As the 2015-2016 NBA season appoaches every NBA GM is looking for the next Demarre Carroll, a 3 and D guy on a cheap contract. Fantasy owners, on the other hand, are looking something similar, which is a cheap player that produces more than just 3s, but also assists, steals and blocks. Since blocks and steals add two points in fantasy league, a versatile player that can get you 2 steals or 2 blocks per game is highly valued. In fantasy leagues, it is all about cost to value ratio. And while everyone will be looking to nab Lebron James, Steph Curry, Harden, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant, you also want players that can round your roster and give you enough points. View our top 10 NBA fantasy sleepers that can have a huge impact on your 2015-2016 fantasy basketball season.
It is hard to qualify Whiteside as a sleeper, as he emerged last season as one of the best centers in the league. But he is still on a cheap contrast, and chances are, in a 10 man fantasy league, he will be available until round 3 or 4. Be smart and get him in the second or third round. Last year, Whiteside produced almost 12 points, more than 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Additionally, he is a high percentage shooter, shooting 62% from the floor. The only downside is his fouls. He doesn’t commit many turnovers, so you won’t get penalized. And Whiteside will benefit from a full season with Goran Dragic running the point.
Gobert is another player that emerged last season, especially after EnesKanter was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gobert averaged more than 12 rebounds and almost three blocks per game after the trade, and with more minutes this season, he might get those numbers through the season. Another benefit, same as with Whiteside, is that Gobert gets his points mostly on dunks and putbacks, so you know he will have high field goal percentage. If Whiteside is out, Gobert is a nice choice for some decent points on the cheap.
Hayward is the de facto franchise player of the Utah Jazz, giving you almost 20 points per night. He is another multi-category guy that will give you assists, rebounds, steals, and shoots almost 37% from behind the line. With more help this season, and defenses focusing on Gobert and other Jazz players, look for Hayward to be even more effective and increase his points and assists while improving the shooting percentage.
People forget that Courtney Lee is one of the best 3-pt shooters in the league. And with all the space he has in Memphis, thanks to the penetration of Mike Conley and playmaking of Marc Gasol on the post, Lee is almost always open. He will be the starting SG of a very good Memphis team that is in dire need of points. Last year, his 3-pt attempts rose to 3 per game, and you can expect even more this year as Memphis will be more comfortable with a more up-tempo offense. Aside from treys, Lee also provides assists, steals and rebounds, and over 10 points per game. Not bad for a guy that might be available in sixth or seventh round of fantasy draft. Another bonus, Lee played 77 games last year, and he rarely misses more than 4 games per season, making him incredibly consistent.
Conley is arguably a top 10 point guard in the NBA, but he is often overlooked due to the fancy stuff from Steph Curry, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and others. We are not saying he is as good as those guys, but he is almost on their level, and he can occasionally go for 30 points. But what you can be certain with Conley is that he is steady and consistent, and rarely misses a game. Conley will probably be available in the fourth or fifth round of fantasy basketball.
Patterson was the backup PF in Toronto last year, but now Amir Johnson is gone to Boston, and Patterson will get even more minutes. In just 26 minutes of action, Patterson provided 8 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds per game for the Raptors last year. This year, those numbers will be higher. Another advantage of Patterson, when compared to other big guys, is that he doesn’t commit turnovers. Last year he averaged 0.7 turnovers per game, which is nothing when compared with other big men.
Goran Dragic is gone from Phoenix, Isaiah Thomas is also gone, and Bledsoe is the de facto starting point guard for the Suns. Brandon Knight is also there, but the Suns were able to use two point guards before, and there is no reason to think they won’t continue that tradition. Bledsoe’s value lies in his steals, as he is averaging close to two steals per game. The downside is he is also a high turnover player, but he makes it up with assists and tons of free throw shots.
After getting a fat contract from the Bucks, Middleton will be expected to further improve his game. And the young wing can certainly get more assists and steals. The Bucks have several young players that can fill up the stat sheet, but Middleton looks like the best choice among the Greek Freak, Greg Monroe and others.
If treys is what you are looking for, Redick is your guy. The shooting guard averaged almost 6 attempts per game last season, and he converted more than 44% of them. Redick can also give you few assists and rebounds, all while averaging 16+ points per game. Talk about high value for low price.
In the 2014-2015 playoffs, McCollum finally showed he is capable of big things. This year, people in Portland expect the young guard to bring the same intensity and consistency to the regular season. Judging by the preseason, McCollum is ready to take flight in Portland, and he is still on a rookie deal and probably will be available in later rounds of fantasy basketball. There will be more shots for McCollum this season, and if he further improves on his 3-pt shooting, which was close to 39% last year, you have a great cost-to-value player.