Post-Hype Sleepers for 2020-21 Fantasy Basketball
Building the perfect fantasy team is finding that one beautiful onion. So many layers to pull back and sort through and find that perfect balance of stars, breakouts, and sleepers. In the post-hype sleeper layer, we’re finding players that have been hyped in years previous but did not meet their HYPE or expectations which has driven down their ADP. So let’s take a look and find these post-hype sleepers that will outperform their ADP in the upcoming 2020-21 season.
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Post-Hype Sleepers for 2020-21 Fantasy Basketball
Lauri Markkanen, PF/C – Chicago Bulls
Expectations were not met last season for the talented 23-year-old from Finland but not a lot of things went right for Chicago last year. Former head coach Jim Boylen was front and center of a lot of the problems as reports about rifts with players happened quite frequently. Now, the likable and highly efficient Billy Donovan is in the fold. One of the first things he said in camp is making Lauri Markkanen a focal point of the offense. The 6’10 shooting Danilo Gallinari enjoyed much success last season with Donovan in OKC scoring 19 PPG but Markannen can offer an even higher upside with his rebound potential. He has legit 20 and 10 ability while being a solid source of three-pointers made and quality FT% which is extra valuable as a big-man.
A huge positive for Markannen is the minutes increase he will see this season as well. Boylen inexplicably cut down his minutes to 24.3 per game during the final month of the season, something that just won’t happen under Donovan’s watch. His upside is way too high to let him slide down draft boards this year so make sure “markk” down his name!
Thomas Bryant, C – Washington Wizards
Thomas Bryant is coming into the 2020 season fully healthy and he credited last year’s 13 and 7 numbers to a troubling foot. The talented big-man has yet to put together a great season but we saw the potential in the bubble as Bryant racked up 18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in Orlando. Washington is going to have the potential to be a real solid offense with Westbrook, Beal and if Bryant can take another step forward I can playoffs in their future.
Markelle Fultz, PG/SG – Orlando Magic
Finally! All of this Orlando bubble talk and we now have a Magic player to discuss. Mom, Dad, we’re going to Disney World! After being made the first overall pick in 2017, the hype train began but that train ride crashed quickly as Fultz went through severe criticism battling through multiple injuries and was off to one of the tougher starts to an NBA career I’ve seen.
Last season Fultz made a name for himself putting up respectable numbers averaging 12.1 points and 5.1 assists per game. Both career highs but still nothing close to his number one pick hopes. Jonathan Isaac’s injury is huge a blow to the Magic team but will put Fultz in a leading role and will be given all the minutes he can handle in 2020-21. Over the final 15-games of last season, Fultz averaged 15.4 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.0 steal per game. Not too shabby numbers for someone going around the 100 range in drafts. The minutes will be there, and the opportunity will be there. That’s all we need in fantasy land to find a bit of value.
Josh Richardson, SG/SF – Dallas Mavericks
Josh Richardson is frequently mentioned among post-hype sleepers and this could be the year he actually cashes in, due to solid all-around category production. 2018 was his best season where he averaged 16.6 points and 4.1 assists. Many thought Philadelphia would be the breakout but that just didn’t happen.
I love the landing spot in Dallas though. Could this be the year? We’re not talking about top 40 stuff here but a chance for J-Rich to be a great contributor to your fantasy championship of course. Rick Carlisle has stated that Richardson will indeed be a starter this season and will be guarding multiple positions but mostly point-guards giving him nice steals per game potential. The Mavericks were reportedly in on a lot of moves this offseason but never pulled the trigger and now it looks like depth is a key question mark for the Mavs. This will of course be the Luka Doncic show but other than Kristaps Porzingis and the occasional Tim Hardaway Jr game, there will be opportunity for scoring and minutes.
The real potential for Richardson is when Porzingis is out of the lineup which is inevitable! Can Richardson become the no.2 scorer if that’s the case? He will some nights and that multi-category production will make him a steal in drafts. If you’re going to make it your year, there’s no better place to do it than in Texas where everything is BIGGER!
Kyle Kuzma, SF/PF – Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma garnered a lot of attention after making the NBA All-Rookie Team in his first season. The next star in La La Land!? Not quite, as LeBron and Anthony Davis strolled down the red carpet and brought the Lakers back to glory. Usually, the Lakers are a team to stray away from in fantasy circles as it’s hard to find consistent production after the two mega-stars but if there ever was a year this would be it as the Lakers are just 10 weeks removed from a rigorous Championship run.
LeBron James already reportedly might miss the entire pre-season in 2020 due to rest and that could be a common theme on back-to-back sets for the soon to be 36-year-old. Kuzma played just 20 minutes per game during the playoffs and could be relied on heavily throughout the season. This is no slam dunk play but it’s a pick I like to try at the end of drafts due to breakout performances for Kuzma in James’s and Davis’s absence. In his last game in the regular season bubble, Kuzma racked up 25/6/3 in a larger role. The game LeBron missed before that? 36 points and 11 rebounds. The fantasy basketball playoffs are becoming quite the feat to pull off in recent years due to the increase in rested games. The Lakers could be sitting comfortable at season’s end and DNP’s for LeBron and Davis are definitely in the cards. Kuzma’s potential will be too hard for me to pass up at the end of drafts so maybe the end of the 2020-21 season will conclude with Kyle Kuzma taking his walk of fame in helping his draftees win fantasy championships.
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