With draft season now behind us, managers have altered their gaze and are now focused on their roster construction. For many, this is a time to sit and wait for others to make a hasty decision. However, for impatient managers, buying low and selling high has already begun. Albeit early, this list may provide insight as to whether or not a week's worth of production is sustainable. Let's dive in.
Andrew Wiggins (ADP: 88 Current Rank: 5)
After a rough time in Minnesota, Wiggins has thrived since arriving in Golden State, especially recently. Despite coming off a season in which he ended as the 121st-ranked player, he was able to address several perceived flaws. He was arguably their most consistent player during the playoffs, stepping up on both ends of the floor.
His late-season heroics have carried over into the 2022-23 season. Given his career sample size, managers hesitated to reach for him in drafts, opting for younger players with more upside. When analyzing his numbers across the first week, it's safe to assume the defensive production will come down. However, he has improved his ability to crash the boards and hit the three-ball. Ending as a top 60 player is not out of the question.
John Collins (ADP: 63 Current Rank: 7)
Coming off a disappointing season, many people forgot how good Collins can be when healthy. Multiple injuries derailed his 2021-22 campaign, seeing him end as the 50th-ranked player. His production was down across numerous categories, and he disappointed fantasy managers who drafted him with a third- or fourth-round pick.
Managers went the other way this season, allowing him to drop too far. Given he was still a top-50 talent in a down season, that range could be seen as his floor. Why was he being drafted a round later? The trade rumors have settled for the first time in a long time, and Collins can focus on playing basketball. His rebounding numbers will not return to where they were before the addition of Clint Capela, but 8.0 per game is realistic. Likewise, his shot-blocking opportunities remain limited, placing him at around 1.0 per game. It would not be surprising to see him end as a top-40 player.
Nic Claxton (ADP: 114 Current Rank: 41)
Claxton's injury issues and lack of playing time impacted what could, or should, have been seen as a potential breakout last year. The Nets are paper-thin at center, at least when they go with a more traditional lineup. The fear coming into the season was that the coaching staff would opt to go with a range of small-ball lineups, cutting into Claxton's upside.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and Claxton has done enough to earn the trust of head coach Steve Nash, who's keeping the center on the court in critical moments. Claxton is seeing upwards of 30 minutes per game, cashing in with borderline top-40 value. It has helped that Ben Simmons has battled foul trouble in multiple games, perhaps forcing the coaching staff into a corner regarding late-game center options. Whether or not Simmons is out there, Claxton is playing alongside many teammates who can get him the ball in scoring positions, increasing both his scoring volume and efficiency. It's safe to assume his numbers will come down as the season progresses, but given what we've seen, he could be a top-70 lock.
Jarred Vanderbilt (ADP: 121 Current Rank: 51)
When Vanderbilt was traded to Utah in the offseason, many were quick to hype him as a breakout candidate after he ranked 113th in 2020-21. That was short-lived, however, with Lauri Markkanen soon joining him on the Jazz. Opinions were quick to change, and Vanderbilt tumbled down draft boards.
His substantial numbers appear sustainable this season. His steal numbers could regress, but there is a chance he can maintain 2.0 swipes per game. He has always been a strong rebounder, and playing alongside a floor-spacer in Markkanen helps free up the glass. The top 50 is probably out of the question, but ending inside the top 80 could be in the cards.