As we approach the midway point of the season, we see a lot of the rookies and second-year players who were paid no attention around draft time really coming on as legit fantasy producers. Just half a season in the NBA can really develop a teenager into a real threat, let’s take a look at some of the young guys around the league who have grown into serious ballers.
Dion Waiters (Owned in 64% of Yahoo Leagues): No longer a starter, the rookie seems to have responded well to his less-pressure role and has come on strong with the scoring. Over his last five games, he is averaging 27 MPG off the bench while putting up 19 PPG. He won’t add much in other categories but it’s hard to leave a guy scoring that high out there on the market.
Ed Davis (38%): Davis hasn’t quite hit the production I thought he might when he was put in the starting lineup, but he is definitely a serviceable big man regardless. Over his last seven games, Davis is averaging 15.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 1 BPG while playing about 34 MPG. He is worth a pickup in just about every league.
Tyler Zeller (16%): Zeller has consistently played over 30 MPG this month which has allowed him to get his scoring going. He is averaging 12 PPG and 10 RPG over his last three and has blocked nine shots over those games. He is shooting just 42% on the season, an alarming number for a seven-footer who spends so much time right under the basket but the rookie does seem to be improving each week and is worth a pick up.
Tiago Splitter (28%): Splitter continues to play some very solid center for the Spurs and is averaging 13 PPG, 8 RPG, and 1 BPG over his last six games. He’s been getting it done all season and is worth a pick up in most leagues right now.
Shannon Brown (20%): Brown is an on-again-off-again starter but he often plays 25-30 minutes off the bench and is a solid fantasy producer even in a reserve role. Over his last four games, Brown is averaging 31 MPG, 17 PPG, 2.5 SPG, and a few assists and blocks littered in. Starter or not, Brown is worth a pick up in most leagues.
J.J. Redick (70%): Although he isn’t starting, Redick is putting up 30 MPG and averaging 18 PPG (3.5 three-pointers per game) and 4 APG over his last seven games and is worth owning in just about every league.
Andre Drummond (35%): The 19-year-old rookie has had an up-and-down season but his defensive prowess continues to provide decent production and offensive opportunities. He is only averaging 9.6 PPG over his last seven but is putting up 8.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, and 1 SPG making him a very solid deeper league pick up. If he can get his minutes up, he may be worth picking up in other leagues as well.
Kyle Singler (6%): I’m iffy on Singler because his minutes tend to be wildly inconsistent but with back-to-back 35 minutes games he put up 28 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in those two contests. He’s not starter material but could be worth a pickup in deeper leagues if he can keep his minutes up.
Chris Johnson (3%): Bogged down by injuries, the Wolves signed Johnson to a 10-day contract and threw him right in the mix. In just 18 minutes, Johnson shot 4-for-4 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line while adding six rebounds and a block. The seven-footer has never been able to stick in the NBA but could continue to get deep-league fantasy opportunities with so many Wolves out of commission.