Fantasy Basketball 2020: Deep NBA Sleepers After January 5

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2020

Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya reacts as the Los Angeles Lakers score during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 106-99. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

As we go into Week 12 of the 2019-20 season, the Detroit Pistons' lineup changes and trade buzz surrounding their star big man should catch your immediate attention.

Over the last week, Detroit has tinkered with its rotations, allowing young talent to shine in the first few games of 2020. The Pistons may be busy near the trade deadline, so some of their moves could hold for the long term. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves allowed their top rookie to go through ups and downs as a starter. After some disappointing fantasy performances and a bout of illness, the first-year talent is starting to show promise in an expanded role. Owners should pick him up in case he takes off in the coming weeks. 

Let's take a look at eight potential deep-sleeper acquisitions who are available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Monday 3 a.m. ET. Aside from the upstart talent in Detroit and Minnesota, where should managers look for a midseason boost in production?

               

Top Deep Sleepers After January 5            

C Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns (37 percent owned)

PF/C Christian Wood, Detroit Pistons (23 percent owned)

SF/PF Sekou Doumbouya, Detroit Pistons (21 percent owned)

SF/PF Cedi Osman, Cleveland Cavaliers (27 percent owned)

SF/PF Jae Crowder, Memphis Grizzlies (32 percent owned)

PG/SG/SF Jarrett Culver, Minnesota Timberwolves (13 percent owned) 

PG Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers (34 percent owned)

PG Ish Smith, Washington Wizards (23 percent owned)

            

SF/PF Sekou Doumbouya, Detroit Pistons (21 percent owned) 

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons reacts to being fouled by LeBron James #23 as Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on in the second half at Staples Center on January 5, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
John McCoy/Getty Images

Despite a modest performance against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sekou Doumbouya lists as the rising waiver-wire star in recent days. In a short period, the 6'8" forward has displayed his versatility and playmaking ability on both ends of the court. 

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey inserted the 19-year-old in the starting lineup last week. The rookie has opened with the first unit in three consecutive outings as Blake Griffin deals with knee soreness.

In two out of those last three games, Doumbouya has recorded double-doubles to go along with three steals and two blocks through the entire stretch.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pistons and Atlanta Hawks were engaged in trade talks for Andre Drummond. Although the negotiations haven't advanced, Detroit may look to sell its assets closer to the deadline.

With Griffin out and Drummond possibly on the move, Doumbouya should be owned in all leagues. The Pistons are 13-24 and will likely give their young talent a significant amount of playing time in the second half of the season. Don't be surprised if the rookie holds on to a starting job for the remainder of the campaign.

 

SF/PF Cedi Osman, Cleveland Cavaliers (27 percent owned)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

As forward Kevin Love's frustrations with the Cleveland Cavaliers bubble to the surface and Larry Nance Jr. nurses a knee injury, keep an eye on Cedi Osman. 

The 24-year-old has logged double-digit scoring totals in three of the last four games. Although he cooled off against the Timberwolves Sunday, he still played 30 minutes as Love sat on the bench for a rest day.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Cavaliers have "fresh optimism" for a possibility of a trade involving Love. If he's not dealt until February, fantasy managers can still capitalize on Osman's expanded role in the meantime. As a starter, he's averaging 28.8 minutes per contest, posting solid statistics in triples and points. 

Owners would probably like to see the third-year forward produce solid numbers on the defensive end, but that's not the case. He's an offensive spark with long-term upside.

               

PG/SG/SF Jarrett Culver, Minnesota Timberwolves (13 percent owned)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Typically, rookies in big roles find their grooves at this point in the season. In November, Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders made a switch in the starting lineup at point guard, moving Jeff Teague to the bench in favor of Jarrett Culver.

After some uneven starts and multiple games coming off the bench in the past couple of months, the 20-year-old has shown his potential over the last four outings, logging double figures in points with scattered statistics in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Teague returned to action Sunday after missing two games with a knee injury, playing 17 minutes off the bench. He could be subject to trade talks if the Timberwolves (14-21) drift too far away from the playoff picture in the coming weeks. 

Regardless of Teague's standing with the team, the Timberwolves seem committed to Culver's development. He's listed as a point guard, shooting guard and small forward in Yahoo leagues.

The rookie out of Texas Tech offers managers position versatility along with his multi-categorical contributions. He has short- and long-term appeal.

Related

    Newest NBA Power Rankings 📊

    Can anyone catch Giannis and the Bucks?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Newest NBA Power Rankings 📊

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Vanessa Bryant Files Lawsuit

    Bryant files wrongful death suit against company that operated helicopter in crash that killed Kobe, Gianna and seven others

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Vanessa Bryant Files Lawsuit

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    The Legend of Mambacita 🙏🐍

    @MirinFader spoke to friends and coaches who shared their favorite stories about Gigi Bryant ➡️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    The Legend of Mambacita 🙏🐍

    Mirin Fader
    via Bleacher Report

    Tatum Exposed Crucial Lakers Weakness

    Lakers got away with a win, but a trend emerges with Tatum's 41-point night ➡️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Tatum Exposed Crucial Lakers Weakness

    Eric Pincus
    via Bleacher Report