9 fantasy sleepers to target

From Seth Curry to James Wiseman, these players could be key to your fantasy teams this season.

The NBA is almost back!

With tip-off days away on Dec. 22, fantasy basketball managers need to start preparing for their draft and the season that lies ahead. As is the case in nearly all fantasy sports, acquiring exceptional value during your draft is more meaningful to winning that title than who you take within the first couple rounds. While you can lose the draft by taking on too much risk early, we generally know what the stable early-round ballers bring to the table and their high price leaves no equity built into their cost. So which late-round athletes have value that may far exceed their price? We’ve got our featured analysts in to assist you with that and help you dominate your draft! Read on to see who you should be targeting late.

Q. What one player outside the top 120 is your favorite sleeper target and why?

Seth Curry (PG/SG – PHI): ECR – 121st Overall
“Josh Richardson may have been the headline of the draft-day trade between the Mavericks and 76ers, but Curry could be the individual player that benefits the most. He averaged 24.6 minutes per game in a supporting role in Dallas last season and now steps into the starting lineup at the position that gave both Richardson and J.J. Reddick over 30 minutes per game in recent years. Curry has an impressive 44.3% career three-point shooting percentage and he was even better last season at 45.2%. He should get plenty of opportunities to rack up threes while spacing the court alongside Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris, but don’t sleep on his underrated ability to drive the lane when the opportunity presents itself. He’s the perfect player to help boost your fantasy roster’s shooting percentages all around.”
– Aaron Larson (FantasyPros)

“Don’t snooze on Seth Curry. The seven-year player out of Duke projects to be the starting SG for Philadelphia this season. He currently sits at 121 in the latest expert consensus rankings and is extremely undervalued given the role he’ll play for the Sixers. Ben Simmons is among the leaders in assisted three-pointers and with Curry having the second-highest 3PT percentage in NBA history (trailing Steve Kerr), he’ll get plenty of opportunities to flourish in this offense. With per-36 minutes averages of 18.1 PPG, 3.3 REB, 2.8 APG, and 3.3 3PM last season, I think he’ll come very close to hitting those numbers as the poor man’s C.J. McCollum of the Sixers.”
– Dan Titus (FantasyPros)

Spencer Dinwiddie (PG/SG – BKN): ECR – 131st Overall
“Dinwiddie is currently 134th in the latest expert consensus rankings, but someone who I believe has a lot of potential late in fantasy drafts. He had a career season in 2019-20, averaging 20.6 points, 6.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 0.6 steals, and 1.9 triples across 31.2 minutes. The 27-year-old also had a 28.7 usage rate and an offensive rating of 110.5. Dinwiddie did sit out the NBA restart in Orlando after testing positive for COVID-19, but is all systems go for 2020-21. The Nets will have superstars Kevin Durant (Achilles) and Kyrie Irving (shoulder) back from injury for the 2020-21 campaign. Durant has been out of action since the 2019 NBA Finals and Irving hasn’t played in 70 games since the 2016-17 season. The chances of Durant and Irving staying healthy for the entire season are slim and fantasy managers witnessed Dinwiddie thrive in a primary role last year. Even with Durant and Irving on the court, Dinwiddie is expected to be a top-three option on the Nets’ offense and will be a player I am targeting in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.”
– Brad Camara (FantasyPros)

Malik Beasley (PG/SG – MIN): ECR – 123rd Overall
“Beasley is criminally underrated heading into the 2020-21 season. After joining the Timberwolves via trade from the Nuggets last season, he immediately entered the starting lineup and averaged 20.7 points (47.2% FG), 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and just 1.5 turnovers in 33 minutes per game for Minnesota. He was rewarded with a handsome four-year, $60M extension for his 14-game performance. Based on the first preseason game, it looks like Beasley will be the third option on offense behind D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. It’s not very often a guy ranked outside the top 120 has the potential to average 20+ points in 30+ minutes per game, so make sure you give Beasley a long, hard look after the top-100 players are off the board.”
– Adam Koffler (FantasyPros)

Troy Brown (SG/SF – WAS): ECR – 167th Overall
“I want every part of the Wizards’ offense this year and Brown looks vastly underpriced to me as a result. Russell Westbrook has an incorrect stigma as a shot-hogger since he took a lot of them from Harden, but in the three years prior with OKC, he averaged a 47% assist rate. More importantly, Westbrook pushes the pace. The Wizards already ranked seventh in pace factor last year, which will undoubtedly go up, and Houston was a top-five pace team with Westbrook in and were bottom five with him out last year. Brown is an up-and-coming player that contributes in all five categories and the floor spacing with Westbrook running point should help Brown improve on his (already decent) 44% shooting from the field and 33% shooting from downtown while helping all other categories.”
– Jamie Calandro (Fantasy Team Advice)

Elfrid Payton (PG – NYK): ECR – 147th Overall
“Back with the Knicks, Payton is set up to blow away his current ECR. In his first season with New York in 2019-20, the Louisiana product averaged 10.0 points, 7.2 dimes, 4.7 boards, and 1.6 steals while providing fantasy managers some reliable nightly production. The Knicks added some additional scoring options in Alec Burks and Obi Toppin, which should only aid Payton’s assist numbers. Health has been a major concern as of late (played 45 games or fewer in each of his last two seasons), but as long as he’s on the court, Payton is oozing with triple-double upside. He’s not a great shooter, but even marginal improvement in that area would be huge for his value.”
– Zachary Hanshew (FantasyPros)

Nerlens Noel (PF/C – NYK): ECR – 140th Overall
“I’m loving Noel at an ADP around 140. He’s always been a great per-minute producer and new Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau seems poised to give Noel plenty of run at the center position. After starting each of New York’s first two preseason games and averaging almost 23 minutes of court time, Noel is producing 6.5 points per game on 54.5% shooting, with nine rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks, and a steal per contest. Mitchell Robinson continues to struggle with foul trouble and seems to be working his way into Thib’s doghouse, opening the door for Noel to run with the current opportunity.”
– Jason Willan (The Fake Basketball)

Chris Boucher (PF/C – TOR): ECR – 153rd Overall
“Boucher isn’t going to start, but coach Nick Nurse says he will be the first big off the bench for the Raptors, which should vault his minutes into the low-to-mid 20s. That is more than enough playing time to provide mid-round value for a player who ranked 13th in the entire NBA in fantasy value per 36 minutes last season. Look for Boucher to be a big difference-maker in blocks and he can also chip in some points, rebounds, and threes without hurting you in the shooting percentages or turnovers. That is incredible value for a player ranked outside the top 150.”
– Andrew Seifter (FantasyPros)

DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C – HOU): ECR – 170th Overall
“Cousins is a name that I’m targeting late in drafts that I think can easily outperform his ADP. While I understand that he’s no longer the superstar that he was in New Orleans, his ECR of 170 seems disrespectfully low. Christian Wood has been flying up draft boards due to his opportunity as a big man in a James Harden-led offense, as we’ve seen Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker, and Dwight Howard all find success in similar roles. While I agree that Wood is undoubtedly the center to own on this Houston squad, Cousins could find himself with more playing time as the season progresses or even starting in the unfortunate case of an injury. If he’s able to carve out a role of 18-22 minutes per game, he could pay off as a scoring and rebounding machine on this high-powered Houston roster.”
– Dave Kluge (FantasyPros)

James Wiseman (C – GSW): ECR – 135th Overall
“Wiseman is the talented rookie big man that landed at the perfect place. His 7’6” wingspan should naturally lead to rebounds and blocks. On top of that, he is a post player than can run the floor and knock down long-range shots. Given the tempo that the Warriors like to play with when Stephen Curry is healthy, the opportunity for points and rebounds is going to be high and he could be a double-double machine very early on.”
– Zach Brunner (FlurrySports)