It seems that in fantasy basketball drafts this fall there has been a plethora of talented big men sliding significantly. Dwight Howard is falling right out of the first two rounds, while even Kevin Love is finding himself being drafted behind a half dozen guards in some formats. Another superstar forward that has turned into a great value pick this year has been PF DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings.
The forward’s value has been somewhat diminished this year after taking a small step back last year. He averaged a jaw-dropping 18.1 points and 11 rebounds in 2011, but he scored just 17.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 2012. He even had 20 fewer blocks last season.
It wasn’t the season fantasy fans we’re expecting, but it doesn’t mean that he didn’t improve some facets of his game. On a positive note, his field goal percentage did increase from 44.8% to 46.5% last year and his free throw percentage rose from 70.2% up to 73.8%. He also looked much more comfortable extending his jump shot.
Cousins has looked very polished so far this fall. He has averaged an incredible 21.4 points (57% FG) in his last five preseason contests to go along with 9.3 boards. Cousins is only playing 24.4 minutes per game, so his stats should look even stronger once he gets his allotted 30-plus minutes of action during the regular season.
The addition of Shaquille O’Neal to the management team will also help mold Cousins into a better player. Shaq won’t exactly be a mentor to the youngster, but he will at least be able to teach the kid a couple things. The two have already have multiple conversations and the extra insight should help Cousins take the next step in his game.
Cousins will easily average 18 points with 10 boards a game this year and finally put together an All-Star season for fantasy owners.