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Courtside Seat: Rookies not rockin' just yet

Senior Fantasy Writer
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This year's rookie class has been somewhat disappointing for Fantasy owners. There haven't been any standout options as in recent years like Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans or Blake Griffin and John Wall -- at least not yet.

Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in Cleveland, has been solid but unspectacular, and he hasn't gotten much help from his fellow rookies. Derrick Williams has come on of late, but his value appears tied to the health of Michael Beasley (foot). Ricky Rubio has displayed flashes of brilliance, but he has to show more consistency.

Three guards who were expected to shine -- Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette -- have failed to make an impact, with all three coming off the bench for their respective teams. It has left Fantasy owners less than thrilled with this group of rookies.

Iman Shumpert has hit the ground running for the Knicks. (US Presswire)  
Iman Shumpert has hit the ground running for the Knicks. (US Presswire)  
But maybe some of the unheralded members of this class are starting to come around, which should be a benefit to Fantasy owners. Three in particular have emerged to become potential starters in all formats.

By now you're all aware of Iman Shumpert, who has become the starting point guard for the Knicks. In his past four games he is averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field, 83.3 percent from the foul line and hitting six 3-pointers. He was a Top 15 point guard in category-based leagues for Week 2, ranking ahead of Deron Williams, Ty Lawson and Rajon Rondo, among others. His start percentage was at 38 percent for Week 3 on CBSSports.com, but that number should rise as he continues to play at a high level.

In New Jersey, MarShon Brooks has played well with at least 17 points in six of nine games, and he had his first double-double on Monday against Atlanta with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Brooks has been a solid source of 3-pointers with 11, and he is a Top 20 shooting guard in category-based leagues. If Brooks can continue to rebound at a high level like he did against the Hawks then his value should continue to rise.

Markieff Morris has been playing well for the Suns, and his value would improve if he were starting in place of Channing Frye. Morris has played at least 30 minutes in three of the past four games, and he has responded by averaging 12.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in his past five outings. The Suns have a lot of big bodies up front with Morris, Frye, Marcin Gortat and Hakim Warrick, but Morris has displayed plenty of versatility with 10 3-pointers in his past five games. He should begin to warrant more consideration from Fantasy owners since he is owned in just 65 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com and started in only 21 percent in Week 3.

This rookie class might not be as terrible as originally thought, especially if Irving continues to develop and Shumpert, Brooks and Morris keep improving. Now it's only a matter of time before Fantasy owners begin to trust them as must-start options in all leagues.

Each week we will take a look at a variety of topics around the NBA. We will speculate on guys to trade, trade for, add off the waiver wire and also answer some of your social media questions, among other things. It's our CBSSports.com potpourri look at Fantasy Basketball.

Sell high guys

Spencer Hawes, C, 76ers
Hawes is averaging a double-double with 12.5 points and 10.3 rebounds, which are both career highs, and he also is at a career-best 1.8 blocks. Maybe he keeps this up, or maybe he reverts back to the player he was last year at 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds. If you can get something significant for him -- and we know centers are hard to come by -- make the deal.

Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors
Calderon has missed 14 games each of the past three years, and the shortened schedule this year might catch up with him, especially since he's playing additional minutes with Jerryd Bayless (ankle) out. Calderon is averaging 12.6 points, which is his best average since 2008, and a career-high 9.0 assists. Once Bayless comes back, he could take away production from Calderon, and there's always that potential injury looming.

Ryan Anderson, PF, Magic
Anderson has taken a huge leap in production from 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 2010 to 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds this season. He could definitely continue to play at a high level, but if Dwight Howard is traded that would dramatically change the way teams defend Anderson on the perimeter. Anderson has been a great addition off the waiver wire in many leagues, but now is the time to shop him around.

Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers
We always knew Bynum was capable of outstanding production if he could stay healthy, and this year he is averaging 18.8 points and 15.7 rebounds, which is four points and five rebounds better than his previous career highs. But the key with Bynum is health, as he has missed at least 17 games each of the past four seasons. Hopefully he can stay healthy all year, but if the right offer presents itself then you should take it to be safe.

Al Harrington, PF, Nuggets
Harrington is off to a great start at 14.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and he says he's healthy again. But his numbers will likely decline based on his career averages. He's shooting 55.3 percent from the field when his career average is 44.7 percent. At some point age and injuries will likely catch up with Harrington, who is 31 and in his 14th season. You might want to unload him in a package deal if you can.

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Buy low candidates

Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
Wade has been dealing with a foot injury, and he even mentioned the term plantar fasciitis, which is never good. But he's worth trading for if the Wade owner is getting disgruntled. You always want to swing for the fences with a player of Wade's caliber unless there's overwhelming evidence he will be out for an extended period of time. As of now he's expected to return, and he could be bought for the right price.

Marcin Gortat, C, Suns
The thumb injury that bothered Gortat to start the season appears to be over, and he is playing well of late. In his previous three games he has scored in double figures with 25 rebounds over that span. Gortat finished last season as a No. 1 Fantasy center after being traded to Phoenix, and he was drafted this year with lofty expectations. After a couple of down weeks, he is starting to come around, and you might want to acquire him before the price is too high.

John Wall, PG, Wizards
Wall's stats are down across the board from his rookie season when he averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 assists on 41 percent shooting with 34 3-pointers. This year he is at 14.4 points, 6.8 assists and shooting 35 percent from the field with no 3-pointers. He is also frustrated with the Wizards getting off to a terrible start, but he should rebound to close the year. See if you can trade for him now because his value won't stay down for very long.

Kevin Martin, SG, Rockets
Martin's best attribute is his scoring, and right now he's not doing a good job of that. He has averaged 18.5 points for his career and has five consecutive seasons of 20-plus points. But he is averaging just 16.5 points this year and is not adjusting to Kevin McHale's system. His shooting percentage (43.3) and 3-point percentage (34.8) are down slightly, but Martin should find his rhythm as the year goes on. See if you can acquire him at a low price from an owner who is upset with his early-season struggles.

Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder
There is some thought that Westbrook's playoff struggles from last year have carried over into this year. His scoring is down four points from last year, and his assists are down nearly three per game. But he is too good to be held in check for long, and the Westbrook owner might be getting antsy since he is a first-round pick who has struggled. He should start averaging close to 21-8-5 like he did last year in points, assists and rebounds, and he is someone to target in a trade.

Free agent watch

Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:

Marreese Speights, PF, Grizzlies (Owned: 50 percent of leagues)
Matt Barnes, SF, Lakers (Owned: 33 percent of leagues)
Gary Neal, PG, Spurs (Owned: 30 percent of leagues)
Tony Allen, SG, Grizzlies (Owned: 25 percent of leagues)
Chandler Parsons, SF, Rockets (Owned: 4 percent of leagues)

Speights and Allen have benefited with Zach Randolph (knee) out, with Speights a hot pickup now that he should start at power forward. Barnes has done well starting at small forward for the Lakers, and Neal should benefit over the next several weeks with Manu Ginobili (hand) out. And keep an eye on Parsons, who should continue to earn playing time for the Rockets. He could turn into another nice surprise for this rookie class.

Social media corner

@okomodo on Twitter wants to know: Drop Dorell Wright for Shumpert in a Head-to-Head league?

Yes, you should add Shumpert for Wright. We've seen Wright struggle in the new offense for the Warriors, and his shooting percentage is down from last year's career highs. Shumpert is on the rise, and he should do much better than Wright in all Head-to-Head formats.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Heat point guard Goran Dragic listed as questionable for Monday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:19 pm ET) Heat point guard Goran Dragic is considered questionable for Monday's game against the Suns after suffering a back injury in Saturday's game, reports the Sun-Sentinel.

"He got hit in the back and that's why he was in the locker room," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He probably shouldn't have played in the second half. He just played through it. I kept on asking him if he was OK and he said he was... He gutted it out."

Dragic is averaging 16.0 points and 4.2 assists in 57 games this year.


Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo looking to find his shot
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:40 pm ET) Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo has been struggling with his shot as of late. Over his past four games, Antetokounmpo is 12 of 33 from the field and 22 of 61 since the All-Star Break.

"I've got to find a rhythm," Antetokounmpo said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Because of the trade we lost a little bit of rhythm.

"I've just got to try to get everybody involved when I've got the ball. If that doesn't work, I've got to go back to my old move and start attacking the basket more and more and more."


Nuggets' Wil Barton posts double-double in losing effort Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:36 pm ET) Nuggets guard Will Barton scored 16 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field in Denver's 99-92 loss to the Pelicans Sunday. Barton also grabbed 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. It was his first double-double since last April.

Barton also added two steals to his totals.


Pelicans' Tyreke Evans stuffs the stat sheet in win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(10:32 pm ET) Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans scored 22 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field to lead New Orleans to a 99-91 win over the Nuggets Sunday.

Evans also dished out seven assists and pulled down seven rebounds in the contest. It was his first 20-plus point game in his last nine games. His seven assists also broke his streak of three consecutive games reaching double figures in assists.


Thunder center Enes Kanter doubles up Lakers in win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:10 pm ET) Thunder center Enes Kanter scored 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field in Oklahoma City's 108-101 win over the Lakers Sunday.

Kanter also grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, leading to his third double-double in his last five games and 15th overall on the season. He added five assists to his totals.


Lakers guard Jeremy Lin stuffs the stat sheet in Sunday's loss
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(9:04 pm ET) Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field and dished out eight assists in Los Angeles' 108-101 loss to the Thunder Sunday.

It was just Lin's second 20-plus point game in his last 25 games. He added six rebounds and three steals to his totals.


Kings forward Rudy Gay scores 24 points in losing effort Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:56 pm ET) Kings small forward Rudy Gay scored 24 points on 10 of 22 shooting from the field in Sacramento's 110-99 loss to the Trail Blazers Sunday. It was Gay's third game in his last five scoring at least 20 points. He added eight rebounds and one assist to his totals.

He and the Kings will look to bounce back Tuesday against the Knicks.


Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge doubles up Kings in win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:53 pm ET) Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points on 9 of 25 shooting from the field in Portland's 110-99 win over the Kings Sunday. Aldridge also brought down a game-high 15 rebounds, leading to his third straight double-double and 30th of the season.

The All-Star also added two assists to his totals.


Pacers center Roy Hibbert blocks five shots in win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:45 pm ET) Pacers center Roy Hibbert scored 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in Indiana's 94-74 win over the 76ers Sunday. It was Hibbert's 14th double-double of the season and first in nearly a month.

He also swatted away five shots in the contest and added two steals to his totals.


Magic guard Victor Oladipo scores 21 points in losing effort Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:41 pm ET) Magic shooting guard Victor Oladipo scored 21 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field in Orlando's 98-83 loss to the Hornets Sunday.

Oladipo, who also went 6 of 8 from the free throw line, added five assists and two rebounds to his totals. In his last five games, Oladipo is averaging 18.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.


 
 
 
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