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Fantasy Basketball 2020: Ranking Sleepers for NBA Week 20

Theo SalaunContributor IIIMarch 2, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton, left, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press

It's Week 20 of the 2020 NBA season and officially crunch time for fantasy basketball managers. But before you read ahead, make sure you have a bid on the Philadelphia 76ers' Shake Milton if he isn't already owned in your league.

There are other appealing sleepers for Week 20 and beyond, but the 23-year-old is in a tier of his own and deserves appropriate eagerness.

With the Milton PSA taken care of, read on below for a ranked list of our sleepers for this week (all owned in under 33 percent of Yahoo leagues) and then some analysis of the top three: Milton, Damion Lee and Luke Kennard.

                 

1. PG/SG Shake Milton (Philadelphia 76ers, 32 percent owned)

2. SG Damion Lee (Golden State Warriors, 31 percent owned)

3. SG Luke Kennard (Detroit Pistons, 30 percent owned)

4. PG Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers, 28 percent owned)

5. SF De'Andre Hunter (Atlanta Hawks, 28 percent owned)

6. SF/PF Juancho Hernangomez (Minnesota Timberwolves, 24 percent owned)

                     

Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers

As Ben Simmons sits out with a pinched nerve in his lower back, Milton has been on an absolute tear.

In the four games Simmons has missed, Milton has played 33.5 minutes per game and averaged 21.3 points (with 4.3 threes), 3.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists (while also chipping in a solid 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks).

The SMU product is shooting 64 percent from the field over that same stretch and 80 percent from the free-throw line in the 27 games he's played this season.

This Milton thing is real, and fantasy managers should be racing to pick him up following a 39-point outing (with seven threes) against the typically suffocating Los Angeles Clippers. 

NBA @NBA

Shake Milton CAREER-HIGH 39 ‼️ @SniperShake erupts for 39 PTS, 7 3PM for the @sixers in LA. https://t.co/J0EzZ0uSGi

Simmons' timeline is unclear and Josh Richardson recently went down with a concussion, meaning the guard minutes are wide open for a surprising sniper who gives Philadelphia's offense some much-needed spacing. No matter how you shake it, this is a no-brainer.

                

Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors

A couple tiers down, we find Lee. It's not an exciting sleeper, but the Warriors are committed to him having a role on the team, and he's been playing a ton of minutes as of late and finding some useful production.

The 27-year-old has played over 30 minutes in seven of Golden State's last eight games, scored double-digit points in eight straight and multiple threes in five straight. His lines aren't typically eye-popping, but it's good, honest work that gets the box-score filling job done.

To be more specific, Lee has played 32.6 minutes over his last eight games while averaging 16.3 points (with 2.9 threes), 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Jordan Poole recently hit the injury report, which frees up even more minutes for the wing who has already stepped into the playing (and shooting) opportunity voided by Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III's departures.

You can do a lot worse than Lee steadying your fantasy team's numbers from the bottom of your roster. Plus, there's a strong chance that Stephen Curry's return makes life a lot easier for a Warriors squad that has been decimated by injuries and reliant on inexperience. 

                   

Luke Kennard, Detroit Pistons

Kennard is a trickier option than others here, with a much lower floor given his injury questions juxtaposed against the high ceiling granted by his talent and foreseeable role. If you can afford it, he is a worthwhile stash.

If not, you can prioritize someone like the Minnesota Timberwolves' Juancho Hernangomez or the Cleveland Cavaliers' Darius Garland, whose teams each play four games this week.

The Pistons don't play until Wednesday, so if you don't want to sacrifice early production, you can go after a San Antonio Spurs' rotation player since they play back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday.

As for why Kennard is worth investing in, just look at his regular-season averages in the 2019-20 season: 15.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds—with season-high ceilings of 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. 

There's also the added upside of Derrick Rose's likely vacated minutes, after the veteran guard left Sunday's matchup with an ankle injury. Kennard, who has been Detroit's best playmaker for much of the season, is the team's top candidate to carry the offense once he's back and off of a short-term minutes restriction.

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