Fantasy Basketball: Sleepers of the 2016-2017 NBA Season
NBA news is firing up on all cylinders. Few things to note most importantly was the news over the weekend of Ben Simmons fracturing his leg. This was devastating to the Sixers and the NBA because of the promise and the amount of hype coming in this season. Get well soon BS! The Warriors lost their first preseason game against the Raptors and looked ordinary, which was kind of expected because of the new dynamic bringing in Kevin Durant. I will go in more detail on why I think the Warriors fantasy outlook (as a team) isn’t as bright when KD joined the Warriors when I unload my top 125 rankings later on.
Training camp is under way and we’ve already gotten a few glimpses of some preseason games. These next couple of weeks of exhibition are to be monitored closely by fantasy players because they will get a better idea of team rotations and roles. We, as fantasy owners are trying to target players who are under the radar which can ultimately help us gain an advantage to winning our leagues. There are however, players who are overvalued by the public and players who quite frankly, doesn’t have enough upside to warrant their price tag (ADP).
Marvin Williams SF/PF CHA – Marvin falls into this category because he’s never been productive and consistent as he was last year with the Hornets. The Hornets utilize him perfectly as a stretch 4 who can hit the 3 ball with expertise. Last season, Williams broke all projections and finished with a rank of #49 as he averaged 11.7 PPG 6.4 RPG with 1.9 3PTm and 1 BLK. Solid. With no threat to his minutes, I expect him to repeat these numbers. People will overlook him in the middle rounds of drafts because they will want the flashier names.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson SG/SF BKN – The Nets don’t have much to play for. They’re going to lose a lot of games but one thing they are going to do is feature their young core and give them as many minutes of possible. RHJ isn’t going to give you 20 points a game, nor is he going to give you even close to 15. But he will give you the rebounding and defensive stats from a guard position, which is valuable in fantasy. He’s not going to hurt you anywhere in terms of FG% and turnovers because he’s a slasher who’s going to benefit from a player like Jeremy Lin. Anyone with the upside to give you 2 steals per game warrants your attention.
Gary Harris SG DEN – The Denver Nuggets have a bit of a jam in the guard and forward positions but coach Mike Malone really love Gary Harris, and with good reason. He’s a solid shooting guard who can defend and shoot the 3 ball. Over the last 2 months of the season; 14.3 PPG 1.5 3PTm 1.4 STL on 48% and only 1.2 TO. That’s outstanding.
Terrence Jones SF/PF NOR – TJ was one of the most frustrating players to own when he was in Houston because of all the weird injuries that plagued his young career. He has always shown to be fantasy-friendly because of his ability to really fill up the stat sheet. Do I fully trust him? No. Will I spend a 10th round pick on TJ? Absolutely. He has the upside to produce top 50 numbers if healthy. In his debut with the Pelicans last weekend, TJ scored 17 points along with five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. See what I mean? If he keeps on blooming in preseason, his price tag is going to continue rising.
Joel Embiid C PHI – Joel Embiid is a 7 foot, 250-pound basketball player with Hakeem Olajuwon-like moves. No disrespect to The Dream, but Embiid does have some great offensive mechanics down on the block. However, we have not seen that in NBA games, which is why Joel Embiid is worth the gamble in your draft. He is reportedly healthy and ready to go. He’s scheduled to start in the preseason games this upcoming week. With the news of Ben Simmons being out for 3 months, he is going to be asked to anchor the Sixers offense and defense.
Dario Saric PF PHI – With Ben Simmons reportedly “possibility” missing the whole season, Saric is an interesting late-round flier just because we have no idea what his ceiling is. The whole Sixer team will benefit. It makes sense Saric would be given the starting nod because the Sixers surely want to develop their young talent.
Tim Frazier PG NOR – He’s not Damian Lillard, but he surely learned a thing or two when he was in Portland. With all the uncertainty of Jrue Holiday playing at all this season and Tyreke Evans out to begin the season, he will be the starting PG for the Pelicans. He can fill up the stat-sheet and is quickly gaining stock as he continues to impress during the preseason.
Seth Curry PG DAL – The other Curry bro deserves attention as he is in a new role with the Mavericks. He’s going to be the first guard off the bench this season and will play both guard spots, giving him massive fantasy appeal. Coach Rick Carlisle already stated that Curry will be a factor this season and we believe him. Deron Williams is also at the tail-end of his career and will probably end up missing games, so having Seth Curry on your roster come draft day will surely be a gamble worth taking.
Justise Winslow SF/PF MIA – How quickly the Heat have fallen. The Heat are now a rebuilding young team that might not make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. They are surely going to develop their young talent in Winslow, Richardson, and co. I expect Winslow to play a huge role for the Heat this season and possibly be the 3rd leading scorer on the team. There are plenty of shots available because Chris Bosh could have played his last game with the Heat. 14 PPG 6 RPG 1.5APG with some defensive stats is attainable.