable.
Ice: Chauncey Billups
Billups has provided just ninth-round value over the previous week. He’s not even averaging a single-double, posting just 8.6 points and 7.2 assists in his last five games.
Even though his free throw shooting has been an outstanding 94 percent during that span, he’s shooting less than 30 percent from the floor. He’s not even making up for it on the defensive end with just three steals.
Despite the dramatic slump, Billups is still 39th overall in eight category leagues this season, according to Basketball Monster. His numbers (15.6 points, 1.6 3-pointers, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals) are slightly below where they were projected (17.2/1.9/6.7/1.2) but a hot streak should bring them up to par.
Considering Billups has such an outstanding reputation, it’s far-fetched to think he’d be tradeable just because of one bad week. But there’s no harm in trying to try him from an owner who may not appreciate his usual consistency.