With only 8 days until the NBA season starts, fantasy basketball drafts are being conducted at a feverish pace. I’ve covered a variety of sleepers in Sleeper Sophistication, but now, it is time to analyze some fantasy basketball deep sleepers that can be taken in the last 2 rounds of your draft. First and foremost, your pick needs some upside. Do not draft Jason Terry or Vince Carter with one of your last picks. You need a man that has some serious potential. If he doesn’t pan out, you can always drop him, but this is the point in the draft to take some well-calculated risks. Let’s get to it…
Alec Burks – As I covered here, Utah is undermanned this year. Burks might be used as a 6th man, but Coach Corbin will be forced to play him at least 33 minutes a game. He will get even more time with Trey Burke on the shelf. Alec is a shooting guard that can shoot the 3 and produce steals. He is extremely athletic, so he is exactly what you should be looking for late in the draft.
Kevin Seraphin – With fragile Okafor and brittle Nene as his competition, you have to believe that Seraphin could explode at any moment. He has proved his worth when given the court time. Kevin might not be completely ready, but he will definitely be a fantasy factor in the near future. Take a chance on him, and hope that the future is now.
DeAndre Jordan – He will probably be gone, but if he is available, pick him quickly and aggressively. Doc is going to utilize DeAndre as a defensive stopper. He is averaging almost 5 blocks per game in the preseason! If you can stomach the utterly putrid free throw shooting, Jordan will be a double-double threat with plenty of blocks and strong FG%.
The Celtics’ Roster – I drafted last Friday night, and the entire Celtics’ roster was wiped out in the last 2 rounds of our draft. It was a guessing game on who was going to be worth keeping. It is quite possible that it could be a massive time share in Boston, and everyone will be relegated to the wire. On the other hand, it is most likely that 1 or 2 guys will emerge as roster-worthy. So take your pick: Kelly Olynyk, Jordon Crawford, MarShon Brooks, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Kris Humphries, or Gerald Wallace. Your guess is as good as mine at this stage.
Corey Brewer – With Chase Budinger out indefinitely, Brewer is the man at SF. You probably picked him up on the waiver wire at some point last year, so you know that he can put up some pretty solid numbers. He will get more time in Minnesota, so nab him if you can.
Cody Zeller – You might not have a chance to choose him because rookies are often slightly inflated due to the hype, but Zeller is an athletic, big man with no competition at the PF slot (unless we are counting Bismack). He’s had a decent preseason and good reviews, so he is definitely worth consideration if you have the opportunity to pick him.
Caron Butler – Does Caron have serious potential? Nah…BUT…he will get some steals and shoot a ton of 3’s in Milwaukee. Caron’s homecoming will renew the savvy veteran. He is a safe last round pick which doesn’t fit my mantra, but you could definitely do a lot worse.
DeMarre Carroll – I drafted DeMarre in the 13th round. He has had a nice preseason, and the Hawks will be forced to play him substantial minutes. He is now shooting the 3, so he could be a very well-rounded, underrated, fantasy player.
The Cavs’ Frontcourt – Like the Celtics’ roster, one of these guys are bound to materialize. Will it be Anthony Bennett, Anderson Varejao, or Andrew Bynum? Throw Tyler Zeller in there to complicate matters. I think this dilemma depends heavily on Bynum’s return, so draft at your own risk.
Reggie Jackson – If your league is halfway decent, Reggie will be gone by the 9th round. He will be a top 60 guy for 4-6 weeks. After that time, he will transition into the Thunder’s 6th man when Westbrook returns. As exhibited here, Oklahoma’s schedule is wonderful, and who’s to say that Westbrook won’t have more complications? If you can get him, pounce!
Andrew Bogut – It’s safe to bet your life that Bogut won’t play all 82 games, but you cannot deny his stats when he actually participates. He claims to feel wonderful. However, two minutes into the last preseason game, he was yanked with a back tweak. You know what you are getting into if you draft him. He’s a frustrating roller coaster ride with a poor free throw percentage, yet the former #1 pick still possesses some serious potential.
Tony Allen – If the Grizzlies increase the pace like they say they are, Tony Allen should occupy a roster spot in your league. Under Lionel Hollins, Tony did not get a chance to participate in the offense at all. I believe he will average double digit points this year, and he will always hover around 2 steals per game. If you are desperate for a 3rd shooting guard, stake your claim.
Keep your fantasy basketball questions coming. Email me at [email protected] , leave a question in the comments section below, or contact me on facebook. I’m Alpine Fantasy Basketball.