With the fantasy basketball season around the corner and drafts taking place over the weekend, I took a look at the top shooting guard sleepers and busts. Many drafts have already taken place, but these players could still be on your waiver wires. If you think you’ve got a hole and are sorting through potential shooting guard sleepers, here is who I’ve got an eye on draft night and opening week.
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Shooting Guard Sleepers for 2018-19 Fantasy Basketball
Caris LeVert – Brooklyn Nets (54th ranked SG)
LeVert was likely on many shooting guard sleepers lists last year, yet he’s poised to make another jump in Brooklyn.
The third-year man out of Michigan showed versatility last year, improving his assists per game from 1.9 to 4.2 on a bare Nets squad. Not much has changed in Brooklyn, D’Angelo Russell and LeVert were the best individual players. In 2017-18, LeVert was the only Net to play 25.5-plus minutes and average over 41.5 field goals percentage. Not only that, but he improved in every major statistical category while getting less than a five-minute bump per game.
LeVert will help with every counting stat. He’s good for points, rebounds, assists, and will also contribute with threes, steals and half a block per game. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 15-5-5 stat line from him this season, pretty good value for someone coming off the board in the 12th round of Yahoo! Fantasy basketball drafts.
People will overlook the Nets and their lack of talent outside Jarrett Allen and Russell. LeVert could be a real nice add in the later rounds of fantasy basketball drafts.
Mario Hezonja – New York Knicks (55th ranked SG)
Although the sleeper hype has cooled off on Hezonja, I’m still a believer a strong fantasy basketball season is ahead for the 23-year-old.
Hezonja’s first 20 games last season were an aberration. 2.9 points, 1.8 rebounds in under 10 minutes per game gave you the wrong impression. Flip that over to 12.1 points, 4.5 boards to go along with 1.4 steals in 26.6 minutes per game. Those were Hezonja’s numbers over his final 55 games, including 30 starts. In a season where Porzingis might sit, the former top-5 pick will see minutes at both wing positions.
David Fizdale’s Grizzlies ranked near the bottom in pace but were in the upper echelon in the league in three-point attempts. 31.6% of their possessions resulted in a shot from downtown. That will be an area of improvement for the Knicks. They shot just 26.6% of their possessions from behind the arc, second worst in the league last year. Hezonja looks to be one of the main benefactors.
Aside from Courtney Lee and Kevin Knox, Hezonja will be next in line for playing time. While Knox wowed in Summer League, he hasn’t performed to that same level in the preseason. Hezonja’s experience and versatility will be valuable for the Knicks, as he could see minutes at power forward in small ball rotations. He has a lot to prove and will be motivated, he’s on a one-year prove it deal. Perfect scenario for a fantasy basketball sleeper.
Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets (62nd ranked SG)
Finally out of the dog house, Malik Monk will have a chance to play in James Borrego’s offense. The former 11th overall pick played just 13.6 minutes per game and behind Michael Carter-Williams and Treveon Graham.
Monk will be a fine aid to your FT%, points, threes, and assists. With Charlotte possibly grooming him at point guard for life after Kemba, look for him to lead the second unit playing alongside Borrego’s former point guard in Tony Parker. The 20-year-old was a bonafide scorer at Kentucky and should have the green light with the second unit. The FG% was an issue for him last year, but it’s hard to get into a groove with the number of minutes he was receiving.
The Spurs leaned on their second unit to score 41.8 points per game last year, tied for fourth in the NBA. The Hornets’ bench will look to push the pace on the fast break, a specialty of Monk’s at Kentucky. Charlotte is desperate to add talent to their roster, and Monk should see a sizable bump in minutes.
The Hornets have a nice young duo going with Monk and Miles Bridges. However, both will only be targets in deeper fantasy basketball leagues. Monk’s Yahoo! ADP is too good to pass up in the later rounds.
Additional shooting guard sleepers:
Josh Hart (60th): Hart had an encouraging offseason. The summer league MVP should thrive playing with LeBron James. A breakout season is on the horizon.
Kent Bazemore (42nd): Someone needs to score in Atlanta. Bazemore will get a ton of minutes on the rebuilding Hawks. The sneaky defender will nab you over a steal per game.
Delon Wright (78th): Danny Green has tailed off the past couple seasons in San Antonio. Wright should see a ton of minutes of a bench that played 21.2 minutes per game last year, good for 2nd in the league.