Tyler Herro Fantasy Basketball: Should you draft the Miami Heat rookie?

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has been one of the most-searched Fantasy Basketball prospects as the next NBA season inches closer. Yahoo’s own Fantasy expert, Josh Lloyd, breaks down why there is so much interest one of the potential breakout stars of this season’s rookie class - and whether you should draft him.

First off, I’ll say it, I wasn’t a big fan when the Miami Heat made Tyler Herro from Kentucky the number 13 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. I mean, Brandon Clarke and Goga Bitadze were just sitting there. But, Herro was the pick Pat Riley made.

Numerous players coming from Kentucky, like Herro’s current teammate Bam Adebayo, flashed a lot more in the pros than they did in college, so any Kentucky player gets the benefit of the doubt. After Herro’s Summer League performance, it’s possible that he is the next in line.

Herro averaged 19.5 points with 3.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 30 minutes in Vegas and Sacramento, but did shoot under 40 percent from the field and just 33 per cent from three. Those numbers put him inside the top 25 for fantasy points value out of all Summer League participants and he had a usage of 28 percent.

People were hyped.

He was running the offense, setting up pick and rolls, and pulling the trigger all the time on long-range bombs, but there is a big difference between Summer League and the NBA. First things first, Herro projects to be if not the best, but one of the top five free throw shooters in the entire league.

He missed just one at Summer League just six of his 93 attempts at Kentucky. But, that usage at Summer League dwarfed his college numbers and on a team with Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Bam Adebayo, and more, he won’t be finishing 28 percent of the Heat’s possessions this season.

Heat depth an obstacle for Herro

At this stage, the Heat’s top six guys are Butler, Winslow, Dragic, Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk, and likely Waiters, pushing Herro to the seventh man role at best. He also has James Johnson and Derrick Jones Jr. who could be getting minutes over him.

It seems unlikely that Herro will begin the season in the starting lineup, but if anything happens to Waiters, who has been plagued by ankle injuries, Herro could get his shot. Herro, who doesn’t turn 20 until January, looks like he will be in a sub-20 minute role to begin the season and if Waiters is hurt, I would imagine Winslow or Dragic (if either was on the bench to begin with) would slide into the starting role.

Miami's Tyler Herro stood out during Summer League, making him a tantalising prospect in Fantasy Basketball. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miami's Tyler Herro stood out during Summer League, making him a tantalising prospect in Fantasy Basketball. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Herro’s upside seems to be sixth man for this season. He also won’t get to run the offense the way he did with the summer squad and efficiency is going to be a real struggle initially.

Herro was a sexy name at summer league, because of his scoring and fearless, gunner type mentality, but the reality is that the path to minutes will be limited to start the season, at the very least. He is more of a target for 16 team leagues as a late-round flier but is probably better suited to a league that rosters over 200 players for this season, although there could be spot opportunities for him to make noise when players are out ahead of him.

He was second on his team in college in PIPM behind PJ Washington, a metric which measures on-court impact, and for having a reputation as a shooter, only knocked in 35 percent of his three-balls playing for the Wildcats.

Perhaps Herro could be a starter next season when Dragic and maybe Waiters have moved on, next to Butler and Winslow, but for this season, he will likely struggle as most rookies do and high volume, low-efficiency scorer types who have significant defensive issues really don’t move the fantasy needle much.

Watch him in your fantasy leagues, or take a flier with a last pick in the draft, but tempering your expectations is probably the way to go. A best-case scenario fantasy points output for Herro this season is likely 21-22 points, but I think mid-teens is the likely range of his output.

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