Rookie Watch: A More Efficient Lonzo Ball
Rookie Watch: A More Efficient Lonzo Ball

This article is part of our In-Season Strategy series.

Midway through Week 13 of the Fantasy basketball season, Nick Whalen checks in on the rookies making an impact around the league.

Donovan Mitchell, Jazz

Ben Simmons is still the Rookie of the Year frontrunner, but Mitchell is making a compelling case of his own. The Jazz are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the Western Conference playoff race, but Mitchell is leading all rookies in scoring (18.5 PPG), while ranking second in steals (1.9), sixth in assists (3.4), and second in made threes (2.2) per game.

Efficiency-wise, Mitchell has been up-and-down, and he's particularly struggled from three-point range (30.4%) in seven games since returning from a toe injury. That's to be expected from a 21-year-old, though, and Mitchell is still shooting a very palatable 43.9 percent from the field for the season. In leagues that don't value percentages, Mitchell ranks as the 53rd-best player, two spots behind Klay Thompson and ahead of the likes of Myles Turner, Harrison Barnes and Otto Porter.

Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Like Mitchell, Tatum is another player who may have ran away with the Rookie of the Year award had he been a part of the 2016 draft class. Tatum doesn't have the gaudy counting stats of Mitchell, Simmons or even Kyle Kuzma, but he's quietly been among the league's most efficient players – rookies or otherwise. In terms of advanced stats, Tatum blows the rest of the rookie class out of the water, leading

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and award winning host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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