|P REDICTING T HE F ANTASY V ALUE |
O F T HE R OOKIES October 26, 1998 As the lockout continues, judgment on the draft day success of the NBA teams is postponed until we can get our first glimpse of the rookies in an NBA game. Prognostications on the fantasy value of NBA players is largely based on past NBA season performances, making predictions of a rookie's fantasy value difficult and prone to error. Typically 5 or 6 rookies are productive enough to be regular starters on a fantasy team thorughout the season. Last year was a lean year as only three players, Tim Duncan, Keith Van Horn, and Brevin Knight were worth being starters for the entire season. Ron Mercer, Chauncy Billups, Tim Thomas, Derek Anderson, and Bobby Jackson were other players who were able to crack fantasy starting lineups for parts of the season, but were generally borderline players. Cedric Henderson and Anthony Johnson each received substantial playing time but were not very productive from a fantasy perspective. Predicting which rookies will excel is challenging. NBA Scouting Director Marty Blake said the following of Antonio Daniels (picked #4 overall) after the 1997 draft; "He is a guy I was pushing when no one knew of him. He's a very good point guard who can score, plus he's a great kid. They will love him in Vancouver." Daniels went on to have a very unproductive fantasy season, showing that even the experts can miss in their analysis of rookies.