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NBA Rookie Watch

December 30, 2012 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Thomas Robinson has great potential for the Sacramento Kings.
Thomas Robinson is waiting for his chance to win over the Sacramento fans.

With the calendar year winding down, we’re nearly a third of the way through the NBA season – a great time to revisit the 2012-13 rookie class.

Back in late-September, we identified those players who we thought would be the top 10 rookies this season. How are these dudes faring at this stage of their debut seasons?

Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Hornets: The former Kentucky star isn’t used to losing, but he’s sure having to deal with his fare share of it in the Big Easy. Davis has already dealt with health woes, missing nearly three weeks in November and December with an ankle injury and suffering a concussion earlier in the season. But when he’s played, he’s made a quick adjustment to the NBA game, flashing occasional scoring punch and improving rebounding and block numbers. The monobrowed one is already a force on the glass, and with an average of 10 boards per game over the last five, he’s only improving in that regard.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Charlotte Bobcats: Another Kentucky product that’s suddenly having to deal with losing, Kidd-Gilchrist has battled rookie inconsistency. He showed what he’s capable of Saturday night with an incredible shooting performance (11-for-14) for 22 points with nine boards, two blocks and a steal, but he’s struggled from the line lately (and isn’t getting there often enough). Still, MKG has been healthy and has been getting enough PT to be a virtually must-own Fantasy asset.

Thomas Robinson, PF, Sacramento Kings: The lottery pick from Kansas simply isn’t getting enough PT to show what he can do. He averaged 20.5 MPG in the previous two games and then took a DNP-CD on Friday. He’s only an asset in deeper league.

Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors: Barnes’ PT has dipped of late, but on Saturday he gave us a hint of what he’s capable of, scoring 15 points with eight boards and three treys in 26 minutes. He was aggressive and showed some all-around skills and consistent efforts like that would make him a nice waiver wire option.

Dion Waiters, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Waiters is another rook dealing with a tough losing environment, but he’s been one of the few bright spots in Cleveland. This kid’s scoring potential has made him a near must-own player, although he’s been having a tough time sinking his shot of late. As long as you can withstand Waiters’ FG percentage, he’s a nice option.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers: Lillard, who flashed his scoring prowess with 20 points Saturday, has been a must-own Fantasy player all year long. He’s slowly been gaining confidence as a distributor, but took a goose egg in the dime department Saturday. On the plus side, Lillard’s outside game has shown improvement and that’s helped him score at least 20 points in over half his games.

Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards: Beal, who missed a couple of games earlier this month because of his back, has been a decent waiver wire option at times this season. His PT is up recently, but it would be nice to see him get to the line more often. Even when Beal’s shots aren’t falling (which is often), he’s not afraid to keep jacking ‘em up – a definite sign of a scorer.

Andre Drummond, PF/C, Detroit Pistons: This kid is only 19, but is starting to prove he can be a very useful Fantasy asset with back-to-back double-doubles. Drummond is a lousy free throw shooter, but after getting sporadic PT through the early part of the sked, he’s getting the burn now. The call for him to move into the starting five in Detroit is underway.

Jeremy Lamb, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder: We had high hopes for Lamb and then he was dealt to a deep OKC squad, where he saw such little PT that he was dispatched to the D-League. Lamb showed he could score down there, earning a recall a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, he’s still barely playing if at all, so this tatted rookie is currently not a Fantasy asset.

Perry Jones III, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Jones, who has barely seen any action with the Thunder, recently hurt his ankle and has now been farmed out to the D-League. If he gets dealt to the Cavs as rumoured, Jones could get another chance in the NBA.

John Henson, PF, Milwaukee Bucks: This kid has serious potential as a defensive force, but he’s simply not getting enough PT to be an asset at all. Earlier this season, Henson was starting; now, he’s toiling near the end of the bench.

Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Houston Rockets: Motiejunas flashed some scoring ability in the preseason and continued to put up numbers in the D-League, earning a recall a couple of weeks ago. That experience will stead him well as he tries to carve out a rotation spot in Houston, but right now, you can ignore him for Fantasy purposes.

Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics: Sullinger has been lauded for his attitude and he’s starting to get enough action to be worth an add in deeper formats. Boston is starting to give him serious burn in games that are decided, so perhaps he won’t remain underrated for long.

Austin Rivers, SG, New Orleans Hornets: Rivers has been on the periphery of Fantasy value, but a recent scoring drought has sent him back to the wire in most formats. He hasn’t been shooting much from downtown of late and now that Eric Gordon is back, Rivers will have a tough time getting enough burn to be useful. The former Duke star will make an impact in time… just not now.

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2012-13 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

September 20, 2012 | by Daniel Olson | Comments (1)
Davis has great athleticism and leaping ability that gives him the strength to finish under the bucket with other bigs on top of him. He can provide value as a starter for the Hornets and possibly lead the team in rebounds this season, but he will need to improve his decent mid-ranged jump shot. We believe Davis’ on-court maturity will be greater than the average rookie, but he will face struggles at first until he settles into a groove at this professional level.
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2012 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

March 5, 2012 | by RotoRob | Comments (3)
Even if this lefty takes his licks — as most rookie hurlers are wont to do — he’ll still be a major asset because of the Ks. The abdominal strain Moore was dealing with earlier this spring is in the past and it’s full speed ahead now for stud in the making.
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2011-12 RotoRob NHL Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

September 25, 2011 | by Chris Wassel | Comments Comments Off
Could we be close to the end? When you come right down to it, the rookies are what Fantasy hockey GMs use to start to build their framework, especially in keeper leagues.
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2011 RotoRob MLB Draft Kit: Top 10 Rookies

February 14, 2011 | by Buck Davidson | Comments (3)
While the ‘10 campaign undoubtedly set the bar very high, 2011 ushers in another strong group of first-year players that look poised to make an impact in both big-league ballparks and Fantasy lineups. Some of these players will be familiar names, as they made their big-league debuts last season, while others may be relatively unknown. Not all will start the season in the bigs; the economics of baseball dictate that small-market teams sometimes send their top prospects to the minors just long enough (typically late May or early June) to delay their arbitration-eligible date by one year and avoid “Super Two” status. The lesson here is this: Even if one of your targeted players is a late spring cut, keep one eye on his minor league numbers and another on the calendar. When Memorial Day rolls around, be prepared to pounce when your guy is called to The Show.
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