Monday, October 10, 2005

2005 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

In the fantasy world, there’s nothing better than drafting a sleeper late in the draft and seeing him live up to your hopes. Last year, anyone could draft Michael Redd in the 4th or 5th round and see him put up nice numbers. But he wasn’t nearly as happy as the guy who drafted Joe Johnson in the 8th or 9th round and saw him put up even better numbers. We can preach to you all day the importance of the scarcity positions, or who you should take with your 3rd pick, or which studs are big time injury risks. But fantasy seasons can be won with a couple of successful sleeper picks. Here are some of our favorites for this year:

PG: TJ Ford, Mil - One of my favorite strategies in drafting in any fantasy sport is to pick guys that others may have just forgotten about. Ford was a popular mid-late round pick his rookie year, and there’s no reason to think that just because he was hurt last year that his skills diminished at all. Other potential sleepers: Jameer Nelson, Sebastian Telfair.

SG: Bonzi Wells, Sac – Just like the Denver Broncos’ backfield, whoever plays major minutes in Sacramento has great fantasy value. When Cuttino Mobley got traded there last year, he responded with career highs in assists and FG%, while posting his highest ppg since 2002. Between the big jump in mpg that Bonzi will get from leaving Memphis and the fact that he’s entering fantasy heaven with the Kings means he’s got all sorts of sleeper potential this year. Other potential sleepers: Marquis Daniels, JR Smith.

SF: Eddie Griffin, Min – Given playing time, this guy could be a fantasy monster. Now that he’s in the rotation at C in Minnesota, he might be finding himself some more PT and more fantasy value. If he got 35 mpg he could potentially end up with over 3 blocks, 2 3’s, and a double-double. That is a serious outside shot, but still. Other potential sleepers: Trevor Ariza, Travis Outlaw.

PF: Darius Songaila, Chi – This is a pretty big sleeper here. Before the Curry deal Darius looked primed for a breakout season, but now there are more bodies to compete with for playing time, notably Michael Sweetney. Still, if the playing time comes his way, Songaila will be a solid contributor. Other potential sleepers: Kwame Brown, Al Jefferson.

C: Chris Mihm, LAL – With rumors of Andrew Bynum potentially spending some time in the D-League, Chris Mihm’s draft stock rises pretty quickly. He’s got double-double potential given the minutes. And it’s looking like he might get them. Other potential sleepers: Zaza Pachulia, Nazr Mohammed.

Now of course, this here blogosphere is all about sharing information. Anyone else have any sleepers they’ve got their eye on?


Blogger p_bulatovic said...

Raja Bell - He put up decent stats last year, and that was playing with Utah. The fact that he had 12ppg, two 3pg(40%) and a steal with no real point guard shows what he can do. With Nash running the show i expect his offensive stats to swell, if only that. I'm of course assuming that he is replacing Joe Johnson in Pheonix's starting line up.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Eric Truett said...

yikes, these are rip van winkle sleepers.

the best value players compared to draft position, IMHO, are:

Donyell Marshall, average draft pick 87.36
He will get plenty of minutes and plenty of open looks in CLE. Was #9 on ESPN player rater in 2003-2004 and his skills have not eroded.

Kenyon Martin, ADP 66.03
Are you serious? People are drafting Mighty Mouse ahead of him? He is coming out of an "off" season where he was 52 on the average player rater. His rebounding numbers need to improve, but the steals and blocks and FG% are excellent.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, ADP 66.75
He is moving to an offensive juggernaut where he is the primary low-post player (Miller passes out of the high post). This is virtually guaranteed 18PTS-9REB-3AST with great%. Remember, before he got #*&(# in Portland, he was a late 2nd round pick in most drafts.

Sam Cassell, ADP 94.39
Cassell's per minute numbers last season were excellent--he just had health problems keeping him off the court. If he had played 33 MPG, which is a realistic estimate for this year, his # were 17.33 pts, 6.5 ast, at good %s.

Ricky Davis, ADP 97.68
Given that Boston has no established PG (Dickau does not count), Davis can boost his AST and keep his other stats in line. Tony Allen is out so Davis will get big minutes.

Darius Miles, ADP 110.60
This guy can do it all except shoot free throws. Absurd athleticism at 6'9" and 23 years old. He averaged 1.2 blk and 1.2 stl in TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES at SG. And he has multi-position eligibility to boot.

7:31 PM  
Blogger bv said...

great comment eric, thanks for the post! I agree with many of your picks, but I'd wait another week or so to see where the ADP of these players really shake out. Early on, the ESPN ADPs are pretty skewed by just a couple of drafts.

12:40 AM  

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