We're about 10 percent of the way through the NBA season, which seems like an appropriate time to check in one the rookies who have the most Fantasy relevance, or have at least warranted discussion in some way. It's important to remember that it's rare for rookies to have great Fantasy value, and there's currently only two top-100 rookies: LaMelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton.
The current favorite to win Rookie of the Year, Wiseman has passed the eye test more than the stats test, though his numbers are deflated by a stretch of three games where he was both in foul trouble and struggling with his shot. Wiseman is ranked just 154 in eight-category leagues, but Fantasy managers should be encouraged by the Warriors looking coherent since Draymond Green returned, which should lead to easier looks for Wiseman. So far, Wiseman's most promising skills have been finishing at the rim (74%) and shot-blocking (2.8 BLK per 36 minutes). He's also 41.2 percent on 3s, but that's on just 12 attempts, so there's not a ton to glean there yet considering he's also just 2-for-9 on long-mid-rangers. In terms of on/off court numbers, Wiseman is a +1.0, which is pretty good for a rookie on a struggling team.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
The highest-ranked rookie in Fantasy, Ball is beginning to prove cynics wrong while being a threat to steal Devonte' Graham's starting spot. He has the best single-game performance among all rookies to date, posting 22 points (7-10 FG, 4-5 3Pt, 4-4 FT), eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block with just two assists in 29 minutes. So far, Ball's basketball IQ stands out. His sense to read both opponent offenses and defenses has led to him racking up easy assists, sneaking into gaps to snag rebounds on both ends of the floor, and being effective as an off-ball/help defender. I'm still not convinced that he'll ever be a truly effective scorer or exceptional on-ball defender, but if he can do everything else at a high level, it doesn't matter as much. Ball's on/off-court numbers (-7.7) aren't great, but he often plays with the second unit, and he's not someone that's going to prop up the Martin brothers and Jalen McDaniels.
Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
A wrist injury has prevented Haliburton from playing in the Kings' past two games, but he's expected to return soon. The second-ranked rookie in Fantasy, Haliburton looks incredibly NBA-ready. In 26.8 minutes per game, he's averaging 10.6 points on 53/50/88 splits, 4.4 assists (only 0.8 TOV!), 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals. The main concern is that he's taken just eight free throws, but he's also avoiding long mid-rangers (just one attempt to date), so he forecasts as an efficient player, even if his volume is low and his current percentages are bloated. Ultimately, his role seems safe for the Kings. He has the second-best on/off numbers (+16.5) on Sacramento, only behind Richaun Holmes (+18.3).
Williams was seen as a reach with the fourth overall pick in this year's draft, but he's looked more NBA-ready in the preseason that many people expected, and the 19-year-old has kept the momentum going during the regular season. In 24.9 minutes per game, Williams is the 166th-ranked player in eight-category leagues with averages of 10.1 points on 47/47/82 shooting, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 combined blocks-plus-steals. He's a little too reliant on the long-mid-range jumper (6-for-14 in non-garbage time), but he's still getting to the free-throw line (2.1 FTA) a fair amount and has been a nice shot-blocker for a forward.
Quickley has missed three games due to a hip injury, but he's played well otherwise, averaging 10.0 points on 57/50/100 shooting with 1.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.7 steals. Just as noteworthy, he was encouraging in the preseason, averaging 11.0 points on 42/33/78 shooting, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes. Those numbers probably better represent what Quickley is capable of this season if he can find the minutes. He's not a must-add in Fantasy at the moment, but put him on your watchlist in case he gets into a job battle with Elfrid Payton.
Edwards is seeing plenty of action for the Timberwolves (25.1 MPG). He's scoring 13.9 points per game but is doing so with subpar efficiency, shooting 40/29/75. His peripheral stats are also relatively weak, with 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Edwards has shown a willingness to score from anywhere on the court and doesn't quite have a "spot", which can be viewed as a positive or negative -- the current negative of course being that he hasn't been efficient from any of those spots. Minnesota has the worst net rating (-12.1) in the league, so Edwards is also getting a lot of garbage-time run, and it's fair to question how much of his success is due to lesser individual defenders who may not be trying as hard. Ultimately, he hasn't been relevant in Fantasy so far, but he's still a hold in standard leagues given his usage.
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks
Toppin appeared in just one game before succumbing to a calf injury that's kept him out since. He had some hopeful moments in the preseason and averaged 7.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.4 minutes across four contests. The main question right now is: How much will he play when he returns? Coach Tom Thibodeau is playing Julius Randle 38.4 minutes per game, RJ Barrett 38.7 MPG and Kevin Knox is looking good enough to probably hang onto his 22.0 MPG.
Anthony has been better than expected as a rebounder (5.0 RPG) and passer (3.4 APG to 1.0 TOV) in his 20.0 minutes per game. However, he's been awful shooting the ball, hitting just 29.7 percent of his shots from the field and 23.5 percent of his shots from deep. That will increase, and when it does, he could end up seeing more playing time. If he can trend closer to minutes in the mid-20s and hit a passable amount of shots, he could have some Fantasy value. Anthony is a watch-list guy for standard Fantasy formats. The main concern about his shooting is that he's attempted just seven non-garbage-time shots at the rim.
Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
Avdija is legitimately contributing to the Wizards, seeing 24.7 minutes per game and averaging 7.1 points on splits of 49/48/60, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists (0.7 TOV) and 1.3 steals. That's led to a Fantasy rank of 127-- one of the best marks among rookies. He's a low-usage offensive player but one who makes sure to take good looks from 3, and he's crafty enough to hand out some assists without turning the ball over much. Avdija is probably worth a bench spot in standard Fantasy leagues, or at least is worth considering as a streamer.
Okoro played just two games before suffering a foot injury, but he's due to return Wednesday against the Magic. He played 34 minutes in the opener and saw 42 minutes in a double-overtime game against the Cavaliers. Overall, he's averaging a modest 5.5 points on 4.5 shots, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists. His shooting was outstanding in the preseason, averaging 11.3 points on 6.5 shots, but he still averaged just 2.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 27.5 minutes. Overall, it looks like Okoro is going to be a low-usage player for the Cavaliers considering all the other options available -- namely, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. He might play a ton of minutes, but it may not translate to box-score stats.
Pritchard looks like a draft steal for the Celtics at pick 26. His shooting has been red-hot -- 8.6 points on 54/42/88 -- plus he's also playmaking (3.1 APG) and forcing turnovers (1.4 STL). He's been determined to get to the rim and is finishing well, which is great for a 6-foot-2, 190-pound guard. He's been a bit turnover prone (2.0 TOV), but that's easy to look past when he's providing so well elsewhere. Pritchard's 23.1 minutes per game won't stick when Kemba Walker (knee) returns possibly this month, but he might be worth holding onto for the time being, and he's not an immediate drop when Walker's back until we understand the rotation.
It's a great sign that Achiuwa is already a reliable part of the Heat's rotation. He's seeing 15.7 minutes per game and averaging 7.5 points on 5.0 shots while adding 4.7 rebounds. A per-minute monster, Achiuwa is worth watch-listing for deeper leagues and could end up being an add if anyone significant on the Heat goes down with injury. This might be your chance to steal him from an unsuspecting Fantasy manager in your a/keeper league.
Bey has proven his worth as a 3-point shooter (2.2 makes per game on 41.9 percent) and rebounder (4.2 RPG), but he's shooting just 18.9 percent from two and isn't providing much else. If he can get his finishing inside the arc on track, he'll at least be worth paying attention to if he can continue seeing minutes in the low-to-mid-20s.
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
It's crucial to preface any discussion about Hayes with the fact that he's not even 19-and-a-half years old yet. Now, with that said, he has been awful. In his 148 minutes, he's taken two free throws, has committed 17 turnovers to his 25 assists, and is shooting 13-of-47 (27.7%) from the field. There have been next-to-no redeeming qualities so far. Please drop him if he's on your Fantasy team.
Maxey is a real rotation player for the 76ers, which is great for a 21st overall pick. In 15.6 minutes per game, he's averaging 6.3 points on 6.9 shots, 1.6 assists and 1.4 rebounds. He was also good in the preseason. It's too early to tell with him, but he's a watch-list player for Dynasty/keeper formats.
Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder
Everyone's favorite 19-year-old, 6-foot-11, 215-pound point-forward, Pokusevski has been -- well -- he's played. This is really one of the rawest prospects we've ever seen be a part of an NBA rotation. To borrow one of my favorite lines from the Nintendo 64 video game NBA Courtside 2, Pokusevski could not throw a grape into the ocean. He's 2-for-21 from the field and 1-of-16 from 3. He hasn't even taken a free-throw. There have been 10 turnovers to seven assists. If you want to choose something to be encouraged about, it's the 2.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes. If you're planning on managing your keeper league team for a decade, Pokusevski is a wait-and-see.
With Ja Morant (ankle) out until late-January, Bane has stepped into a bigger role. Over the past four games, he's seeing 26.5 minutes per game and averaging 11.5 points on 46/43/50 shooting, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals. He's primarily a 3-point shooter, with more than half of his made field-goals over this span being 3s. If you're in desperate need of 3s for your Fantasy team, Bane is someone to consider.
The sixth overall pick in this year's draft, Okongwu hasn't played yet (even in the preseason) while recovering from a broken toe. The soonest he could make his debut is mid-January, but it could be farther out from that. He projects as a good shot-blocker (76 blocks in 28 college games at USC), but it could be a challenge for him to find minutes at center with both Clint Capela and John Collins around. Okongwu might be worth watch-listing in deeper formats, and he's certainly someone worth hanging onto in Dynasty and keeper formats since he was drafted so high.
Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets
With Michael Porter Jr. out lately due to health and safety protocols, Campazzo has finally seen real action. Over the past two games, the 29-year-old Argentinian has averaged 13.0 points, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 rebounds in 23.6 minutes. He hasn't shown off much of his high-level passing ability yet, but those numbers should come if he can continue seeing action. The problem is, it's not clear what will happen once Porter returns.