Fantasy Basketball 2013: 15 Sleepers For Second Half Of Season
15 Sleepers For Second Half Of Season
It is no secret that fantasy basketball, as well as fantasy sports in general, can be pretty unpredictable.
One week, a player can hold the upmost fantasy value. The next? Zero, zilch, nada, goose egg. Yeah, you get the idea. But it’s that very unpredictability that makes it so much fun. Not to mention frustrating, stressing and crazy.
With the NBA All Star break just about a month away, a handful of players are set to break out during the second half of the season. Many of them still hold fantasy value because they are set to return from injury themselves, while others are prepared to play a major role in place of an injured starter. Either way you look at it, they need must be blips on the fantasy radars of owners who are preparing to make a championship run.
So, if you are serious in your attempts of winning your fantasy leagues, keep an eye out on the following players. These sleepers are sure to awaken and will hold significant fantasy value during the home stretch of the 2012-13 season. If you own them, hang onto them. If not, I’d look to acquire them if possible because they can certainly lead you to the promise land. So, good luck in the second half of your fantasy campaign. Go out and get a trophy!
Note: The following list of players are in no specific order.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy columnist and expert for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.
15) Carlos Boozer, PF, Chicago Bulls
While his teammate Joakim Noah is getting more of the attention, Boozer has been incredibly productive in fantasy land this season. He is averaging 15 and a half points per game to go with his 9.7 rebounds on the season. Boozer is on one of his most impressive stretches as a member of the Bulls, posting a double-double in nine of his last ten games. Don’t count on his usage to slow down during the second half of the season, as Boozer has seen at least 30 minutes 17 times this year.
14) Danny Green, SG, San Antonio Spurs
Green may have been the starter for the first part of the year, but Manu Ginobili’s presence off of the bench has hindered his minutes. Well, with Ginobili (hamstring) sidelined for the next two weeks or so, expect Green to get the bulk of the minutes at the shooting guard position. With his stroke from beyond the arc and no true backup behind him, count on Green to get fantasy owners at least 30 minutes per night.
13) Dion Waiters, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Since Waiter’s return from injury, he has been coming off of the bench, rather than starting. However, that hasn’t been stopping him from scoring at will. Waiters scored a career high 33 points on Monday night, and is averaging almost 15 on the season. Despite coming off the bench, he has only seen less than 25 minutes in a contest once all year. If he continues to play like this, not being in the starting lineup won’t be an issue for fantasy owners.
12) Derrick Williams, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
With starting power forward Kevin Love (hand) expected to be sidelined for eight to ten weeks, an opportunity has presented itself for young Williams. Rumblings out of Minnesota are that Williams may get the nod as the starting power forward, boosting his fantasy value immensely. Williams can score, rebound and block shots, providing possible fantasy output for those who acquire him.
11) Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors
Barnes has been coming on a bit as of late, scoring a career-high 21 points on Sunday night. The rookie is on quite a tear in the month of January, averaging 13.8 points per game to go with almost six rebounds. He is also averaging a healthy 26.8 minutes per game over the past five contests, as he continues to serve as a key part of the Warriors success. Barnes’ ceiling is much higher, so expect him to catch on fire during the second half of 2013.
10) Glen Davis, PF, Orlando Magic
Davis is finally back after suffering a dislocated shoulder on Dec. 19. He has played two games since returning, coming off the bench. Davis is arguably the best player on the Magic, so expect him to be back in the starting lineup by the end of the week, once again giving him tons of fantasy value. On a bad team with not many weapons, Davis can put up big time numbers, barring a setback.
9) Iman Shumpert, SG, New York Knicks
The athletic Shumpert will return to the Knicks lineup on Thursday. It may be a risk to roll the dice on him, as he will certainly come off the bench for a little bit. However, with his athleticism and raw talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if he cracked the starting lineup before the regular season ended. If that’s the case, running the offense with guys like Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith could bode well for his fantasy outlook.
8) John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
Wall has finally returned from an injury of his own and is immediately making an impact. In his two games since returning, Wall is averaging 13 points and five assists per game in just 20 minutes of playing time. The Wizards are fully aware of how good Wall is, and will surely place him back into the starting lineup sooner rather than later. When that time comes, play him with confidence in fantasy.
7) Landry Fields, SG, Toronto Raptors
Fields has had a rotten first half of his inaugural season with the Raptors, posting a dismal 4.6 points per contest. However, I expect him to turn it around during the second half. While he isn’t scoring, he has posted 11 rebounds in three of the last five games, so he has that going for him. As he continues to adjust to the Raptors’ system, expect his scoring to improve. I mean, it can’t get any worse!
6) Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Thompson needs to be added in every single fantasy league out there. Like, now. With Anderson Varejao expected to be out for a while, Thompson will benefit a ton. He will now be the main source of rebounds, as he has posted a double-double in 10 of his last 14 contests. During his last five games, he is averaging 12 points and upwards to 10 rebounds per game. If this trend continues, Thompson will be fantasy gold.
5) Tim Duncan, PF, San Antonio Spurs
Duncan, a sleeper? Okay, he may be a bigger name but hasn’t gotten the fantasy attention he deserves. On the year, Duncan is averaging an impressive 17.1 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds. He doesn’t put up monster numbers quite often, but is consistently reliable, and will continue to be, not only until the season ends, but also until he retires.
4) Anthony Davis, C, New Orleans Hornets
Davis has been getting back into the swing of things since returning from an ankle injury. The rookie has scored double digit points in three straight games, as well as grabbing no less than seven rebounds. As his ankle continues to heal up, Davis will get his starting minutes back, resulting in fantasy production for fantasy owners who have been missing him.
3) Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics
Sullinger has quietly been a very impressive rookie this season. Stuck behind the shadow of Kevin Garnett, Sully has been proving to fantasy owners that he needs to be on radars. Over his last nine games, Sullinger has averaged around nine points and eight rebounds. As long as he gets the minutes he is deserving of, the rookie will continue to be a safe fantasy option for rebounds and field goal percentage.
2) Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards
Beal has been another impressive rookie this season. He is averaging 13.3 points per game on the year and has the speed and athleticism to just about do it all. One may think that the return of John Wall will hinder his fantasy production, but not so fast. Opposing defenses will be dialed in on slowing down Wall, allowing Beal the opportunity to get his production.
1) Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls
Barring any setbacks during practices, Rose will make his season debut at some point after the All Star break. Obviously, he is one of the best point guards in all of basketball and needs to be on every fantasy roster when on the floor. If you have been waiting to use Rose in your fantasy lineup, get ready to be pleased once he returns to the lineup.
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