The Thing about playing rookies Plus a Rookie Preview

Rookies are tempting in the Daily Fantasy game to say the least. They will be relatively inexpensive and your opponents will usually overlook them. But you should be cautious before selecting these rookies. First off, there are minutes restrictions. The average of the top ten scoring rookies during the 2016-2017 season averaged 24 minutes a game and 10.9 points. Production and playing time was limited at best.

Some players will be asked to do more such as Los Angeles Laker point guard Lonzo Ball. Ball is a terrific player who will likely have a long NBA career.


That jumper is water!

Ball will essentially be asked to carry the Lakers as the floor general. Injury is another concern. The NBA is a far different game than college. College, of course, has fewer games and less travel. Which translates to less wear and tear on the body. The college game is less physical and the level of competition is nowhere near the association. So many players leave college early that there are very few NBA caliber prospects left. A player like Ball toyed with the competition in his only year in college. The only stiff competition he faced was Markelle Fultz and De’aaron Fox. He played well against Fultz but had two of his worst games against Fox. As an aside, Kentucky players tend to perform better on average than other schools over the last 10 years largely because of Kentucky’s elite talent and emphasis on defense. Ball will face this type of competition night in and night out. Every rookie will be challenged in this way, I don’t mean to single out Ball. so bear this in mind when setting your lineups.


That said, here are 6 more rookies I think will perform well in DFS terms this season

1. De’aaron Fox –  Sacramento Kings Fox has looked very good in Summer League and Preseason games. The game doesn’t seem to big for him at all. Look at that change of direction, tho!

Fox has looked very good in Summer League and Preseason games. The game doesn’t seem to big for him at all. Look at that change of direction, tho!



Fox was a prolific scorer at Kentucky. It’s kind of hard to imagine how that team didn’t get to the Final Four. He put up 30.4 points a game per 40 mins. Averaged 2.0 steals a game. He also led the SEC in assists. Fox’s defensive rating was good and an even better defender in conference games. Fox will likely continue getting steals at the next level. On a team with not much else in talent. Expect Fox to get a good amount of playing time.


2. Markelle Fultz – Philadelphia 76ers

Fultz was the number one overall pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2017 NBA Draft, in case you were busy that day. Fultz is a scout’s dream.

Check out these highlights from Fultz’s Summer league debut

He excels in multiple areas. Averaged 23.2 in a power conference. Shot 50% from the floor, 41% from 3. Off the charts defender. Averaged 1.6 steals and 1 block per game. Should get plenty of opportunities with Ben Simmons dishing the rock. Could also run the point when Simmons is on the bench. I expect Fultz to produce more than the average rookie, especially in terms of his 3 point shooting, and his ability to rack up steals and blocks.

DFS Impact – Expect Fultz to get significant playing time and fill the stat sheet.

3. Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers

The superlatives for Markelle’s new teammate in Philly, Ben Simmons have already been laid out. Generational ballhandling and playmaking skills in a 6-10 frame. Check out this dime from the 2015 McDonald’s High School All-American Game.


The Magic and Lebron comparisons which are usually ridiculous are actually warranted. Of course, Simmons is far from a finished product as most 19-year-olds are.  One area of concern was Simmons behavior at LSU, specifically his disconnection at the end of the season. He stopped going to class and with the Tigers season on the line, Simmons had arguably his worst game of the season. That said, Simmons was an All-American and was the most efficient player in the conference. Simmons was out all of the last year with a foot injury, the rookie will be a huge question mark. the fact that he has spent a year in the building with the Sixers means he’s had time to adjust to being a pro. He’s also gained weight which should help him endure the rigors of the NBA season. Simmons is not really a 3 point shooter. He needs to develop it. Tremendous rebounder as well.

DFS Impact – will obviously depend on playing time and health. When he plays, he will produce.

4. Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets

Monk came out of Kentucky highly decorated. An All-American and SEC player of the year.

Can he create his own shot? Uh Yeah.


Averaged 19.8 and shot 40% from distance in his one year at Kentucky. Also, Monk is a higher rated defender than defensive standout teammate DeAaron Fox. Had the highest minutes played in the SEC, which might mean he could overcome the Rookie Wall. At 6’3 200, he is a bigger guard with the ability to handle the contact in the paint. Maybe the most NBA ready prospect of this crop.

DFS Impact – Shooting makes him an intriguing pickup, much will depend on how many minutes he plays each night.

5. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics

Tatum is a great all-around player. There isn’t much he doesn’t do well.

Oh and I got your offensive creativity right here….

This summer he pulled up to the NBA Summer League and dominated, averaging 18.7 points and 9.7 rebounds. At Duke, he averaged 16.8 points and 7 boards. Athleticism is off the charts and can finish well.

DFS Impact – I expect Tatum to get some run with Jae Crowder defending the Land. Expect growing pains in year one, however.

6. Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers

Kuzma rose up the draft boards during workouts. Athletic big man that can shoot from distance. the only non one-and-done on this list. Got better every year; went from 3.3 points a game to 16.4. Average 9.3 boards a game. Defensive fell off in year 3 but still lots to love about his game.

Check out this clutch 3 during the 2017 Pac-12 tournament and a bonus crossover and dunk for the haters:


DFS Impact – With Lonzo Ball running the show, Kuzma should get touches and points. Monitor his playing time before putting him in the lineup.

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