The In-Season Tournament has created a bit of a lull in the schedule this week. Still, there has been plenty for fantasy managers to inquire about and some tough roster decisions to make. Below are some frequently asked questions from managers lately.
Henderson is rostered in 85% of CBS leagues, but that also includes keeper leagues and deeper formats. So, he's certainly available in a notable amount of 10-team redraft formats. The rookie's production continues to underwhelm, and he's struggling to find starter-level minutes. It doesn't help that Portland has been playing better lately, largely due to Brogdon's presence. Believe it or not, the Trail Blazers are 3-2 over the past two weeks and have the eighth-best point differential over that stretch. Anfernee Simons is also on the brink of a return, and he could lace up as soon as Wednesday. That means fewer touches for both Henderson and Brogdon.
I'll answer the Brogdon query first because it's simpler. Yes – sell high and ASAP. Not only is Simons coming back, but Brogdon is one of the biggest injury risks in the league and is a veteran on a rebuilding team. He's likely to get hurt and/or traded, while probably seeing decreased usage even before that.
I would classify Henderson as a luxury stash for 10 and 12-team leagues – meaning, he's fine to add if you're in the top half of your standings. But if you're near the bottom of your league, I would prioritize streaming players in advantageous positions week by week. He's close to a must-roster player in 14-teamers because of the late-season upside and acceptable current usefulness on four-game weeks, mostly for points formats.
Is Jaren Jackson a buy low?
Yes. Jackson is struggling with both his efficiency and his shot-blocking compared to last year. On the defensive end, he's contesting about two fewer shots per game compared to 2022-23, so it makes sense that his blocks are down to 1.8 from 3.0. But I won't be surprised if he gets back up to roughly 2.5 swats by the end of the year.
Offensively, Memphis is just too easy to gameplan for without Ja Morant. It's leading to tougher looks and rough percentages from the big man. But Morant will return later this month. I expect that to improve Jackson's overall play. In terms of what I'd give up to acquire Jackson – probably someone who projects as roughly a sixth-round value in category leagues. The upper end of offers would probably include Brandon Ingram or Jaylen Brown, but I'd probably start lower with someone like Cam Thomas or D'Angelo Russell.
What is going on with the Pistons?
At RotoWire, we probably get more questions about the Pistons than any other team. Lately, those questions revolve around Ausar Thompson, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jaden Ivey. Bogdanovic returned Saturday, playing 27 minutes and scoring 22 points. Thompson has come off the bench and totaled 29 minutes over the past two games. Ivey started and played 29 minutes Saturday but totaled 32 minutes in the prior two games.
Fantasy managers have been most concerned about Thompson – understandably so after such a hot start to his rookie campaign. I don't believe he should be dropped. Coach Monty Williams is experimenting, and it's possible the experiment begins to work in Thompson's favor again at some point. For Ivey, I'm not convinced he should be rostered in even 14-team leagues. He hasn't had his coach's trust all season, and his numbers don't translate well to fantasy production. Bogdanovic should be rostered in 12-team leagues. He's the best scorer on the team.
Will Markelle Fultz ever play? Should you pick up Wendell Carter?
Fultz has knee tendinitis and hasn't played since Nov. 9. He is without an official timetable for a return. Tendinitis recovery time is difficult to predict, as it often needs complete rest to heal. Otherwise, the aggravation risk is high. In addition to the murkiness around Fultz's recovery, the Magic are playing extremely well without him, owning a 14-6 record – good for third in the Eastern Conference. Jalen Suggs has taken a step forward, and Cole Anthony has played well too. Fultz is still worth hanging onto if he's the only player qualifying for your IR spot. But I don't mind dropping him in 12-team leagues if you're pressed for a roster spot and/or struggling in your league. It seems unlikely he'll reach his preseason upside of eighth-round value.
Carter hasn't played since Nov. 2 due to a broken finger, with hope that he'll return sometime this month. Like the backcourt situation, Orlando has been thriving while giving minutes to reserves Mo Wagner and Goga Bitadze. It would shock me if Carter isn't re-inserted into the starting five when healthy, maybe after a few games coming off the bench in limited minutes. Bitadze is at the biggest risk of losing his role, since he came into the season as a third-stringer and can't play power forward like Wagner can. Carter wasn't playing well before his injury, and he hasn't been significantly inside the top 100 over the past two seasons. Still, I think he's still worth adding in 10-team formats. Keep expectations fairly tempered, however.
Should you drop Keegan Murray?
No. He's on a cold streak shooting, but his usage is up about three percent compared to last year. Murray should finish as a top-100 player.
What happened to Pascal Siakam's three-point shooting?
Siakam is shooting 19.8 percent from three this year. I wish I could explain that. His free-throw percentage hasn't wavered compared to recent years, so that gives me hope things will improve. I consider him a light buy low.
Can we ever expect Khris Middleton's minutes to increase?
Middleton has yet to play 30 minutes in a game this season. It would surprise me if he was limited all year without some sort of formal update on what's going on. For that reason, I think he's a buy low, but giving up a projected top-100 player for him is still risky.
Should you drop Ben Simmons?
Simmons hasn't played since Nov. 6 and recently had an epidural injection to aid his lower back. Don't be surprised if he's out for the remainder of December. I believe he's droppable in 10-team leagues where you're pressed for a roster spot and your team is struggling. I'd be nervous to do it in 12-team formats, but it just seems like he'll always be a headache.
Do you pick up Kelly Oubre?
Oubre started the season shooting hot and playing a lot of minutes. Both of those things cooled off before he was struck by a vehicle. I believe he's a fine add in 14-team leagues, but the additions of Nic Batum and Robert Covington cloud Oubre's role. We'll learn a little more when he returns Wednesday.
Is Trey Murphy a must add?
Yes, even in 10-team leagues. I think he'll eventually start again, or at least start seeing 30 minutes regularly. He's a sharpshooter and is crucial for New Orleans' spacing.
Will Al Horford have rest-of-season value?
Horford has stepped up his play in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. I don't expect Porzingis to stay healthy, so Horford is fine to keep on your bench in a 12-team league, but he's really more of a 14-team option. But you will probably never start him if Porzingis is healthy and the Celtics have three or fewer games.
Is Miles Bridges a sell high?
Probably, if you can get a top-50 player in return. His shooting is hot and his minutes are high, so there's room for regression there. It's also possible he gets traded if the Hornets aren't going to compete for the Play-In and don't have interest in re-signing him in the offseason.
Is it finally time to drop Tyus Jones?
As high as most of the fantasy community was on Jones, and as much as I believe he's a good real-life player – it's just not happening. I'd probably hang on in 14-teamers, but if you're in a 12-teamer and struggling, it's probably advantageous to just stream the spot.
Do you buy low on Jordan Poole?
Yes. People are wondering if they should straight-up drop Poole. They'd happily take almost any player on your roster for him. If you can give up your worst player to get him, you should take the gamble.