We have put too much faith in this year’s rookie class and expected them to be like the four-headed monster (and one lizard head) the 2003 draft class was. Truth be told, as we have put too much faith in them, we might be putting too much unnecessary pressure on these youngsters, too.
At this point in 2003, top rookies LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony (Did you expect me to include Darko Milicic?) averaged 18.1 and 18.7, points, respectively for Cleveland and Denver. This batch, Andrew Wiggins‘ (12.6) and Jabari Parker‘s (12.5) scoring output is mediocre at best. And we’re not even into Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh yet and no, I won’t fail to mention ‘Melo and ‘Bron were competing for All-Star spots that year– their rookie year.
Let’s stop the comparisons there and move on. Wiggins, Parker, and the others are not franchise player material, at least for now, and the only possible game-changer in the draft won’t be wearing warm-ups until next year (Joel Embiid).
Having said that, it doesn’t mean our rookies this year ain’t roster-worthy. Parker provides solid rebounding (5.6) and steals numbers (1.3) with healthy percentages while Wiggins has the potential to be a 1 steal- 1 block- 1 trey player in the near future. Pick No. 32 K.J. McDaniels is already a fantasy beast (4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.5 blocks, with 1 three-pointer), though his stock have plummeted recently due to injuries and playing time competition in Philly.
Speaking of a downward stock, Houston Rockets’ rookie big man Tarik Black should be back to a reserve role after the return of Dwight Howard. He may still get some run as Howard’s backup or play alongside him with Terrence Jones still nursing a plethora of injuries. However, he and Donatas Motiejunas remain deep-league options for now.
Other rookie contributors you may want too look at: Nikola Mirotic (10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1 block in last 5); Kostas Papanikolaou (scored in double-digits the last three games before missing the last four); Elfrid Payton (5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals in last 10)
Fantasy Forethought: Players to Watch next week
The tattoo-filled, mercurial forward is the forgotten man of this year’s fantasy basketball stories. Barnes’ game has been coming around lately raining down six 3’s against Milwaukee, en route to a 26-point, 2-steal- 1-block night. The Clippers will draw Detroit, Denver, and (ehem) Milwaukee so if you want a cheap source of points and treys, count on Matt Barnes to provide that for you.
Reggie Jackson’s stock have dropped lately with the arrival of OKC’s top guns but it’s easy to forget how well he played with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the past. Look for Jackson to regain his stroke against relatively fantasy-weak competitions Sacramento Kings, L.A. Lakers, and New Orleans Pelicans.
How old is Omer Asik? The truth?
Anyway’s, if you’re lagging behind in rebounds in roto and H2H play, there are only a number of options available in the waiver wire and the best one is the big guy from Turkey. He has topped 15 rebounds twice in the last eight games (averaged 11.1 boards for the season) and is still available in over 40% of leagues. He doesn’t do much else and is an atrocious free-throw shooter so prepare to take the bad for the good.
If you ask coach Brad Stevens, Zeller won’t be losing his starting job to anyone soon. For good reason.
Tyler has scored in double-digits for the Celtics in the last 3 games and played no less than 22 minutes, recording 14 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 combined steals and blocks during that span. The elder Zeller also shot 63% from the field on 10 attempts, which could potentially swing the FG% battle right in your favor.
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