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Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Risers - Week 11

With All-Star Break on the docket this week, fantasy managers in dynasty leagues have extra time to start looking ahead to the future.

This week’s column features a few promising defensive specialists as well as a three-point extraordinaire and a recently-traded former Knick attempting to keep his career afloat.

Enjoy the time off from daily lineup updates and best of luck in your dynasty planning!

Upgrade To VIP: Win more with our NBA and DFS Premium Pass, get expert tools and advice from proven winners! Will Priester (@ChiefJustice06) from RotoGrinders joins the RotoBaller team in 2023-24 with his exclusive DFS picks, Prop picks and more. Gain VIP access to our Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Cheat Sheets and VIP Chat Rooms. Go Premium, Win More!

 

Derrick Jones Jr. (SG/SF, POR)

Derrick Jones Jr. has shown some new dimensions to his game in his first year with the Portland Trail Blazers. He’s the reigning NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and we’ve known about his high-flying abilities since he first competed in the Dunk Contest in 2017. This year, he’s seen more time on the court than ever before. He’s been a regular in the Trail Blazers starting lineup, starting 28 of 29 games.

Where Jones has flourished most this year has been on the defensive end. He’s blocked at least two shots in each of his past six games and he’s averaging 0.8 steals per game on the year as well.

He’s also started to make some significant strides on the offensive end lately. He failed to reach double-digits in points in any of his first 12 games this year, despite regularly seeing over 20 minutes and sometimes over 30 minutes in a game. Over his past seven games, however, he’s reached double-digits in points on five occasions, highlighted by a season-high 18 points against the Denver Nuggets last Tuesday. In that game, he shot 7-for-9 from the field and 2-for-3 from three-point range.

Jones entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016, but he’s still young. He turned 24 years old in February. He could still see a significant amount of growth in his game. He has the chance to be a fantastic three-and-D option and the Trail Blazers are greatly in need of a three-and-D specialist to pair with their dynamic guards.

 

Dennis Smith Jr. (PG, DET)

Dennis Smith Jr. had a rough start to his Detroit Pistons career. Traded to the Pistons in early February in the trade that sent Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, Smith shot just 11-for-36 (30.6%) over his first six games, reaching double digits in points just once.

This past week, however, has shown a different side of Smith as he’s taken on more playing time and gotten more comfortable in his new environment.

Over his past three games, Smith is averaging 11.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 threes per game while shooting 41.7% from the field. He also hasn’t committed a single turnover over that three-game stretch, a surprising accomplishment from someone who has averaged 3.5 turnovers per 36 minutes over his career.

Smith is a remarkable athlete who has the ability to take over games and unleash highlight reel dunks at any moment. Look no further than this authoritative slam against the Sacramento Kings last Friday for evidence of that:

Smith has extra opportunities for playing time right now with both Killian Hayes (labrum) and Delon Wright (groin) sidelined. His main competition for minutes at point guard is rookie Saben Lee, who has also shown promising flashes in the past few weeks. Smith and Lee are very different players. Lee is more of a game manager type of point guard while Smith can at best be instant offense and at worst be a bit of a black hole offensively.

Smith is just 23 years old and could still have a lot of productive basketball ahead of him. He has a qualifying offer on his contract after this year and it’s probably unlikely he’ll still be in Detroit next year, which is probably a good thing for fantasy purposes. The Pistons drafted Hayes seventh overall in this past year’s draft and he will get every opportunity to be the team’s franchise point guard. Smith, meanwhile, has an opportunity in the coming months to prove he’s still worthy of significant playing time in the league. He could find himself as a strong second unit leader or even a starting shooting guard over the next few years. If that’s the case, he’ll end up being a solid producer of points, assists, steals and threes.

 

Malik Monk (SG, CHA)

Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Malik Monk has had the green light in recent weeks and hasn’t been afraid to use it. With Devonte' Graham (knee) sidelined, Monk has seen a huge increase in playing time and has been one of the team’s best offensive players, second to only LaMelo Ball in scoring over the past week.

Monk is a fantastic shooter, but he’s been extremely streaky over his career. This year, it’s been a different story so far. He’s shooting 44% from three-point range so far this year, which is way up from 28.4% last year and also substantially higher than his career three-point percentage of 33.7%.

Over his last four games, Monk is averaging 23.5 points and 3.3 threes per game while shooting 50.7% from the field.

Monk was selected 11th overall by the Hornets in 2017. It’s been a rocky start to his career, but he seems to be turning a corner this year. Don’t expect him to provide a wide variety of stats. He’s averaging just 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.3 steals per game over 22 minutes per game this year. He’s a three-point specialist, but he can be an exceptionally good one, as shown from this past week. He could play a significant role as a top three-point threat in the emergence of the Charlotte offense over the next few years.

 

Isaiah Stewart (PF/C, DET)

The buzz has been growing exponentially over the year in Detroit for rookie first round pick Isaiah Stewart. Playing with a lot of emotion, Stewart has won over fans and teammates alike. He’s a hustle player who can command the boards and he’s been giving the Pistons some fantastic minutes over the past week.

Here he is getting his hustle rewarded with a chase down block on fellow rookie Obi Toppin:

Stewart has racked up double-digit rebounds in each of his past three games. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 7.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 71.4% from the field.

Rebounding and defense will be his best attributes for fantasy purposes. He’s been seeing about 18 minutes per game this year. If that can go up to around 25 minutes per game or more in the next few years, he should be strong producer of rebounds, blocks and steals. Even though he won’t be scoring much, his efficient 54.1% field goal percentage on the year suggests he could provide a field goal bump as well.

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