The NBA season has begun and, as always, surprise players are making a big difference; the first week always produces tons of “rough diamonds”.

Below are five players who make a significant contribution to the development of their teams. Each of these are widely available in most fantasy basketball leagues, and each of them can help your team both in the short and possibly long term.

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Brooke Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks (26.3% of players in Sportzshala leagues): Lopez missed most of last season with a back injury, and at his advanced age, many expected Bobby Portis to take on more frontcourt responsibility for the Bucks. Instead, Lopez plays as if last season’s extended rest helped keep him fresh this season. He’s good at scoring and rebounding, but it’s his blocks and three-pointers (seven in two games) that make him worthy of consideration as a starter at the moment. His pace will slow down on both occasions, but he should stay positive on each of them, and thus he will remain on the fantasy radar as long as he is healthy.

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Jarred Vanderbilt, Utah Jazz (23.6%): Vanderbilt easily stepped into the role of Rudy Goberts as the Jazz’s anchor rebounder/starter guard, although he does it differently. Vanderbilt isn’t nearly as blocking or even rebounding as Gobert, but so far he’s been hitting double figures on the boards in three of his four games, and is also averaging 2.5 rebounds and 9.8 points per game, as well as 10. 3 rebounds he has. his main statistical contribution.

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Royce O’Neal Brooklyn Nets (15%): O’Neal is on this list because he accumulates defensive stats at a breakneck pace in his role with the Nets. In three games, he has 6 blocks and 6 interceptions with at least three “sinks” (interceptions + blocks) in all three games. O’Neal will never be the top scorer, but he is averaging 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 triple shots, further adding to his fantastic value.

Dennis Smith Jr., Charlotte Hornets (22.6%): Smith was given extra playing time due to injuries to LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Terry Rozier (ankle), and he took advantage of the opportunity to revive his career. So far, Smith has averaged 13.3 points per game, 4.7 assists, 2.7 assists per game, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per 25.7 mpg. He started Sunday and had 18 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, a block and a 3-pointer in 33 minutes. He should be included, at least as long as Ball and/or Rosier are gone.

Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (6.9%): Richards sneaked into the Hornets’ alternate center, which rookie Mark Williams was expected to take, and loudly flashed numbers that could see him receive another promotion down the road. So far, Richards has scored at least 19 points and 10 rebounds in two of his three games and is currently averaging 15.0 points per game, 9.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in just 22.7 miles per game. game. Those numbers are noteworthy even in the absence of minor contributions, and the risk of him failing to keep up the pace is mitigated by the fact that he has the advantage to oust Mason Plumley in the starting lineup if he continues to play well.