It’s Hartenstein time in the Big Apple

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Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein is rostered in 57% of Yahoo leagues, so he doesn’t necessarily qualify for this column since we like to stick to players at or below 40%. But his current situation merits mentioning, as the Knicks will be without the injured Mitchell Robinson (knee) for at least one week. Already a player worth rostering in deeper leagues in his backup role, Hartenstein’s percentage should be well into the seventies after his performance in Saturday’s 133-118 loss to the Celtics.

He played 38 minutes, finishing with 10 points (5-of-6 FGs), 14 rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot. With Jericho Sims playing just three minutes and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau still not convinced that he can have Obi Toppin (13%) and Julius Randle on the court together for extended stretches, Hartenstein won’t have much trouble exceeding 30 minutes while Robinson recovers from his injury. A must-stream in the short term, Hartenstein can become a player that fantasy managers will want to hold onto once Robinson is cleared to return. With that cleared up, let’s get into some of Saturday’s top pickups.

Will Barton (25%)

The Wizards didn’t play on Saturday, but Bradley Beal showing up on the injury report due to health and safety protocols is big news. Adding Barton doesn’t come without risk, as he isn’t a particularly efficient offensive player and does not offer much production defensively. But, with Beal sidelined, rolling the dice on Barton as a streamer wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Torrey Craig (3%)

Craig isn’t going to give you much offensively and, truth be told, the Suns don’t need that from him. But his defensive ability is highly important, especially with Cameron Johnson out indefinitely with a right knee injury. Craig started and played 22 minutes in Saturday’s win over the Blazers, tallying five points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, three blocks, and one 3-pointer. Managers in need of defensive production should strongly consider adding Craig, especially with it being feared that Johnson suffered a torn meniscus.

Kyle Anderson (5%)

MInnesota is without Rudy Gobert (health and safety protocols), and his absence resulted in Anderson making his first start of the season. Slo-Mo was very good in Saturday’s win over the Rockets, logging 31 minutes and finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two 3-pointers. There were points in the game where Anderson would run the point on offense, then shift to center defensively. He’s worth rostering until Gobert is cleared to return. Naz Reid (3%) did not receive the boost that some may have hoped for, as he played just 13 minutes on Saturday. Reid would come into play if Karl-Anthony Towns were to miss time, but not right now.

Tari Eason (22%) and KJ Martin (7%)

Eason (16/6/2/1 with two 3-pointers in 24 minutes) and Martin (17/3/1/1 with three 3-pointers) were two of Houston’s more efficient offensive players Saturday, and the latter has hit double figures in four of his last six games. Martin, so long as he starts, is in a tough spot fantasy-wise given the ball dominance of guards Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. Despite his coming off the bench, Eason is worth a longer look in fantasy, especially for managers in deeper leagues.

Grant Williams (33%)

Boston was without Al Horford (back), and it was announced during Saturday’s win over the Knicks that Luke Kornet (personal reasons) was not with the team. Blake Griffin started by should not be rostered, while Sam Hauser knocked down five 3-pointers in the best performance of his NBA career to date. But Williams is the best option, and also has value when Horford is available. Williams played 28 minutes, recording a line of 12 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two 3-pointers. Boston plays four games next week, including a back-to-back, so another rest day could be in the offing for Horford. With an eye toward the end of next week, adding Williams now would make sense.

Grayson Allen (10%)

Allen was moved to the bench for Saturday’s win over the Thunder, with rookie MarJon Beauchamp getting the start. Milwaukee being without Giannis Antetokounmpo freed up scoring opportunities throughout the rotation, with Allen (19/1/1/2/1 with five 3-pointers) being one player who took advantage. He isn’t worth holding onto with Giannis expected to be available Monday, but Allen’s name is one to keep in mind for nights when the Bucks decide to rest a star (or two).

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