Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Harrison Barnes

Copyright 2013 NBAE - Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty ImagesMost fantasy rosters are fairly set as the NBA season nears the midpoint. Now is the time for fantasy GMs to shore up their benches with value players whose second-half production is expected to increase.

One such player is rookie SF Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors. The 6’8” silky shooter played two seasons in Chapel Hill for coach Roy Williams before being taken 7th overall in last spring’s draft. The Iowa native was considered by most to be the top high school recruit in the 2010 class.

After a rough introduction to the pro game, 20-year-old Barnes has adjusted and is proving to be an outstanding addition to Golden State’s young nucleus. The 23-13 Warriors are off to their best start in decades.

Barnes has started in all 36 contests. He is averaging 9.5 ppg and 4.3 rpg in 25.6 mpg for the talented Bay Area squad. And Barnes has scored in double figures in 6 of the last 7 games.

In Sunday’s loss to Denver, Barnes scored a season-high 21 points on 8 for 11 shooting. He has season highs of 13 boards, 4 dimes (3X) and 3 steals.

Barnes has earned the confidence of head coach Mark Jackson and does not face much competition for minutes at the 3-spot. In fact, Coach Jackson recently stated, “It’s important for him to realize that he has the green light, if he wants to come down, get a rebound and facilitate a play, I want him to do that, and he has the light to do that.”

As the season progresses and opposing teams look to lock down Golden State’s top players, Barnes will have the opportunity for more shots and added offensive freedom. Look for this rookie to improve his numbers in the second half of the schedule.

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