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
Kings guard Rudy Gay goes off Friday against Portland
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Kings guard Rudy Gay went off against Portland Friday.

Gay hit 13 of his 19 shots from the field. He added three buckets from beyond the arc, and hit 11 free throws. Gay also had eight rebounds during the contest. He led all scorers, dropping 40 points on the Trail Blazers. 


Spurs' Kawhi Leonard plays through eye injury
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:34 am ET) Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard managed to play through an eye injury Friday against the Suns.

Leonard battled an eye infection during the preseason, but recovered in time to play Friday. He scored six points in 24 minutes. All of Leonard's scoring came on free throw attempts. He went 0 for 5 from the field. 


Suns' Isaiah Thomas dominates off the bench Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:32 am ET) Suns guard Isaiah Thomas had a great game off the bench Friday against the Spurs. 

Thomas shot 10 of 17 from the field. He also hit on three of his four free throw attempts. Thomas also dished out four assists. He played 29 minutes and finished with 23 points. 


Cavs' Dion Waiters doesn't play much down the stretch
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters didn't play much down the stretch Friday.

Waiters left the game with three minutes left in regulation and did not return for overtime. Matthew Dellavedova saw most of the time down the stretch. Waiters played 26 minutes and finished with nine points.


Bulls forward Pau Gasol sits down the stretch
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Bulls forward Pau Gasol sat down the stretch Friday against the Cavs.

Gasol missed the last six minutes of regulation in favor of Taj Gibson. While he started in overtime, Gasol was quickly removed for Jaokim Noah. Gasol did manage to re-enter the game, but only after Noah committed his sixth foul. Gasol finished with 15 points in 37 minutes played. 


Report: Thunder guard Reggie Jackson will test market
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Thunder guard Reggie Jackson will test the market after extension talks fell through Friday, according to Yahoo!

Jackson will reportedly search for a starting job once he hits restricted free agency. With Russell Westbrook sidelined at the start of the year, Jackson will have an opportunity to show off his skills. Jackson is currently sidelined due to an ankle injury, but is expected to return to action Saturday. 


Bulls guard Derrick Rose doesn't return Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Bulls guard Derrick Rose was unable to return to Friday's game due to an ankle sprain.

Rose left the game in the second half, and was initially ruled questionable to return. Though the game went into overtime, Rose did not make it back on the floor. It was reported that Rose was getting his ankle iced during overtime, signalling that the team knew his night was done before the game was over. X-rays came back negative on the injury, and Rose told reporters after the game that he would attempt to play Saturday. 


Cavaliers forward LeBron James looks like himself in Game 2
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Cavaliers forward LeBron James looked like his usual self in the team's second game at Chicago.

James hit 14 of 30 shots from the field. He also hit one three pointer, and seven free throw attempts. James came down with eight rebounds, and dished out four assists. He finished with 36 points. 

After a tough first game, James expressed some relief about how well the team played against Chicago. "Today was a huge step," he said. "It was something that I didn’t know that we had just right now."


Bulls' Taj Gibson able to return Friday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Bulls forward Taj Gibson was able to return to action Friday against the Cavs.

Gibson left the game early in the fourth quarter. After going back to the locker room and missing a couple minutes, Gibson returned to the floor. He's dealing with an ankle sprain. 


Bulls guard Derrick Rose heads to locker room early
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/31/2014) Bulls guard Derrick Rose went to the locker room early Friday against the Cavs.

Rose is dealing with a left ankle sprain. He's considered questionable to return. Rose went back to the locker room at some point during the fourth quarter, the team initially waited to officially announce an injury. Rose drained 20 points before leaving the contest. 


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings