Fantasy Basketball 2012: Rookies to Consider on Draft Day

Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

Anthony Davis has had a year that any 19-year-old would envy.
Anthony Davis has had a year that any 19-year-old would envy.Nick Laham/Getty Images

There may not be a Kyrie Irving in this year's rookie class, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few first-year players who can't help put your fantasy lineup over the top.

Starting with this year's No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis, the 2012 draft class features a host of players with varying talents that could pay dividends for your fantasy lineup. 

Davis—who boasts a pterodactyl-like 89.5" wingspan—tops any list of fantasy-relevant rookies. The 2012 National Player of the Year had an enviable year for any 19-year-old, leading Kentucky to a National Championship, being selected No. 1 overall and earning a gold medal for Team USA at the London Olympics. 

Measuring in at 6'10", Davis has rare length and excellent footwork for a big man, making him a tough matchup as a hybrid power forward/center. Although he's not a big-time scorer, fantasy owners will love him for his bread and butter: rebounding and shot blocking. 

In his only season of college ball, the kid with the legendary brow blocked an astounding 186 shots in 40 games. Kentucky's top dog also averaged a rock-solid 14.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. 

Playing for a bad New Orleans team, Davis should have his share of scoring opportunities down low, but will make his money early on as an impact rebounder and defender. He's certainly worth a draft pick, especially if he's playing center. 


Bradley Beal

As a current Florida student, it's hard to hide my love for Bradley Beal. 

The former Gator was the unquestioned leader for a Florida squad that advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.

Pretty impressive for a freshman. 

Beal measures in at 6'3", 207 pounds and is an excellent rebounder for his position, as evidenced by his team-high 6.7 average. 

Billy Donovan's go-to scorer didn't shoot as well from three-point land as many expected (33.9 percent), but he still put put up nearly 15 points per game and shot nearly 77 percent from the free-throw line. 

Now that he's paired with former No. 1 pick John Wall, the Washington Wizards have one of the NBA's most dynamic, young backcourts. 

With Wall running the show, it's not out of the question for Beal to average at least 15 points and 1.5 steals per game. 

In a few years, he might just be a first-round pick on draft day. 


Damian Lillard

If you're looking for an instant impact scoring option, look no further than Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard. 

The No. 6 overall pick out of Weber State dominated the Big Sky Conference during his four-year career, culminating in a senior season where he scored 24.5 points per game. 

Lillard is a lights-out three-point shooter, knocking down nearly three per game in 2011-2012. 

As a senior, he also averaged five rebounds and four assists per game—not terrible for a go-to scorer. 

In Portland, Lillard has a chance to become the man and a true superstar at the point guard position. 

Although there are questions about the level of competition he faced in college, it's hard to ignore his incredible production. 

The rookie has tremendous upside and, along with Davis and Beal, is a worthy selection for your fantasy team.