The following four players should give your fantasy team’s bench a boost and add value to your roster throughout the 2012-2013 basketball season.
Minnesota’s 6’11”, 295-pound big man surprised much of the NBA last season with his superior rebounding and defense. But Pekovic’s success was no shock to his former teammates in Europe, where the steady performer established himself as an elite center. Pekovic played in only 47 games last year due to an ankle injury, but averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg while shooting 56% from the field and 74% from the line. The tenacious 26-year-old had season highs of 30 points and 16 boards. Now in his third year, the big-motor Pekovic should improve his production due to increased floor time if he starts. Look to draft Pekovic in the 80 to 95 range.
In 61 games last year the 6’9”, 290-pound Big Baby averaged 9.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg in 23.4 mpg. However, when inserted into the first five, Davis’ averages all improved by 40%. With Dwight Howard gone, Davis is slated to start this season, so look for his numbers pop as he is considered a ‘confidence’ player and generally performs much better when he gets the run he thinks he deserves. Though Davis is undersized, he has quick feet and moves his body well so he’s effective on the glass. And he is a very good mid-range jump shooter. Davis will be a good late-round addition to your roster, and he will add value throughout the season.
In his rookie year, Knight played in all 66 of Detroit’s games. The University of Kentucky product averaged 12.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 rpg and shot 38% from the arc in 32.3 mpg. He had season highs of 28 points and 11 dimes in 2011-12. Knight possesses the athleticism, skills and toughness to be an outstanding player. Detroit will look for him to take a major step up from last year’s performance and will count on him to be a critical cog for many years to come. Known for his work ethic and drive, the 6’3” PG should step up his production after the departure of Ben Gordon. Look to draft Knight in the 90 to 105 range.
The 3rd overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Favors came alive at the end of the season last year. In the Spurs 4-game sweep of Utah, 6’10” Favors averaged 11.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg and 1.3 spg in 29 mpg, up from his season averages of 8.8 points and 6.5 boards in 21.3 minutes per game. A durable banger, Favors played in 65 of 66 contests last year. Favors has tremendous talent and intangibles. And due to his physicality he has the potential to become a big-time shot blocker and rebounder. Though Utah has a plethora of quality forwards, Favors should continue earning more court time and round out your fantasy roster nicely.