For this week’s article, I’m going to break down the rookies into 1st/2nd/3rd teams based on their performances over roughly the first third of the season. This is solely my own opinion, mostly based on statistical performance but also some other intangibles thrown in there. Feel free to drop your own teams in the comments! Let’s go!

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Reliable rookies are usually tough to find in any sport, with basketball being no exception. They usually show flashes of fantasy goodness only to disappear for a similar amount of time, ultimately hitting the rookie wall and hoping to ‘come back strong next year’. Roughly 20 games into the season for all teams and I’m just about ready to make that claim on several players this year. Some are just reliable, while others are truly special talents. Dynasty owners who grabbed them will be happy for years.

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Collin Sexton is in a no-win situation. Cleveland is terrible (2-12), LeBron left, and he was selected with the big prize draft pick from the Kyrie Irving trade. He needs to be good for Cleveland to have some hope for the future. Luckily, he was this last week, putting up back-to-back solid games and carrying on the momentum from the prior week, when he was inserted into the starting lineup. He averaged 20 PTS, 3 AST, 4 REB, and 2 3PM while playing just over 30 minutes. He also had 4 TO’s in each game but, if he is going to be productive, you can find worse than a rookie point guard on a miserable team. If for some reason he is still sitting on your waiver wire, go add him now!

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It is obvious to me now that this rookie class is paying close attention to these articles. Jaren Jackson Jr. saw that Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. headlined this the last two weeks and was inspired to put up back-to-back excellent games against tough opponents in GSW(L) and MEM(W). The rookie passed the 30 minute mark in both games and averaged 17.5 PTS, 6.5 REB, 1.5 STL, and 4 BLK (including five in one game) with 1 3PM on top. He followed that up with a lackluster performance against PHI but that can be forgiven (especially since they got the W).

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What did you guys dress up as this Halloween?  Wendell Carter Jr. put on his FRANCHISE CENTER costume and then forgot to take it off.  What a week for the big man from Duke – 25 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL, 3 BLK, and 2 3PM on Halloween followed by 11 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST, 1 apiece BLK/STL and then 14 pts, 13 REB, 2 STL, and 4 BLK. He is becoming a bigger part of the offense in Chicago and using his high basketball IQ to make things happen.  Stock is way up.  If he is still available in your league or you have an owner sleeping on him, get on it!

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Ok Marvin, I’m sorry for only typing ‘Meh’ for your recap last week. You are clearly a Razzballer who read my recap, and it inspired you to go out and flash the potential that made you the #2 pick. Double-digit scoring in all three games last week, as well as 5 BLOCKS in a single game. I thought his athleticism would allow him to run into blocks on occasion by accident, but if he begins to show a knack for it watch out.

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I’ll admit it.  Going into the season I was a little bit worried that I overshot my pick of Trae Young as the top fantasy rookie this season. I very well could still be wrong, but 35 points on 23 shots with six 3’s and 11 assists are pretty fantastic and shows the type of upside the Hawks were hoping for.  Quite a few rookies have started off hot in crucial roles for their admittedly bad teams, and in this space I will try to highlight some of the ups and downs of the rookie class.  

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