Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller
25-Year-Old CenterC
Charlotte Hornets
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Last year, between injuries and the presence of Dwight Howard, Zeller played a career-low 627 minutes. Considering the situation, it’s tough to even put real stock in Zeller’s fifth season. However, what can be extracted is Zeller’s struggle to stay on the floor. Over the past four campaigns, the Indiana product is averaging 57.5 games played. So, even optimists about his upside have reason to give pause. While not a volume player by any means -- 9.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and a combined 1.8 steals/blocks during his age 23 and 24 seasons -- he reached a career-high 57.1 field-goal percentage during 2016-17, boosting his Fantasy value. It’s likely Zeller begins the 2018-19 campaign as the starter, though he’s never reached higher than 27.8 minutes per game -- another factor that limits his potential in addition to his injury history. Plus, with the myriad of other center options on the Hornets (Frank Kaminsky, Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo), there’s plenty of other players to turn to if Zeller isn't playing up to par. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $56 million contract extension with the Hornets in October of 2016.
Will compete for starting job
CCharlotte Hornets
September 11, 2018
Zeller, according to new head coach James Borrego, will compete for a starting role during training camp along with the rest of the team besides Kemba Walker, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports.
ANALYSIS
After not making it past the first round of the playoffs each of the past five years with Steve Clifford at the helm, Borrego is exploring other options for the Hornets' rotation. Zeller had been Charlotte's usual at center from 2014-15 until last year, when Dwight Howard took over that role. With Howard now on the Wizards, Zeller will have an opportunity to take back the starting job. However, it won't be handed to him, as he'll have to compete with the likes of Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo and Frank Kaminsky. Each player offers significantly different skillsets, so it's possible minutes will fluctuate on a night-to-night basis.
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Cody Zeller NBA Stats
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Cody Zeller 2017–18 NBA Game Log
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Depth Chart Status
Average Fantasy Points
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Zeller continued to show improvement in his fourth year with the Hornets and despite being limited to 62 games because of quad injury, he still put together career-highs in minutes, points scored, rebounds, steals, blocks and field goal percentage. The bad news for Zeller is he'll likely be losing his starting role going into the 2017-18 campaign. Charlotte traded for Dwight Howard in the offseason and while nothing is official at this point, Howard is the favorite to start at center. That means Zeller will be the first big off the bench, and it's going to be tough for him to match his 27.8 minutes per game from last season. A more likely outcome is a slightly reduced role similar to the workload he was handed in his second and third years in the league. That said, Howard has a lengthy injury history, so Zeller will likely fill in as the starting center if anything does happen to the former All-Star.
Zeller took a step forward in this third NBA season, averaging career highs in scoring (8.7 points per game), rebounding (6.2), steals (0.8), blocks (0.9), minutes (24.3) and field-goal percentage (52.9%). The former lottery selection moved into the starting lineup at the beginning of December and would hold onto the designation for the rest of the season, finishing with 60 starts in 73 games. Entering 2016-17, Zeller is again expected to start at center, but he’ll face competition from veteran Roy Hibbert for those duties. In addition, Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes are around to vie for minutes in the frontcourt, but unlike those two, Zeller is expected to play almost exclusively at center, given his limited shooting range. While Zeller was one of 17 qualified players to average at least 12 points, nine rebounds, one block and one steal per 36 minutes last season, Charlotte’s frontcourt depth will likely prevent him from consistently eclipsing 30 minutes in games.
In his second season, Zeller averaged 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 24 minutes per game through 62 games. He shot 46 percent from the field, 100 percent from downtown, and 77 percent from the free-throw line. It was only one three-pointer, but Zeller, who turns 23 in October, does have some nice range for a 7-0 forward. The Hornets let Bismack Biyombo sign elsewhere, drafted Frank Kaminsky and acquired Spencer Hawes this summer. Hawes has proven his inability to play power forward defensively, thus likely eliminating him from the starting lineup discussion. However, it's possible Kaminsky, whom the Hornets reportedly turned down multiple first-round picks for, could draw the start alongside Al Jefferson. Yet, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is also capable of playing the four, and Marvin Williams could be in the conversation. Regardless of who earns the starting nod alongside Jefferson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker, and Nicolas Batum, Zeller will have to work hard to maintain his minutes load from 2014-15.
It was a tale of two seasons for Cody Zeller last season who was shooting a woeful 38 percent heading into the All-Star break, but his monthly scoring average increased consecutively in February, March, and April on his way to shooting 51 percent in the second half of the season. Because of that — and the departure of Josh McRoberts — Zeller could be considered one of the bigger sleepers in the league. He can play both positions up front and should be starting alongside Jefferson. Do keep in mind Zeller is still just 21 years old and started just three games in his rookie season.
Zeller will likely start for the Bobcats during the 2013-14 season and for good reason. He averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 blocks over 32 minutes of playing time throughout four of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League contests. If Zeller is able to continue knocking down perimeter jumpers and finishing strong around the rim like he did in college, he will most likely be one of the Cats' top players right away.
More Fantasy News
To resume activity in one month
CCharlotte Hornets
Knee
April 11, 2018
Zeller underwent another MRI on his left knee, which revealed no new concerns, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports. He plans on resuming activity after three or four weeks.
ANALYSIS
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Will miss rest of season
CCharlotte Hornets
Knee
April 1, 2018
Zeller (knee) has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Will remain out Sunday
CCharlotte Hornets
Knee
April 1, 2018
Zeller (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the 76ers.
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Out again Saturday
CCharlotte Hornets
Knee
March 31, 2018
Zeller (knee) is out for Saturday's game against the Wizards.
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Out Wednesday, may be shut down
CCharlotte Hornets
Knee
March 28, 2018
Zeller has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against the Cavaliers and acknowledged that he could need several weeks of rest before the soreness and swelling in his left knee is no longer an issue, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports.
ANALYSIS
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