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

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

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

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker