Fantasy Basketball: 5 Suckerbet Picks and 5 Supersleeper Picks in 2010-11

Rob JohnstonContributor IOctober 27, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 23:  Roy Hibbert #55 of the Indiana Pacers goes up against David Lee #42 of the New York Knicks during the game at Madison Square Garden February 23, 2009 in New York City.  The Knicks won 123-119.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
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The following list represents five guys that will be taken way too early in Fantasy Leagues this year.  Assume this is for head to head leagues as rotisserie is boring.  These guys are going WAY TOO HIGH this year!


The Top 5 Suckerbets


#1 Anthony Randolph:  The guy has never played a full season and injuries limited him to just 33 games last year.  I have seen this guy taken as early as the fifth round- where you can potentially get someone more reliable like Paul Millsap or Andray Blatche, and why wouldn't you?


#2 Andrew Bynum:  Is this guy ever 100 percent healthy?  With games played the last three seasons respectively of 65, 50, and 35; don't expect anything close to a full season out of him.  What's worse is that he will probably be rested for the real life playoffs come Fantasy Playoff/Championship time in April. 

Bottom line: This guy is going as early as the end of the fifth round and sure his numbers when healthy are great.  Still, considering your other options at that point, Bynum should be drafted nowhere close to that.


#3 Kevin Martin:  If you think he's healthy then by all means go for it.  But the fact is Martin hasn't played a full season since 06-07, and managed only 46 games last year splitting time between Sacramento and Houston

He's always been an average shooter (career: .448 FG).  His rebounding, assist, steals, and block numbers are pretty mediocre considering how high you would have to take him (fourth or fifth round).  So you really are only all-but-guaranteed of getting a partial season out of a run of the mill scorer in Martin.


 #4:  Jameer Nelson/Andre Miller (tie):  First off Nelson is an injury waiting to happen.  Secondly if you look at his stats they are very average considering other options available- even in the eight or ninth round where I've seen Nelson getting picked.  Miller will give you assists, that's about it. 

These two go around the same time in the average draft so I felt they could be lumped.  The fact is you can easily find someone—even on the FA wire in a deep league who is better than these guys.


#5 Dwight Howard:  While I may take some flack for this, consider this:  Howard is a career .599 FT shooter and will take bulk attempts of free throws (all but murdering any chance you have at winning the category). 

He has averaged about 10.5 FTA per game the last three years and there's little reason to believe they won't increaseFurthermore, Howard is a turnover machine, averaging over three TO a game the last three years.  People will point to his amazing FG, rebounds, blocks, and steals. 

But if you have some forsight, you have to realize that owning Howard will not all but guarantee winning these categories every week.  I've seen people with grandiose delusions that he will seal your wins in these categories- but don't fall into that trap. 

Furthermore, his pts (around 18-20 PPG) are very pedestrian considering the other guys you can take.  Don't get me wrong: Howard is a fantastic player in real life, perhaps even top 5.  But fantasy is a totally different ballgame. 

You are sacrificing 1-2 categories a week for huge help in three where is the overall net gain here?  Also consider you will have to take him within the first 10-12 picks.  The middle of the second round is much more reasonable if you want to try implementing the frustrating D. Howard strategy.  Let someone else gamble on him early.

This list represents the guys that will put up big numbers and almost assuredly outperform their draft positions.

The Top 5 Supersleepers

#1  Roy Hibbert:  I have seen him taken as early as the third round (in an experts league no less).  While I don't quite agree with drafting him that early, Hibbert is expected to take a big leap this year. 

He was inconsistent at points in his sophomore campaign last season, but fantasy players could see big strides already.  I'd say conservatively, you are looking at a durable bargain C: 50+ FG/15 PPG/10 RPG/2 BPG  Don't let him slip past the fifth or sixth round.

#2 J.J. Hickson:  Hickson showed great strides in summer league and is expected to play a much bigger role with Lebron gone.  He's the bonafide starting Center in Cleveland now and is having a great preseason.  All signs point to a breakout year and sneaky late round fantasy pick this season. 

#3 Demarcus Cousins:  The question is how far do you let him slip?  He's going to be a guaranteed double/double this year at a premium position. 

 #4 John Wall:  An early contender for ROY... so not really as much of a sleeper because everybody knows about him.  But think about this.  You know Gilbert Arenas is going to get into trouble this season one way or the other- heck he already faked an injury in the preseason so Nick Young could start. 

It seems like Arenas just flat out doesn't care anymore, so I expect Wall to get all the minutes he can handle at PG.  He's going to give you big time assists and 3s and would be a good candidate at PG to look for if you miss out on some of the bigger names. 


 #5 Linas Kleiza:  Kleiza is expected to be the number two man in Toronto with Bosh gone.  I expect a big increase in his numbers as a 3pt/fg/ft/pts specialist.  Best part is, you can probably get him cheap. 


Also look for: Javale McGee, D.J. Augustin