Originally written on Win My Fantasy League  |  Last updated 11/18/14
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

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

NBA to track and post referees’ calls beginning in playoffs

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

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

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.