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Sleeper Alert: Three NBA Guards to Target Late


Basketball season is upon us. Stephen Curry will look to stay healthy, and lead a redemptive tour back to the top. Kyrie Irving plans to ride his magical finals performance into the regular season while it has gotten pretty lonely in Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook.

What do all these names have in common? They're guards that will all be targeted early in NBA fantasy drafts. So let's take a look at some sleepers playing at the one and two spots deserving of consideration in the later rounds of drafts. Note: Position eligibility based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Editor's Note: RotoBaller has the best Premium NBA Subscription, only $29.99 for the full season. We have all the preseason tools to help win your drafts, and in-season tools to win your seasonal and daily leagues: Draft Kit, Premium Rankings, Sleepers List, Late-Round Fliers, Early-Round Avoids, DFS Cheat Sheets, Lineup Picks, Expert Lineups, Stacks and Avoids.

 

Sleeper Alert: Three NBA Guards to Target Late

Brandon Jennings (PG, NYK)

With Derrick Rose already in the middle of a trial that could jeopardize his first season in a Knicks uniform, Brandon Jennings might very well find himself as the starting point guard in New York come the regular season. Jennings is among a handful of Phil Jackson's offseason acquisitions hoping to restore glory in a city that hasn't seen a championship banner raised since 1973, and joins a revamped Knicks squad alongside other new faces like Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. Throw in Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, and this is quite possibly the best team Jennings will suit up for in his eight years in the league.

It seems that Jennings has already begun to regress, having played in only 89 games in the past two seasons. Injuries have become an issue, leading to the huge drop in his points per game, 15.4 to 6.9, over that span. Although, let's not forget that Jennings averaged over 15 points per game in his first six seasons as a pro, adding at least five assists per contest in five of six campaigns as well.

If Rose is acquitted, Jennings is still a valuable add. While fantasy owners are likely worried about his durability, a change of scenery and the abundance of talent around him that could keep his legs fresh are exactly what Jennings needs to stay on the court. With Rose in the lineup, Jennings could still average close to 30 minutes, 15 points, five assists, and a steal per contest.

 

Jeremy Lin (PG/SG, BKN)

Will Linsanity sweep through the Big Apple once more? Now in his second stint playing in New York, this time in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, Jeremy Lin will look to uncork some of the magic he bottled up and stored next to Landry Field's couch during his improbable run with the Knicks in 2011-2012.

Even with the key departure of Thaddeus Young and the possibility of being traded alongside Brook Lopez, Lin is a solid fit for a pretty bad Nets team. Playing with Lopez could lead to a boost in assists. Also, I'm often a sucker for decent guards playing on bad teams, simply because production has to come from somewhere. Just look at the career highs set in every assists rate by Jarrett Jack last year.

As the third or fourth guy coming off the bench in past seasons with Houston and Charlotte, Lin has now found himself in a likely starting, leadership role. He'll either flourish or crumble under the "bright lights" of Brooklyn. I'm going with the former.

 

Justise Winslow (SF/PF, MIA) 

Yes, this is absolutely cheating to include Winslow here, because he doesn't currently qualify as a guard on Yahoo!  However, in the spirit of positionless basketball, I'm going to include him anyway.  A major part of his appeal is his chance to step out from under the shadow of a big name guard, after all.

Heading into just his second season in the NBA, Justise Winslow has some very large shoes to fill in South Beach. Dwyane Wade has left the city where he won two championships, leaving a ton of unanswered questions in Miami. The Heat have a bunch of options at two guard, Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Dion Waiters, but my vote is for Winslow to emerge.

There are specific parts of Winslow's game that have not fully developed yet, and have a chance to be showcased throughout all parts of the court. According to ESPN.com, the Heat have plans to play Winslow at shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and even possibly center, adding to his appeal in the fantasy world.  Who knows what position qualifications he'll end up with on Yahoo.

Winslow is the youngest player on Miami but could be tasked with the most during the regular season. Three point shooting and defense are among his improving areas. Winslow should shine, and not slump, during his sophomore year.

 


By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.