NBA Fantasy Rankings: The Best Fantasy Performer on Every NBA Team

Suraj Sukumar@Sukumar_S87Correspondent IIOctober 20, 2012

NBA Fantasy Rankings: The Best Fantasy Performer on Every NBA Team

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    The NBA is set to tip off in less than two weeks and there are plethora of talented players to consider for your fantasy team. 

    While there are some injuries to consider, names like Kevin Love will just have to be stashed away by an excited manager. 

    There are masters of their trade, and all-around players who can get you stats in every category across the board. 

    LeBron James might come to mind. 

    While not all teams can draft LeBron, depth will be the deciding factor down the stretch. 

    The most fundamental rule in fantasy basketball is to ensure you draft according to the stats of your league, or watch a specific category be the death of your fantasy team. 

    Without further ado, here are the best fantasy options on every NBA team. 

    The positions of all NBA players are taken from the Draft Central tab on Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball

Atlanta Hawks, Josh Smith PF/SF

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    Josh Smith has proven his versatility as an NBA veteran for eight consecutive seasons. 

    While the Hawks have several issues to figure out to become successful, Smith has statistically been one of, if not the best, player in Atlanta. 

    Smith averaged 18.8 PPG and 9.6 RPG. Furthermore, Smith was able to accumulate 3.9 APG, 1.7 BPG and 2.4 SPG. 

    With averaging just about two three-point attempts every game, Smith as the ability to deliver in every single statistical category in fantasy basketball, making him one of the best all-around players in the NBA. 

    Honorable Mention

    Al Horford PF/C, Lou Williams PG/SG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Jeff Teague PG

Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo PG

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    If Rajon Rondo mastered his jump shot, he could be in conversation for the best point guard in fantasy basketball.

    While Chris Paul dominates both scoring and passing wise, it's difficult to give Rondo bump over the Clippers' star.  

    However, with regards to his Celtics teammates, Rondo surely stands out as the fantasy stud. 

    While Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce remain top-15 options at their respective positions, Rondo is surely making a name for himself as a fantasy giant, especially at point guard. 

    Rondo average 11.9 PPG and 11.7 APG, while also grabbing 4.8 RPG. He's a good option for a double-double every night, with the potential of racking up the triple-doubles too.

    If Rondo can continue to improve his scoring abilities, fantasy owners should have all the faith in the world with this passer-extraordinaire.

    Honorable Mention

    Kevin Garnett PF/C, Paul Pierce SF  

    Sleeper Candidates

    Jared Sullinger PF

Brooklyn Nets, Deron Williams PG

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    There really should not be a question as to who is the most valuable fantasy player on the Brooklyn Nets. 

    Deron Williams is an elite-level point guard at the NBA level and has proved is abilities for several seasons with the Utah Jazz and the New Jersey Nets. 

    He averaged 21 PPG while also dishing 8.7 APG. While he does contribute in secondary stats, points and passing are Deron's specialty.  

    Williams will surely fly off the draft table within the first two rounds of any fantasy league, and every manager, who is lucky enough to have him, should focus on other categories once his services have been locked up. 

    Honorable Mention

    Joe Johnson SG/SF, Gerald Wallace SF/PF, Kris Humphries PF

    Sleeper Candidates

    MarShon Brooks SG/SF

Charlotte Bobcats, Kemba Walker PG

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    The Charlotte Bobcats have their work cut out for them. 

    Last season, the Bobcats won all of seven games, yes seven, and finished with the worst record in the NBA. 

    Sadly, they didn't even get the first overall pick in the NBA draft, and took Michael Kidd-Gilchrist second overall. 

    While Kidd-Gilchrist will be a solid addition to this youthful squad, it will be on the shoulders of the returning players, like Kemba Walker, to get this club some wins. 

    Walker averaged 12.1 PPG, 4.4 APG and 3.5 RPG during his rookie campaign. which can only suggest his numbers will improve this year. 

    He has the potential and talent to be one of the best at his position. While Gerald Henderson seems like a go-to scorer, the versatility and potential of Walker makes him the better player and fantasy option. 

    Honorable Mention

    Gerald Henderson SG/SF, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF

    Sleeper Candidates

    Byron Mullens  PF/C, Bismack Biyombo PF/C

Chicago Bulls, Carlos Boozer PF/C

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    Derrick Rose, who is not schedule to appear in a game for the Chicago Bulls till the new year, should be first on this list. 

    That'll be a first come, first serve basis. 

    While there are other options in Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, it's Carlos Boozer that stands out as Chicago's best fantasy player.

    To be more specific, Boozer edges Deng in rebounding abliity, while his scoring skills trump that of Noah's.  

    Boozer averaged 15 PPG while also grabbing 8.5 RPG, making him another candidate for double-double nights on a regular basis, but the same can be said for Noah as well. 

    Nevertheless, Boozer, by a slim margin, is the best fantasy option on the Bulls and should be targeted as a solid big-man come draft day. 

    Honorable Mention

    Luol Deng SF, Joakim Noah PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Richard Hamilton SG, Kirk Hinrich PG/SG

Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving PG

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    Kyrie Irving is the undisputed future of the Cavaliers and proved it by having a great rookie season with a less-than-spectacular supporting cast. 

    In his first season, Irving averaged 18.5 PPG, 5.4 APG and 3.7 RPG. 

    With the-new-look Cavs having one season under their belts, all indications suggest that Irving will only build on his progress last season, along with many of his teammates. 

    While there are several under-the-radar candidates to consider on the Cavs, it would be safe to assume that Irving stands as their best fantasy performer for the coming season. 

    Honorable Mention

    Anderson Varejao PF/C 

    Sleeper Candidates

    Tristan Thompson PF, Alonzo Gee SG/SF, Dion Waiters SG

Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki PF

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    Dirk Nowitki underwent knee surgery and will be out of the lineup for approximately six weeks. 

    While there are several other candidates to consider to build a successful roster, there's only one Dirk Nowitzki. 

    The guaranteed hall-of-famer put up 21.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 2.2 APG. He also took 212 three-point shots and made 36.8%. 

    The one downfall that should be considered is Nowtizki's age, which has shown in his decreasing games played over the past few seasons. 

    Even though this is a draft-and-stash, Dirk Nowitzki is an elite-level fantasy performer. 

    Honorable Mention

    O.J. Mayo SG, Darren Collison PG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Chris Kaman PF/C

Denver Nuggets, Ty Lawson PG

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    There really could be so many options on this overnight dream team in Denver. 

    While there are several secondary options, Ty Lawson showed his court dominance last season with a breakout year.

    He averaged 16.4 PPG, 6.6 APG and 3.7 RPG.

    That was with the old Denver Nuggets, too.

    Now, Lawson can welcome Andre Iguodala and Anthony Randolph to his already stacked rotation.

    As a point guard, Lawson will only benefit from having so many different scoring options on the Nuggets.

    Honorable Mention

    Andre Iguodala SG/SF, Danilo Gallinari SF, JaVale McGee C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Anthony Randolph PF/C

Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe C

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    While the Detroit Pistons have a few breakout candidates in the coming year, Greg Monroe remains their top fantasy performer. 

    Brandon Knight should improve on his rookie campaign, and Rodney Stuckey will continue to contribute in points. 

    Monroe, however, has the fantasy capabilities that surpass all of his teams, and will surely build on his previous season when he averaged 15.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 2.3 APG. 

    Monroe will be a primary piece of the Pistons' rebuild, and should be considered a strong big-man for your fantasy team as well. 

    Honorable Mention

    Brandon Knight PG/SG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Rodney Stuckey PG/SG, Andre Drummond PF

Golden State Warriors, David Lee PF/C

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    David Lee has become a premier power foward in the NBA. 

    While he may not be the flashiest player on the court, he certainly gets the job done. 

    Last season, he averaged an impressive 20.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG and 2.8 APG. He is another player with double-double capabilities on a regular basis.

    While Stephen Curry has the potential to topple David Lee in the coming season, his injury problems hinder his fantasy value, and he needs to become a better passer to have more fantasy value at his position. 

    Honorable Mention

    Stephen Curry PG, Andrew Bogut C (should be healthy for the season)

    Sleeper Candidates

    Harrison Barnes SF

Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin PG

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    What separates Jeremy Lin from his teammates is his ability to score and pass the ball. While he was still coming into is own last season, Lin should have no problem fitting in with the underrated cast of the Houston Rockets. 

    There are secondary options on the Rockets such as Kevin Martin, but the versatility of Lin on the stat sheet separates him from his teammates ten fold.

    What needs to be mentioned is the potential of Jeremy Lamb to become a lights-out scorer. While he could average double-digits in the coming season, it would safer to take him as a late round sleeper pick.

    Honorable Mention

    Kevin Martin SG  

    Sleeper Candidates

    Jeremy Lamb SG/SF

Indiana Pacers, Danny Granger SF/ PF

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    The Indiana Pacers have something really nice brewing in their rotation. 

    There are several candidates that could breakout this year and overtake the top spot as the best fantasy player on the Pacers. 

    But for now, Danny Granger remains the best. 

    If not for his 18.7 PPG and 5.0 RPG, his eligibility at power forward makes him a very interesting pick come draft day. 

    There aren't many power forwards with the potential of a 25-10-5 stat line, but Granger has all the skills to make that happen on any given night. 

    With Granger's health a usual problem, keep an eye out for the sleeper picks on the Pacers, they should pay great dividends once the season progresses. 

    Honorable Mention

    Paul George SG/SF, Roy Hibbert C, David West PF

    Sleeper Candidates

    George Hill PG/SG,  Gerald Green SG/SF, Tyler Hansbrough PF/C

Los Angeles Clippers, Chris Paul PG

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    If Chris Paul didn't have a great season last year, he surely will this year. 

    After adding Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Chauncey Billups, Paul could be in for even better passing numbers. 

    His shooting numbers don't need an explication, as he averaged 19.8 PPG. He also surpassed the 30-point mark seven times last year.

    It's also no secret that Paul is a double-double threat every single night.  

    While Blake Griffin remains a close second in terms of statistical output, Paul is just a monster on the stat sheet. 

    He averaged 9.1 APG, 3.5 RPG and 2.5 SPG, making him one of the most valuable fantasy players in the NBA. 

    Honorable Mention

    Blake Griffin PF/C, DeAndre Jordan C

    Sleeper Candidates 

    Lamar Odom SF/PF

Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard C

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    There are several options in terms of great fantasy players throughout the Los Angeles Lakers starting rotation. 

    However, Dwight Howard stands out from the rest for very simple reasons. 

    He's a beast. 

    While Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant are great fantasy performers, Howard's dominance in the paint reflects heavily in the fantasy world, making him one of the best options for a big-man. 

    Howard averaged 20.6 PPG, 14.5 RPG and 1.9 APG, while also swatting 2.1 BPG. 

    Enough said. 

    Lastly, Given the star-studded cast in Tinsel-Town, Steve Nash should be considered a sleeper pick at an average pick of 73.6 in Yahoo! fantasy rankings. 

    Honorable Mention

    Kobe Bryant SG, Pau Gasol PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Steve Nash PG

Memphis Grizzlies, Rudy Gay SF/PF

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    It's actually quite difficult to separate the current stars on the Memphis Grizzlies, at least in terms of fantasy value. 

    While Marc Gasol is a premier center, and Mike Conley has grown into a solid point guard as well, Rudy Gay's numbers across the board make him the best fantasy performer on the Grizzlies. 

    He averaged 19 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.5 SPG. 

    The best part? Gay, similar to Granger, has power forward eligibility, making his numbers even more attractive. 

    There isn't a more versatile player on the Grizzlies, making Gay the obvious choice. 

    Honorable Mention

    Marc Gasol C, Mike Conley PG, Zach Randolph PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Marreese Speights PF/C

Miami Heat, LeBron James SF/PF

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    Surprisingly, this is a very simple choice, even with players like Dwyane Wade to choose from. 

    LeBron James topples everyone in the NBA in terms of versatility. He has the abilities to dominate the game in every aspect, and make it look easy too. 

    Last season, James averaged 27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.9 SPG and 0.8 BPG. 

    Yeah, he can pretty much do anything, which separates him from everyone in the NBA, not to mention his Miami Heat teammates. 

    He's also got power forward eligibility too, now that just makes it unfair. 

    There are several fantasy candidates on the Miami Heat to consider, but James remains one of the best in the game. 

    Honorable Mention

    Dwyane Wade PG/SG, Chris Bosh PF/C, Ray Allen SG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Mario Chalmers PG

Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis PG/SG

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    This is an interesting debate, which could go either way down the stretch. 

    Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are both supreme fantasy options and should land on fantasy teams fairly early in the draft. 

    However, how do we differentiate between such close players? Yahoo! fantasy basketball rankings have them separated by almost two rounds in favor of Jennings, with an average pick of 25.3. 

    Jennings averaged 19.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.5 APG and 1.6 SPG. On the other hand, Ellis averaged 20.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.0 APG and 1.4 SPG. 

    Those numbers are not far from identical. 

    But the deciding factor should be Ellis' eligibility at both the PG and SG positions, while Jennings is strictly a PG. This makes it much easier to work your lineup on busy nights or days when you have either too many starting players. 

    Honorable Mention

    Brandon Jennings PG, Ersan Ilyasova PF

    Sleeper Candidates

    Mike Dunleavy SG/SF

Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love PF/C

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a very sticky situation, to say the least. 

    Two of their best players, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, are out for several weeks. 

    However, with Love scheduled to return much earlier, drafting him is a no-brainer, the question is, what round?

    Love will most certainly slip out of the first round due to his injury but stashing him away is still a great option, given his skill set. 

    Due to injuries, look for Brandon Roy and other sleeper candidates to take on a massive role in the beginning parts of the season. 

    Honorable Mention

    Ricky Rubio PG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Brandon Roy SG/SF, Luke Ridnour PG/SG, Derrick Williams SF/PF 

New Orleans Hornets, Anthony Davis PF

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    Anthony Davis has yet to step on to an NBA court. 

    However, his accolades prior to his NBA career are nothing short of prodigal.

    He's won an Olympic gold medal, and became the youngest person ever to do so in the process.  He also lead his college team, the Kentucky Wildcats, to a national title prior to the Summer Olympics.

    His college numbers were 14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.3 APG and 4.7 BPG.

    He has the makings of a fantasy stud.

    With Davis joining the Hornets, it would be safe to assume both Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon's touches on the court will diminish significantly.

    Honorable Mention

    Ryan Anderson PF/C, Eric Gordon SG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Greivis Vasquez PG/SG, Austin Rivers PG/SG  

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony SF/PF

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    There are a plethora of candidates to choose from on the New York Knicks, some of them bonafide fantasy studs, and others a little more worrisome. 

    In the case of Carmelo Anthony, there aren't any questions surrounding his importance in the fantasy world. 

    Melo averaged 22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 3.6 APG. His numbers only prove how valuable, in terms of fantasy, he's become.

    His eligibility at power forward, like other candidates on this list, provide an immense upgrade in statistical output from your average NBA power forward.

    Melo will continue to score at will, which makes him a top fantasy option come draft day.

    Honorable Mention

    Amar'e Stoudemire PF/C, Raymond Felton PG/SG, Tyson Chandler C

    Sleeper Candidates

    J.R. Smith SG/SF, Jason Kidd PG

Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant SF

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    Kevin Durant averaged 28 PPG, 8 RPG and 3.5 APG, while his teammate Russell Westbrook remains a close second in terms of fantasy value.

    Any questions?

    Honorable Mention

    Russell Westbrook PG, James Harden SG/SF, Serge Ibaka PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Kendrick Perkins C

Orlando Magic, Arron Afflalo SG

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    Of all the teams in the NBA, the most uncertainties can be found on the Orlando Magic. 

    While they still have returning players like Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick, the new additions of Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and Gustavo Ayon could help deal with the loss of Dwight Howard. 

    In terms of fantasy, steering away from all these players, at least till the later rounds, would seem like the best option. 

    On the other hand, Arron Afflalo could be the 'knight in shining armor' for the Magic, at least offensively. 

    Afflalo has been steadily improving his numbers, and in his final season with the Denver Nuggets, he averaged 15.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.4 APG. On top of that, he's almost a 40-percent shooter from beyond the arc. 

    The most reassuring part about Afflalo is that scoring options on the Magic are, well, not very good, which should give him all the opportunities in the world to get points. 

    Honorable Mention

    Jameer Nelson PG, Al Harrington PF/C, Hedo Turkoglu SF/PF

    Sleeper Candidates

    Nikola Vucevic  PF/C

Philadelphia 76ers, Andrew Bynum C

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    While there are several breakout candidates on the Philadelphia 76ers, Andrew Bynum remains the most elite-level player on the team. 

    With that said, his fantasy value has sky-rocketed since his departure from the Los Angeles Lakers, as he should see way more looks as a 76er. 

    Bynum averaged 18.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG and 1.9 BPG, which makes him a strong candidate for one of the best big-men in fantasy basketball. 

    If his knees hold up throughout the season, Bynum might not only play his first full season, but set career numbers in the process too, making him a very attractive choice come draft day. 

    Honorable Mention

    Jrue Holiday PG, Evan Turner SG/SF, Thaddeus Young SF/PF

    Sleeper Candidates

    Spencer Hawes C, Jason Richardson SG/SF 

Phoenix Suns, Marcin Gortat C/Goran Dragic PG

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    The Phoenix Suns lost their pride and joy, Steve Nash, to the superstar-hungry Los Angeles Lakers and are now, officially, in rebuild mode. 

    Marcin Gortat is another double-double threat in the post. Last season, he averaged 15.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 1.5 BPG. 

    Another player, who benefits from the departure of Nash, is Goran Dragic.

    He averaged 11.7 PPG, 5.3 APG and 2.5 RPG. By the end of the season, Dragic was demonstrating his offensive skills on a nightly basis. In the final two months of the season, Dragic had double-digit points in all but three games.

    Given the abilities of both players, It's a coin flip. 

    Honorable Mention

    Luis Scola PF/C, Michael Beasley SF/PF, Jared Dudley SG/SF

    Sleeper Candidates

    Kendall Marshall PG

Portland Trail Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge PF/C

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    While some breakout possibilities can be found on the Portland Trail Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge is a fantasy stud. 

    Last season, Aldridge managed 21.7 PPG, 8 RPG and 2.4 APG. While he only played in 55 games, his fantasy output cannot be argued. 

    If Aldridge were able to increase his rebounding and block totals, fantasy owners could sit back and watch the big-man go to work. 

    The closer competition lies in the middle of the rotation, with guys like Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews.

    For now, Aldridge remains the best fantasy performer for the Portland Trail Blazers. 

    Honorable Mention

    Nicolas Batum SG/SF, Wesley Matthews SG/SF

    Sleeper Candidate

    Damian Lillard PG

Sacramento Kings, DeMarcus Cousins PF/C

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    This should be easy enough. 

    DeMarcus Cousins is a great basketball player. In terms of fantasy, he could become a premier center in the coming season. 

    Last year, he averaged 18.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG and 1.6 APG. The best part about his game is he also averaged 1.5 SPG and 1.2 BPG. 

    He's versatile, and not just for a big-man. 

    While there are good secondary fantasy options on the Kings, Cousins currently stands as their best. 

    Honorable Mention

    Tyreke Evans SG/SF, Marcus Thornton SG, Isaiah Thomas PG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Thomas Robinson PF

San Antonio Spurs, the Aging Trio

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    Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have consistently been fantastic basketball players, which has made the San Antonio Spurs so good for so long. 

    While all three are fundamentally sound at their positions, they are getting old. 

    This is one of those cases where you draft according to team needs. 

    Not one of these three players will be a high draft choice on your team, maybe a fifth or sixth player, and so it should be approached with caution. 

    Come draft day, when the fifth or sixth round arrives, plug your statistical holes with one of the most reliable players in the NBA today. 

    Passing, scoring, or rebounding.

    You decide. 

    Honorable Mention


    Sleeper Candidates

    Kawhi Leonard SG/SF  

Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry PG

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    For a point guard, Kyle Lowry can really score. 

    Last season, with the Houston Rockets, Lowry averaged 14.3 PPG, 6.6 APG 4.6 RPG and 1.6 SPG.  

    Those are solid numbers for a team that didn't have a great supporting cast. 

    With the Raptors, Lowry benefits from a lot of scoring teammates that can only increase his assists average. 

    While there are significant options later in the draft, look for Kyle Lowry to become a great fantasy player with the Raptors. 

    Honorable Mention

    Andrea Bargnani PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates

    Jonas Valanciunas C, Landry Fields SG/SF 

Utah Jazz, Al Jefferson PF/C

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    Al Jefferson had amazing numbers last season.

    He averaged 19.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.2 APG and 1.7 BPG.

    He is not only the best fantasy option on the Utah Jazz, but one of the best big-men period.

    While there are a strong group of up-and-comers on the Jazz this year, it would take a lot for Jefferson to not merit this title.

    Keep an eye on the Jazz sleeper picks this coming season.  

    Honorable Mention

    Paul Millsap PF, Mo Williams PG, SG

    Sleeper Candidates

    Marvin Williams SF, Gordon Hayward SG/SF

Washington Wizards, John Wall PG

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    John Wall will miss at least the first month of the NBA season. 

    That does not mean he isn't a ridiculously talented basketball player. 

    In 66 games played last year, Wall averaged 16.3 PPG, 8.0 APG, 4.5 RPG and 1.4 SPG. 

    Even with the one month injury, drafting Wall and stashing him away, similar to Love, will pay significant dividends down the stretch. 

    If he is available late, and you have filled out your PG position, feel free to take a chance, since there's nothing better than some trade value in the fantasy world. 

    Honorable Mention

    Nene Hilario PF/C

    Sleeper Candidates 

    Bradley Beal SG