Mike Gallagher

NBA Fantasy Trends

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NBA Rookie Rankings

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


6. Nate Wolters - Wolters is going the other way as far as offense goes. In his first 38 games of his career, the rook made just three 3-pointers on just 10.3 percent from downtown. In his last three games, he’s 4-of-9 and is on his way to his best offensive month in every category. The South Dakota State product is shooting 44.8 percent from the field this month, posting averages of 9.8 points, 4.3 boards, 3.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 triples.
 
The Bucks are going to be an interesting team to watch and they should have some moving parts. Gary Neal seems like he’s out the door, which is a good thing for the minutes on the wing. He’s been at 19 minutes per game since returning from injury over his last seven. Conversely, O.J. Mayo is coming back soon. He had some conditioning issues and it’s probably safe to assume he won’t be able to match his 27.5 minutes per game this season. His motor isn’t there and he’s certainly not a mayonnaise-colored Benz/Miracle Whip on the court. If you got that reference, can you believe The College Dropout came out 10 years ago?
 
It’s not like Wolters is the answer, but a coach can really grow to like how a point guard takes care of the ball as a backup. He’s not going to cost much and the fans like him, so those are two of the most important things for the Bucks right now. 
 
Also, I just have to add Doctor A, Aaron Bruski and I might have to fist fight for who doesn’t blurb the Bucks recaps on our Player News page by the time April comes around. They’re the worst with their unpredictable rotations.
 
7. Ryan Kelly - The Lakers are looking to trade some guys and it’s likely going to help out Kelly’s minutes and he needs ‘em. He’s played just 16.7 minutes per game over last three and coach Mike D’Antoni has gone back to Shawne Williams again. If you want to pick up Kelly until Thursday afternoon, it makes some sense. Although, his upside isn’t going to be too high.
 
8. Dennis Schroder - The intrigue of Jeff Teague possibly being dealt adds some short-term value here. If you’re in a shallow league or need a point guard, I’d consider stashing Schroder over Kelly. Plus, you’ll really enjoy watching him and you can listen to Sir Foster drop some beats at Atlanta home games. In case you missed it, he was the house organist at the All-Star game and he does that stuff for the Hawks, too.
 
9. Pero Antic - If he blocked shots just a little bit, I’d have a little more affinity to owning him in more leagues. Gustavo Ayon is also playing good ball and Antic might not get all of his minutes back upon his return from injury.
 
10. Mason Plumlee - I’m not sure why the Nets would trade for Jordan Hill when they have a player with a similar skill set. Mo' money, mo' problems, I guess. If they don’t pull the trigger, Plumlee is a sneaky player to have as a plug-and-play guy for the days Kevin Garnett sits.
 
11. Anthony Bennett - He’s no longer a laughing matter and is more of just point-and-snicker player these days. Over his last six games, Bennett averaged 9.3 points, 4.8 boards, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks and 0.8 triples. One more shot chart:

If he didn’t attempt mid-range shots, he’d have a spectacular shot chart. Unfortunately, the top pick in the draft has really been taking a lot of mid-range shots this season with 34.7 percent of his attempts coming from that range. He’s also made just 23.7 percent of those and shoots just 21.6 percent on all of his jumpers combined this season. It’s hard to pick him up with Anderson Varejao more of a day-to-day injury than anything else.
 
12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - The Pistons have to be sellers at the deadline, right? If not, KCP’s value is pretty much toast. He’s played just 11.7 minutes per game over his last six.
 
13. Kelly Olynyk - If the Celtics clean house a little bit, Olynyk can be an interesting guy to think about. His offense really has a long way to go, though.
 
14. Miroslav Raduljica - Larry Sanders going down opens up a rotation spot for ‘Slav.
 
15. Ben McLemore - There are some rumors of B-mac being traded, but it would have to be a huge deal for them to budge. They like him a lot.
 
16. Pierre Jackson - He and Nerlens Noel are the only two players on this list yet to make their debut in the NBA. Pierre has been outstanding in the D-League this year with a 58-point game back on Feb. 4. If he gets traded to the right team, he'll get a lot of attention in deep leagues.
 
17. Hollis Thompson - He’s not a rotational player on any other team, but if the Sixers can pull of the successful tank, Thompson would be in line for more minutes.
 
18. Phil Pressey - It’s still hard to believe the Celtics are playing Rajon Rondo 37 minutes. If they keep doing that, they’re really playing with fire. It’s such an unconventional move in this era of how teams handle ACL reconstructions, you have to think showcasing him for a trade is at least a possibility. All that said, Pressey might be the worst offensive guard in the NBA.
 
19. Tony Snell - Teams aren’t giving him wide-open looks anymore.
 
20. C.J. McCollum - After he burst on the scene with a 19-point game thanks to foul trouble from Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard on Feb. 8, coach Terry Stotts gave his rookie some more minutes on Feb. 11. The problem is Mo Williams returned the following game and it pushed the Lehigh product back to the teens for playing time. He basically needs Matthews and/or Mo to miss time.
 
21. Shane Larkin - Gal Mekel is back and Larkin squandering his chance with an 0-of-5 shooting on Wednesday didn’t help. 
 
22. Nerlens Noel - He could make it back, but it just does not make any sense.
 
23. Nick Calathes - Mike Conley is usually very durable, so it’s hard to imagine we see Calathes become fantasy relevant again.
 
24. Vitor Faverani - He’s hurt and he has no understanding of offense right now. Faverani could be an interesting player next season with a full offseason.
 
25. Dewayne Dedmon - Sixers.
 
26. Cody Zeller - He had a bright spot against the Mavericks in 22 minutes, but five points and seven boards is nothing to write home about. Power forwards and centers are just pushing him around in the low post.
 
27. Rudy Gobert - Derrick Favors’ hip injury seems minor and Gobert should fall out of the rotation again. Plus, he can’t shoot free throws with that lanky frame.
 
28. James Nunnally - The Hawks seem to like him and he could have some short-term value on days when DeMarre Carroll can’t go.
 
29. Robbie Hummel - The injury to Kevin Martin put him back in the rotation.
 
30. Steven Adams - He’s going to get into a lot of fights in his career with how hard he bangs in the paint.
 
31. Ray McCallum - The score-first point guard could get some minutes should the Kings deal Jimmer Fredette.
 
32. Jeff Withey - The Pelicans might suit up Pierre at center, especially with that new beak.
 
33. Alex Len - Hey, at least his ankles are still holding up. Len is pretty good inside of five feet, but has nothing outside of it. He’s a potentially good offensive rebounder.
 
34. Toure Murry - At least he’s above Beno Udrih on the depth chart now.
 
35. Erik Murphy - Maybe if the Bulls do some wheeling and dealing, he gets some run.
 
36. Otto Porter - Man, the third pick had so much promise for being a stat-stuffing guy. His hamstring injuries from Las Vegas Summer League totally messed him up.
 
37. Matthew Dellavedova - He’s a good bet for minutes should the Cavs dump Jarrett Jack.
 
38. Ognjen Kuzmic - The Warriors have some frail centers and Kuzmic would get minutes should Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal go down.
 
39. Brandon Davies - Sixers. Fantasy owners might want to keep an eye on second-year Arnett Moultrie, by the way.
 
40. Jamaal Franklin - The Grizzlies used him as a ball handler a little while Conley was down, so they do trust him. He’s somewhat talented, too.
 
41. Luigi Datome - If only 3-pointers were the only thing to matter in basketball.
 
42. Gorgui Dieng - He's such a project that his favorite standup ever is Eddie Murphy’s Raw. 
 
43. Archie Goodwin - There was so much hype back in the summer, but he’s really just a one-way player. That one side is defense, which is a problem in fantasy.
 
44. Vander Blue - ROY? No. ROY G BIV? Definitely.
 
45. Gal Mekel - He recovered somewhat from a meniscus tear, which gives Eric Bledsoe owners some unwarranted optimism.
 
46. Sergey Karasev - Hey, he’s back up with the Cavs and should be zzzzzzzzzz.
 
47. Ricky Ledo - This guy is probably ranked too high and anyone else who was at summer league would know why.
 
48. Tony Mitchell - The Pistons are a mess. That’s a bit of a good thing for rookies.
 
49. Shabazz Muhammad - His one game after the Kevin Martin injury looks like a total fluke.
 
50. Robert Covington - The 23-year-old forward has a good frame, but has a long way to go.
 
51. Dwight Buycks - It doesn’t look like the Raptors are trading Lowry.
 
52. Reggie Bullock - Another Las Vegas Summer League star.
 
53. Solomon Hill - It’s not easy being a backup small forward for the Indiana Pacers.
 
54. Nemanja Nedovic - The same can be said for a guard on the Warriors.
 
55. Isaiah Canaan - If you watch any D-League games, Canaan is quite a treat. Attack-mode switch stays in the “on” position.
 
56. Seth Curry - It was fun to see him up in the big leagues for four minutes.
 
57. Glen Rice Jr. - Junior dominated in the D-League last year, but it has not translated.
 
58. Elias Harris - He’s still waiting for his first point in just 11 minutes. It could happen if the Lakers sell everyone.
 
59. Andre Roberson - In the sparse playing time he’s had, he hasn’t looked good.
 
60. Carrick Felix - He’s a little Corey Brewer-like for his love of getting buckets in transition. Felix needs to stay healthy.
 
61. Dionte Christmas - I hope you enjoyed your Presidents’ Day weekend.
 
62. Peyton Siva - The Pistons probably aren’t trading Brandon Jennings.
 
63. Ian Clark - A sharp-shooting swingman, but the Jazz would likely just give Burks more minutes assuming they get rid of Richard Jefferson.
 
64. Allen Crabbe - His ceiling is really nothing outside of a second-unit trey specialist.
 
65. Lorenzo Brown - Sixers.
 
66. Arinze Onuaku - Hey, he’s played 25 minutes.
 
67. Chris Smith - J.R. Smith’s bro, bro.


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Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.



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