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
2015 Draft Prep Guide
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: Breakouts

Fantasy Writer
  •  

This wasn't the most action-packed free agency class ever, with only a handful of true franchise-changing talents changing hands. Still, there was enough turnover to leave a significantly altered landscape for some teams around the league, with plenty of young players expected to slide into bigger roles as a result.

And that is where breakout candidates typically come from. Young players, thrust into the spotlight, typically on bad teams, and living up to the tremendous upside shown in their previous roles as bit players.

Thanks to what looks like a handful of teams engaging in an all-out tank for draft position, this season could see a number of young stars emerge as the leaders of their teams. None of these players are established Fantasy studs, but they are should all be on your radar on Draft Day.

Guard

Eric Bledsoe, Suns

Projection: 70 G, 13.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.90 SPG, 3.10 TPG

With his freakish athleticism -- and the "Mini LeBron" nickname it has spawned -- it is easy to see why Bledsoe is nearly everyone's favorite pick to break out this season. He thrived in a reserve role for the Clippers last season, despite being stuck behind Chris Paul in a rotation Clippers' coach Vinny Del Negro was loathe to experiment too much with.

Now, Bledsoe has been freed. Oh, he'll still have to share ball-handling duties with Goran Dragic, the established starter at point guard. But this is Bledsoe's best chance to live up to our suddenly lofty expectations, and it comes the same year he can test free agency for the first time.

Bledsoe's game isn't perfect; he struggles to run an offense, is turnover prone and has a poor jump shot. But there are very few guards in the league who can match his physical tools, and that and 35-plus minutes per game should be enough to turn him into a Fantasy standout.

Nick Young, Lakers

Projection: 66 G, 12.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 3PT/G

Young has been around for a while, and has a well-developed reputation for being a gunner without conscience. If, at first glance, his projected numbers don't look too far off from his career marks, keep in mind that Young may end up being asked to carry a pretty big scoring load on the perimeter for the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant is recovering from an Achilles injury, and while he has maintained optimism about his chances of returning soon after the season begins, some healthy skepticism is in order. And, if Kobe misses significant time, there are probably going to be plenty of shots available for Young, and he's not going to pass them up.

In a fast-paced offense with the green light to shoot, Young has proven he can put up big numbers; he averaged 17.4 points in just 31.8 minutes per game in 2010-11. Fantasy owners who pick Young up are definitely going to benefit from whatever absence Kobe has to endure.

Evan Turner, 76ers

Projection: 80 G, 15.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.5 TPG

Turner has been a decent Fantasy option at times in his career, but he was never someone you were all too thrilled about adding to your roster. And, for anyone who has to watch what is sure to be a disastrous season in Philadelphia, it might be hard to think of Turner as big-time Fantasy option.

Still, if you close your eyes (and that League Pass window) and just focus on Turner's stat lines this season, you're likely to be pleasantly surprised. Turner has not evolved much as a scorer in his three seasons in the league, but his rebounding and assist numbers took another step forward last season as his role continues to grow.

The 76ers traded their lone All-Star this offseason, leaving Turner as the most accomplished perimeter player on the roster. This could be a historically poor Sixers team, but I expect Turner to take advantage of that and put up solid numbers ahead of his first foray into free agency.

Jeremy Lamb, Thunder

Projection: 75 G, 9.3 PPG, 1.3 APG, 1.3 3PT/G

This is one where my official projection does not scream “breakout”, despite Lamb's inclusion here. Frankly, we don't know what to expect from Lamb, after he played just 147 minutes a year ago. We do know the 21-year-old has pretty big shoes to fill, with the departure of Kevin Martin coming a year after Lamb was acquired for James Harden.

For all intents and purposes, Lamb is a rookie. He played largely in garbage time when he wasn't in the D-League, and he didn't even see the floor. Based on his college resume, Lamb should be able to fill it up from the perimeter, and he could have every opportunity to do so as a sixth man.

Lamb is no sure thing, but as a late-round flier, his potential could pay off in a big way this season.

Forward

Gordon Hayward, Jazz

Projection: 75 G, 15.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.5 3PT/G, 1.9 TPG

Anyone who follows me on twitter (@CTowersCBS) knows I have been hitting Hayward hard as one of my favorite breakout candidates this offseason. The former No. 9 pick has improved in each season in the league, and quietly put up tremendous per-minute numbers a year ago.

He has had to fight for playing time at times, having started less than half of the games in his career. Despite that, Hayward averaged 17.4 points per-36 minutes a year ago, with impressive efficiency. He can draw fouls and shoot threes, two skills that should help him manage the transition to what we hope is a larger role this season.

The Jazz cleared the decks of a couple of long-time offensive centerpieces, and Hayward is the most obvious choice to build the offense around this season. Even with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson around, Hayward put up 15.1 points and 3.7 assists per game after last season's All-Star break.

A Paul George-like breakout season wouldn't shock me at all from Hayward, and that isn't as farfetched as it might seem. Hayward was nearly George's equal on a per-minute basis a year ago.

Derrick Favors, Jazz

Projection: 78 G, 13.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.8 BPG

Like his teammate, Favors is another likely beneficiary of the team's offseason departues (and he won't be the last Jazz player you see in this column.) Favors was a lot of people's favorite breakout candidate last season, before the Jazz inexplicably held on to both Millsap and Jefferson through the trade deadline.

Favors is a former No. 3 overall pick, and he has shown nothing in his three seasons as a mostly-reserve player to make us think that was a wasted pick. Favors averaged 14.6 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per-36 minutes a year ago, and should see something close to that workload this season.

Favors is going to be a defensive game changer, and that alone should keep him on the floor for what could be a bad Jazz team. The only problem with targeting Favors on Draft Day is he won't come cheap. His potential is no secret to even less savvy Fantasy owners; Favors is going 51st overall in CBSSports.com leagues so far.

Jeff Green, Celtics

Projection: 75 G, 16.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.8 TPG

This is less of a breakout for Green and more of a return to form, as he was producing this kinds of numbers back in his Oklahoma City days. OF course, that was four season ago at this point, so he still definitely fits here.

It took Green a while to find his footing last season while recovering from heart surgery that cost him the entire 2011-12 season. Once he got comfortable, however, Green was a star. He averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game after the All-Star break, while working at times as the team's top offensive option.

Frankly, that projection is probably underselling Green's potential this season. As with so many on the list, Green is likely to be one of the lone reliable options on a suddenly barren roster. The Celtics have talked about using Green as a shooting guard, small forward and power forward, which speaks to his versatility as much as it does the state of the Celtics' roster from top to bottom. Green might see his efficiency dip in a larger role, but he could be a Fantasy star as the Celtics' primary focus.

Tobias Harris, Magic

Projection: 70 G, 13.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.5 TPG

Harris has found a home in Orlando, after he failed to find much playing time in a season and a half with the Bucks. And, at least for a month or two, it looked like the Magic might have found a long-term answer in Harris, who emerged as a starter towards the end of the season.

Harris put up 17.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game over the final 20 games of the season, as he emerged as the team's starting power forward. He should be in that same role this season, which is why he is one of the more popular breakout options this season.

And while I believe in Harris' abilities, the makeup of the Magic's roster scares me a bit. This team has invested a lot in their young frontcourt over the last two seasons, with some combination of Harris, Maurice Harkless, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn set to possibly see time at power forward, along with the inevitable return of Glen Davis from a season-ending foot injury. If you could guarantee 35-plus minutes per game for Harris, I'd gladly take him as early as the fourth or fifth round this season, due to his upside. Unfortunately, a possible glut of options makes Harris something less than a sure thing.

Center

Enes Kanter, Jazz

Projection: 70 G, 8.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.6 BPG

I told you we weren't done with the Jazz. This roster is loaded with high-upside recent lottery picks, and Kanter is just another in a long line. But he could end up being as valuable as anyone on the roster, based on the sort of massive potential he showed in his second season.

Kanter was the fourth big man in the rotation a year ago, and as such, managed just 15.4 minutes per game. He put up very impressive numbers even in his limited role, however, averaging 16.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per-36 minutes. In two chances to start last season, Kanter did more than enough to show he can be an impact player; the 21-year-old averaged 20.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in this two games.

We're not sure if Kanter can take on a huge minutes load, after being limited to a reserve role the last two years and not playing his lone season in college. I wouldn't draft Kanter with the expectation that he will be my one of my starters throughout the season, but he's got enough upside to emerge as a No. 1 center if things break right.

Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors

Projection: 70 G, 12.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG

Putting a second-year player on this list is kind of cheating; we expect a big improvement from them, just through natural improvements in skill.

Still, the buzz for Valanciunas is so high, I can't possibly do this column without mentioning him. Valanciunas' per-minute numbers were extremely solid for a young big man last season, as he put up 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per-36 minutes. And the 21-year-old kept getting better as the season went on, averaging 14.9 points per game in the month of April, while learning leverage his size and athleticism into a sky-high free throw rate. Valanciunas attempted more free-throw attempts in April than shots from the field.

And all Valanciunas did this offseason is go to the Las Vegas Summer League and dominate, winning the MVP award and looking very much like a young building block. With little standing in his way in terms of playing time, Valanciunas should take a big leap forward. Don't be surprised if he is a top-15 Fantasy center this 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
Report: Cavaliers seeking to land Clippers SG Jamal Crawford
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:16 pm ET) The search of the Cavaliers to bolster their bench has them discussing a deal that would bring super sixth man Jamal Crawford over from the Clippers, sources have told ESPN.

Cleveland would dump Brendan Haywood in the trade.

Crawford has been instant offense throughout his career. But he shot just 39.6 percent from the floor last year, his second-worst accuracy since the 2004-05 season. He still averaged an impressive 15.8 points in 27 minutes per game.


Report: Mavericks sign PG J.J. Barea to two-year contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:05 pm ET) Point guard J.J. Barea has agreed to a two-year deal worth $5.6 million to stay with the Mavericks, according to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nueva Dia.

Reports also claim that he has a player option for a third season.

Barea averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 assists last season in 18 minutes per game as a reserve.


Report: PF David West signs with Spurs for veteran minimum
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:57 pm ET) The Spurs continued to bolster their frontcourt Monday by signing veteran forward David West, league sources have told TNT, which is further reporting that it's for the veteran minimum.

The 34-year-old West, who will now make just $1.4 million next season, sought to play for a title contender.

West scored just 11.7 points per game and shot 47.2 percent from the field last year for Indiana. Both represent his worst numbers since his second season in the NBA.


Report: Grizzlies C Marc Gasol signs five-year contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:38 pm ET) Blossoming Grizzlies center Marc Gasol claimed he was not interested in joining any other team - and he proved it Monday by signing a five-year deal worth more than $100 million to remain in Memphis, league sources have told Yahoo Sports.

Gasol proved consistent and productive last year in placing himself in the NBA Most Valuable Player conversation. He averaged 17.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in 33 minutes per game during the regular season before leading them into the Western Conference semifinals.

He stepped up his fine work in the playoffs, averaging 19.7 points and 10.3 points in 11 games while attacking the basket aggressively enough to average eight foul shots per game.


Report: Fading PF Carlos Boozer targeted by several teams
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:19 pm ET) Several teams are in the mix to land veteran power forward Carlos Boozer, sources have told ESPN, which is claiming he has had conversations with the Clippers, Spurs, Mavericks and Raptors.

The 33-year-old Boozer showed signs of age last season with the Lakers. He averaged just 11.8 points a game, his lowest since his rookie year, and a career-worst 6.8 rebounds. But he was limited to 24 minutes per game and shot nearly 50 percent from the floor.


Report: Timberwolves pull qualifying offer to F Robbie Hummel
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:35 pm ET) The Timberwolves have withdrawn their qualifying offer to forward Robbie Hummel, sources have told The Associated Press, which is claiming that their acquisition of Euroleague Most Valuable Player Nemanja Bjelica negated their need for Hummel.

Hummel averaged just 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 16 minutes per game last season. He is now free to shop his services.


Spurs guard Manu Ginobili to return for upcoming season
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:39 pm ET) Spurs guard Manu Ginobili announced via his Twitter that he would be returning to the team for the 2015-16, writing "Happy to announce that I'm coming back next season." Contract details between the team and Ginobili are still being finalized. 

Last season, Ginobili averaged 10.5 points in 70 games, while shooting 42.6 percent from the floor, the second-worst mark of his 13-year career. He said after the season, he would have to think about returning for another campaign. 

In his Twitter announcement, Ginobili closed with the hashtag #TDwouldvemissedmetoomuch, a reference to friend and teammate Tim Duncan, who recently announced he was returning to the Spurs for another year. 


Nets reach deal with forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:42 pm ET) The Nets and first-round pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whom they acquired in a draft-night trade with the Trail Blazers, have reached agreement on a multi-year contract, per the Daily News

Hollis-Jefferson, who was picked at No. 23 before being dealt in exchange for center Mason Plumlee, will make around $1.3 million this year based on the rookie wage scale. He is playing for the Nets' summer league team in Orlando. 


PG Jordan Farmar signs with Israeli team
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:55 am ET) Point guard Jordan Farmar will try to revitalize his career in Israel, as he has signed a deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv per Sportando and the team's Twitter account. 

Farmar was released by the Clippers in mid-January after averaging 4.6 points on 38.6 percent shooting in 36 games.


Report: Drew Gooden likely to return to Wizards
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:45 am ET) Drew Gooden has been a valuable player off the bench for the Wizards during the past two seasons, and per a report by CSNWashington.com, it looks as if the team will try to retain him with another veteran mininum deal. 

Gooden made $1.4 million last season and proved his worth in the playoffs, shooting 46 percent from 3-point range. The veteran will be 34 next season and earned more minutes this year than in any other since 2011-12 while averaging 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings