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Rookie rankings revisited

Two months ago I gave my opinion on this year's rookie class as fantasy prospects.  Here is a quick update on how I see it now.


Tier 1 - Probable starters and possible big contributors


1)        Blake Griffin
- College monster looks to be the real thing so far in LA.
2)        Jonny Flynn - Will be relied upon from the beginning as one of the primary options in Minnesota
3)        Tyreke Evans - Looks to be starter in Sacramento, has had a good preseason including one near triple-double game.  Could struggle with field goal percentage and turnovers, though.
4)        Stephen Curry - Role still not defined, but should get minutes and lots of shots in Golden State

Tier 2 - Good preseason back-ups or borderline starters

5)        DeMar DeRozan
- Good preseason after expecting to be a future project.  Has started some games due to Raptors injuries, and may have done enough to keep the job
6)        James Harden - Fighting for minutes with Thabo Sefolosha; not the greatest preseason but just makes sense as the starter of the future next to young nucleus
7)        Brandon Jennings - Big upside but very raw, could be bench warmer or eventual starter in the Ramon Sessions mold
8)        DeJuan Blair - Huge preseason, appears healthy and NBA ready, behind Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess in San Antonio
9)        Taj Gibson - Big preseason, could steal starting PF job from Ty Thomas
10)        Jeff Teague - Big preseason, but 4th guard in ATL
11)        Earl Clark - Bigger minutes in Phoenix with Robin Lopez out, still backup big

Tier 3 - Shots in the dark

12)        Jordan Hill - Did well in Vegas summer league, hasn-t made much noise in preseason.
13)        Terrence Williams - Very up and down in NJ.  The wings in NJ aren't strong so he could earn minutes, or he could be deemed not ready
14)        Hasheem Thabeet - Questionable upside due to lack of offense and questions about pro readiness, but could at some point end up starting center with solid boards and blocks
15)        Austin Daye - Backing up Tayshaun Prince, but has had a good preseason and could be an injury away from more PT

Comments

By: Justin Phan
On: 10/24/2009 3:25:00 PM
Haven't exactly been TWill's biggest fan thus far, but I think he deserves to be at least 9 behind Blair.
 
By: tumanic
On: 10/25/2009 9:19:00 AM
I just picked up Brandon Jennings in all of my leagues.....The Bucks are going with the youth and he is going to get a lot of pt. He could be a huge sleeper in assists and steals....get him!
 
By: andtinez
On: 10/25/2009 9:31:00 PM
I know pre-season doesn't mean much (if anything), but what do you make of Curry's FG%?
 
By: hornrimmed_rambis
On: 10/26/2009 9:45:00 AM
I think you're confusing real NBA value with current fantasy value. For fantasy, Terrence Williams and CDR are both more valuable than DeJuan Blair (and every other player you rank below Blair) because they both play for a horrible team and can get minutes. In the case of CDR, he's starting at SF, and will be a good scorer, with contributions in several counting categories. Blair might well be a nice undersized PF in the NBA, but lacks a starting gig, for now. So his actual fantasy value is pretty low, unless you're in a keeper or 14-plus manager league.

With rookies, it's all about minutes, and starting gigs. Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans will be huge, because they are starting PGs.
 
By: The Professor
On: 10/29/2009 8:34:00 PM
@Rambis, the thing is, Williams isn't starting any more than Blair is and CDR isn't a rookie. If Williams were starting or guaranteed minutes I'd definitely put him above Blair for the reasons that you name just like I ranked Jennings and Evans ahead of him.

But with both Williams and Blair coming off the bench, I looked more at how they played and Blair was playing better. Blair is in a position similar to Paul Millsap a couple of years ago, where he is just an injury away from big contributions.

Of course, if Williams keeps posting double-doubles I'll gladly cede this point to you.
 

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