Fantasy Basketball 2019: Deep NBA Sleepers After October 20

Theo SalaunContributor IIIOctober 21, 2019

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 07:  Luke Kennard #5 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Orlando Magic during a pre season game at Little Caesars Arena on October 07, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The NBA season is as young as can be, so this is the perfect time to round out your fantasy lineups with maximum upside.

With the 2019-20 season kicking off on Tuesday, we will break down the three best deep sleepers and list some honorable mentions. 

Fantasy managers should adapt their pickups to suit their team's needs, but these sleepers should have the highest ceilings across multiple categories in traditional H2H nine-category leagues (free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage, three-pointers made, points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers). 

All sleepers included here are owned in less than 25 percent of Yahoo leagues and should therefore be readily available for owners who want to drop a known, mediocre commodity for someone with league-winning potential. 

                

Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Orlando Magic (20 percent owned)

Scared off by the yips, the Philadelphia 76ers gave up on their investment in Markelle Fultz. Fantasy managers shouldn't follow their lead, though.

The 21-year-old's ceiling is astronomical. The top overall pick in 2017 is an immediate triple-double threat when comfortable and not tinkering with his form mid-game.  

Michael Carter-Williams and D.J. Augustin are his only other competition for minutes on an otherwise-talented Orlando Magic squad.

Finally healthy, Fultz's floor as a 6'4" guard with a handle and dimes already makes him a more appealing candidate to lead the offense than those two. His upside, as a 6'4" guard with handles, dimes and a returned confidence in his shot, makes him a fantastic sleeper to hold on to at the start of the season.

                   

Luke Kennard, SG, Detroit Pistons (9 percent owned)

Like Fultz, Luke Kennard is a talented young prospect on a team with playoff aspirations who hasn't quite put together the entire package just yet; unlike Fultz, Kennard is an absolute marksman from deep and a likely starter to begin the season. 

Over 136 career games, the 23-year-old has shot 40.3 percent from three. His form is pure, his sense for offensive tempo and passing has improved, and he has demonstrated enough strength and speed to play real NBA minutes.

For the third consecutive season, those minutes should increase for the 6'5" Kennard and so should his opportunities to capitalize upon a God-given ability to shoot the ball. He may only be valuable for points, three-pointers and free-throw percentage to start, but the potential to bring rebounds and assists is there. 

                    

Kevin Knox, SF/PF, New York Knicks (13 percent owned)

As a rookie, Kevin Knox played 28.8 minutes per game. A year older, wiser and stronger, he should be better equipped to produce in his second season.

Even if the addition of Marcus Morris eats into the 20-year-old's minutes, he has looked stronger and more stable in the preseason, suggesting his efficiency should rise as a sophomore.

The 6'9" forward shot just 37.0 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from three in 2018-19. In the preseason's limited sample size, his jumper's base already seems more balanced and his drive looks less liable to be bounced off-course by a defender's physicality.

If a year of experience and training has meant improvement, then Knox should be able to comfortably surpass his rookie campaign's 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. His ceiling is a talented, starting wing, which is a treat to invest in while he's still available on 87 percent of waiver wires.

                         

Honorable Mentions

  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, New Orleans Pelicans (19 percent owned)

  • Dwayne Bacon, SG, Charlotte Hornets (19 percent owned)

  • Terrance Ferguson, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (1 percent owned)

  • Harry Giles, PF/C, Sacramento Kings (3 percent owned)

  • Jahlil Okafor, C, New Orleans Pelicans (5 percent owned)

  • Jakob Poeltl, C, San Antonio Spurs (21 percent owned)

  • Michael Porter Jr., SF, Denver Nuggets (22 percent owned)

  • Cam Reddish, PG/SG/SF, (17 percent owned)

  • Matisse Thybulle, SF, Philadelphia 76ers (16 percent owned)

  • Robert Williams, PF, Boston Celtics (7 percent owned)

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