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Second-Year Breakouts - Fantasy Basketball Draft Values

While sophomores like Trae Young and Luka Doncic have already boosted their draft value to about second-round status, most second-year players are still working on emerging as elite fantasy options, or even just roster-worthy fantasy options.

Year two is where a lot of NBA players make enormous leaps in their productivity after the first year jitters are out of the way.

Below is a list of players with a strong chance to well outperform their draft day value, so make sure to have them on your radar for your draft.

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Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies

The old guard has officially left town and the new era in Memphis is upon us. Jaren Jackson Jr. only saw about 26 minutes per game last season, but that should change going into year two as he and JA Morant figure to be the new staples for the new-look Grizzlies.

Jackson showed a ton of promise in limited minutes last year, hinting that he could provide value in just about every statistic. His 1.4 blocks per game is the standout stat from his rookie year, but don’t sleep on his 0.9 threes, 0.9 steals and a very respectable 76.6% free throw percentage.

Jackson should easily top 30 minutes per game this year, which should allow him to flourish statistically. In a best-case scenario, he could end up averaging around 18 points, ten rebounds and two blocks per game while adding over a steal and over a three per game – plus solid percentages. If that best-case scenario pans out, we’ll be looking at Jackson as an early second-rounder or even late first-rounder come 2020 draft season.


Wendell Carter Jr., C, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. had his rookie year cut short after undergoing surgery on his thumb, but he still gave Bulls fans a lot to like in his 44 games on the court. Carter played a shade over 25 minutes per game his rookie season and averaged 10.3 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 48.5% from the field and 79.5% from the strike. Extend those numbers out to 30-35 minutes and you’ve got Carter averaging a double-double with over 1.5 blocks and those stellar percentages – a fantastic statline coming from the weakest position in fantasy, center.

Carter and Lauri Markkanen are the future of the Bulls’ frontcourt, and that marriage couldn’t be any better for Carter as Markkanen will make most of his living on the outside while Carter commands the center.

While Carter’s upside isn’t quite as high as Jackson since he hasn’t shown as much shooting range and just lacks the overall scoring ability and athletic ability of Jackson, but Carter still has a tantalizing amount of upside and should be a very reliable and steady contributor in his sophomore campaign.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

Former Kentucky Wildcat Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showed some promising potential during his first year in the NBA with the Clippers last year. Now a member of the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander will have less competition for playing time and could be in line to flourish as a multi-stat producer.

SGA played about 26 minutes per game last year and didn’t really excel in any one category, but he contributed in a small dose almost everywhere. His 3.3 assists per game and 1.2 steals per game were his most valuable assets, but he also showed signs of contributing threes (0.6) and blocks (0.5) while shooting 47.6% from the field and 80% from the line.

Gilgeous-Alexander should slot in as the opening day starting shooting guard alongside Chris Paul for the Thunder. He should be able to easily see 30 minutes per game and that could allow him to be a significant asset in steals, around 1.5 per game, while adding about a block and a three per game as well as 13 points and five assists. Tack all that onto his efficient percentages and he’s an extremely valuable asset to have in your weekly lineup.


Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Charlotte Hornets

There’s a big scoring void that just opened up in Charlotte with the departure of Kemba Walker and the team’s new point guard Terry Rozier can only do so much. Miles Bridges might have a chance to be the second scoring option in a team greatly lacking in the department this year. When given 30+ minutes in games last year, Bridges showed he was able to score around 15 points per game. However, he averaged just 21 minutes per game on the year as the team was resilient to give him heavy minutes early in the year.

This year, Bridges should have more of a green light. Expect him to average around 15 points and seven rebounds per game while also providing a three, a steal and maybe even a block per game. Efficiency might be a concern because of the lackluster supporting cast around him and the fact that he’s never experienced high usage in the NBA before, but the counting stats should make you happy at the end of the day, especially with how low you’ll be drafting him.


Troy Brown Jr., SG/SF, Washington Wizards

There’s very little life still remaining in Washington, but that’s all going to greatly benefit Troy Brown Jr. this year. Brown only saw about 14 minutes per game last year and was rarely seeing double-digit minutes – if leaving the bench at all – during the first half of his rookie season. Still, he was able to show flashes of being able to produce in various stat categories during his limited run, especially in the second half of the year.

From March 18 until the end of the year last year, Brown was regularly seeing 25+ minutes per game and averaged around ten points, five rebounds and two assists while adding a steal per game and just under one three per game. The 6’7” Brown has excellent agility for his size and excellent vision. He sees the court like a point guard, the position he played for much of his high school and college career.

A recent calf strain will likely have Brown sidelined for the extent of the preseason, but it shouldn’t limit him much, if at all, after the first week or so of the regular season. Don’t let the injury affect your draft assessment of Brown as he could be a boost to your lineup over the long haul of the season. He’s a great target in the last round or second-to-last round of drafts in deep leagues. He could put up around 12 points per game this year while adding about seven rebounds and four assists with a steal and a three.


Landry Shamet, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

Landry Shamet carved a significant role for himself with the Clippers last year after coming over in a trade with the 76ers in February. Shamet averaged 10.9 points per game and 2.7 threes per game while shooting an astounding 45% from deep over 25 games with the Clippers.

Now, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in town, the need for three-point shooting in L.A. is high and Shamet appears to be primed for a heavy dose of open looks. He might not help you out significantly in any categories other than threes, points and free throws, but he could be a week-winner in threes without hurting you in any category either – only 0.8 turnovers per game while playing over 27 minutes per game with the Clippers. He’s a fantastic late round pick as someone who could be amongst the top three-point producers in all of the league.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.

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