Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Damian Lillard

Copyright 2013 NBAE - Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesPoint guard Damian Lillard has exceeded expectations and demonstrated great maturity in his rookie campaign with the Trail Blazers.

The 6’3” Oakland native was selected 6th overall in last spring’s NBA draft after a tremendous career at Weber State, where he was a 2X Big Sky Conference Player of The Year.

In his pro debut against the Lakers on Halloween, Lillard went for 23 points and 11 assists, joining Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas as the only players in league history with at least 20 points and 10 assists in their first NBA games.

The hardworking freshman is the only Portland player to start all 33 matchups so far this season. The co-MVP of the 2012 NBA Summer League is putting up averages of 18.2 ppg, 6.4 apg, 3.4 rpg and 1 spg in 37.9 mpg.

Lillard has scored in double figures in 31 of his 33 contests. He has season highs of 29 points, 11 dimes (3X), 8 boards and 3 steals (2X).

Named Western Conference Rookies of the Month for December, Lillard is widely considered the front-runner for 2013 NBA Rookie of The Year.

Prior to the start of the season, Lillard’s average draft position in the hoops fantasy realm was between 90 and 100. Even though the league is stacked at the 1-spot, his fantasy value has risen to somewhere in the high twenties.

The main knock against this talented and brash rookie is his 42% shooting from the field. But Lillard makes 85% from the line and 37% from behind the arc. And his shooting should improve as the season progresses. If your roster needs a PG, Lillard is still a solid value.

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