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FANTASY BASEBALL/DFS

Hold Them of Fold Them: Week 19

In fantasy basketball, you have to know when to hold players or fold players by trading them away. Here’s some help for that decision.

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LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets
Despite supposedly being out for the season, LaMelo Ball’s return from injury comes surprisingly early, to fantasy owners’ content. Therefore, his fantasy stock sky rocketed, and his roster percentage from 58 percent to 82.5%, even though his return his scheduled to be on May 1. Regardless, this still makes sense to me. Before his injury, LaMelo was seriously considered to be a Rookie of the Year frontrunner, as he averaged 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game with a 45.1% field goal percentage and 37.5% chance of hitting his threes. A preemptive pickup is a good idea in this case, since Ball #3 will make an immediate impact upon his return, as the Charlotte Hornets fight to keep their eight seed in the East. If LaMelo Ball is available in your league, do not hesitate to pick him up.

Jaren Jackson Jr, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
After what seems like ages of delay, Jaren Jackson Jr finally made his 2021 debut: And what a start its been, as he averages 16 points, six rebounds, one assist, and 1.7 blocks per game in only three match-ups this season. A 23 point, three rebound, two assist, one block, and one steal performance against Portland gave fantasy managers goosebumps, as Jackson’s roster percentage has jumped from 52.4% to 80.8%, making him the most added player this week. This is a very similar predicament to LaMelo Ball’s, as both are in the eight seed (of their respective conferences), trying to help lead their team to the post-season, just to be swept by the 76ers and Jazz. But that’s irrelevant right now. Jaren Jackson Jr is back, and he’s just as good as he has been previously (if not better). The key towards the end of the season is to use players who are proven, and their teams are fighting for a playoff spot. Whether it be via trade of pickup, Jaren Jackson Jr could be the right move to help you make that last push to win your league.

Robert Williams III, C, Boston Celtics
Although it seems like Robert Williams hasn’t played in a minute, his return is definitely coming soon. Loss after loss has made it clear that Tristan Thompson just isn’t it for the Celtics: If Boston really wants to be serious this post-season, they’re gonna need a healthy Time Lord to help out. With his availability on a day-to-day at this point, a preemptive pickup (not unlike LaMelo Ball) would make sense here. His season averages of 8.2 points, seven rebounds, and 1.8 assists aren’t necessarily something to marvel at, but just this month Rob averages 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, three assists, and 1.4 blocks. Plus, his efficiency on the court is simply incredible, as his 26.28 PER ranks seventh in the league. When Boston returns to a fully healthy squad with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams, they might finally be able to make a sustainable push for a higher seed this post-season. Robert Williams’ performance will be a deciding factor for the Celtics, and his production will translate onto the fantasy stat sheet.

Moses Brown, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
If you only looked at the season averages, it would appear that Moses Brown is a reliable fantasy starter. The truth is only revealed when looking at the game log, as it is ridden with zero, one, and two point games. Although this isn’t entirely his fault (he was sometimes not given enough playing time to do anything), the sophomore needs to step it up a bit in order to become that elite fantasy player he nearly was just last month. Fantasy managers should look for that next year though, as a breakout is expected. For the time being though, it might be smart to follow the trends, and just drop him. I have just two exceptions to this recommendation: If there’s an open roster spot you don’t really need, there is no harm in just keeping him. Also, if you participate in an 8 or 9-cat league, and need someone who consistently puts up (or brings down) rebounds in abundance, Moses Brown would actually be an decent pick-up, as he averages a whopping 8.3 rebounds per game this season.

Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic’s season has been long over, and they’re looking to start fresh next season, after the departures of Nikole Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier. Rookie point guard Cole Anthony has been one of a few youngsters asked to show the coaches what they’ve got. And I’m sure they’re pleasantly surprised to see the talent they found in Cole Anthony and Chuma Okeke. Over the past six match-ups, Anthony averages 15.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game, which saw his roster percentage rise from 27.8% to 45.1%, which (for the most part) makes sense. My only issue is with consistency, and not on Cole’s part. Later on in the season, Orlando may suddenly decide to start playing some of their other younger guys just to cycle the roster a bit, and see what they’re working with for next season which results in Anthony getting less playing time. Another possible scenario is that the Magic wants Cole Anthony to have as much time on the court as possible to help him develop into their top player next season. In general, this is a solid pickup, but the consistency in Cole Anthony’s playing time should be something fantasy managers should think about before adding him to their roster.

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