With the new fantasy basketball season almost upon us, we are always looking for that breakout player that can be the difference between bragging rights and another year of listening to the winner rave about their GM skills. Everyone knows how valuable the Kobe’s, Lebron’s, and Wade’s are but in the 6th round of your draft do you select Marc Gasol, or Darko? There is no specific focus on position but on the actual player. Whether you play single season or in a keeper here are another 10 players you should be looking out for in the later rounds in your draft when the dust has settled for the first couple of rounds. Happy Drafting!
*As usual comments and conversation are always welcome*
11. J.R Smith – Guard
While Smith offers you above average production in the 3PT FG% category (39% last year) it is his ability to tease you with his potential that makes him a sleeper. He is a high risk\high reward option so be careful where you draft him generally backup G position would be ideal, as the Nuggets have no alternatives at SG other than Arron Afflalo so the job at SG is his for the taking.
12. Nene – F|C
Nene made a great return on the owners ready to draft him last year with consistency each month, he certainly tired down the stretch but continue to shoot at a high percentage (61% FG) and provide steals (1.2\gm) at a premium fantasy position. He increased his blocks (1.23\gm) while lowering his fouls per game. There is always a risk of injury with Nene but when he is healthy he is one of the better fantasy players available.
13. Luis Scola – PF
With Yao out for the season and McGrady’s production\contributions an uncertainty, Scola will be looked upon for scoring and leadership this year in Houston. Scola had a dominating performance at the World Championship’s this year (22ppg) and stepped up with Yao’s injury during last year’s playoffs (16.2 ppg & 7rpg vs Portland)with limited options for offense you can look for Scola to average at least 17 ppg with 8rpg per game.
14. Ramon Sessions – PG
Sessions has always had an ability to post great numbers when given the chance (18.5ppg 7.4apg 4.1rpg in February) and has always been great at distributing the ball. If Coach Rambis goes with Flynn as the starter apparently Sessions is learning to play the SG position as well look for points, reasonable FG% but a high turnover rate as well.
15. Kevin Love – PF
Need rebounds? Love is your man. With ridiculous rebounding-per-minute rates and high offensive rebounding number Love is still working on the offensive part of his game, showing flashes of his offensive potential in March of last year (16ppg-9rpg in 17 games) however he will lose minutes to Al Jefferson sliding back to his natural position of PF this year stash Love away till the later rounds.
16. Courtney Lee – SG
Lee is going to get you lots of 3’s and steals, the X factor is the scoring he can provide as he started to show an offensive game later on in the year. (11ppg in February and March)Granted in Orlando he wasn’t going to get a lot of opportunities to score however on an up-and-coming youthful Nets squad this will be his first chance to show is all around game, at this point he is a solid backup SG for your team.
17. Brook Lopez – C
Arguable within the top 10 Centers in fantasy, and possibly the NBA with his rookie season alone. Lopez continued to improve each month averaging a double-double by year’s end. Without Carter around to take 21 shots a game it appears that Lopez may become a 20-10 player this year, additionally he’s above average in FT% and Blocks department. Others will take the big names…stick with Lopez and reap the rewards!
18. Ronnie Brewer – SG
Brewer stepped into and secured the opening at SG and established himself as a premier defensive player by swiping over 2 steals per game. Brewer will give you steals and blocks and a bit of scoring, however until he learns how to shoot properly he’ll be confined to that 12-15ppg range.
19. Charlie Villanueva – F
I have never been a fan of Charlie V and personally I think the contract he got was unfounded however the Pistons look like they are handing the starting PF spot to him. Charlie V can be injury-prone, but had a very solid season last year with the Bucks in limited minutes and a crowed frontcourt. Between January and March there wasn’t a more consistent player on the Bucks (19.5ppg 6.9rpg 38% 3PT in 30 mpg) When C.V is motivated he can fill numerous categories. The question will be for this season is he motivated?
20. Anthony Parker – G
Originally I wouldn’t have had AP on this list however with Delonte West’s personal issues (Bi-Polar Disorder) cropping up before the season it likely means at least in the early going AP will be responsible for the majority of the SG minutes in the early going. Parker isn’t a fantasy stud or potential one however he does a little bit of everything to get you to top up your categories across the board (13.6ppg, 4.9rpg, 4.6apg in January).