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FANTASY BASKETBALL/DFS

Hold Them or Fold Them: Week 9

Searching for a Her(r)o, nipping at the leader’s heels, and rising above the crowd, in this edition of Hold Them or Fold Them.

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Fantasy Basketball - Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro, PG, Miami Heat
Each year, Tyler Herro just gets better and better. He went from averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in his rookie year just two seasons ago, to 20.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game so far this season. However, Herro still hasn’t worked himself into the starting roster quite yet, with only seven starts through 25 games. Over the past month, his numbers have also decreased, averaging 16.6 points, four rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game in his past seven match-ups: During that span he totals almost as many turnovers as he does rebounds, when the month before he almost had double the rebounds as turnovers. That’s not to say that he’s playing horribly and isn’t a good fantasy option, it’s just that Herro’s level of production has simply decreased. The time to sell him was at his peak around a week ago. It’s too late to sell him now, so I would recommend keeping Tyler Herro on your roster, just expect much less fantasy points than he used to put up.

Chris Boucher, PF, Toronto Raptors
It seems like the Toronto Raptors were never really able to bounce back since their championship run with Kawhi Leonard. They currently sit at the tenth seed in the East with 13-14 record. However, they’ve had a pretty good run recently, winning four of their past five games. Coincidentally, Chris Boucher has suddenly received more minutes, as both Goran Dragic and OG Anunoby are out for a considerable amount of time. In the past four games, Boucher averages 14 points, four rebounds, and one block per game. As he sees more time on the court, Chris could play a much larger role for the Raptors and rack up a lot of points and rebounds. I would hold Chris Boucher to see if he keeps this up, but as soon as we know when Dragic and Anunoby return I would trade him away, unless we see that he’s solidified himself as a starter for the Toronto.

Eric Gordon, SG, Houston Rockets
Although Christian Wood holds the very impressive title of current top scorer for the Houston Rockets with 16.5 points per game, Eric Gordon is on his heels, averaging 15.1 points per game. In Gordon’s past five starts, he averages an impressive 22.8 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. If he can keep this up, he’ll easily pass Wood as the top scorer. Eric Gordon’s stock should rise pretty quickly in the coming weeks, but he still won’t have quite enough value in order to receive something in return for a trade. Until you see his roster percentage reach the 90s, there’s no reason to get rid of him.

Jaren Jackson Jr, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
The beginning of Jaren Jackson Jr’s young career has been very injury riddled, playing in only 126 games over the past three seasons. This year, he entered the 2021-22 NBA season completely healthy, and hopefully he stays that way, since he’s played great for the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game on the season, and an even more impressive 21.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game in his past seven match-ups. However, this was when Ja Morant was out, and when he returns those numbers will likely go back down. You could probably sell Jackson for quite a bit before Ja returns, but if you want a solid power forward with a decent amount of points and rebounds, you might want to keep him. Just make your decision before Ja Morant is back.

Terry Rozier, SG, Charlotte Hornets
In his third season with the Charlotte Hornets, Terry Rozier continues to play an important role. He averages 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on the season, despite how crowded the Hornets are in terms of offensive talent. In fact, when LaMelo Ball was out due to Covid protocols, Terry still put up solid numbers, averaging 20 points, four rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal in Charlotte’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. However, he plays much better when LaMelo is on the court, averaging 24.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game in their last six starts together. This is a rare case where a player’s stock rises due to a teammates return from injury: Although Terry Rozier is on a team crowded with talent, he will still find a way to put up great numbers on a consistent basis. Keep Scary Terry on your team.

Kristaps Porzingis, C, Dallas Mavericks
Kristaps Porzingis was able to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a win against the Charlotte Hornets in his first game since Luka Doncic’s injury, recording 24 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks on Monday. Even with Luka on the court, the Latvian has played very well, averaging 19.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and two assists per game on the season, along with a very efficient PER of 23.39. Over the next few games, Porzingis will need to continue this production in order to fill the scoring void that Luka leaves during his injury, and the past few weeks show us that he’s entirely capable. Even when Luka returns, he will continue to put up big numbers, but his stat line will likely shift to more rebounds than points. Kristaps’ stock couldn’t be higher, and if you were to sell him you would be able to fold him for a lot of profit. But if you want to have a consistent big man on your roster, then Kristaps Porzingis is the perfect guy for the job. This one’s up to you.

JaVale McGee, C, Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are temporarily riddled with injury, as they are currently missing Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. However, they’ve still been able to squeeze out a few wins, as JaVale McGee has scored back-to-back double-doubles of 21 points and 15 rebounds in one game, and 13 points and 13 rebounds in the next. But with Ayton listed as day-to-day, he should be back any day now and reclaim the starting job. This one’s pretty easy, once both Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker return, JaVale McGee will play a very minimal role with the Suns. Unless he puts up monster numbers before both of their returns, it’s about time to cut him off your fantasy roster.

Marcus Morris Sr, SF, LA Clippers
Marcus Morris Sr helped lead the LA Clippers to a win on Monday against the Phoenix Suns, scoring a double-double of 24 points, 11 rebounds, and an assist, all without Paul George. In his past six starts, Morris averages 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and two assists per game. His stock should be on the rise because of his bounce-back after missing most of November, but his value won’t go high enough to trade away for a profit. Until Kawhi comes back, Marcus Morris Sr will be a solid starter in your lineup until Kawhi Leonard comes back.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, New Orleans Pelicans
With a little over a third of the season underway, the New Orleans Pelicans are looking like serious candidates for the number one overall pick in next year’s draft. Zion Williamson’s absence has been a huge problem for them, as they are currently 27th in the league in points. The Pelicans will have to look within their roster for a solid point scorer in order to win some games, and with Kira Lewis Jr now out for the season, Nickeil Alexander-Walker has a chance to shine. However, since Lewis’ injury, Nickeil hasn’t score more than 15 points and four assists, which are role player numbers. But there’s still a lot of time left in the season, and we’ve seen him have 30 point games before: He just needs to prove that he can do so on a consistent basis. Only time will tell, but for now it couldn’t hurt to keep Nickeil Alexander-Walker on your bench, or at least keep an eye him while he’s not rostered.

Isaiah Stewart, C, Detroit Pistons
In yet another poor season, the Detroit Pistons look to their young players to see what talent they currently have on the roster. Isaiah Stewart has become a rebound machine this season, averaging 7.5 points, eight rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. The second year big man is someone to watch as the Pistons continue to cycle through their roster, as he could become a consistent starter for the team. Isaiah Stewart’s fantasy stock probably won’t rise anytime soon though, so you can either keep him on your bench, or just keep an eye out for a sudden breakout.

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