With the 2013-2014 fantasy basketball season just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at several players that are safe bets to provide good value for where you will be able to get them on draft day. While the definition of a sleeper is open to debate and opinion, for the sake of this article we’ll define a sleeper simply as a player that will outperform their draft position. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Basketball Forum.
Green has a great opportunity this year for the Celtics and he could have huge numbers this season. He has been in the league for a handful of years at this point and while he has had good seasons I still don’t think we know exactly what his ceiling is. He has always been surrounded with a ton of talent and this has limited what his team has asked him to do. That will not be the case this year as the Celtics are currently rebuilding. They are going to ask Green to do a lot and I am expecting big things.
Favors has been in the league for a few years now and he has yet to put up big numbers. I think this is the year though that he gets things going. He isn’t competing with nearly as many people for minutes in Utah and I am fully expecting him to play 30+ minutes a game. I think he could be in the top 3 in blocks and I would be shocked if he didn’t average a double double. He is going to be drafted in the early middle rounds in most drafts, but I think he is well worth the gamble with his upside.
The Pistons babied Drummond last year to try to keep him healthy and make sure he learns how to play the game correctly. I don’t think they will do that again this year. I fully expect the Pistons to give Drummond all the minutes he can handle and he is in line for big things this season. He finished the year strong in March and April and I would be surprised if he doesn’t average a double double with 2+ blocks per game.
When you look at the depth chart for the 76ers there isn’t much there in terms of scorers and overall talent. Their bigs aren’t going to score that much, they have a rookie point guard, and they don’t have much scoring coming off the bench either. This leaves plenty of minutes and points to go around for Turner and Young who are the 76ers two best players. I doubt he will average much more than 15 points per game, but look for him to play a ton of minutes and fill up the stat sheet.
Oladipo has the potential of being the rookie with the most fantasy value this year and he is well worth a gamble in the middle rounds. He is going to be battling for playing time at the point guard and shooting guard positions so there will be more than one way for Olapido to find the floor. There is also a good chance that Jameer Nelson gets traded this year, which would leave the starting point guard position to rookie out of Indiana. When it comes to rookies having fantasy value in the NBA it has always been more about how many minutes they are going to play rather than actual talent. In the case of this rookie he is going to get the minutes and he has the talent.
Vucevic surprised a lot of people with his numbers from last year and I am excited to see what he can do for the Magic in the 2013/14 season. The young center is going to be one of the cornerstones of their team and they should ask him to do a lot. He got better as the year went on and in April he averaged almost 19 points and over 15 rebounds. He is a guy that I think is well worth an early/middle round pick.
There was a lot of hype around Valanciunas during the preseason last year and this made him a popular sleeper pick for a lot of fantasy teams. He got off to a really slow start to the season though and most owners gave up on him after the first half of the season. However, he was able to get things going in the last two months and I think he will carry that right into this year. This young big man for the Raptors should get a ton of minutes and I see no reason why he can’t flirt with averaging a double double with over 2 blocks per game.
Harkless had a solid rookie year for the Magic, especially towards the end of the season. He should be a starter for them again this year and I like his potential to be a solid overall player. I don’ think he will average a ton of points, but he is one of those players that can fill up the stat sheet with everything except for assists. The Magic are rebuilding so I expect them to see what these young guys can do.
Waiters had a great rookie season and I think he should be able to improve on his numbers from last year. The Cavs are in the rebuilding stages and there is no reason for why they wouldn’t give Waiters a ton of minutes. He didn’t do a whole lot more than score last year so keep that in mind on draft day, however he is a great guy to target if you are looking for a scorer that has an overall huge upside in the middle rounds.
We know that Bledsoe is a talented player, but it seems he has always had a great player in front of him which limited his time on the floor. That should change this year with his new home in Phoenix. He is going to start for them and he should play a good amount of minutes. The thing I like most about Bledsoe is that he is a stat filler. He isn’t going to get a lot of 3s, but he should do a good bit of everything else as well.