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Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Risers - Week 9

This week’s dynasty risers column features a few shot-blocking specialists and a few outside shooters.

So if you’re looking to stock up on either blocks or threes over the next couple years, make sure you’ve got these guys below on your radar.

Here are this week's four risers.

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Saddiq Bey (SF, DET)

Detroit Pistons rookie small forward Saddiq Bey is the clear headliner in this week’s column. The Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week is coming off an absurdly efficient stretch. The marquee game over the past week was of course his 30-point outing against the Boston Celtics in which he shot 10-for-12 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from three:

However, that wasn’t the only impressive display from the rookie over the past week.

Over his last four games overall, Bey is averaging 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and four threes while shooting 71.4% from the field. Bey has started three games this month, including the team’s most recent game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. He logged a season-high 38 minutes in the game.

The Pistons have announced that Blake Griffin will be held out while the team figures out his future. With Griffin off the court, Bey stands to gain more than just about anyone on the team.

Bey was selected 19th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was taken by the Nets, but immediately shipped to Detroit in a three-team deal that sent Landry Shamet to the Nets and Luke Kennard to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Bey’s recent surge shouldn’t come as a surprise to any Villanova fans. In his second and final year at Villanova last year, Bey cashed in on an impressive 45.1% of his three-point attempts. In his first NBA season, he’s done a great job continuing his efficiency, hitting threes at a 42.2% clip.

Bey stands 6’7” and fits the perfect mold for the modern NBA swingman. He would really stand to benefit from having some solid playmakers around him. Fellow rookie Killian Hayes (labrum) should be be back relatively soon and if he can develop into a foundational point guard, it would go a long way in helping open up opportunities for Bey. At the minimum, expect Bey to get a lot of playing time over the next few years on a franchise that’s thirsty for young talent.

 

Hassan Whiteside (C, SAC)

The first year in Sacramento has been anything but smooth so far for center Hassan Whiteside. He’s been mostly relegated to around 15 minutes per game throughout the year. That hasn’t changed drastically over the past week. He’s just finally found a way to make the most of his minutes.

This past Friday against the Orlando Magic, Whiteside scored 16 points and racked up seven boards in just 16 minutes of action. He shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field in the game. Two games later, against Brooklyn on Monday, Whiteside had by far his best game as a King. He shot 12-for-15 from the field and scored 26 points while adding 16 rebounds and five blocks. He did all of that in just 23 minutes.

Both Richaun Holmes (knee) and Marvin Bagley III (calf) have missed some time recently, opening up more opportunities for Whiteside, but the Kings can’t simply ignore what Whiteside has done in his limited action. He doesn’t offer the offensive upside of Bagley and he may not be as well-rounded as Holmes at this stage in his career, but Whiteside is by far the best rim protector and overall rebounder of the group.

Whiteside had a great bounce-back year in Portland last year, averaging 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. His slow start to the 2020-21 season may have caused many to forget that. Whiteside will turn 32 this year in June. He may not have too many more prime years left, but this recent stretch shows that he can still be a high-end contributor in blocks and rebounds when the minutes are there. He’s playing on a one-year deal this year, so he could end up in a better position if the Kings move him during this season or if he resigns elsewhere after the year.

 

Justin Jackson (SF, OKC)

The latest riser from the seemingly endless pool of athletic Oklahoma City Thunder swingmen is fourth-year veteran Justin Jackson.

Jackson has seen his playing time go up drastically in recent weeks and he’s taken advantage. He had a fantastic two-game stretch this past weekend in which he shot 7-for-9 from three-point range and 16-for-27 (59.3%) overall while averaging 21 points, four assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Jackson doesn’t have the tantalizing upside that his teammates Darius Bazley, Hamidou Diallo or Isaiah Roby offer, but he might be the most reliable asset of the group. He doesn’t try to play above his abilities, which often gets the afore-mentioned three swingmen into trouble. Jackson also has the most natural-looking jumper of the group and is also of course the most experienced.

The Thunder are the third team in four years for the UNC alum. Jackson was unable to earn consistent playing time in either Sacramento or Dallas and has shot just 32.5% from three over his career. However, he’s shown flashes of being a strong three-point threat over the years. This past week’s stretch wasn’t his first breakout.

Jackson will be under team control next year and is likely to remain in Oklahoma City, unless he heats up so much that the team sends him to a contender for future assets. If Jackson is able to find himself in a position where he’s playing around 25 minutes per game, he’ll offer some significant threes and consistent steals for fantasy managers.

 

Nerlens Noel (C, NYK)

No one questions the ability of New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel to rack up blocked shots. It’s virtually everything else that’s a question for the former 6th overall pick out of Kentucky.

Lately, Noel has taken his blocking expertise up a notch while also finding a few other ways to contribute on the stat sheet. Noel has recorded at least three blocks in five of his past six games. The only outlier was a two-block game against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. He’s only scored in double-digits once over that stretch, but he’s shooting 69.2% from the field over the month of February and he’s averaged exactly one steal per game over the past week.

With Mitchell Robinson (hand) sidelined for at least a month, Noel is going to have a prime opportunity to step in as the team’s leading rim protector. So far he’s proven to be up to the task, knowing his role and sticking to it. Here’s a quick sequence from the team’s win over Atlanta on Monday where Noel blocked two straight attempts at the rim:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">awesome sequence from Nerlens Noel <a href="https://t.co/QiPnh2NTz6">pic.twitter.com/QiPnh2NTz6</a></p>&mdash; Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) <a href="https://twitter.com/WorldWideWob/status/1361501312840585219?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Noel signed a one-year deal with the Knicks before the season, so he has a lot to play for right now. A strong stretch from him while Robinson is out could go a long way in leading to a team offering him a multi-year deal. All he needs is about 25 minutes per game to carry your fantasy team in blocks and he should help out in steals, field goal percentage and rebounds along the way as well.

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