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2022 Fantasy Basketball Rookie Rankings: Redraft & Dynasty

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jun 29, 2022
Jabari Smith

Jabari Smith is the most NBA-ready of the prospects and will fit perfectly with Houston’s young core.

The NBA Draft has come and gone, and while we wait for the free agency period to officially kick-off, we’ll continue to unpack everything that we saw transpire Thursday night.

Talent is only half the equation for rookies in fantasy hoops; landing spot, opportunity, and team fit make up the other half. So while we may have some players higher in our initial rookie rankings, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the better player now or in the future.

Winners and Losers of the 2022 NBA Draft >>

These rankings are for 2022 impact only, but as a bonus, I’ll throw in their rookie dynasty ranking in parenthesis.

  1. Jabari Smith Jr. (F – HOU), Dynasty (#3): I absolutely love this fit and the fact that Smith fell to the Rockets. He’s the most NBA-ready out of all the prospects and will make a sneaky 1-2-3 pairing with Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green. His knockdown ability and polished game should allow him to thrive right away.
  2. Paolo Banchero (F – ORL), (#1): Banchero, for me, was the best player in the draft and after focusing on defense and length for so long, Banchero brings the scoring touch the Magic desperately need. Elevating his three-point game would take him to the next level.
  3. Jaden Ivey (G – DET), (#2): Ivey perfectly complements Cade Cunningham in Detroit with a vicious jab step and playmaking ability.
  4. Chet Holmgren (F – OKC), (#4): I’m torn on Holmgren long-term and think there will be more of an adjustment period for him with the pro game than most are considering. You’re looking at a star if he hits his full potential.
  5. Keegan Murray (F – SAC), (#8): The Kings pulled a Kings move by drafting Murray and going for the short-term fit instead of the best player available. Murray should slide right in, but I worry about his overall usage his rookie year.
  6. Mark Williams (C – CHA), (#11): Williams doesn’t have the highest upside, but he’s a guy the Hornets can plug in right away to give them block, rebounds, and a lob threat for LaMelo Ball.
  7. Dyson Daniels (G – NOP), (#10): Daniels can contribute immediately to the Pelicans and fantasy managers alike. He’s a perfect playmaker for the offense and won’t need to be a scorer. High assists and steal numbers are on the way.
  8. Jalen Duren (C – DET), (#6): Duran is so young and raw that you’ll need to practice patience with him. Getting Cunningham and Ivey as facilitators could make him a superstar.
  9. Shaedon Sharpe (F – POR), (#5): The upside is enormous for Sharpe, but he’s also a big unknown after not playing at Kentucky. He has top 3 upside in his class, but there’s a ton of risk associated with drafting him.
  10. Johnny Davis (G – WAS), (#14): Davis is a weird fit, and the Wizards should have drafted a big. But Davis is NBA-ready and has a fine floor.
  11. Jake LaRavia (F – MEM), (#9): Memphis obviously was a fan of the all-around game that LaRavia brings by trading up to take him earlier than expected. He has a good fantasy skill set and should get an opportunity this season in the rotation.
  12. Bennedict Mathurin (F – IND), (#7): I like Mathurin, but the Pacers have to clear out some space with Malcolm Brogdon, Buddy Hield, and Chris Duarte for Mathurin to make an immediate difference.
  13. Tari Eason (F – HOU), (#15): Big-man stats are coming for Eason as he brings a nice presence to the young Rockets who lost Christian Wood.
  14. AJ Griffin (F – ATL), (#13): I hate the landing spot for Griffin but love his game. Washington should have nabbed him.
  15. Ochai Agbaji (G – CLE), (#17): He’s older and will be an afterthought for the Cavs’ offense. He adds a nice three-point ability that they need.
  16. Jeremy Sochan (F – SAS), (#16): If all goes right, Sochan will outproduce being 16th off my board. He’ll get the opportunity, but San Antonio will be in full tank mode. How will a John Collins trade change his value?
  17. Ousmane Dieng (F – OKC), (#12): Big upside pick, but it feels like OKC has a ton of those. If you’re fine stashing for future upside, he’s worth taking.
  18. Kennedy Chandler (G – MEM), (#18): The Grizzlies don’t have any backup point guards. We’ll see Chandler fill the role throughout the season and be brought along at a similar pace to Zaire Williams a year ago.
  19. TyTy Washington (G – HOU), (#19): I’m not a fan of Washington, but he should have a decent shot at regular minutes as a facilitator in Houston.
  20. Jalen Williams (F – OKC), (#20): He could get an opportunity before Dieng as the more polished wing. His stock soared at the combine, but I’m not fully bought in.

Check out our consensus NBA player and team futures odds across all sportsbooks >>

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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