Originally written on Win My Fantasy League  |  Last updated 10/20/12
The toughest part of fantasy drafts are in the last few rounds where the choice is often limited to wily veterans in the twilight of their career to unproven rookies with no guarantee in the rotation. In this year’s NBA fantasy draft, Jonas Valanciunas will be worth a pick at the end of your draft. J-Val (a nickname unlikely to ever catch on), was drafted in 2011 by the Toronto Raptors, but remained in Europe to further develop last season.  He may be an unproven talent at the NBA level, but he has played at the highest international level, including in the recent London 2012 Olympics. He started every game for the Lithuanian team that lost to the eventual gold metal winner – The United States, by only five points. It is true that Valanciunas logged only 9 minutes in that game, but the experience for 20 year old, including games versus France and Argentina was a big step in his career. Based on the preseason and the lack of another true center (sorry Aaron Gray) on the Toronto  Raptors, Jonas has a starting spot locked up.  Both Amir Johnson and Ed Davis will come off the bench, but the starting center spot is the Lithuanian’s to lose. From a fantasy perspective, Jonas should average 10 rebounds, along with 8 points and a block per game Why the high rebound forecast? Well, he is playing alongside possible the weakest rebounding big man in the league – Andrea Bargnani. Despite being 7 feet tall and averaging 33 minutes per game, Bargnani grabbed just 5.5 rebounds per game last season.  That is even worse than Brook Lopez, who averaged 6 boards per game in the 2010-11 season (he was injured almost the entire 2011-12 season). Basically, Jonas Valanciunas will have little competition for rebounds this season. In the preseason win versus the Detroit Pistons, J-Val finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds in just 29 minutes. In last Friday’s win over the New York Knicks, he finished with 10 rebounds against the big frontcourt of Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. I was impressed with his aggressiveness throughout the game and he even had a great stuff on a dunk attempt from Stoudemire.  In the last rounds of your fantasy draft, take  Valanciunas with certainty that this  rookie should be fantasy relevant from opening day. Written by Justin Hasan exclusively for WinMyFantasyLeague.com Comment below or e-mail him at JHas@WinMyFantasyLeague.com
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel

Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

MLB urges Supreme Court to deny San Jose's A's appeal

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson loves the Twitter criticism

Vikings RB McKinnon: If I had a fantasy team, I'd take myself

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Kings have had discussions with John Calipari

De’Andre Johnson charged with misdemeanor battery

Russell Wilson on salary: If it's $25M or $1.5M, I'll be ready to go

Luke Ridnour reportedly traded for fourth time in a week

Scottie Pippen: I was LeBron James before LeBron James

Report: Marc Gasol only visiting with Memphis Grizzlies

Diamondbacks are contenders, but team's direction is unclear

Selecting the 2015 American League All-Stars

Jim Harbaugh is recruiting a prospect he once babysat

Conan makes Marshawn's wildest dreams come true

Brett Favre dons Packers jersey, says, 'I think I could still play'

Bo Knows, Bo Goes: Wisconsin feels pride and pain

Popovich won't call free agents at midnight, he'll be in bed

Joe Buck explains why he quit Twitter

Should the White Sox and Indians become sellers?

Fan bases most deserving of a Super Bowl 50 win

2015 NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Report: Redskins urged by major group to change team name

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.