Fantasy Basketball 2022: Ranking Sleepers for NBA Week 12

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2022

Fantasy Basketball 2022: Ranking Sleepers for NBA Week 12

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    Doug McSchooler/Associated Press

    Lance Stephenson's career resurgence with the Indiana Pacers has been one of the best stories to come out of the constant roster changes over the past month in the NBA.

    Stephenson has played so well during his latest stint in Indiana that the Eastern Conference team is expected to keep him around for the rest of the season, per reporter Marc Stein.

    The 31-year-old put up some impressive numbers in his past two games as Indiana deals with a lengthy list of absences in the backcourt. He may not produce 30 points on a nightly basis, like he did Wednesday, but he is worth a look as a fantasy basketball depth piece as long as he continues to receive playing time.

    Rajon Rondo is another veteran to consider off the waiver wire. He is expected to earn a decent volume of minutes off the bench in his new role with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Rondo turned in back-to-back double-digit performances for the Cavs, and he carries plenty of value in fantasy basketball circles because of his potential to do that in a few games per week.

Ranking Sleepers for NBA Week 12

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    10. Eric Paschall, PF/C, Utah

    9. Hassan Whiteside, PF/C, Utah

    8. Keifer Sykes, PG, Indiana

    7. Deni Avdija, SG/SF, Washington 

    6. Nassir Little, SF, Portland

    5. Max Strus, SG/SF, Miami

    4. Terrence Ross, SG/SF, Orlando

    3. Nic Claxton, C, Brooklyn

    2. Rajon Rondo, PG, Cleveland

    1. Lance Stephenson, SG/SF, Indiana

Lance Stephenson, SG/SF, Indiana

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Lance Stephenson has produced 46 points in his past two games.

    He exploded for 30 points in Wednesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets and followed that up with 16 points versus the depleted Utah Jazz on Saturday.

    Stephenson likely will not be in a high-volume scoring role for the rest of the season, but he is worth the waiver-wire pickup as the hot hand in an Indiana lineup that does not have some starters available. Indiana should soon get back some of its backcourt depth. The returns of Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert could cut into Stephenson's playing time a bit.

    However, Stephenson still carries value as a reserve option in fantasy basketball leagues because of how well he has played. His minutes may drop off a bit with Indiana at full strength, but he has made the most of his recent appearances and could be boosted by the news that the Pacers plan to keep him around.

    The Cincinnati product might also be worth an addition if the Pacers offload one of their stars before the trade deadline. Indiana has the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.

    Stephenson is worth a flier off the waiver wire now, and if he continues to impress, his roster percentage in Yahoo leagues will only increase.

Rajon Rondo, PG, Cleveland

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    Amanda Loman/Associated Press

    Rajon Rondo's fantasy basketball value skyrocketed when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 3.

    Rondo will fill the backup point guard role that was vacated by Ricky Rubio when he suffered a torn ACL.

    The 35-year-old chipped in 26 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in his first two games with the team Friday and Sunday. Rondo should produce around those same numbers every game for Cleveland since he is playing on a decent second unit alongside shooters like Kevin Love and Cedi Osman.

    The veteran point guard should average more assists per game once he works up more chemistry with his teammates.

    Rondo is more than worth a pickup on the waiver wire now because of his expected role. He could earn 20-25 minutes per game if he plays well enough behind Darius Garland.

    All of those factors should increase Rondo's roster percentage over the next few weeks, so it is worth going after him before he is unavailable.