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Working the Wire: Who slipped through the cracks on draft night?

Charlie Zegers

Charlie has covered the NBA, NFL and MLB for RotoWire for the better part of 15 years. His work has also appeared on,, the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo. He embraces his East Coast bias and is Smush Parker's last remaining fan.

Sorting through the opening-night box scores, looking for players that may have slipped through the cracks on draft night... The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who will typically be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.

All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.

Standard Leagues

Evan Turner (82% owned) – I wasn’t expecting much from Turner after his awful summer and preseason performances… but he was very solid in his NBA debut, playing 31 minutes, scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and adding seven boards and four assists. If he went undrafted in your league, rectify that situation.

Ramon Sessions (38% owned) – Starting in place of Mo Williams, Sessions was a big part of Cleveland’s shocking win over the Celtics, scoring 14 points with three assists, two steals and two boards in 35 minutes.

Arron Afflalo (25% owned) – It looks like Afflalo has moved up a spot or two in Denver’s shot-attempt pecking order. He scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting in the opener, including 3-5 from long range.

Glen Davis (15% owned) – You may be wary of Big Baby because the Celtics’ frontcourt is so deep – but through their first two games, Davis is averaging over 30 minutes and seems to be Doc Rivers’ primary reserve. Doc will be careful with Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett’s minutes, so Davis should continue to get near-starter PT, at least until Kendrick Perkins’ return further complicates the rotation.

Rasual Butler (14% owned) – Appears he’ll have value this season – especially if you need threes -- as the Clippers’ sixth man and designated long-range bomber.

Deep Leagues

James Jones (4% owned) – Jones likely would have been an afterthought this season, but Mike Miller’s injury has made him Miami’s designated “stand in the corner and jack threes” guy. With LeBron and D-Wade on the floor, Jones will get an awful lot of open looks – he canned six threes against Philly on Wednesday.

Reggie Evans (3% owned) – Evans continues to be an outstanding rebounder – 14 boards in Toronto’s season-opener – and for now, he seems to be getting the bulk of the playing time at power forward over Amir Johnson. But be aware, Evans is the very definition of specialist – he failed to score a single point in that game.

Shelden Williams (3% owned) – Denver’s temporary starter at power forward pulled down 16 boards in the Nuggets’ opener, and added eight points. Like Evans – he’s a specialist – he didn’t have a block or an assist – but he should be able to help in that rebound category.

Landry Fields (2% owned) – Fields won the Knicks’ starting shooting guard spot with a strong preseason, and his opening night performance justified Mike D’Antoni’s decision. The second-rounder scored 11 points, hit three three-pointers, grabbed four rebounds and blocked a shot in his first NBA game. Some may worry that he’ll lose the gig to Wilson Chandler, especially after Chandler’s strong performance in the opener – but D’Antoni likes Chandler’s versatility off the bench, Fields’ spot may be secure until Kelenna Azubuike is ready to get back on the floor.

Chuck Hayes (2% owned) – Yao Ming’s minutes are going to be limited this season, and he won’t play the second night of back-to-backs. For now, at least, it appears Hayes and not Brad Miller will be called upon to pick up the slack at center – Hayes played 39 minutes in Houston’s second game of the year, Miller just three. But watch the injury report – it’s possible the disparity was due to some unreported issue with Miller.

Sam Young (1% owned) – Memphis went small when Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph got hurt, giving second-year pro Young a chance to show his stuff. He finished the game with an impressive 17 points (8-12 FG, 1-1 3pt, 0-1 FT) to go with five rebounds and three steals, and could be a nice short-term option.