Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: Sleepers

Keep your head up Ben Gordon owners…
Photo Credit: Jauerback

Have a snake draft coming up? Need help figuring out some value plays? No doubt. We gotcha covered.

More after the jump:

Nicolas Batum (Yahoo! Rank: 76) – I admit you will not be able to draft Batum in the “later rounds,” but he is certainly a guy that you should have your eye on in the beginning of the seventh round in a 12-team league. Portland likes what they see in this French utility man. Batum has seen an increase in minutes every season and his numbers have followed suit. Carrying a SG and SF tag, good ole’ Nick will contribute in every category in a very efficient manner. Do not be afraid to reach a little bit because he will be the glue guy that takes your squad to the ‘ship.

Tony Allen (Yahoo! Rank: 84) – Big Fat Tony has been a great spot starter for years when playing time opens up due to injury. He is a steals specialist and seems to love it in Memphis. As a starter last season, he absolutely pimped it and all you need to know is he had the highest steals per 48-minute average since Nate McMillan in 1993-94. Call me crazy, but Allen looks like a poor man’s Andre Iguodala.

Arron Afflalo (Yahoo! Rank: 86) – Afflalo averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 three-pointers in 69 starts last season. While half of the Denver Thuggets from last year are stuck balling and watching blurred out porn in China, Afflalo (who just signed a five-year extension) has a great opportunity to shine. He is absurdly efficient, shooting nearly 50% from the field, and I expect him to lead the offense with Danilo Gallinari this year.

Tyrus Thomas (Yahoo! Rank: 107) – Yeah he is injury prone, and yes he just sprained his ankle. I don’t give a shit. Thomas will finally get big minutes and could average two blocks a game IF he stays healthy. TT has the starting PF job in his back pocket and I ga-rone-tee you will not regret taking the big man. The risk is there, but you need to go high-risk/high-reward in the later rounds. Thomas got married in the offseason, so maybe some pristine pussy on the reg’ will help him pull his shit together and remain focused.

Anthony Morrow (Yahoo! Rank: 113) – Morrow has the best three-point shooting percentage in the history of the NBA. He was hurt a lot last season, but seems to be healthy now. He will be getting 30 minutes per, and even though he doesn’t put up many supporting stats, he has solid percentages with almost no turnovers. He’s a glue guy, and most importantly, he does not sniff glue as I hear that is bad for your basketball career. Why am I still speaking? Just re-read the first sentence.

Paul George (Yahoo! Rank: 114) – Unfortunately, Paul George hype has been through the roof lately as the guy is only 21 and grew two inches in the offseason. He has been playing well in the preseason and the Pacers love him. You will probably have to reach a bit, but if he fills a void on the team you drafted up to that point then 100% go for it.

Ben Gordon (Yahoo! Rank: 122) – Gordon has been a disappointment ever since he left Chicago. However, Tracy McGrady and Rip Hamilton have left town so Gordon finally has some idea of his role on the team. Is a comeback year in the cards? If I were a betting man I’d say yes, and considering how little respect this guy is getting, you can’t go wrong for that price.

Brandon Bass (Yahoo! Rank: 142) – Honestly, Bass’ numbers are so dull I don’t even want to write about him. He isn’t flashy, but he is very efficient and if Kevin Garnett misses time (a real possibility with this intense, shortened schedule) Bass could be very, very solid.

Gary Neal (Yahoo! Rank: 146) – He put up decent numbers as a rookie but didn’t play enough to be an everyday starter for fantasy teams. Neal will miss the first couple games because of an appendectomy, but if he is still around for your last pick take a shot. He should get more minutes and a solid sophomore season may be in the cards.

Shannon Brown (Yahoo! Rank: 159) – Let Shannon DUNK!!?!? Brown has been stealing some of Jared Dudley’s hype as he just signed a one-year deal with the Suns. To make a long story short, I think Shannon will not back down from the competition for minutes and he will fit into the system better than Dudley. He has never gotten the minutes, and he is hungry to finally show the world he is more than a fluffer for Kobe Bryant and Co. (do not Google “fluffer” if you are at work).

Evan Turner (Yahoo! Rank: 169) – Coming out of Ohio State, Turner had a somewhat disappointing rookie year. He spent most of the season trying to find his identity in the NBA and never really got into a rhythm. Jodie Meeks might be the only roadblock to a breakout year as Turner can put up very solid rebound and assist totals when given the opportunity.

Beno Udrih (Yahoo! Rank: 171) – Brandon Jennings is still young but he is by no means an established point guard in the NBA. Beno should still put up solid numbers behind BJ and is another guy that puts up solid percentages. If he gets 25+ minutes, then Udrih should be a stud. Did you forget he was ranked top 50 in the fantasy game last season?



About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.