NBA Fantasy Basketball Preview: 5 Sleepers Primed For a Breakout Season
Last season, rookie PG/SG Stephen Curry went as a late-round flier to owners who were willing to gamble.
This season? He's a first round pick.
A player's fantasy value can fluctuate greatly throughout the season, and the smartest owners in the game will be constantly monitoring progress.
With the infusion of youth in today's NBA, it's easy to get excited about a player's potential, and these five guys have plenty of potential to breakout in a big way for those brave enough to roll the dice.
5. Nicolas Batum, SF Portland Trailblazers
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At just 21 years old, Batum is about to step into the spotlight.
After struggling to find playing time in a crowded rotation over the last two seasons, Batum enters this year as the uncontested starting small forward and is in line for a major role.
With unbelievable athletic potential and the ability to contribute across the stat sheet, the Frenchman is exactly the type of roto-monster that fantasy basketball owners look for.
The kid has the ability to shoot the three, score the rock, rebound the ball, and even contribute on the defensive end, so there's a lot to like with Batum entering the year.
If Brandon Roy misses some time (which seems inevitable), Batum's value could absolutely skyrocket.
4. Michael Beasley
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Sometimes, all it takes is a change of scenery.
After Miami gave away for former no. 2 overall pick to Minnesota in the offseason, Beasley has shown off the skill set that had so many excited during his days at K-State.
An unbelievable scorer, Beasley's biggest question mark is his effort on the defensive end. If he proves incapable of playing defense the way that Coach Kurt Rambis deems fit, he could find himself on the bench in a heartbeat.
As it is, the third-year man is locked in as the T-Wolves starting SF and should see an immense amount of involvement on the offensive side.
While he'll never help a team's field goal percentage (41% in the preseason), he can contribute heavily in other areas and could very well average 20+ points per game this season.
3. Terrence Williams
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New Head Coach Avery Johnson is already labeling him "Sixth Man of the Year".
Williams may be coming off the bench behind free agent acquisitions Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw, but it's T-Will who deserves to be in the fantasy basketball spotlight.
After coming on strong at the conclusion of last season, the Louisville product proved that he's a legitimate triple-double threat every time he steps onto the hardwood.
Undoubtedly one of the most athletic players in the NBA, Williams leaves it all out on the floor and truly competes with the highest energy on every night.
Capable of posting regular lines of 15/8/6, T-Will will certainly make the most of his anticipated 30+ minutes per night and is an absolute bargain in any draft after the 8th round.
His stock will continue to soar by the day.
2. J.J. Hickson
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Well it's about time.
After Cleveland refused to include Hickson in any major trade last season, the young power forward is now set to play a major role for the new look Cavs.
Still being undervalued in the majority of drafts, Hickson has double-double written all over him for the upcoming year. Additionally, Hickson's sky-high field goal percentage will certainly add to his already escalating value.
While he certainly won't be the sexiest of selections, his center eligibility is a huge bonus for owners and is a very high-upside selection as a legitimate second center.
Despite the presence of Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao, it's clear that it's Hickson time.
1. Jrue Holiday
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That left-handed slam over Knicks PF Anthony Randolph is just the tip of the iceberg.
Holiday's average draft position (ADP) is rising with each passing hour.
Despite not making much of an impact until late in his rookie season, new Head Coach Doug Collins is a big fan of the UCLA product and plans to utilize him in a big way.
With a revamped offensive scheme, Holiday is endearing himself greatly to owners who gambled on him in early drafts with very promising preseason statistics.
With a knack to score, rebound, and hand out assists at the blink of an eye, Holiday is a phenomenal option anytime after the fourth round and could even find himself among the elite point guards by season's end.
Make no doubt about it--Holiday is primed for a monster season.