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Hold Them or Fold Them: Week 9

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.



Kyle Kuzma, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
I don’t know what it is, but Kyle Kuzma has been going off recently. However, I can put my finger on why Kuzma will play well: All-Star Anthony Davis’ recent injury. Kuzma has been impressive well before the injury, so there is no doubt that he will have an increased role on the team because of it. He averages 11 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game on the season. Nevertheless, Kuz has been even better recently, as he averages an incredible 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game over the past five match-ups. Keep in mind, this is all with AD playing 32.6 minutes per game over the same period of time. Now that Davis is expected to be out until at least March 11, Kuzma’s performance will only be accelerated from here on out. Although it may be too late – since Kuzma is now on 53 percent of ESPN fantasy rosters (up from 28.9%) – he is an absolute must have. Fantasy owners should be scrambling to get Kyle Kuzma, as he will only get better in the coming weeks. I recommend to do whatever it takes to get Kuzma (within a reasonable price).

Lou Williams, SG, Los Angeles Clippers
In his 15th NBA season, Williams is still going strong. Despite being deprived of a starting job for the majority of his career, Williams has never really had trouble putting up good numbers, as he boasts three Sixth Man of the Year awards. Sweet Lou averages 12.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. However, it’s quite obvious that Paul George’s absence plays a huge part in Lou’s success, as his stats have only improved since. So what should you do? Treat him the same way he was before, from a fantasy perspective. Once PG returns, there is no reason why Lou should put up the same points. However, those who currently do have him on their roster should still keep him. The time to sell Lou Williams was about one or two weeks ago: selling him now would be an absolute waste. For those of you who are wondering if you should pick him up, don’t. Now those who currently have him on their roster, he is worth keeping. Maybe Kawhi Leonard, or even Paul George could deal with another injury, or maybe the Clippers suddenly decide to get Lou more involved. Even his numbers prior to the PG injury were adequate. So to sum it all up, if you never had Lou Williams on your roster, don’t worry about it, and if you do, just keep him.

Saddiq Bey, SF, Detroit Pistons
Bey has a big opportunity on his hands, as Derrick Rose is off to New York, Blake Griffin is out until March 1 (not injury-related), and fellow rookie Killian Hayes will be absent until at least March 22. Saddiq has proven to be capable of the job, as he just garnered his second career double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds. No wonder why Saddiq’s popularity has suddenly increased, from being rostered at only 1.1% to 15.9% within a week. And that 15.9% of fantasy managers are smart, since the 19th overall pick is bound to breakout in the coming games. So in this situation, just follow the trends! It’s inevitable that Bey’s minutes will drastically increase, but if he earns himself a starting position during this time of injury, expect some very impressive numbers.

Immanuel Quickley, PG, New York Knicks
Quickley is one of few players who have been recently dropped for reasons unrelated to injury. With the recent signing of Derrick Rose, it’s plausible that Immanuel’s numbers will “Quickley” worsen. However, the stat sheet says otherwise, as he averages 15.3 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game since Derrick’s arrival. To compare, D Rose averages 13 points, 3.8 assists, and two rebounds in his second stint in New York. There is no reason to get rid of Quickley, let alone drop him, and I will even go as far as to say that he will be one of the most added players in ESPN Fantasy in the coming weeks. Immanuel Quickley will continue to be a central part of the Knicks’ squad, so it would be a good idea to keep him. In fact, if he was recently dropped in your league, pick him up!

Marvin Bagley, PF, Sacramento Kings
Marvin Bagley was dropped by 5.4% of ESPN fantasy managers in the past week, which is understandable: Bagley was out with a calf injury, so maybe people wanted to clear up some roster space, or maybe there was speculation on how his return would be. Well for those of you with the second inquiry, I’m here to tell you that Marvin’s return has been great, and it is time to pick him back up again. In his first game since his calf injury, the 21 year old scored 19 points, seven rebounds, and one block. Whether or not he can keep it up is the question. However, you can take a small risk and pick Bagley (back) up earlier, just to get ahead of the game. I would recommend to wait between two and four games to pick him up, just to make sure he is performing at the same level he was in January.

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