The following are the rankings of second-year players in eight-category leagues based on their per game averages this season. Their NBA Draft selections are noted in parentheses.
1. Marc Gasol (48th pick in 2007) - Plenty has been written about how badly the Lakers ripped off the Grizzlies when they swapped Gasol brothers two seasons back. I've yet to hear that the younger Gasol has been the second best center in the Western Conference this season and would be headed to the all-star game if he played outside of Memphis.
Key stats - 14.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals, 56.2 FG%, 78.7 FT%
2. Danilo Gallinari (6th pick) - Gallo managed only 28 games last season and most of New York City was ready to write him off as a bust. Sure, his play this season hasn't helped much in the win column for the Knicks, but it's done just that for fantasy owners. He leads the league in threes per game.
Key stats - 15.8 points, 3.4 three-pointers, 88.0 FT%
3. Eric Gordon (7th pick) - Gordon's currently sidelined with a strained groin, but he was a top 20 player through his first seven games this season. In 64 starts as a rookie, he averaged 18.3 points per game. He's continued that success this season.
Key stats - 18.9 points, 4.0 assists, 2.6 three-pointers, 1.7 steals, 50.6 FG%
4. Roy Hibbert (17th pick) - Hibbert battled foul trouble throughout his rookie season, but committed himself throughout the offseason and the work is paying off. He's third in the league in blocks per game.
Key stats - 12.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 56.4 FG%
5. Jason Thompson (12th pick) - The only senior drafted among the top 16 picks in 2008, Thompson was considered by many to be a wasted lottery pick. But he's averaging a double-double for the surprising Kings this season.
Key stats - 14.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 82.0 FT%
6. Brook Lopez (10th pick) - Lopez has battled inconsistency in his second season as the Nets are still seeking their first win. He is tied for first in blocks per game.
Key stats - 17.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.55 blocks, 76.9 FT%
Hibbert has emerged in year two.7. Greg Oden (1st pick in 2007) - Oden hasn't come close to living up to his pre-draft hype, but he's shown a lot of progress in his second season and is winning some games for the Trail Blazers.
Key stats - 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 61.0 FG%, 75.0 FT%
8. Anthony Morrow (Undrafted) - Morrow led the league in three-point accuracy as an undrafted rookie and played exceptionally in the offseason and preseason. With Stephen Jackson traded and Kelenna Azubuike out for the season, more minutes appear to be heading Morrow's way.
Key stats - 11.9 points, 2.0 three-pointers, 52.4 FG%, 84.6 FT%
9. Ryan Anderson (21st pick) - Anderson took advantage of Rashard Lewis' suspension and made several appearances as a starter. However, his playing time will take a big hit with Lewis back in the mix.
Key stats - 14.6 points, 2.6 three-pointers
10. Marreese Speights (16th pick) - M-16 was unquestionably the best big man for the 76ers, but a partially torn MCL will likely keep him out for the next two months. He left a great impression through his first 10 games.
Key stats - 13.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 60.5 FG%, 81.3 FT%, 23.3 minutes
11. Chris Douglas-Roberts (40th pick) - CDR has already battled an ankle injury and the swine flu, but through right games he looks like he may have been the steal of the 2008 draft.
Key stats - 15.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 93.9 FT%
12. O.J. Mayo (3rd pick) - Mayo has not taken the step forward just yet, but he's still contributing for fantasy owners. With Allen Iverson out of the mix, he should show more confidence on the court.
Key stats - 18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 three-pointers, 81.3 FT%
13. George Hill (26th pick) - As Tony Parker has battled an ankle injury, Hill has looked to be yet another successful late-round pick for the Spurs.
Key stats - 12.0 points, 1.5 steals, 48.0 FG%
14. Mario Chalmers (34th pick) - Chalmers made his fantasy bread last season based on his steals, and while that number has fallen some, his other digits are showing improvement.
Key stats - 4.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 51.7 FG%
15. Anthony Randolph (14th pick) - A lot was expected from Randolph this season, but he hasn't been able to get into the starting lineup despite a slew of injuries. The playing time should increase going forward.
Key stats - 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.8 steals, 85.1 FT%, 20.5 minutes
16. Russell Westbrook (4th pick) - Westbrook is still battling turnover issues but has taken noticeable statistical steps forward. That should be expected given the increase in minutes.
Key stats - 16.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds
17. Rudy Fernandez (24th pick in 2007) - Fernandez has really stepped up his play in the absence of Travis Outlaw (out two months) and should be owned in the majority of leagues.
Key stats - 1.8 steals, 1.6 three-pointers, 85 FT%, 22 minutes
18. Courtney Lee (22nd pick) - Lee has been limited to just six games due to ankle and groin injuries. He's struggled badly with his shot when healthy (31.4 percent), but that figure shouldn't stay so low.
Key stats - 11.8 points, 2.2 steals, 86.2 FT%
19. Michael Beasley (2nd pick) - Beasley continues to be a defensive liability and Udonis Haslem has played better this season, earning the crunch time minutes. Beasley has only hit 39.8 percent of his shots this season.
Key stats - 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 85.7 FT%
20. Derrick Rose (1st pick) - The No. 1 overall pick is the 169th ranked player overall in these rankings. He's averaging fewer points, assists, and rebounds than a season ago, while also shooting nearly four percentage points lower.
Key stats - 13.4 points, 5.5 assists
Keep an Eye On
Kevin Love (5th pick) - Love fractured his hand in the preseason but is hoping to return next week. He averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds as a rookie.
J.J. Hickson (19th pick) - Hickson barely saw the court in the Cavaliers' first seven games, but he has exploded in their last three. He's scored 18, 20, and 21 points, respectively. He hit all nine of his shots last night against the Warriors and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
Donte Greene (28th pick) - Greene has not earned consistent playing time this season, but per 36 minutes he's averaging 22.8 points per game. Last night, starting in place of Andres Nocioni (hip), he scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
D.J. Augustin (9th pick) - With Raja Bell battling a wrist injury, Augustin was expected to score aplenty this season. As a rookie, he excelled when given starter's minutes, but this season he simply has not played well. He's only hit 34.4 percent of his field goals and 23.8 percent of his three-pointers. Stephen Jackson's arrival does not bode well for his fantasy success this season, although Raymond Felton is likely leaving as a free agent next summer.
Brandon Rush (13th pick) - Rush used an awesome April and strong preseason to earn his way into the starting lineup, but he's hitting only 35.9 percent of his shots while scoring 7.4 points per game. The defense is there, but the offense has been disappointing.
Joe Alexander (8th pick) - The eighth overall pick didn't play much as a rookie and has not played at all for the Bucks this season. Not a good sign.
Jerryd Bayless (11th pick) - Bayless had almost as much upside as any player coming into the league, but a crowded Trail Blazers roster has left him little time to make an impact on the court. Still just 21, he still could make a fantasy impact down the road
Jason Thompson plays so hard and though he can be incosistant he has been playing very well over the last half of last season and so far this season. He is really looking good, and I would say is probably in the top 3 PF's of the last 3 draft classes.
at first i was gonna argue with you about the last 3 draft classes but the mor ei think about it i agree..him kevin love when hes healthy and jeff green
I completley blanked on Jeff Green; which would mabey move Thompson to top 4, my list was, Griffin, Love and Thompson, now Ill have to include Green.
i cant say griffen yet untill he plays although i do think he will be good...and psycho t is on the out side but not too far out
Is actally averaging 42%
yeah but beasley is playing sf/pf thats the only reason i didnt count him