Fantasy Basketball: Top 5 NBA Sleepers at Every Position
Doing a little extra research to help your late-round drafting is the key to winning any fantasy league.
In fantasy basketball, you're at the mercy of the computer for your draft spots, so grabbing Kevin Durant or LeBron James may not even be an option.
If you can't win the early rounds, finding sleepers later on can assure that you win the draft.
While all of their values have certainly risen now, here is the next wave of breakout stars that will help you win your league.
Note: All rankings are based off of Yahoo! Sports average draft positions. All statistics via Basketball-Reference.com.
1. Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz, ADP: 69
The Turkish takeover is about to begin. Kanter is no longer buried behind Al Jefferson and should start and get big minutes for a rebuilding Jazz team.
Last season he averaged 16.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting 54.4 percent from the field and an impressive 79.5 percent from the line.
2. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons, ADP: 95
His rookie per 36 minutes stat line was incredible. Drummond put together the equivalent of 13.8 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 60.8 percent from the floor. His free throw percentage (37.1 in 2012-13) hurts, but the rest of his game should more than make up for it.
3. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers, ADP: 119
The injury concerns remain, but Varejao has been solid in preseason and is an excellent buy-low, sell-high candidate.
Andrew Bynum is still a ways away from taking the court, so Varejao will once again start at center. Even his backup, Tyler Zeller, is banged up with a hip injury, so minutes should be plentiful. Varejao averaged 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals last year in his 25 games. Draft him, let him put up big numbers again, then deal him before Christmas to really collect some value.
4. Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics, ADP: 136
A dark horse for Rookie of the Year, Olynyk tore up the NBA Summer League to the tune of 18.0 points on 57.8 percent shooting.
We don't know if he'll begin the season as the starter, but the Celtics don't have a better option at center. He's currently getting more preseason minutes than fellow Boston bigs Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass.
5. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angles Clippers, ADP: 142
If you need rebounding and shot-blocking late, Jordan is an excellent choice. Doc Rivers demands defense out of his players, and since Jordan's backup is Ryan Hollins, Rivers should be giving Jordan a lot of playing time.
Per 36 minutes last season, Jordan put up 13.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks on 64.3 percent shooting from the field, which led the NBA. He's also just missed two games the past three years, so injuries aren't a big concern.
1. Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz, ADP: 60
While being picked 60th overall may not make him a true "sleeper", one has to look at who's being drafted above Favors. Players like Ersan Ilyasova (45), David West (50) and Thaddeus Young (54) just aren't going to put up the numbers Favors will this season.
Favors should be the starting power forward from day one thanks to Paul Millsap signing with the Atlanta Hawks. He's a triple threat in points, rebounds and blocks and is one of the best young bigs in the game today. A per 36 stat line of 14.6 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks is worth salivating over.
2. Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic, ADP: 89
Harris is currently listed as Orlando's starting power forward according to ESPN.com. Following a midseason trade to the Magic from the Milwaukee Bucks last season, Harris thrived.
In 27 games with the Magic (20 starts), Harris averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks. Look for similar numbers on a full-time basis now for Harris.
3. Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, ADP: 144
Someone please explain why Thompson is going later in drafts than he was a year ago at this time. Before he broke out for 11.7 points and 9.4 rebounds a game last season, Thompson had an ADP of 139.6.
A much improved player now with a better looking right-handed shot, Thompson should once again be a double-double threat every night. Just 22, Thompson put up 12.1 points and 10.1 rebounds a game after the All-Star break last season.
4. Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves, ADP: 219
Williams has eligibility at both forward positions, and could be primed for a breakout year. The former No. 2 overall pick finished last season with 15.0 points and 6.3 rebounds a game after the All-Star break.
Per 36 minutes, Williams put together 17.5 points and 8.1 rebounds while increasing his field goal, three-point and free-throw percentages from his rookie year.
5. Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics, ADP: 288
Sullinger is the leading scorer on his team this preseason, yet 287 players in the NBA are being drafted ahead of him.
Still rehabbing from six months off following back surgery, it's impressive to see the production Sullinger has put up in the preseason. 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes is a great sign, and the Celtics don't have a whole lot of offensive options to go to.
1. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz, ADP: 93
Hayward put together a nice season last year with 14.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He can play either wing position and sank 1.7 three-pointers a game in 2012-13.
Last year was nice, but this season should be even better for Hayward. The Jazz need their young players to pick up the scoring that Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap left behind in free agency. Look for Hayward's stats across the board to get a nice bump.
2. Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers, ADP: 101
The Sixers will be awful, but Turner should still put up solid numbers. With Jrue Holiday gone, look for Turner's scoring and assist numbers to go up as he plays more point-forward while the Sixers work in Michael Carter-Williams.
Take Turners' stat line from last year of 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and add a slight increase overall.
3. Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers, ADP: 110
Granger's a gamble, but a risk well worth taking in the later rounds. Remember, he led the Pacers in scoring two seasons ago and was one of the NBA's best under-the-radar stars before injuring his knee last year.
Look back to 2011-2012 when he played a full season, and Granger was putting up 18.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers a game. Expect strong scoring and three-point shooting numbers again from Granger for 2013-14.
4. Maurice Harkless, Orlando Magic, ADP: 126
Don't you just love young players with upside on bad teams?
Harkless is the second of three Magic players to make this list based off the amount of playing time he should receive.
At Just 20 years of age, Harkless should build on the 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game he put up after the All-Star break last season.
5. Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder, ADP: 405
Lamb has eligibility at both wing positions and should see an increased role with the Thunder in his second year.
The Thunder need a scorer off the bench to take the place of James Harden, and have been giving Lamb big minutes this preseason. Going off a very limited sample size from 2012-13, Lamb was scoring 17.4 points and connecting on 2.3 three-pointers per 36 minutes.
1. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs, ADP: 97
If you need three-pointers late, Green is your guy. He showed off his sniper prowess in the NBA Finals last season, and will hopefully carry that over to this year.
The Spurs should look to lessen the minutes and scoring load put on veterans like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili while increasing the output from players like Green and Kawhi Leonard.
Danny Green in 36 minutes a night means 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 three-pointers and 84.8 percent shooting from the line.
2. Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets, ADP: 105
He's always had the potential, and now he'll have the opportunity to prove himself. Chandler should almost assuredly start for the Nuggets, who lost Andre Iguodala to free agency and Danilo Gallinari to an ACL tear.
This leaves a lot of shots available for Chandler, which is great news for him and fantasy owners. In eight games as a starter last season, Chandler averaged 18.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.3 three-pointers. He also did this with incredible efficiency, with a shot line of .525/.462/.900.
3. Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers, ADP: 106
Waiters came into training camp in great shape and has been Cleveland's leading scorer early in the preseason. His shot selection has been questioned, but it improved mightily as his rookie season went along.
His rookie per 36 stat line was a solid 18.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 three-pointers and 1.2 steals. His field goal percentage went from 39.6 before the All-Star break to 45.8 percent after it.
4. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks, ADP: 108
Another great supplier of the three-ball, Korver is especially valuable if he ends up starting at shooting guard and not small forward.
In 28 games at shooting guard last season, Korver put together 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and a whopping 3.1 three-pointers a game.
5. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic, ADP: 133
No matter which guard position he ends up playing, Oladipo is going to produce. The likely favorite for Rookie of the Year, Oladipo is a strong overall player who the Magic can play at either guard spot.
In his first three preseason games, Oladipo is averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals.
1. Greivis Vasquez, Sacramento Kings, ADP: 92
Despite finishing third in the entire NBA in assists last season, Vasquez isn't getting any love from fantasy owners.
He goes from the New Orleans Hornets to the Kings, where he has some talent to dish to in the forms of Ben McLemore and DeMarcus Cousins. If he can duplicate or improve on last years stat line of 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.1 three-pointers a game, he'll be a steal.
2. Trey Burke, Utah Jazz, ADP: 99
If you've been counting, this makes the fourth, yes, fourth, member of the Utah Jazz.
Not only did losing Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap open up playing time for the young bigs, but Mo Williams signing with the Portland Trail Blazers means a starting job handed to Burke.
Burke recently underwent successful surgery on his right index finger, and should be back on the court in a few weeks. This should mean a further drop in the draft for Burke, and more value later for you. Remember, Burke averaged 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists last season in college basketball's toughest conference and has no other point guard worthy enough to challenge him for real minutes here.
3. Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers, ADP: 121
If you can live with some turnovers and a questionable shooting percentage, MCW could pay off for you.
The rookie from Syracuse should start immediately on a team with few scoring options. He's been solid in the preseason thus far, and at 6'6", was one of the best rebounding guards in all of college basketball.
4. Brandon Knight, Milwaukee Bucks, ADP: 125
He won't wow you in any one category, but overall Knight is a solid fantasy option. The Bucks lost their two leading scorers in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis and will need Knight to shoot.
Per 36 with the Detroit Pistons last season, Knight put up 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 three-pointers.
5. Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder, ADP: 264
Jackson filled in for Westbrook in the playoffs last year at point guard and performed well with 13.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
In his first three preseason games, Jackson is averaging 15.3 points and 5.3 assists while getting the starting nod at point guard.