Brook Lopez: Fantasy Basketball Center Sleeper in 2012-13

Justin Hasan@justinhasanContributor IIIOctober 20, 2012

For the first year since his rookie season, Brook Lopez is actually undervalued in fantasy drafts this season.
For the first year since his rookie season, Brook Lopez is actually undervalued in fantasy drafts this season.Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

What happens to a player's ranking if he was injured the previous season?

Often they get labelled as injury-prone or are simply forgotten by the fantasy community.

In the case of Brook Lopez, the reaction was even more extreme, because he incurred two separate foot injuries that limited his 2011-12 season to just five games.

Brook Lopez is a year removed from a 82-game season where he averaged 20.4 points, six rebounds and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 49 percent from the field. Yes, the six rebounds leave a lot to be desired from the seven-footer, but so far this preseason, he has been impressive.

In four preseason games with the Brooklyn Nets, Lopez has averaged 19 points and nine rebounds.

With the addition of Joe Johnson, and with Deron Williams running the point, this will easily be the best team, talent-wise, of Lopez's career.

The balanced offense, plus playing his first full season with one of the top point guards in the NBA, should give Lopez a lot of good looks at the basket.

Until his injuries last year, Brook played in every single game since entering the league in 2008 (three seasons in a row), so it would be unwise to label him as injury-prone from one outlier of a season. 

All indications from the preseason are showing no ill effects from last year's disastrous injuries.

It is true that Joe Johnson will demand touches, but with no other big man on the Nets with skills close to Brook Lopez (I am not expecting too much offense from Andray Blatche or Kris Humphries), he should have no problem averaging 17 points and close to two blocks, while returning to his earlier rebound average of eight per game.

He has shot at least 49 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free-throw line in all three full seasons, which can only help a fantasy team.

Brook Lopez used to be drafted as early as the second round of fantasy basketball drafts. This year, you can get second-round-caliber production, yet draft him in the middle rounds of standard drafts.

Written by Justin Hasan exclusively for