In-Season Strategy: 8 Players to Monitor in Week 10 & Beyond
In-Season Strategy: 8 Players to Monitor in Week 10 & Beyond

This article is part of our In-Season Strategy series.

Moving through the meat of Week 10, we're now officially past the two-month point of the NBA season. While the standings in both conferences seem to change drastically with each passing week, with more than a third of the schedule in the rear-view, most teams – with the possible exception of the Wizards – at least have an idea of where they're headed between now and mid-April.

The same cannot necessarily be said for some players, however. Whether due to injuries or a trade, the following eight names are worth checking in on over the next few weeks, as their values could waver based on situational factors:

Jaylen Brown, Celtics

Brown got off to a horrific start to the season but seemed to find something of a rhythm earlier this month, when he averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 made threes over a three-game span. Boston was shorthanded for one of those games, but it didn't affect Brown's workload, as he played fewer than 29 minutes in all three contests. After sitting out last Wednesday's matchup with Washington, Brown has come crashing back down over the last two games. He went 2-of-12 from the field in Friday's rout of Atlanta and finished with just two points (1-4 FG) in 23 minutes Saturday in Detroit.

Brown is still owned in more than half of Yahoo leagues, despite the fact that he hasn't been a top-200 player on the season. Focusing on just the last two weeks – easily Brown's best stretch of the season – he still ranks outside the top 160. Given his top-110 ADP, it's understandable that owners are hesitant to cut bait, but at this point, with Boston's schedule set to toughen up in the coming weeks, it's difficult to imagine a path to Brown significantly rehabbing his value.

Austin Rivers, Free Agent

Rivers was not a productive player for the Wizards, but for a brief moment it looked like he might fall backward into starting at point guard in Phoenix. However, the two sides surprisingly opted to part ways late Monday, and Rivers is now a free agent.

Memphis looked to have a deal in place, but that apparently fell through Tuesday afternoon. The Grizzlies, of course, are set at point guard, and have a pile of combo guards already on the roster, but none of them – Wayne Selden, Ben McLemore, MarShon Brooks, Shelvin Mack – inspire a ton of optimism.

Regardless of where Rivers ends up – it could still be Memphis – chances are he won't play enough minutes to claw his way back to fantasy relevancy, but he has nowhere to go but up after averaging just 7.2 points on 39.2 percent shooting (31.1% 3PT) in Washington. The 26-year-old is just a year removed from finishing as a top-130 player for the Clippers.

Kelly Oubre, Suns

The Suns' random decision-making wheel landed on "keep Kelly Oubre", and the ex-Wizard is expected to make his debut later this week. The trade was a puzzling one for Phoenix on a number of levels. The Suns already had a surplus of wings, and essentially swapping Ariza out for Oubre doesn't help alleviate that logjam. But Oubre is a restricted free agent next summer, so it's safe to assume – at least by Suns standards – that management will want to get an extensive look at the 23-year-old before making a decision on his future come July.

That should bode well for fantasy owners, though Phoenix still has to find developmental minutes for Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren, and Mikal Bridges. Oubre didn't have to contend with other young talent in Washington, but he still averaged only 26.0 minutes per game – fewer than last season and a number he should be able to meet, if not exceed, in Phoenix. Prior to the trade, Oubre was hovering around the top-120 on the season, but that number could rise a bit if he irons out his three-point shooting, which is down to 31.1 percent – three points lower than last year.

Monte Morris, Nuggets

Part of the reason the Nuggets haven't missed a beat, despite being down three starters, is the emergence of Morris. The 2017 second-rounder was mostly an afterthought as a rookie, but he's made a name for himself over the last month and continues to be the primary beneficiary of Gary Harris' absence.

Morris was already in the rotation before Harris went down, but over the last six games he's upped his production to 13.5 points, 4.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, while hitting 51 percent of his field goals and 52 percent of his threes. Morris has been a top-50 fantasy asset during that span, but he's still owned in less than a third of Yahoo leagues.

Given the roles Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic play in the Nuggets offense, there's an artificial ceiling on Morris' production. But he's a hyper-efficient playmaker who won't hurt you in any category. Entering Tuesday, he has 118 assists to just 19 turnovers on the season. The big question is how long Morris' run can last. Harris hopes to be back around the New Year, while Will Barton could make his return in the next handful of games. On top of that, Denver still has Isaiah Thomas in its back pocket. Thomas is yet to play this season as he works back from hip surgery, but when he's ready, he'll almost certainly warrant some minutes off the bench

Morris has played well enough that he'll remain in the rotation once the backcourt is back to full strength. But Mike Malone will have to trim minutes somewhere, which could mean Morris' value right now is as high as it'll be all season.

Kevin Huerter, Hawks

Over the past two weeks, Huerter has quietly cracked the top-100. He didn't do much in Sunday's blowout loss to the Nets, but prior to that he hit at least two threes in each of his last four games, including a combined nine makes in losses to Dallas and Boston. Huerter should continue seeing increased run so long as Taurean Prince remains out, and while he may be too hit-or-miss for most standard leagues, he's a name to monitor for owners in search of three-point help, as well as some steals and blocks. Before Sunday's dud, Huerter notched a block in five straight contests, while averaging 1.4 steals in that span.

Matthew Dellavedova, Cavaliers

Freed of his shackles to the bench in Milwaukee, Dellavedova has looked like a different player through four games with the Cavs. He has more made threes in his last two games than he had in 11 games for the Bucks, and he erupted for a season-high seven assists in Sunday's loss to Philadelphia. In his last three games, Dellavedova is averaging 12.7 points, 5.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 2.7 made threes. These are real numbers. Are they sustainable? Probably not. But if the Cavs prove willing to continue feeding him 25-ish minutes per night, Dellavedova will have to considered in deeper formats.

Larry Nance, Cavaliers

While Larry Drew has gone out of his way to keep Nance out of the starting five, that hasn't prevented him from being a top-35 player over the last two weeks (Editor's note: The Cavs announced Nance will start Wednesday against the Pacers). With Tristan Thompson sidelined, Nance has topped 36 fantasy points in three of his last five games, including a 14-point, 10-rebound, six-assist, three-steal, one-block outing in Friday's loss to Milwaukee.

Nance doesn't replicate Thompson's volume rebounding, but he's an underrated source of assists and steals at the position. Nance shouldn't be available on most waiver wires – although he is only 75-percent-owned – but how his production is ultimately affected by Thompson's return, which could come as soon as next week, is something to watch. Through the first 23 games of the season, Nance had only one game with at least six assists – something he's done four times in his last five games.

Jabari Parker, Bulls

Relegated to the fringes of the rotation, Parker is obviously unstartable for the time being, but if – or, rather, when – he's traded, he could return to being a serviceable points/rebounds contributor. Whether he lands with a playoff contender like Utah or a bottom-dweller like New York, Parker will have a role, but expectations should be tempered.

For one, there's the raw data showing that Parker is a horrific defensive player whose offensive contributions don't nearly make up for the havoc he wreaks at the other end. But even with other teams willing to take on that burden, it's tough to imagine Parker landing in a better spot, from a pure production standpoint, than where he was for the first 27 games of the season.

Things would've been different had it not been for injuries to Bobby Portis and Lauri Markkanen, but Parker averaged more than 30 minutes per game under Fred Hoiberg and had about as much freedom as one could reasonably expect in an offense helmed by Zach LaVine. Even if he ends up in a similar situation for another bad team, we've probably already seen the best of what Parker has to offer, from a fantasy perspective.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and award winning host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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