Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
In April he played in thirteen games. He had double-doubles in seven of them, while only averaging only 25 minutes per game. I think he starts for Utah, and they move Millsap to the 6th man, but he still gets 28-30 minutes. Favors could easily be in line for 30-32 minutes a game. Let’s remember, he was only 20 years old last year, so he is still improving.
He was ranked 96th in average rank in April, again on 25 minutes. He admittedly came in out of shape, and it showed. However, at the end of the season, he forced Utah to play Millsap at SF to get more minutes, and that will continue. Being right at the 100 mark rank wise is his basement (again, barring injury), while the ceiling is sky high.
2. JJ Hickson
Once the player that the Cavs said was untouchable even if then all-star PF Amar’e Stoudemire was involved in a trade, is now a forgotten piece. However, he might have found a home in Portland. After being waived by the Kings last year, he was picked up by the Blazers, and played well.
In 32 minutes, he was averaging 15 points 8 boards and one block a game, for the last 19 games. He started the final eight games, and 17.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1 block in those games. After he was picked up by Portland on March 23rd, he was ranked 94th in fantasy. Now, Portland did not get anybody in the offseason that will eat into those 32 minutes, so I expect the similar numbers. However, he is being picked 140th. He will easily outdo that pick. Like Favors, I see a rank of around 100 as his basement.
3. Isaiah Thomas
He became Sacramento’s starter on February 17th, and he never looked back. He averaged 31.6 minutes per game as a starter, and even with the addition of Aaron Brooks, I do not expect those minutes to go down. Why would they? If you are Sacramento, don’t you want to go forward with the point guard, and center combo of Thomas and Cousins? (I know Cousins has some issues, but nobody can deny his physical tools. You used the 5th pick on him, so he is a centerpiece.)
After Isaiah became a starter, he was ranked 47th. He had great all around stats. He shot 48% from the field while getting 1.6 threes per game, and 85% from the free throw line as a starter. He also averaged 5.8 assists while only getting 2 turnovers. Throw all this in with the fact he was a rookie, and he should keep improving. There is a very good chance you are getting top 50 production from a pick around 90.
4. Gordon Hayward
Okay, my Jazz bias is showing here. (If you did not know, I am not a Heat fan, but a Jazz fan.) However, there are good reasons to draft him. Yahoo and people drafting right now believe the offseason acquisition of Marvin Williams will affect Hayward. I totally disagree.
Yes, Hayward has predominantly be a SF so far, but there is debate whether he is really a SG or a SF, or if it really matters. At worst, he will play the Jason Terry roll. Last year, in early March he came off the bench for eight games. In those games though he played 28 minutes, and had better numbers off the bench then he did in the 58 games he started. He was debatably the best player on the Jazz in the second half of the season. He was invited to play against the Olympic team in their training camp. That does not happen if you are just an average player. Right now, he is being picked at 126th. Last year he finished 62nd and he has more upside then that.
5. JaValle McGee
There is absolutely no denying his athletic ability. He is probably the most athletic center not named Dwight. After the trade to Denver, he started to fulfill that potential in limited minutes. Those limited minutes will turn into starters minutes. Why else would Denver sign him to a four year $41 million dollar contract?
After the trade to Denver, he was getting 20 minutes mostly off the bench. In those 20 minutes though he shot 61%, averaged 10 points 6 boards and 1.6 blocks. Now, if he gets 30 minutes (which is what Denver is planning on) he should get 14 points 8 boards and 2 blocks. How would you like to get that production from a pick outside of the top 100?