Through the first two weeks of the fantasy basketball season, up-and-coming stars have been the talk of the town. Some of the brightest young talent around the NBA is reaching the pantheon of usage and creativity needed to compete with the best players around the league. Whether this volume will sustain through the course of a full season is yet to be uncovered, but certain key performances have proven that some of these players have reached a new status in the NBA.
If you nabbed one of these fantasy basketball risers in your draft, or even on the waiver wire in extreme cases, then you’re probably feeling pretty satisfied with your team. Let’s celebrate their success and yours by highlighting the young players who are taking a significant step thus far.
Fantasy Basketball Risers — Honorable Mentions: Cunningham & Haliburton.
People around the league and in fantasy drafts expected to see improvement from last year’s No. 1 pick, Cade Cunningham, and Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton. They each took huge steps in the second half of the 2021-22 season while paving a path to star-level volume on their teams. Therefore, neither of them is going to make the cut — especially since this jump was worked into the spot where they were drafted.
Still, they both deserve a ton of recognition for their early play. Up to almost 20 shots per contest, Cunningham has managed to improve his efficiency while operating as his team’s primary playmaker on a level that’s proving him worthy of that No. 1 pick selection in 2021. As for Haliburton, he’s the engine that keeps these Indiana Pacers moving. The team has been particularly feisty — largely because of his 23.4 points, 10 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Expect to see both of these rising stars enter the All-Star conversation by the middle of the year.