Fantasy Basketball Sleepers 2014
The first day of the NBA season is upon us. Most of you have probably completed your drafts by now, but I’m sure there are some late drafters like myself. Either way, we both have one common goal: finding diamonds in the fantasy rough. Even though your draft is completed, I’ll let you in on a little secret: there are players sitting on waivers that will help put someone over the top. Just knowing that tidbit of information may give you an open mind towards scouring the waiver wire on nearly a daily basis.
My goal for this article is for you to beat the rush. I’m going to be your consultant telling you to get your shopping done before Black Friday……..for the same price, nothing! Here is a list of fantasy basketball sleepers for 2014 that will either be available late in your draft or may still be available. Don’t hesitate another moment if they are available, add them to your squad immediately! They might just be the missing puzzle piece.
James Anderson - When Jason Richardson officially was ruled out for the season, an opportunity emerged for Anderson to compete for the starting SG job. Youngster Anrett Moultrie actually seemed like the favorite but then he too went down with an ankle injury that required surgery. With his return date not until after the New Year, there are clear skies ahead for James Anderson. This preseason he opened some fantasy owners’ eyes: he finished averaging almost 14 PPG, 3 REB, 1.5 AST, 1.0 STL and 2.5 3PM on 51% FG. If a three point shooting, scoring specialist is what you need, then go grab Anderson on the wire. He will see a huge chunk of minutes with no viable alternative at shooting guard in sight.
Patrick Beverley - As expected, Beverley has been named the Houston Rockets‘ starting point guard for the foreseeable future. Jeremy Lin just doesn’t take care of the ball enough. Lin may have the better shot and run the pick and roll more effectively, but Beverley is the better all-around player. He is not a turn-style on defense like Linsanity and actually produces nice across the board fantasy numbers. If he produces anything like his per-36 minute numbers suggest, he could average around 12 PPG and 6 AST with usable rebounding, steals and blocks (for a guard) numbers. I am intrigued to see what he can do with this expanded opportunity and I would much prefer to watch the results while he’s sitting on my team’s roster.
Reggie Jackson - Another player who has been given an opportunity due to injury, Jackson has shown he is up to the task this preseason. Starting at point guard for an expected NBA Finals type team comes with expectations and Jackson has exceeded them. In Summer Camp, he emerged as maybe the best guard out of everyone. Victor Oladipo dazzled audiences during the summer but Jackson may have quietly been better. In his last three preseason games, he went 18, 18 and 14 points (which came against the tough Chicago Bulls). He added over five assists a game during that span with mixed in goodies. Don’t think he’s just an expiring value: he’s expected to be the sixth man even when Russell Westbrook returns. Realize he’s not James Harden, but just take that as an example for the type of production that can be had off of the Thunder bench. Draft him with confidence and especially enjoy the early season ride.
Alec Burks - Burks reminds me of a poor man’s Tyreke Evans. If you look at his 2012-2013 numbers, you will have no idea what I’m talking about. The coaching staff only gave him 18 minutes of run per game last year and that number is going to change. Just like Evans, the Jazz are going to have Burks come off the bench and lead the second unit. No doubt he will see starter’s minutes and his game is similar to that of Tyreke: he will score, steal, rebound and assist with only a handful of threes. If you’re looking for a guard who should help you across the board, look no further than the Utah sixth man. He makes for an excellent late round rotisserie asset.
Miles Plumlee - Marcin Gortat was slated to be the Phoenix Suns‘ starting center on opening night…..then the trade happened. I took a look and gazed at the Suns roster after the move and wondered aloud if they might give the rookie Alex Len an extended look. Shortly thereafter, Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough came out and announced he made the deal because he believed in Plumlee and didn’t think Len was anywhere near ready. Okay, well that’s all the information I needed. The Suns roster is devoid of talent and specifically of anyone who can rebound. Gortat made a living producing double-doubles with all the undersized big men around him. Guess what: Plumlee’s specialty also is rebounding and blocks. I don’t think it’s fair to expect Gortat-like numbers immediately, but expecting him to come close isn’t too crazy. If you missed on center early, you need to go and get Plumlee right now. He could, and probably will be, the answer to your big man problems.
Let me know your thoughts on my fantasy basketball sleepers of 2014 by commenting on this article or hitting me up on twitter.
Author: Ricky Sanders, @RSanders85