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Fantasy Basketball 2019: Ranking Sleepers for NBA Week 7

mandela namaste@@mandiba13Contributor IDecember 2, 2019

Orlando Magic's Markelle Fultz (20) moves the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

We're getting further and further into this latest NBA season, and just like real coaches and general managers, fantasy basketball owners are looking for the latest and greatest competitive advantages.

Most fantasy teams have relatively equal top-line talent (at least in snake draft leagues), so like in the real NBA, making a serious run at contention will usually come down to moves around the margins. 

Here, we've ranked 10 potential sleepers for the Week 7 slate and examined four of them to explain why they're particularly tantalizing low-end pick-ups. They are ranked considering a blend of their immediate and long-term upside in head-to-head, category-based leagues. 

These 10 players are defined as sleepers because they are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues.

        

Week 7 Sleepers

1. Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Dallas Mavericks (40% owned)

2. DeAndre Hunter, SF, Atlanta Hawks (35%)

3. Markelle Fultz, PG, Orlando Magic (42%)

4. Darius Garland, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers (20%)

5. Jaxson Hayes, C, New Orleans Pelicans (12%)

6. Garrett Temple, SG, Brooklyn Nets (14%)

7. Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (3%)

8. Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Milwaukee Bucks (13%)

9. Marquese Chriss, PF, Golden State Warriors (13%)

10. Duncan Robinson, SG, Miami Heat (12%)

        

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, Dallas Mavericks

Week 6 Averages: 21.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 2.3 SPG, 52.5 FG%, 50.0 3PT%

Week 7 Schedule: 12/3 @ NOP, 12/4 vs. MIN, 12/7 vs. NOP, 12/8 vs. SAC

       

Much of the hype surrounding the Dallas Mavericks thus far has deservedly centered around 20-year old wunderkind Luka Doncic, but the Mavericks wouldn't be 12-6 with the best offense in the NBA if he didn't have some help. 

Specifically, Hardaway Jr. has been on fire over his last five games, averaging 20.2 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game while Dallas has gone 4-1 in that stretch. Sure, they played the Warriors, Cavaliers and Suns in that time, all of whom struggle on defense, but he also matched up against the Rockets and Clippers, two teams with stellar defenses. 

This next week, the Mavericks take on the Pelicans (twice), Timberwolves and Kings, three mid-tier Western Conference teams with middling-to-bad defenses. Expect Hardaway to continue his hot shooting ways.

        

Markelle Fultz, PG, Orlando Magic

Week 6 Averages: 15.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 52.8 FG%, 33.3 3PT%

Week 7 Schedule: 12/3 @ WAS, 12/4 vs. PHO, 12/6 @CLE

          

Yes, it's true. Markelle Fultz is back.

Now, Fultz is nowhere near the level we expect of a former top pick in his third season, but if you think of him as a rookie still figuring things out with a new and improving jumper, then he's on a great trajectory thus far.

The former Sixer has scored in double figures in seven straight games, shot over 50 percent in four of those games, and, most importantly, he's shooting a reasonable 33 percent from three since November 15th. 

Against guards like Isaiah Thomas, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Devin Booker this week, Fultz will likely continue to eat on offense and be disruptive on defense. Pick him up if you need points, rebounds, assists, steals or overall scoring efficiency. 

       

Jaxson Hayes, C, New Orleans Pelicans

Week 6 Averages: 8.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 55.6 FG%

Week 7 Schedule: 12/3 vs. DAL, 12/5 vs. PHO, 12/7 @ DAL

         

After declaring for the NBA Draft as a freshman, Jaxson Hayes was expected to be a raw rookie who struggled greatly early on in his career. Well, he's well on his way to conquering this learning curve with ease. 

Thanks to a bevy of early-season injuries in New Orleans, Hayes has been given ample playing time and is already making the most of it. He's started the last seven Pelicans games, most of which have been against formidable Western Conference opponents, and has averaged 9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals over that time while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. 

As players like Zion Williamson and Derrick Favors return to the court over the next few weeks, Hayes' role will be diminished. But as an energy big this week against the likes of Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber in Dallas and Aron Baynes and Frank Kaminsky in Phoenix, he should be able to put up solid numbers across the board. 

    

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Milwaukee Bucks

Week 6 Averages: 9.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 41.2 FG%

Week 7 Schedule: 12/2 vs. NYK, 12/4 @ DET, 12/6 vs. LAC

      

After an injury-plagued rookie season, Donte DiVincenzo has burst on to the scene for the Milwaukee Bucks in his second campaign. 

He's not a starter, but The Big Ragu has arguably been Milwaukee's best bench player thus far this year, scoring in double figures in seven of his last nine games and playing over 20 minutes in nine games of an 11-game winning streak. 

DiVincenzo is also an unusually good rebounder for a 6'4" guard (5.5 per game in four games last week) and defends hard. He'll undoubtedly be a key part of all three Bucks games this week, especially their prime-time clash with the Clippers on Friday night. If you're in need of spark-plug scoring or an extra infusion of defensive stats, the former NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player is worth a look.