2013 Fantasy Basketball Sleeper: PF Pau Gasol
The 2012 season was an utter mess for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, despite bringing in several All-Stars in the off-season, and it was the epitome of an unsuccessful season in Laker Land.
One player that looked absolutely horrendous was PF Pau Gasol. The Spaniard averaged a meager 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds, which are the worst fantasy basketball showing of his entire 12-year career. Gasol played through several nagging injuries, including a knee injury, but he simply wasn’t the same player last year.
Fortunately for Gasol, he will now get full control of the paint with Dwight Howard currently occupying space with the Houston Rockets. Gasol had problems battling with Howard underneath all year and he will now be the primary down-low option for the Lakers. The team brought in Chris Kaman to officially be the team’s center, but he is in no way a reliable scorer. If anything, the addition of Kaman will only put more pressure on Gasol to score over 15 points per game, which will only increase his fantasy value.
Even better is that Gasol finally started to gel under head coach Mike D’Antoni towards the end of the year. Actually, in the team’s four-game sweep by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, Gasol averaged a very respectable 14 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists. He was putting up vintage Gasol numbers and it has to be promising for his fantasy value heading into this season.
Gasol is currently falling outside of the top-10 power forwards this year and he can be an absolute steal as a second forward. Don’t be scared to grab Gasol due to last year’s numbers, because a bounce back season is certainly in the cards for the seven-footer.
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