Most NBA fantasy basketball leagues are redraft leagues, meaning each year, the slate is wiped clean and you will draft an all new team. Keeper leagues, however, are a different animal. While there are a multitude of keeper league structures, the most popular involves letting team managers keep several players each year, while the remaining players go into the draft pool. If you love playing fake GM, keeper leagues are right up your alley.
Let’s assume you’re in one of those keeper leagues where all the managers keep their best players…the stars. That’s fine. The next step is to dive into the second and third tiers of NBA talent. Let’s identify three players to keep an eye on for your keeper league season.
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3 Keeper League Targets
Colin Sexton (PG, Cleveland Cavaliers, 3rd Year Player)
The Young Bull! Sexton is in his 3rd year and has improved each year. He’s not an elite point guard. He’s not an All-Star. But this season, he got very close to becoming an All-Star. Colin said: “I can’t sulk, I can’t be upset about it,” Sexton said about his exclusion. “Things happen and things happen for a reason. That’s why it’s here in Cleveland next year.” How can you not love that?!
In his rookie year, per 36 minutes, he averaged 17PPG, 3ASTs, and 3RBs on 43% shooting. In his second year, he averaged 21PPG, 3ASTs, and 3RBs on 47% shooting. This year he’s averaging 24PPG, 4ASTs, and 3RBs on 48% shooting. The team has also improved with the trade for Jarrett Allen and Garland improving, as well. As true as bullhog critiques may be, the best player on the team is supposed to dominate the ball in today’s NBA. Colin Sexton has the potential to be a 50/40/90 guy. If he stays on this track, he will be. Maybe even a future all-star. Keep him on your watchlist.
Rui Hachimura (SF, Washington Wizards, 2nd Year Player)
If you’ve read any of my NBA DFS articles, you’ll know that I’m a Washington Wizards homer. I don’t deny this. However, I’m also an objective person. Objectively speaking, Rui could explode next year. Per 36 minutes, Rui’s stats have been very similar to his rookie season, averaging 15PPG, 6RBS, and 2ASTs. That’s nothing to reach for in your fantasy drafts. I get it. But the context of his role is important here. He’s currently supposed to play 3rd or 4th fiddle to Beal, Westbrook, and/or Davis Bertans.
Here’s the deal: As of this moment, the Wizards are likely going to make the play-in tournament. They’d also be making the playoffs while being below .500. It’s difficult to consider your season a success when you’ve lost more games than you’ve won. The Wizards might trade Beal for a haul, and run with Russ. I don’t think they should. Especially with how they’ve looked in the second half of the year. However, he’s the hottest name with trade rumors. He has been all year. When Brad Beal has been off the court this year, Rui averages 19PTS, 7RBS, and 2ASTs per 36 minutes. If Brad Beal gets traded, Rui is a potential double-double waiting to happen. He needs to be on your radar.
Chris Boucher (PF/C, Toronto Raptors, 4th Year Player)
I love Chris Boucher. This was the first year he’s been unleashed. He averages 14PPG and 7RBS, 2BLKS, and 1STL…IN ONLY 24 MINUTES PER GAME! The Raptors are likely to miss the playoffs. With that, comes change. Kyle Lowry is probably on his way out, so Fred VanVleet will likely move over to point guard. If a spot opens up in the starting lineup, I’m hard-pressed to believe it will go to a Malachi Flynn, when you can give those minutes to Boucher (no shade to Flynn).
On a per 36 minutes per game basis…if Boucher was a starter, then he would be averaging 20PPG, 10RBs, 2ASTs, and 3BLKs. You can’t afford not to draft him in your next keeper leagues. Honestly, depending on your current roster construction, he may even be someone you keep. The sky is the limit for this guy. I can’t wait to see how Boucher and Siakam change Toronto’s prospects next year.
Additional Players To Watch:
- Andre Drummond
- Gordon Hayward
- Cole Anthony
- Caris Levert
- Gary Trent Jr.
- Kevin Porter Jr.
- Jaylen Brown
- Lu Dort
- Thomas Bryant
- Jalen Green (I’m calling my shot, right now. Best rookie in the draft).
Still battling it out for the championship? Check out our Week 20 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire!
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