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Basketball Pickups: Derrick Rose turns back the clock

Debating fantasy MVP for first month of NBA season
The Rotoworld Basketball Show discuss their fantasy MVP's through the first month of the NBA season, giving nods to Tyrese Maxey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and others.

The Memphis Grizzlies have hit hard times this season, with Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension and multiple injuries to key players being significant reasons for the team’s poor start. Entering Wednesday’s game against the Jazz with an 0-8 home record, Memphis made two changes to its starting lineup, and it worked. Derrick Rose (3% Yahoo) and David Roddy (2%) were in, with Jacob Gilyard and Santi Aldama returning to reserve roles.

Rose (14/4/9) and Roddy (19/6/1 with five 3-pointers) each shot 7-of-11 from the field in the 105-91 victory, Memphis’ first at home this season. The one concern regarding the former is availability, as Rose had a stretch earlier this month in which he missed eight out of nine games due to a sore knee. He played 25 minutes on Wednesday, and that number has been his sweet spot in recent seasons when getting rotation minutes. But with the Grizzlies set to finish Week 6 with a road back-to-back against the Mavericks (Friday) and Suns (Saturday), it’s possible that fantasy managers will only get one more game out of Rose instead of two.

As for Roddy, the points, 3-pointers, and rebounds make him an enticing option in deep leagues. He’s yet to miss a game this season, so durability hasn’t been a concern for the 2022 first-round pick. Also, it should be noted that Aldama will retain all fantasy value with his move back to the bench. He played 25 minutes off the bench, posting a line of 11 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and one 3-pointer. Rostered in 60% of Yahoo leagues, fantasy managers might as well hold onto Aldama due to how shorthanded the Grizzlies remain in the post.

Let’s take a look at a few more of Wednesday’s top pickups:

Simone Fontecchio (13%)

Fontecchio has started Utah’s last three games in place of the injured Lauri Markkanen (hamstring), scoring in double figures in each. Shooting 4-of-8 from three in Memphis, he scored 12 points with four rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 25 minutes. Utah plays two more games this week, the first being Thursday night at Minnesota. Fontecchio is worth streaming until Markkanen is cleared to return.

Robert Covington (6%)

RoCo didn’t start Wednesday’s loss to the Pelicans, but he became more valuable once Nicolas Batum had to exit with a right index finger injury. Covington logged 30 minutes, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one block, and four 3-pointers, shooting 4-of-5 from the field. Should Batum miss time, Covington would be the next man up, especially with Marcus Morris Sr. being used as a center (he started in place of the ill Joel Embiid on Wednesday). Are we returning to the “glory years” of RoCo’s run as a quality fantasy option? Probably not, but experienced players know what he’s capable of when given solid minutes.

Jordan Hawkins (30%)

With CJ McCollum back in action for the first time since November 4, many fantasy managers were eager to see how the minutes would be distributed on Wednesday. McCollum started and played 28 minutes, with Dyson Daniels (14 minutes) taking the biggest hit. Hawkins still managed to play 24 minutes, scoring 16 points with five rebounds, two assists, and three 3-pointers. While McCollum’s workload will increase in time, Hawkins’ value may be tied to the availability of Trey Murphy III (knee) due to the Pelicans’ need for shooters who can provide spacing. New Orleans finishes Week 6 with a home/road back-to-back against the Spurs (Friday) and Bulls (Saturday). Hawkins’ rostered percentage shouldn’t dip much, if at all, with Murphy sidelined.

Reggie Jackson (40%)

As expected, Jackson’s minutes decreased on Wednesday due to the return of Jamal Murray from a strained hamstring. However, with the Nuggets’ star guard on a minutes restriction, he played 22 minutes to Jackson’s 24 in Denver’s win over Houston. Shooting 6-of-14 from the field, Jackson recorded 14 points, two rebounds, two assists, one block, and two 3-pointers. The upcoming schedule keeps him on the fantasy radar in the short term, as the Nuggets finish Week 6 with a difficult road back-to-back against the Suns (Friday) and Kings (Saturday). Maybe Murray can play both games, but Jackson should not be immediately dropped onto waiver wires, especially in deep leagues.