Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A few fantasy basketball sleepers

As with any fantasy league, the key to winning fantasy basketball is identifying sleepers who you believe will produce much more than their draft slot says that they should produce. Everyone knows about the stars that will come off the board near the top of the draft, but it is the sleepers that are taken later that will either win or lose the league for you. Here are a few of the guys that I am keeping an eye on in fantasy basketball drafts this season:

- Thaddeus Young - the third year man for the Philadelphia 76ers looks poised to take another big leap this season. Even though he will be entering his third season, he is only 21 years old. He made marked improvements in every area of the game, posting better scoring, rebounding, and shooting numbers. He looks like he has the talent to make a similar leap in year three, and could become a very valuable top 10 guy at his position, with expected boosts in scoring, rebounding, and 3-point shooting. Look for him as a solid performer in the middle rounds.

- JR Smith - He has a ton of talent at the 2 guard spot, and should continue to get the chance to showcase it after the departures of Dahntay Jones and Linas Kleiza. He is a great shooter that has the green light to fire whenever he has an opening, which makes him one of the most prolific three point shooters in the NBA. Starting in an explosive offense also featuring Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, he should get plenty of good looks in the Nuggets offense.

- Manu Ginobili - Everyone knows he is a great player, but he is sneakily one of the best in the NBA when he is healthy. He is an extremely efficient player. He can get to the basket and create easy baskets for himself, he is one of the best shooters in the NBA when left open (when should happen frequently in an offense with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Richard Jefferson), and he is a great free throw shooter. After struggling with injuries for the past couple of seasons, he rested up this offseason, and appears the be healthy for the first time in years. The hunger will be there, as the Spurs look poised to challenge the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy, so you know that he will bring it every night.

These are just a few college basketball sleepers that I see. By identifying them and a few more guys that you like on draft night, you could put yourself in position to have a great fantasy basketball season. Who are your fantasy sleepers?


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