This article is part of our The Prospect Post series.
The NBA Draft almost always serves as a way teams can help themselves down the road, not right away. That means most rookies enter their first season in the pros having little-to-no fantasy value. However, there are always those gems, those diamonds in the rough. There probably shouldn't be more than 10 or 11 rookies drafted in fantasy leagues this season (depending on your league depth and rules), but that doesn't mean those who go undrafted aren't worth stalking on the waiver wire a couple of times a week.
Each Monday, I'll be coming at you with a different column evaluating the rookies, the D-Leaguers, the prospects, and any other sort of young person living on the fringes of life – okay, scratch that last part. Looking for some cheap fantasy player you can pick up for high value? A rookie might just be the one to help you. Stashing away lesser players and hoping for them to develop? Sounds like a 21-year-old would be perfect for that.
Chances are, you're not going to win your league on rookies, but they can help. Here is a general overview of how each relevant first-year player can affect the upcoming fantasy season (ranked from best to worst):
The Guys Worth Drafting
Damian Lillard (PG, Trail Blazers): Lillard is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate (and is my preseason pick to win the award) if only because he will have the ball in his hands so often. A point guard