Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: Rookies breakdown

Fantasy Writer
  •  

This year's draft class was considered one of the weakest in years. And the rookie class that emerged looks extremely underwhelming as the start of their careers looms.

Looking over the first-year players, I don't see anyone who has a chance to come close to Trail Blazers Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, who emerged as a top 10 Fantasy guard last season thanks to a combination of skill and team need.

A number of rookies could be looking at a Lillard-esque role this season, but it is difficult to see any of them stepping up and emerging as stars in the same way. Still, that doesn't mean you should overlook all of this year's class, even in yearly Fantasy formats. This is how I would rank the rookies at this point in the preseason.

Starting Material

Michael Carter-Williams, G, 76ers; Trey Burke, G, Jazz; Victor Oladipo, G, Magic

This trio of guards shares three things in common that put them above their peers at the start of the season -- they play for bad teams, they should get big minutes on those bad teams and they should have the ball in their hands a lot. All three showed they had a lot to learn in the Orlando Summer League, but they all play on teams that are likely to let them learn on the fly.

Oladipo is likely a step below the other two, due to the presence of Arron Afflalo, as well as the learning curve that will be involved with a defense-first guard attempting to learn to run an offense on the fly.

Burke and Carter-Williams will almost certainly struggle with their efficiency, though for very different reasons. Burke has nice shooting range, shooting 38.4 percent on five 3-pointers per game as a sophomore. He may struggle to finish in the paint in the pros, which was his biggest issue in the summer league. Carter-Williams, on the other hand, has the length to become a really good finisher inside, but has absolutely no jump shot at this point, while playing on a team that offers him very little help.

On the border

Ben McLemore, G, Kings; Kelly Olynyk, F, Celtics; Cody Zeller, C, Bobcats; C.J. McCollum, G, Trail Blazers

It says a lot about how I feel about this rookie class that I would not be surprised if any of this group was the best Fantasy option as a rookie. They do all, however, carry some significant barriers to reaching that point, hence their lower rankings.

McLemore and McCollum have more than enough ability to be starting Fantasy options, but the opportunities may not be there. Even with the loss of Tyreke Evans through free agency, the Kings are still loaded with guards, which leaves his role in doubt at this point. McCollum is a big part of the Trail Blazers' revitalized bench, but the presence of Mo Williams as the backup point guard severely limits his potential.

As for Olynyk and Zeller, they are undoubtedly skilled offensive big men -- and have been since college. Both should get plenty of chances to show that on teams that desperately need offense. Still, Zeller will likely have to spend a lot of time out on the perimeter with Al Jefferson around, which should hurt his efficiency and rebounding numbers, while Olynyk has lingering injury concerns, as well as questions about his athleticism transferring to the NBA.

I would certainly draft every player mentioned so far and expect them to stay on at least someone's roster for much of the season.

Reserves

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G, Pistons; Otto Porter, F, Wizards; Anthony Bennett, F, Cavaliers; Alex Len, C, Suns; Sergey Karasev, F, Cavaliers

This is the part of the class where I start to think about leaving players off my draft board. I have concerns about every player here, mostly due to their probable roles.

Bennett has the skill set to be a solid stretch-four in a modern NBA offense, and that is the role the Cavaliers see for him now. Unfortunately, he has to contend with the presence of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao ahead of him, while also possible lineups with Earl Clark at power forward. I'm simply not convinced the No. 1 overall pick is going to stand out in a deep Cleveland frontcourt.

Caldwell-Pope, Porter and Karasev all look likely to take on roles from day one on their teams, but perhaps not big ones. They all look like role players at this point, who will likely be more important to their actual teams than Fantasy owners.

The big upside play in this group is obviously Len, a project center with injury concerns who was nonetheless in the conversation for the top pick in the draft. Len has a lot of work to do and the Suns can ease him in with Marcin Gortat around. If Len shows he can play, however, don't be surprised if a Gortat trade opens up a spot in the starting lineup. His potential could make him worth stashing even if his play is lackluster during the first half of the season.

Sleepers

Shabazz Muhammad, F, Timberwolves: Seems destined for an extended stay in the D-League, but Chase Budinger's injury could end up giving him a shot.

Shane Larkin, G, Mavericks: Larkin has recovered from a broken ankle and is ready for the start of the season. He is third on the depth chart at point guard, though he is behind a couple of players with some injury concerns.

Steven Adams, C, Thunder: High-upside big man, but unlikely to make an impact this season. He might be worth snagging in dynasty formats as the eventual replacement for Kendrick Perkins.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Bucks: He's long and athletic -- that pretty much covers what we know for sure about Antetokounmpo. He played at a lower-level league in the Greek league last season -- and is very raw -- but the Bucks expect him to be a stat-sheet stuffer down the road.

Nerlens Noel, C, 76ers: Noel is recovering from knee surgery and is likely to miss a big chunk of his rookie season. Still, the 76ers are bad enough that he'll get plenty of minutes when he's ready.

Archie Goodwin, G, Suns: Goodwin was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school, but his freshman season didn't blow people away. Still, he's a talented scorer on a bad team with a knack for drawing free throws, and he could emerge as a starter later in the season.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
76ers waive Malcolm Lee, two power forwards
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:20 pm ET) The 76ers have trimmed down their roster down to 17 with just a few days before the season opener. The team waived Drew Gordon, Malcolm Lee and Ronald Roberts, according to Los Angeles Times Saturday.

Pistons' Cartier Martin could start over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:27 pm ET) Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy indicated that forward Cartier Martin will start Wednesday's season opener against the Nuggets, of guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is not healthy enough to make his debut, per the Detroit Free Press. Caldwell-Pope is working his way back from a knee strain but has not made as much progress as Van Gundy had hoped for leading up to the first game of the season.

Report: Contract talks causing frustration for Klay Thompson, Warriors
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:57 pm ET) Guard Klay Thompson's camp is growing frustrated that the Warriors have yet to offer a max contract, as they near Friday's deadline, according to Yahoo! Sports Saturday.

Thompson, who was nearly shipped to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Love trade in the offseason, is seeking a maximum deal that would pay him roughly $15 million per season. If both sides don't reach a deal by Friday, Thompson will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Thompson averaged 18.4 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting last year.


Grizzlies part ways with Patrick Christopher, Kalin Lucas
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:41 pm ET) The Grizzlies have waived guards Patrick Christopher and Kalin Lucas on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Both players appeared in eight preseason games before getting cut days before the start of the regular season.

Magic waive Kadeem Batts, three guards Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:15 pm ET) The Magic waived power forward Kadeem Batts and guards Drew Crawford, Seth Curry and Peyton Siva Saturday, bringing the team's roster down to 15 players. None of the four players saw any preseason action with the team.

Bucks C Larry Sanders ramps up practice Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:10 pm ET) Bucks center Larry Sanders participated in the contact portion of practice Saturday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Sanders took part in non-contact practice Friday but ramped it up one day later. Coach Jason Kidd said the center looked good and he's building toward being available for the regular-season opener.


Jazz waive SF Brock Motum
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:38 pm ET) The Jazz announced Saturday that the team has waived forward Brock Motum, reducing the roster to 14 player. Motum saw action in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3 of 5 shooting in 10 minutes against the Lakers.

Kings SG Ben McLemore passes concussion test
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:36 pm ET) Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (head) passed his concussion test and is expected to play in the team's regular-season opener against the Warriors Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reports.

McLemore had his $3.2 million option picked up by the Kings last week and looks good to go for Wednesday after scoring just three points on 1 of 7 shooting in 24 minutes during Friday's preseason finale.


76ers expect Jerami Grant back about Nov. 5
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) The 76ers expect small forward Jerami Grant (ankle) to return to action on about Nov. 5, the Bucks Couty Courier Times reports.

Grant may get some work in the D-League before returning to action with the 76ers. He has missed the entire preseaon while recovering from his ankle injury.


Pacers PG Rodney Stuckey uncertain for opener
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:28 pm ET) Pacers point guard Rodney Stuckey isn't sure if he'll be able to play in Wednesday's regular season opener, VigilantSports.com reports.

Stuckey is recovering from a sore foot and has not taken part in any on-court work recently while allowing the injury to heal. He remains day-to-day but will likely need at least one practice in order to be ready to roll Wednesday.


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings