Ryan Knaus takes a look at New Orleans Pelicans rookie F Herb Jones's recent hot stretch and outlines what fantasy managers can expect moving forward.
RYAN KNAUS: Pelicans rookie Herb Jones has been earning minutes all season, but may have been kept off fantasy managers' radars by low scoring numbers. Over his first two months of the season, Jones scored double-digit points five times and made a combined total of 5 three-pointers in that span.
With a usage rate in single-digits, he's managed to eke out value with an emphasis on defensive stats. In November, it was steals that did the job for Jones, at 1.8 swipes in a modest 26 minutes per game. His steals dipped even as his playing time climbed in December, but Jones erupted as a shot blocker with 1.5 swats per game.
If it's consistency you're after, Jones is your guy. He blocked at least 1 shot in every single game in December and has a 14-game streak as I record this. Brandon Ingram's recent absence due to health and safety protocols has allowed Jones to fill a bigger role offensively, and he's flown off waiver wires during a three-game span, with averages of 18.3 points, 2 triples, 6.3 boards, 2.3 dimes, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals over a three-game span.
Grab him now, by all means, but don't view him as merely a streamer. At worst, Jones is a defensive specialist in category-based leagues. At best, he's a fantasy asset in any format, with a role that's bound to increase as an NBA-ready rookie on a team with the 14th-best record in their conference.