There hasn’t been a more heralded rookie class than the class of 2014 in recent years. The fact that we’d heard about guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker for years really cemented the excitement in all of our minds and as fantasy owners, surely influenced how we valued these rookies in our drafts.
In these rookie report articles, I’ll be looking at the head to head values of the current class of first-year players over the past two weeks of the season.
1. Nerlens Noel — Sixers
8.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 bpg, 49 FG%, 38 FT%
Nerlens Noel is back from his ankle injury and has retaken his spot in the starting lineup. It’s encouraging to see his field goal percentage making a leap, as it likely will with all rookies, but his value will come from steals and blocks and he’s doing that in bunches. He should be owned in every league.
2. Andrew Wiggins — Timberwolves
16.0 ppg, 1.0 3pm, 4.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.2 bpg, 42 FG%, 78 FT%
Wiggins is in the perfect situation to put up some big numbers, with injuries to Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin, not to mention Nikola Pekovic, allowing him to become a focal point on this team. If he was dropped in your league, he’s a must add for now, for at least as long as Martin and Rubio are out, which is a significant chunk of time.
3. Jabari Parker — Bucks
12.7 ppg, 0.1 3pm, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.4 bpg, 51 FG%, 70 FT%
After a very disappointing start, Parker is getting things going at an impressive rate of late. Aside from points and boards, the steals the number two overall pick is accumulating is very encouraging, as is the improvement in his field goal percentage. If he can start hitting three-pointers, which he is hitting at a poor 25 percent at the moment, his value rises considerably. He’ll have season long value in all leagues, but likely isn’t available on your wire.
4. Kostas Papanikolaou — Rockets
6.5 ppg, 1.0 3pm, 5.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg, 32 FG%, 71 FT%
With the Rockets without both Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard of late, minutes and opportunity have come to the rookie from Greece. It’s not his scoring or shooting that you want to own him for, but rather his ability to help in the other categories. In 12 team leagues, he’s a worthy add.
5. Shabazz Napier — Heat
11.1 ppg, 1.9 3pm, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 53 FG%, 77 FT%
Napier is getting some extended run with Dwyane Wade sidelined, but he could be playing himself into an extended role, especially considering Norris Cole’s continued struggles. The high field goal percentage is probably a mirage, but with his current form, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take a flier in a 14 team league, and considering he’s ranked inside the top 120 for the past two weeks, even 12 team leagues should look to add in the short term.
Rest of the top 10
6. Bruno Caboclo — Raptors
7. K.J. McDaniels — Sixers
8. Joe Ingles — Jazz
9. Shayne Whittington — Pacers
10. Jordan Clarkson — Lakers
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