So you’ve drafted your starting five and stacked your categories using your best fantasy basketball draft strategy. Next, you take a look at your team and notice that you need to build up the points category to make up for the Draymond Greens, Ben Simmons and Kyle Lowrys of the world. Look no further! In this article, we take a look at fantasy basketball strategy targeting the top 10 points sleepers in the mid to late rounds of your draft…
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What is a “Points Sleeper” and why do they slide?
A “sleeper” is a draft pick that gets overlooked and drops in the draft to a lower point than they should rank for the season. We will focus on 10 players to pay attention to from three common situations. These players should score a sneaky amount of points this season and could slide to you later in your draft.
The following points sleepers may slide in your draft because your competition hasn’t noticed a change in each player’s situation. Three of the most common situations to look out for that affect points sleepers; players returning from injury, player trades, and positional battles. I’ll dive into this a little deeper in the explanations below.
My top-10 points sleepers…
I’m highlighting these players for your attention based on a simple (but not exhaustive) criteria. Firstly I looked at the points per game rankings from the last two months of last season using the filters on NBA.com.
Next, a quick check of the players’ situation for confidence that their usage and playing time this season has stayed the same (or improved). In the final analysis, I’ve compared the points ranking to the players current Average Draft Position on Fantrax and come up with a ranking value for my recommendations. Enjoy!
Average Draft Position- be sure to check out the Fantrax Fantasy Basketball ADP.
10. Montrezl Harrell
Points Ranking 48, ADP 62
Value rating: +2 rounds
Harrell had, arguably, a breakout season last year and looks positioned for another big year, coming off the bench or even playing in the Clippers (LAC) starting five, depending on the matchup. Hitting around 18 ppg after the All-Star break, Harrell is a solid pick in round 5 to build up that points category.
9. Otto Porter Jr.
Points Ranking 54, ADP 73
Value rating: +2 rounds
Don’t sleep on Otto. With around 17 ppg after the break and a fresh opportunity in the Bulls (CHI) rotation, look to him for a points boost, decent percentages with some useful defensive stats and threes from the small forward position. Reach for Otto as early as Round 6, but I’ve seen him slide outside the top 100 in some drafts where owners may have low confidence from past situations.
8. Kelly Oubre Jr.
Points Ranking 37, ADP 76
Value rating: +4 rounds
Oubre Jr. was one of the surprise breakout players last season, adding some useful defensive stats to his fantasy line and surprising many as a points sleeper. With just on 20 ppg for the Suns (PHO), reach for Kelly in round 6 or 7 if it suits your team build.
7. Dennis Schroder
Points Ranking 79, ADP 110
Value rating: +6 rounds
Schroder is sliding super late in drafts right now, but he is still a good late-round target to boost your points category upwards. He will be sharing court time in the Thunder (OKC) backcourt this year with Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but should still provide a healthy return at around 15 ppg. At that point in your draft, Schroder is one of the better points sleepers this year.
6. Julius Randle
Points Ranking 16, ADP 45
Value rating: +5 rounds
With an ADP of 45, Randle should provide you with around 24 ppg from his new home with the Knicks (NYC). He’s the perfect Round 4 or 5 player to slot in beside your lower points scoring earlier picks if you’re worried about missing out on good points contributors later on in your draft. Randle projects to be the best of the power forward over-supply in the Big Apple, so my confidence that he will get enough playing time is high.
5. Andrew Wiggins
Points Ranking 45, ADP 93
Value rating: +5 rounds
With nearly 19 ppg late last season for the Timberwolves (MIN), Andrew Wiggins continues to do what Andrew Wiggins does best and… not much else. Well, that’s not exactly true as he does provide some ancillary counting stats for your team. Reach for Wiggins for a points fix, but no sooner than Round 8 or you may be sacrificing value.
4. Evan Fournier
Points Ranking 73, ADP 137
Value rating: +6 rounds
We’re not racist against the French, are we? One has to wonder when you look at Evan Fournier and what he’s achieved with some consistency for the Magic (ORL). A massive six rounds worth of value on points alone, but because we aren’t just looking for points you can usually draft Fournier in round 9 for around 16 ppg, and enjoy a few assists, rebounds and threes with that!
The Top Three…
If you haven’t caught on yet, I’ve been unpacking potential points sleepers value to look for throughout your draft and we’re down to my top 3 picks for upside.
Want to know more about “upside”? Check out 5 FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE MY FIRST DRAFT
3. Terrance Ross
Points Ranking 58, ADP 125
Value rating: +7 rounds
Joining his Magic (ORL) teammate, Evan Fournier, is the fantasy basketball late-bloomer that is Terrance Ross. Ross will give you a ton of threes as part of his value and around 17 ppg this late in your draft is some serious value. Oh, and Ross contributes a steal or so a game too!
2. Brandon Ingram
Points Ranking 22, ADP 107
Value rating: +8 rounds
If Brandon Ingram can achieve close to what he did with the Lakers (LAL) on the Pelicans (NOR), then you have drafted a points sleeper diamond! With near-on 23 ppg after the break, Ingram thrives on opportunity and should be healthy enough to receive a truckload of it. Draft Ingram from Rounds 9 through 11 and rest assured your points category has been strengthened enough to leap you up in the standings!
And Now for your Number One…
1. Derrick Rose
Points Ranking 59, ADP 144
Value rating: +9 rounds
Was it really that long ago that league MVP, Derrick Rose, was tearing up the fantasy basketball rankings? Last season Rose experienced a renaissance with the Timberwolves (MIN), looks to have a similar opportunity to do the same on the Pistons (DET). Available in round 13 or literally undrafted, look to D-Rose with your last pick for around 17 ppg.
Be on the lookout for my next article for the chance to compete in my 12-team H2H mock draft and get personalized, expert fantasy basketball draft strategy analysis and advice on your team!
Tweet me @absolutesun or share your questions or ideas for future articles, below in the comments.
Also, check out our early 2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Rankings!
Dave is a weekend fantasy pro, passionate about the NBA and convinced that you don’t have to sacrifice your day job and life responsibilities to compete in your fantasy league. Dave focuses his writing on 101 interpretations of expert analysis so you don’t just know what is going on, but you know exactly what to do with that fantasy basketball strategy knowledge to help you win!
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