Fantasy Rankings: Top 5 Rookies

The 2015-16 NBA season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing for your Yahoo! NBA Fantasy draft!

Use our Fantasy Toolkit to find out which players are the best at each position and outsmart your competition. Make sure to check back to the month as we reveal positional rankings, feature articles and more.

Top 5 Rookies

5. Stanley Johnson

Overall rank: 130
The No. 8 pick continues to impress in Detroit as he leads all rookies in points so far in the preseason at 17.3 per game (including a 26-point night against Indiana). He’s getting to the rim at a high rate and showing focus on defense under coach Stan Van Gundy. He will likely win the Pistons’ starting small forward role and should see plenty of opportunity to produce. He’s a sneaky candidate for best fantasy rookie and Rookie of the Year (and 19.4 percent of his fellow rookies think he’ll win the award).

4. D’Angelo Russell

NBA Rooks: D’Angelo Russell

Here’s a look at D’Angelo Russell, the number two overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, as he gets ready for the Lakers’ season.

Overall rank: 104
The No. 2 pick will be the starting point guard for the Lakers and should see plenty of opportunity to produce. His value will be tied to assists, which he’s collecting at a rate of 4.3 per game in just 16 minutes a night so far in the preseason. His scoring will be hit-or-miss (like it is for all rookies) and his 3-point ball doesn’t look to be a threat yet. But Russell should be able to collect at least six-plus assists per night as the Lakers’ primary ball handler.

3. Emmanuel Mudiay

NBA Rooks: Emmanuel Mudiay

After being selected 7th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2015 NBA Draft, Emmanuel Mudiay works hard during Las Vegas Summer League and is excited for the season ahead.

Overall rank: 98
Mudiay is the future in Denver and will be treated as such this season as he takes over the starting point guard role. There will be rough patches for the 19-year-old. But the talent is definitely there and regular-season averages of 13-plus points, six-plus assists and one-plus steals seem possible for the explosive rookie. Field goal percentage will likely be an issue (33.9 percent so far in the preseason).

2. Jahlil Okafor

Overall rank: 75
The No. 3 pick hasn’t seen much action in the preseason so far, but that will change once the regular season comes around. He will be the starting power forward next to Nerlens Noel in the Philadelphia frontcourt and should have plenty of opportunity to produce as the Sixers’ primary option on offense. Many believe he’s the most NBA-ready of all the 2015 rookies. But be wary of his free throw shooting (39.1 percent in Summer League; 51 percent at Duke).

1. Karl-Anthony Towns

NBA Rooks: Karl-Anthony Towns

Real Training Camp Week premieres on NBA TV and on September 29th with a live, all-access look at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Overall rank: 74
Through three preseason games, the No. 1 pick is averaging 12.7 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks in just 24.7 minutes per game. These minutes will definitely see a rise during the regular season and Towns should be a high-level defensive stat contributor all season. Potential for points and assists should come later in the year as he gets more comfortable with the NBA pace. It doesn’t hurt that he has Kevin Garnettteaching him along the way.

by Alexander Sanchez

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