Fantasy basketball: Why Devonte' Graham needs to be on your radar

Devonte' Graham is one of the biggest early season surprises in fantasy hoops. David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Charlotte Hornets point guard Devonte' Graham seems destined to move into a starting role soon and fantasy investors that have already gotten ahead of this news will look rather smart for adding him. Graham, a second-year talent originally chosen in the second round from Kansas, leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game and plays the same average minutes that far richer offseason acquisition Terry Rozier does, but this is hardly a Lou Williams-type situation with the valuable sixth man scoring and providing little else. Graham averages 7.6 assists per game. He runs the offense nicely when on the floor and has improved defensively of late.

Some in fantasy might be unwilling to add Graham, who is on the most-added list but remains available in more than 40% of ESPN standard leagues, because of the Rozier factor. The Hornets took Rozier in the Kemba Walker trade with the Boston Celtics, perhaps not by choice but necessity, and bestowed upon him a monster contract for nearly $20 million per season. He has to play and perhaps emerges into a star at some point, though that seems unlikely. Graham, however, is playing better. I have doubts that either can make four out of every 10 of their field-goal attempts, which is a valid concern, but Graham is the superior distributor laden with upside.