12 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers (2019)
With fantasy basketball draft season in full gear, it’s a good time to start checking out rankings and Average Draft Position (ADP) to get an idea of how players are valued this season. By doing this, you can get a good idea of which players are too pricey and which players are potential steals. Today, we’ll be looking at the latter — highlighting 12 sleepers who have the potential to far exceed their ADP and provide strong returns on the draft capital you invest in them. The final four players listed are considered deep sleepers, as they have an ADP outside the first 12 rounds of 12-team leagues. Here we go!
The article is based on eight-category roto scoring. Average Draft Position (ADP) based on FantasyPros’ Consensus ADP.
Terry Rozier (PG/SG – CHA): ADP 52
Rozier joined the Hornets on a three-year, $56.7 million deal in a sign-and-trade from the Celtics last summer and he should be primed for a large role with his new team. Rozier’s best season as a pro came in 2017-18, when he averaged 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists across 25.9 minutes per tilt. With the Hornets in full rebuild mode in the post-Kemba Walker era, expect Rozier to experience a statistical boon.
Thomas Bryant (C – WAS): ADP 61
Bryant re-signed with the Wizards on a three-year, $25 million deal after a big 2018-19 campaign. He averaged 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks over 20.8 minutes, shooting 61.6 percent from the floor. His per-36-minute averages reflected strong two-way play, with a healthy 18.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. As the unquestioned starting center this season, a bump in minutes and fantasy production seems almost certain.
Wendell Carter Jr. (C/PF – CHI): ADP 86
Carter appeared in just 44 games as a rookie due to a thumb injury, but he was highly productive when on the court. He started every game in 2018-19, averaging 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks over 25.2 minutes per contest. He underwent core muscle surgery over the summer and recently tweaked his ankle in practice, so his stock may be down heading into the season. Don’t be deceived, though. He’ll reportedly be ready to go for the start of the regular season, and he offers a lot of value as Chicago’s starting center.
Jeremy Lamb (SG/SF – IND): ADP 88
Coming off arguably his best NBA season, Lamb left the Hornets in free agency to join the Pacers. He’ll start the season as the starting two-guard with Victor Oladipo (knee) out of commission. Lamb averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 triples, and 1.1 steals in his seventh season and he could be in for a boost in his eighth.
Jeff Teague (PG – MIN): ADP 89
The point guard carousel experienced in Minnesota last season won’t be turning in 2019-20. With Derrick Rose off to Detroit and Tyus Jones playing backup to Ja Morant in Memphis, Teague is the top Timberwolf this season. He appeared in only 42 games last season due to injuries, but his health prior to that was excellent. He averaged 12.1 points and a career-high 8.2 assists in the injury-shortened campaign. He’s been consistent throughout his career, averaging 14.9 points, 7.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 threes over the last seven seasons, shooting 85.0 percent from the charity stripe and 35.5 percent from downtown.
Dewayne Dedmon (C – SAC): ADP 99
Dedmon joined the Kings on a three-year deal to fill a glaring need at center and he should have no problem returning value on his No. 99 draft spot. He averaged 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Hawks last season, adding 2.2 combined blocks/steals and 1.3 triples at a 38.2 percent clip. The big man’s emergence on defense and as a perimeter threat on offense gives him definite sleeper appeal.
Dejounte Murray (PG – SAS): ADP 107
Murray missed all of last season while rehabbing a torn ACL, though all reports are he’ll be fully healthy for opening tip. In 2017-18, he averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.6 combined blocks/steals over only 21.5 minutes per game. He earned NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors in his last healthy season, showcasing his two-way abilities. Murray will be the starting point guard for the Spurs this season and he has the potential to have a big campaign.
Dario Saric (PF/C – PHO): ADP 109
Saric appeared in 81 contests for the 76ers and Timberwolves last season and he experienced career lows across the board with 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists over 25.0 minutes per night. His surprisingly-low usage and production could certainly bounce back in 2019-20, as Saric will most likely be the Suns’ starting power forward. His three-point shooting (36.1 percent career) coupled with his scoring and rebounding make him an attractive option, especially at the beginning of the 10th round.
4 Deep Sleepers
Justise Winslow (PF/PG/SF – MIA): ADP 146
Winslow had a career year in 2018-19, putting up 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 triples, and 1.1 steals per night — all career-high numbers. The versatile fifth-year Duke product is comfortable at power forward or point guard and played both positions at times last year. He’ll compete with Kelly Olynyk for the starting job at the four, but his all-around skill set and multi-positional capabilities mean he shouldn’t have trouble finding minutes this season.
Tyler Herro (SG – MIA): ADP 163
The 13th pick in this year’s draft made a name for himself in Summer League play, averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.5 steals in four games in Las Vegas. The 19-year-old guard had an excellent season at Kentucky as a freshman, which landed him in the lottery. He’s a natural scorer who is pushing Dion Waiters for the starting job at shooting guard. Even if he comes off the bench, Herro is sure to have a regular role in Miami’s rotation.
Cedi Osman (SF/PF – CLE): ADP 183
Osman took on a surprisingly large role in his second NBA season, logging 32.2 minutes per game in 76 appearances. The Turkish forward put up career highs in points (13.0), rebounds (4.7), assists (2.6), and threes (1.7) as a key piece of the rebuilding Cavaliers. His strong play has netted him the starting job at small forward this season, and he’s likely to see big minutes again. At such a low ADP, he’s sure to return value.
Ish Smith (PG – WAS): ADP 225
Smith will slide into the starting point guard role for Washington this season after signing with the team on a two-year deal this summer. Over the past three seasons with Detroit, Smith averaged 9.7 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds over 23.8 minutes per contest. He played mostly off the bench, but a starting role on a rebuilding team could boost his production and make him an absolute gem in drafts. With Isaiah Thomas (thumb) out for training camp and likely the first few weeks of the season, Smith should see heavy minutes with little competition behind him.
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