Highlighting under-appreciated fantasy basketball stars that are ready to help you win your league. Let’s look at 2 fantasy basketball sleepers that you need to own this year.
Fantasy basketball draft season is upon us. And you’re reading this because you’re out on the interweb searching for advice, strategy and sleepers to help you on draft day.
Catch our full fantasy basketball rankings here:
While it’s not necessarily fair to call these 3 players sleepers per say, they are prime candidates to outperform their current ADPs. Translation – they are great targets to make sure you bring on board when you get a chance to do so at your draft.
*ADP data courtesy of fantasypros.com
With an ADP of 35.7 overall and being selected at #41 on Yahoo! – Marc Gasol is looking like great value this year.
Gasol is a truly elite fantasy basketball center. He was a consensus top 10 fantasy player OVERALL only a short 2 years ago – so what has really changed? Other than the fact he played in 59 games last year… the answer is “just about nothing”. Gasol is pretty much the same guy he’s always been when on the court, and he’s back to showing what he can do in the preseason.
In fact, his numbers over the last 4 preseason games have been absolutely fantastic. To give you a taste of what he’s done to show he’s back to full health:
24.8 MIN, 17 Points, 9.3 Rebounds, 2.5 Assists, 2 Blocks, 1.5 Steals, 61.3% FG, 79% FT
I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to average over 60% from the field for the year, but it just goes to show you how efficient he can be as a contributor in all categories. Don’t overlook the assists you can get from Gasol at the center position – he averaged 3.6 in that department last season.
He’s currently being selected after the likes of Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond and Al Horford which is an incredible opportunity for managers smart enough to wait for Gasol. We’re looking at who I believe should be a hands-down second round pick and will likely finish as a top 3 fantasy basketball center come year-end. Don’t let him slip past you on draft day.
Only 1.6 spots after Gasol is Toronto Raptors stud DeMar DeRozan
With an ADP of 37.3 and going at 49th overall on Yahoo! in particular, DeRozan is a great target in fantasy leagues. Here are a couple reasons I feel so strongly about this:
Reason #1 – The Shooting Guard position is not very deep
I covered this briefly in my shooting guard rankings, but it’s important to go over it again. Once you get past James Harden, there’s a massive talent drop-off. You can argue Monta Ellis, Kobe Bryant, Klay Thompson or even DeRozan are the next best options after the Rockets franchise player. For me, this gives the above players an extra boost in leagues that require you to start a shooting guard.
Reason #2 – He’s a free throw percentage stabilizer that you don’t need to spend a 1st round pick on
He’s the focal point of the Raptors’ offense and is great at getting to the rim. Last year he ranked 7th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (averaging 8 per contest). This was actually more than both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, which is pretty elite company if you ask me. Is DeRozan as valuable as those guys in fantasy basketball? Not a chance. But you don’t need to spend a 1st or even 2nd round pick on DeRozan to get the same kind of elite free throw help that Harden or Anthony provide, for example.
Other Moxyball Content You’ll Love
[recent_posts count=”3″ no_image=”true” orientation=”vertical”]
Reason #3 – DeMar has been getting better each year
His numbers have increased steadily since entering the league back in 2009-2010, and last season he averaged over 38 minutes a game as the Raptors relied on him more and more to lead their offense.
The 2013-2014 season marked the first time he averaged over 20 points a game (22.7 to be precise) to go along with 82.4% in the free throw department. He also set career highs in rebounds (4.3), assists (4.0) and steals (1.1) while keeping his turnovers at a very manageable 2.2 per contest. He also improved his 3-point shooting by hitting 0.8 per game (albeit at a 30.5% rate – which was actually the best of his career).
It’s not out of the question to see him take his game to the next level as the face of the Raptors franchise. Don’t forget that he’s just turned 25 years old and already has 5 full seasons in the NBA under his belt. We could be looking at the next player to reach the 20 PPG, 5 REB, 5 AST plateau – which is a truly elite place to be from a statistical perspective… and that could happen as soon as 2014-2015. He has top 20 overall upside and you can get him at just about 40th on draft day.
More fantasy basketball rankings: