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Fantasy Basketball: Three Sleepers to Help Win Your League


The 2013-2014 fantasy basketball draft season is upon us, and RotoBaller wants to make sure that you are completely prepared! We've got rankings at all the positions: Top 30 CentersTop 50 Guards and Top 50 Forwards, as well as  the Top 150 Overall Part 1 and Part 2. Good luck selecting your team!

 

Three Sleepers to Help Win Your League in 2013-14

In fantasy basketball, grabbing that massively undervalued player in the mid-to-late rounds will make winning your league a much easier task.  You've got to know whom to target at that stage to maximize value and return on investment.  Here are three guys to strongly consider.

 

Nick Young shootsNick Young, SG/SF (LAL)
Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Ownership Rates: 33%, 21.8%, 37%
League Experience: 7 seasons
Category Strengths: 3PTM
Category Neutrals: FT%, Points, Steals
Category Weaknesses: FG%, Rebounds, Assists, Blocks

 

Making A Case for Young:  Headed to a team in turmoil, the L.A. Lakers, is the perfect scenario for him.  There'll be very little pressure to perform, as many NBA experts project the team to a be a laughingstock.  This simply means that if Young takes a few airballs, he'll most likely be given extra leeway, as opposed to how he's been treated in years past.

Secondly, Coach D'Antoni is the dream coach for him. Why? Well, let's see: his entire list of strengths will be put to full use while his entire list of weaknesses will be limited to the highest degree.  Coach D'Antoni is arguably the most-offensive minded coach in the league-- all he wants his players to do is run, shoot, and run some more.  Chucking up threes, running pick-and-rolls and playing "sub-par" defense is basically his philosophy.

Coach D'Antoni will need to anoint a three-point specialist for his fast-break offense and Young fits the bill.  He'll be given the green light to take over 10 shots a game.  Even with Kobe Bryant healthy and back in the lineup, his fantasy value shouldn't take a significant hit.  Bryant might take a few shot attempts away, but Young's role should still be kept in place.

 

Making a Case Against Young:  Young's sharpshooting ability and sweet stroke is undeniable.  Considering his offensive skillset, why has he failed to shoot over 40% for his career?  This statistic shows that Young is an inefficient scorer due to poor shot selection (low-percentage shots.)  He might have value in three-point shooting, but offers little upside in the assists and hustle (steals, blocks) categories.

 

What Should We Expect?:  If Young averages around 12 field goal attempts per game, then that should equate to at least 13 p.p.g. and 110 3-pointers made (82 games)-- these numbers represent his projected floor-level of production.  The floor stats would have rated him as the 90th p.p.g scorer and 49th three-point producer last season.

The bottom line with Young is this: what you see is what you get. He's not magically going to reinvent his game and become a 25-point scorer-- however, he can become a quality three-point specialist while offering solid p.p.g numbers.

 

Kevin Seraphin, PF/C (WAS)
Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Ownership Rates: 6%, 0.4%, 25%
League Experience: 4 seasons
Category Strengths: Blocks
Category Neutrals: FG%, FT%, Points, Rebounds
Category Weaknesses: 3PTM, Assists, Steals

 

Making a Case for Seraphin:  Playing for a backcourt-dominant team, owners are setting their sights on landing Wall or Beal.  Each is an incredible talent, and I have each ranked in the top-30 of my top-50 guard rankings.  However, the Wizards' big men have struggled to gain much fantasy relevance, if any at all.

When you look at the team's frontcourt, not only does it look weak on paper, but their are several question marks.  Let's begin with the PFs: Nene Hilario is a talented veteran, but had chronic foot and knee injuries last season which limited him to 61 games.  Trevor Booker is also injury-prone, and hasn't yet proven to be a legitimate NBA starter.  Outside of Seraphin, Emeka Okafor is the only center on the roster, and he is out indefinitely with a herniated disc in his neck.

Taking the frontcourt dilemma into account, this brings us to the question: someone needs to step up, but who will it be?  It appears Kevin Seraphin, the only French Guiana-born NBA player, is the most likely candidate.  He is a physical specimen more than capable to anchor the paint (defensively).

 

Making a Case against Seraphin:  Seraphin is expected to earn an increased role and has a chance to start at center.  These are good signs, but more minutes doesn't guarantee fantasy relevance. He has a soft touch around the rim, but has trouble creating his own shot.  Other than offering high upside in blocks, he's not an exceptional rebounder and is unpolished offensively.

 

What Should We Expect?:  With the possibility of exceeding the 25-minutes played mark, Seraphin's numbers should receive a significant boost.  His per-36 blocks were at a stout 2.3 (career-high) in the 2012 season, after posting 1.2 last season.  The drop-off in production has a direct-correlation with John Wall's presence.  In 2012, Wall played in every game after missing 33 games last season.

A healthy dose of minutes is just what the doctor ordered-- Seraphin can become a quality shot-blocker while offering modest p.p.g. and rebound numbers.

 

Patrick Beverley, PG (HOU)
Yahoo, ESPN, CBS Ownership Rates: 13%, 6.2%, 30%
League Experience: 2 seasons
Category Strengths: Steals
Category Neutrals: FT%, 3PTM, Assists, Blocks
Category Weaknesses: FG%, Points, Rebounds

 

Making a Case for Beverley:  The Hollywood Film star, *cough*, I mean Beverly, is poised to make an impact.  Coach Kevin McHale has made it clear that the starting PG-position is up for grabs.  The "Linsanity Show" is losing it's flavor, making Beverley the ultimate beneficiary.

In six playoff games last season, Beverley did not shy away from the spotlight.  Besides injuring Westbrook, his hustle stats are ultimately what stood out most-- 1.2 steals, .7 blocks (33.1 minutes).  His non-conservative style of play is one of the prime ingredients needed in a "high-upside" player.  While he may lack elite attributes and low foul totals, his level of intensity well makes up for it.

Not only has he impressed, but he's the perfect complement to James Harden-- imagine an elite offensive and defensive player in the same backcourt?  This is a starting duo to be considered, but even if not, Beverley should still receive substantial time at point guard.

 

Making a Case Against Beverley:  Earning a starting role comes with more hope than certainty.  A 3 year/$25 million deal wasn't meant for Lin to be anything less than a starting-caliber player.  Beverley's points and assists upside has extreme limitations, especially when playing alongside one of the league's best play-making  guards (Harden).

 

What Should We Expect?:

After receiving 17.4 M.P.G. as a rookie, there is 20 M.P.G. potential with room for more.  Beverley is a sneaky-source for three-pointers and steals, but is also a very talented shot-blocker.  His blocks per-25 last season was .7, which would have been ranked 3rd among all PG's, only behind John Wall and Dwyane Wade respectively.

Most of Beverley's value will be derived in the x-factor cats (3PTM, ST., BLK.), rather than from the 3-main offensive cats.  For needy-PG owners, Beverley can become a viable steals option with modest assist numbers.

 

Best of luck to you all in your drafts, and don't forget to hit up the chat rooms or message us at RotoBaller.com with any last-minute questions you may have!

==========

Check back to RotoBaller.com over the coming days to get all of our fantasy basketball draft prep coverage!  And find all of our rankings as well as other fantasy basketball articles all season long!

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