We're just two weeks away from the NBA season tipping off (December 22nd) so fantasy basketball managers are prepping heavily for draft season. We're looking to toss an alley-oop to all of our readers, longtime and new, with a smooth trip to a title this season. In the coming weeks, we'll be providing you with several clips from our 2020-2021 Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide from the Rotoworld Premium EDGE+ Roto, EDGE+ Pro and EDGE+ Max packages.
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In the last preview, we provided a look at our top sleepers. This week, we preview our 2020-21 NBA Draft Guide's top sophomores, featuring some players you might already be targeting and others you may want to have a closer look at. Check it out:
2020-21 Top Sophomores
1. PG Ja Morant (Memphis)
Selected second overall by the Grizzlies, Morant had an excellent rookie season as he nearly led Memphis to the playoffs. In 59 pre-bubble games he averaged 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 three-pointers per game, while shooting 49.1% from the field, 36.7% from three and 77.0% from the foul line. What hurt Morant with regard to his fantasy value in nine-category formats was his lack of production from beyond the arc and turnovers, as he averaged 3.2 per pre-bubble (3.3 for the entire season).
Morant produced 12th-round value in nine-cat last season, jumping up to seventh-round in eight-cat (punting turnovers). That being said, the three-point shooting may be what unlocks Morant’s full fantasy potential. He’s worth grabbing by the end of the fifth round, with the hope that he can get up to at least 1.5 three-pointers per game.
2. PF Zion Williamson (New Orleans)
Williamson was the unquestioned top prospect in last year’s draft class, but unfortunately for the Pelicans they didn’t get to see him on the court in an official game until late-January due to a knee injury. Williamson was limited to just 24 games last season, which is a concern when it comes to both his career potential and his fantasy value. One of the most important “abilities” is availability, which is why he’s ranked behind Morant on this list.
In 19 pre-bubble games Williamson averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.3 three-pointers per game, shooting 58.9% from the field, 46.2% from three and 64.5% from the foul line. The three-point percentage is a bit deceiving as he attempted just 0.7 per game, so don’t expect too much from Williamson there. When healthy Williamson hovered around the top-100 in eight-category formats, but he isn’t going to be on the board that late in most leagues.
8. PG Coby White (Chicago)
White made just one start during his rookie season, but he was still an effective perimeter option for the Bulls. In 65 games the former Tar Heel averaged 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.0 three-pointers per game, with shooting splits of 39.4/35.4/79.1. White will be playing for a new head coach in Billy Donovan, which may open up a competition for the starting point guard job between he and veteran Tomas Satoransky. The concern for White, especially if he were to start alongside Zach LaVine, is the defensive end. He won’t offer much in the way of defensive stats, but his microwave-like ability to put points on the board is a selling point for White. He’s worth grabbing in the later rounds of standard leagues, regardless of whether he starts.
5. SG Tyler Herro (Miami)
Herro was one of the breakout stars in the bubble, with his play being one of the reasons why the Heat managed to reach the NBA Finals. He started just eight games, averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks and 2.1 three-pointers per for the entire season. Herro was lights out in Orlando, as after scoring seven points in the Heat’s first seeding game he didn’t fail to reach double figures until Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The question: can Herro duplicate his play in the bubble, especially with Kendrick Nunn expected to be back at full strength?
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