While relying on rookies for your fantasy team is always a risky proposition, finding that nexus between unmistakable talent and ample opportunity can be fantasy gold.
With last year's lockout causing many college stars to delay their NBA arrival, the 2012 draft was one of the deepest and most talented in years.
Early returns suggest several first-year ballers deserve to be owned as contributors or specialists, while two in particular are poised for elite, multi-category fantasy greatness.
Saddled with the dreaded "project" tag when the Pistons spent the ninth overall pick on him in June, Drummond has exceeded expectations early this season, playing his way into starter Jason Maxiell's minutes with his tantalizing athleticism and ability to rebound, block shots and finish around the basket.
With the size and game of a true NBA center, look for the 1-8 Pistons trend toward developing Drummond at the 5, allowing Greg Monroe to play his more natural position at the 4.
Already providing consistent value with his shot blocking in limited minutes, Drummond makes for a nice fantasy addition with the likelihood of increased playing time down the road.
Beal has been useful as a three-point specialist thus far, but his recent demotion from the starting lineup means he should be watched closely from the waiver wire until he receives more minutes.
Owners will have to stomach nights of atrocious shooting, but Beal is averaging double-digit points, 1.6 three-pointers and one steal per game.
As a freshman at Florida, Beal shot 45 percent from the field, so it stands to reason that his current terrible field-goal percentage should rise as he adjusts to the NBA game.
Another rookie starting and getting big minutes on a rebuilding team, Waiters has surprised many with his torrid three-point shooting right out of the gate.
He also chips in a handful of boards, assists and steals and appears locked into steady value and upside all season long.
Harrison Barnes was already coming into a good situation as the Warriors' starting small forward. But with Brandon Rush suffering a season-ending injury, Barnes now has a huge opportunity to shine for a Warriors team desperate for his shooting, slashing and rebounding ability.
After getting off to a relatively slow start, Barnes is averaging 18.5 points and 11 rebounds over his last two, hitting three-pointers and using his underrated athleticism to get to the hoop with ease.
With largely ineffective Richard Jefferson as the only potential threat to his minutes, Barnes' stock is rising fast and he should continue to provide value down the stretch.
After an uninspiring preseason, MKG has outperformed the expectations of many with his efficient scoring, rebounding and elite defensive ability.
Averaging 11 points per game on 48 percent shooting, Kidd-Gilchrist is also pulling down seven boards, one steal and nearly two blocked shots per game.
This is exactly this type of multi-category production and value that wins fantasy championships. As a cornerstone for the young Bobcats, MKG will have every opportunity to build upon his encouraging start.
The consensus No. 1 overall pick and college basketball's number one talent, the unibrow has not disappointed owners who used a fourth round pick for his versatile game and limitless upside.
A concussion forced him to miss a couple games, but in his first game back he went off against Charlotte for 23 points and 11 rebounds, with five blocks and two steals.
Averaging 16 and 8 with one steal and over two blocks per game, owners who took the "risk" will continue to be rewarded with eye-popping block and rebounding totals, while enjoying his steady contributions in points and steals.
Barely recruited out of Oakland High School and only listed as a 2-star recruit by Rivals.com, Lillard ended up dominating the Big Sky Conference during his three years at Weber State and had the Trail Blazers salivating when he fell to them at the 6th overall pick.
Doubted by many as an undersized guard from a mid-major school, Lillard has rewarded savvy owners who spent a mid-round pick on him with top 20 value.
He is averaging 19 points, 6.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.6 three-pointers made per game, all while delivering solid percentages and showing poise in the clutch.
Lillard's rookie season thus far is comparable with that of ROY Kyrie Irving's stellar first year.
Yes, he is that good.