Fantasy Basketball: Underrated 2nd Year NBA Players Worth Drafting

10/24/12 in NBA   |   Jnewman482   |   128 respect

4. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (ranked 74th)October 15, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) drives to the basket during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

If you like multitaskers, this is your guy. He grabs offensive rebounds and blocks shots, and he not only scores, but he also scores efficiently. He averaged close to eight boards a game to go along with a little over 10 points, and he posted a ridiculous .586 field-goal percentage.

Further, the Nuggets lost a lot of scoring when they sent Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington to the Orlando Magic for Andre Iguodala in the offseason. The two former Nuggets averaged a combined 29.4 points per game to help the Nuggets become the top scoring team in the NBA while Iguodala only put up 12.4 points a game in Philly. Yet, despite the fact that Iguodala is not known for his scoring, he has a reputation as one of the best defenders in the league and he averaged nearly two steals per game last season.

Meanwhile, as could be seen last year, Faried lives in the transition game and with more steals and missed shots due to excellent defense by Iguodala, the Nuggets will be running like they never have before. In addition, with Iguodala’s 5.5 assists per game, the ball will be spread around even more than it was last season, and there will be more opportunities for every player, including Faried.

The former Morehead State superstar is all about effort and with more chances to help his team, it is almost a certainty that he is going to post even better numbers this season than he did in 2011-12.

3. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors (ranked 70th)October 2, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots the ball during training camp at the Golden State Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Stephen Curry must get hurt as much anyone in the league. Right now, he is expected to play in the season opener for the Golden State Warriors despite a problematic ankle, but he has been suffering from injuries ever since he joined the Warriors, or so it seems.

Hopefully, he is able to stay on the court this year, but Golden State’s most recent acquisition, Andrew Bogut, still doesn’t have a timetable to return from his ankle injury. Meanwhile, to get Andrew Bogut, the Warriors gave up their best offensive player, Monta Ellis, and the team’s fourth and fifth top scorers, Nate Robinson and Dorell Wright, left during the offseason to go to Chicago and Philadelphia respectively.

Luckily, coach Mark Jackson has Klay Thompson because the Warriors need to be able to outscore their opponents to win games since David Lee, the starting power forward, doesn’t play defense and Andrew Bogut is probably the best defensive player on the team.

While the Warriors drafted Harrison Barnes, who is known as a scorer, and also have Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush and a few other bench players to put up points, Thompson is going to the most reliable scoring option from the perimeter on the roster. It is obvious that the coaches have recognized this since Thompson’s minutes per game more than doubled from the first month of the season to the last as he went from 16.0 minutes a game to 33.7. In turn, Thompson rewarded his coaches for placing their trust in him, posting 18.6 points per game in March, 2012 and shooting 45.9 percent from the field.

With the uncertainty of which players are going to be on the court for Golden State, Mark Jackson will look for Thompson to step up and be his most consistent scorer. If you’re searching for points in the middle of your fantasy draft, take Thompson and you won’t be disappointed. This guy is going to take Monta Ellis’ role, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he scored over 20 points a game in 2012-13.
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