Does Griffin have fantasy value in Year 1?

How does Blake Griffin matchup against the last 10 "big men" who were drafted No.1?
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you are like me, you're wondering what Blake Griffin and the other 2009 NBA draft choices will do in the upcoming season.

Well, unfortunately, it's a little too early to begin forecasting their PPG, RPG and APG. But let's take a historical perspective and see how other No.1 overall draft choices have performed in their NBA rookie seasons.

We have picked out the last 10 "big men" who were drafted No.1 overall as a means of predicting Griffin's production. Number One picks who were not included in this study were: Derrick Rose, 2008 pick of the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James, 2003 pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Allen Iverson, 1996 selection of the Philadelphia 76ers.

We also ignored Greg Oden's selection in 2007 since he didn't get on the court in his first professional season.

Here's how the average No.1 selection performed in his rookie year. He scored 12.8 ppg, hauled in 7.8 rebounds and passed out 1.4 assists-per-game. Names of current NBA power forwards who posted numbers similar to those include: Shawn Marion, Brook Lopez, Luis Scola and Rasheed Wallace.

This study would seem to indicated a borderline fantasy-worthy player in Year 1. Only two of the 10 players could have been called fantasy "stars" in their rookie campaigns - Elton Brand and Tim Duncan.

Obviously, in keeper leagues the decision is completely different, but in non-keeper leagues it might be a good idea to wait until the end of the draft before selecting Griffin.

First-Year Statistics of selected No.1 Draft Choices

2006TORAndrea Bargnani11.
2005MILAndrew Bogut9.
2004ORLDwight Howard12.
2002HOUYao Ming13.
2001WASKwame Brown4.
2000NJNKenyon Martin12.
1999CHIElton Brand20.
1998LACM. Olowokandi8.
1997SASTim Duncan21.
1995GSWJoe Smith15.

10-Player Average


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