Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012-13 Draft Prep: Draft Day sleepers

Fantasy Writer
  •  

Basketball season has returned and with a new season springs new hope for all Fantasy owners. Now is the time to start looking at some of those lesser-known players that will help out your team. After the big names are gone, it will be the players that may have fallen through the cracks that will help you fill out the rest of your roster.

Plenty of players have changed addresses this offseason and we think some of the rookies will make an impact in their first year in the NBA. While some teams are still pretty undecided on their rotations, we at CBSSports.com have combed through the transaction page and depth charts to put together a list of players who might fly under the radar on Draft Day.

These sleepers could pay big dividends toward a Fantasy championship.

Centers

Omer Asik, Rockets: After two years in Chicago, Asik signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Rockets in the offseason and will step into a starting role in Houston. He saw slightly more than 13 minutes per game behind Joakim Noah in Chicago last season and averaged fewer than 3.0 points with 4.4 rebounds. He posted 10.5 boards and two blocks in the two games he started, however, and has shot close to 53 percent from the field through his first two seasons in the NBA. While Asik has proven in the past to be a viable option in category-based formats, his inability to score has hindered his value in larger leagues. The Rockets will need to find points somewhere on a revamped roster so the 26-year-old will be given every opportunity to prove himself. There are few true 7-footers in the NBA and Asik is expected to put up solid rebounding and block totals nightly for owners. Even if he can't get close to double-digit scoring on a consistent basis, Asik could end up being a solid pickup in the late rounds on Draft Day, especially at a thin position in Fantasy.

Gustavo Ayon, Magic: Ayon jumped on the Fantasy map late last season with some solid performances for the Hornets and should see some steady playing time in 2012-13 after being traded to the Magic during the offseason. He averaged 8.3 points with 6.4 rebounds as a starter and chipped in with two assists and 1.1 blocks. Ayon also shot 53.6 percent from the field for the year and should once again be able to be counted on to post close to double-digit scoring and rebounding totals most nights. While he is not expected to put up the numbers Dwight Howard did, the 27-year-old should be a consistent contributor at a thin position, especially if he starts ahead of Nikola Vucevic at center. Target Ayon in the later rounds on Draft Day as someone who could end up making a difference in deeper formats.

Forwards

Tyrus Thomas, Bobcats: Fantasy owners have been waiting for Thomas to break out since he was drafted out of LSU in 2006 as he seems to appear on a sleeper list almost every year. Last season was quite possibly the worst of his career as he averaged just 5.6 points -- his lowest total since his rookie campaign -- with just 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over 54 contests for the Bobcats. He also shot a career-worst 36.7 percent from the floor and had a public falling out with then-head coach Paul Silas. With new coach Mike Dunlap at the helm, a fresh start could be just what the doctor ordered for the 26-year-old. Thomas added about 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason and could be on the verge of finally becoming a reliable option in Fantasy. Everyone knows about his prowess for blocking shots and he would be very valuable in Fantasy if he can get back to putting up decent scoring on a nightly basis. Keep an eye on his progress early on but if Thomas sees solid minutes at power forward in Charlotte, he will be helpful to owners in many leagues.

Trevor Booker, Wizards: Booker made solid progress in his second season in the NBA and should be able to take his game to the next level in 2012-13. After averaging just 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds during his rookie campaign, he upped those numbers to 8.4 and 6.5 last season. He also put up a steal and block per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. Booker proved to be productive as a starter as well, averaging 9.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in the 32 games he was in the starting lineup. The 24-year-old could see a huge role with the Wizards this season, especially with Nene's fragile history, so keep an eye on his progress early on. If he is able to get his scoring up into the mid-teens, Booker will definitely have appeal in deeper Fantasy formats.

Anthony Randolph, Nuggets: Randolph continued to disappoint owners last season as he averaged just 7.4 points with 3.6 rebounds while seeing action in 34 games for the Timberwolves. He simply failed to maintain any kind of consistency. That's two straight down years after his breakout campaign in 2009-10, but a new start in Denver could yield some positive results in Fantasy. He is expected to see playing time behind Kenneth Faried and seems very well suited to play in coach George Karl's up-tempo offense. Randolph can put up double-digit scoring with decent rebounds and more than a block per game when going well, so consider targeting the 23-year-old in deeper Fantasy formats on Draft Day.

Andray Blatche, Nets: Blatche appeared to be on the rise in Fantasy after making progress in three straight campaigns that climaxed when he averaged 16.8 points with 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 2010-11. He had a devastating season a year ago for the Wizards, however, as he played in just 26 games due to injury and other issues, putting up just 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. Blatche receives a fresh start in 2012-13 after he left Washington via the amnesty rule and signed with Brooklyn during the offseason. He is expected to serve as the backup center to Brook Lopez and could also see time at power forward behind Kris Humphries. There is a lot of buzz around the Nets heading into this season and the 26-year-old has proven to be productive when motivated. Owners in deeper formats should consider Blatche a worthwhile risk on Draft Day as he seems primed to bounce back.

Samardo Samuels, Cavaliers: After a down 2011-12 campaign, Samuels re-dedicated himself during the offseason and showed up to camp 20 pounds slimmer. He also cut his body fat from 15 percent to the 6 percent to 7 percent range. Samuels averaged 7.8 points with 4.3 rebounds during his rookie season, but put up just 5.4 points with 3.3 rebounds a year ago. He is expected to be the backup power forward to Tristan Thompson heading into 2012-13 and will also see some time at center behind Anderson Varejao and rookie Tyler Zeller. Coach Byron Scott has pointed out that Samuels is one of the few players on the Cavs that can score with his back to the basket. With a new physique, he could pay dividends in Fantasy. His role limits his appeal to deeper formats, but owners in those leagues should keep Samuels on their radar.

Guards

Aaron Brooks, Kings: Brooks returns to the NBA after spending last season in China and will compete with Jimmer Fredette to serve as the primary backup to Isaiah Thomas in Sacramento. Brooks played in 41 games last season for the Guandong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association and averaged a team-high 22.3 points. He is just two seasons removed from winning the league’s Most Improved Player award, when he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists with Houston in 2009-10, and can obviously still put up some points. Brooks has proven more in the NBA than Fredette so he should have a nice role off the bench for the Kings. If he can even come close to the numbers he put up in 2009-10, the 27-year-old will be worth a look in deeper Fantasy formats.

Kirk Hinrich, Bulls: After spending the last two seasons in Washington and Atlanta, Hinrich signed with Chicago in the offseason and rejoins the team that drafted him in 2003. He averaged just 6.6 points with 2.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds backing up Jeff Teague last season for the Hawks and shot a career-low 34 percent from the 3-point line. While he did do slightly better as a starter, the 31-year-old pretty much fell off the map in Fantasy. With Derrick Rose expected to miss extensive time due to a torn ACL, Hinrich should have a big role in his first season back with the Bulls. That means it’s possible he could return to the 13.4 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals he averaged with the team from 2003-2010. Hinrich has always done a decent job from beyond the arc and his production should increase in 2012-13, so consider him a worthwhile option in deeper formats while he is seeing some run with Rose out.

Shelvin Mack, Wizards: Along the same lines as Hinrich, Mack will compete with A.J. Price to serve as the starting point guard for Washington while John Wall (patella) is out. Mack averaged just 3.6 points with 2.0 assists and shot 40 percent from the field in his first season out of Butler, but the Wizards appear to be pretty high on the 22-year-old. He averaged 14.1 points and 1.1 steals in his three years in college and shot close to 36 percent from beyond the arc. His value will obviously go down once Wall returns, but if he is able to beat out Price for the majority of the playing time, Mack will be worth owning in deeper Fantasy formats.

Rookies

Jared Sullinger, Celtics: Sullinger has garnered some rave reviews since being taken No. 21 overall in the 2012 Draft by the Celtics and figures to have a prominent role during his rookie campaign. After putting up 17.3 points with 9.7 rebounds during his two years at Ohio State, he averaged 11.2 points with 8.6 rebounds and a steal during the Summer League and gives Boston some much-needed size in the frontcourt. Some back issues caused him to drop in the draft but, Sullinger could end up starting in Boston and make a difference in Fantasy -- if he can stay healthy. Fantasy owners should be able to count on consistent low-end scoring and rebounding totals from the 20-year-old and with Kevin Garnett mentoring him, the former Buckeye should progress as the season goes on. Sullinger is worth taking a flier on in deeper Fantasy formats as he could steal playing time from Brandon Bass and surprise some owners.

Terrence Jones, Rockets: Jones was taken with the No. 18 overall pick by the Rockets in the 2012 Draft and showed during the Summer League that he can put up some points as he averaged 18.2 points with 8.6 rebounds. He was a bit overshadowed on a stacked Kentucky team in college, but still averaged 12.3 points per game with 7.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.8 blocks. Houston will likely have him coming off the bench to begin the season, as the Rockets will need point-production from somewhere. That means the 20-year-old should be able to force his way on the floor with his shooting range. The Rockets have a plethora of power forwards on the roster but Jones appears to have the most upside and should be able to make a difference in Fantasy in 2012-13. Target Jones in the later rounds on Draft Day.

Harrison Barnes, Warriors: After averaging 17.1 points with 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals during his sophomore season at North Carolina, Barnes was taken No. 7 overall by the Warriors in the 2012 Draft and is already fighting for a starting job in Golden State. He has been competing with Brandon Rush for minutes at small forward thus far and impressed during the Summer League, when he averaged 16.8 points with 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals. The 20-year-old has the scoring ability to make a difference in Fantasy. Even if he comes off the bench early on, he should be in line to see a healthy amount of minutes. Barnes is definitely a rookie to watch in 2012-13 and is worth targeting.

Meyers Leonard, Trail Blazers: Leonard took a huge step forward during his sophomore season at Illinois and ended up as the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by Portland. After averaging just 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds during his freshman year, he put up 13.6 points with 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season and was considered as one of the more athletic big men in the draft. He has been coming off the bench so far in the preseason, but can run the floor and has a decent jump shot for a 7-footer. While he will play against the likes of Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson and many of the big men in the Western Conference, he should be able to hold his own and at the very least put up decent rebounding and block totals. Owners shouldn't expect a ton of scoring early on from Leonard, but the 20-year-old is definitely worth a look, especially at a thin position in Fantasy.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rajon Rondo ramping up contact work in Celtics practice
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:48 am ET) Celtics guard Rajon Rondo could be cleared by the team's medical staff early next week, and coach Brad Stevens expressed optimism when discussing his point guard's potential availability Friday for the start of the season.

"Now it's just a matter of getting clearance, really," said Stevens. "Because everything else, from a skill standpoint, from an understanding standpoint -- he's been running our offense in 5-on-0, up and down the court, for 10 days now. And he picks it up pretty quickly anyways. And we spent some time watching film, whether it's of the team when he's not on the floor, or just simple stuff that he's been able to do in practice to just try to expedite being ready." 

Rondo is dealing with a fractured left metacarpal, and has already begun taking part in some contact activities, though not clear contact. He is wearing extra padding on the hand during practice, and there at least remains a chance Rondo will be in the lineup for the start of the regular season if he receives clearance.

"It's not my call, that's the way I look at it," Stevens said. "When [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte] tells me that someone is ready to play, that's the go-ahead to let them play."


No guarantee Jason Richardson plays for 76ers
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:27 am ET) The 76ers are probably going to keep veteran guard Jason Richardson and his $6.6 million contract for the upcoming season, but there is no guarantee he will see the floor.

"I think it's going to be a challenge," coach Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday. "But I really don't know. I just feel like he's been out of it for a while, and it's going to be a really difficult task."

Richardson has not played since January 2013 due to a knee injury, but the team wants to keep him around to help with a young locker room, Brown said. 


Nets exercise options for Mason Plumlee, Sergey Karasev
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) The Nets exercised third-year options on center Mason Plumlee and forward Sergey Karasev Friday, the team announced. The decision will keep both players in Brooklyn through the 2015-16 season, and both players have team options for their fourth seasons in 2016-17.

Plumlee appeared in 70 games as a rookie and was surprisingly effective, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes per game. He shot 65.9 percent from the field and road his success to an appearance on Team USA's gold medal-winning FIBA World Cup appearance.

Karasev appeared in just 22 games after the Cavaliers made him the 19th overall pick in last year's draft. Karasev was acquired by the Nets in a three-team deal in July. 


Magic guard Victor Oladipo out indefinitely with facial fracture
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Magic guard Victor Oladipo has been making progress in his recovery from a knee sprain, but was already uncertain for the team's season opener Tuesday. Friday he received more bad news, as the team announced he is out indefinitely with a facial fracture and will almost certainly miss the start of the regular season.

The injury occurred during practice Thursday, when he took an elbow to the face. He will undergo surgery Saturday, the team announced, and at this point it is not clear how long the injury is expected to keep Oladipo out or who might step into the starting lineup for him. Evan Fournier and Maurice Harkless have both filled in at shooting guard in the preseason, and seem to be the top contenders.

Oladipo managed to avoid injury almost entirely last season, as he averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 80 games en route to a second place finish in Rookie of the Year. 


Fantasy Basketball Today: Ronnie Price could have a role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:27 am ET) Lakers guard Ronnie Price has actually dominated playing time at the point guard spot for the Lakers this preseason, given Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash's injury issues. With Nash out for the season, Price may have a role that can push him towards the fringes of Fantasy relevance, as I discussed at the Fantasy Basketball Today blog Friday:

"Price appeared in six preseason games and averaged 29.5 minutes per game, with Lin dealing with some injury concerns. Price put up a couple of big assist games, and ultimately averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 assists per game in that time. He is certainly not someone you will want to pick up on Draft Day, but Price might have value as a waiver-wire pickup down the road."

Price is still probably not worth drafting, but if he can get 25 minutes per game as the point guard, he could have some utility, especially with how valuable assists are in Fantasy. 


Fantasy Basketball Blog: Jeremy Lin's new role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:20 am ET) At the Fantasy Basketball Today blog, we took a look at the Fantasy implications of Steve Nash's injury, and how his absence will impact Jeremy Lin now that he is the de facto lead point guard for the Lakers. Here's some of what I had to say about Lin:

"Lin has appeared in four preseason games in Byron Scott's offense, and has looked to have a solid command. He is averaging 8.8 assists per-36 minutes in his preseason action, and gives this team an element of off-the-dribble creativity that might be sorely lacking if Kobe's athleticism is missing. Lin is going 74th on average in CBSSports.com leagues, and that number should only creep up now that there are no real roadblocks to him getting 30-plus minutes per game."

Lin should be considered a top-30 guard in all Fantasy formats at this point, and he could be good for 15 points and 6 assists per game this season. 


Pelicans F Anthony Davis returns from wrist injury
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Pelicans forward Anthony Davis was back from a wrist injury in Thursday's preseason game against the Mavericks.

Davis, who was three days removed from the injury, scored 13 points on 4 of 9 shooting, including 5 of 8 from the charity stripe. He added six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 21 minutes of work.


Knicks' J.R. Smith: Learning triangle offense has been struggle
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/23/2014) Knicks guard J.R. Smith told reporters that learning the triangle offense under coach Derek Fisher and influenced by president Phil Jackson has been "a struggle" for him, per ESPN New York on Thursday.

"Trying to think about the rest of the team over myself or my scoring is something that I never really had to do before," Smith said. "I've always been in a situation to score, [now I'm] in position to take my time and let the game come and let my teammates succeed more than myself, I think that's the ultimate win."


Report: Lakers' Steve Nash ruled out for season due to back issues
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10/23/2014) Steve Nash's career may be coming to an end. The 40-year-old has been ruled out for the 2014-15 season with recurring nerve issues in his back, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report on Thursday. The Lakers made an announcement shortly after the report. 

Before the season started, the Lakers point guard vowed to play one more season before retiring. In 2013-14, he was limited to 15 games due to the issue after injuring himself getting out of bad. During the preseason, he appeared to have aggravated the issue while carrying his luggage.

The eight-time NBA All-Star has career averages of 14.3 points, 8.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 18 seasons.


Report: Nets G Marquis Teague eyed by 76ers
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10/23/2014) The 76ers have been discussing a trade with the Nets to acquire guard Marquis Teague, sources have told Yahoo Sports.

The 21-year-old Teague, who was selected by Chicago in the first round of the 2012 draft, averaged 2.7 points in 11 minutes per game last season with the Bulls and Nets.


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings