More? You want… more?
Sure, no problem.
You can never have too many sleepers, especially during a season with a handful of very significant injuries floating around the league (Kobe, Rondo, Rose, etc.). The season starts on Tuesday, folks. For those of you who struggled in math class, that’s just three days away. Let’s not waste any time. More sleeper for your drafting needs await.
Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic: Well, I bet the Bucks are regretting a certain mid-season trade last year. They sent Harris to the Magic, only to watch him explode onto the scene. In 27 games with Orlando last season (20 starts), Harris was a fantasy gem, averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks. That was only the beginning. Now, Harris is expected to log a ton of minutes for the Magic, and considering he is only 21-years old, the sky is the limit with this power forward. A versatile player, Harris can also make an impact from beyond the arc, as he averaged one three-pointer per contest last season. He will give you a strong field goal percentage, points, blocks and rebounds, so what’s not to like at an age where he is only going to get better? And besides, it’s cool to have a guy named Tobias on your team. Tobias, that’s fun to say.
Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz: No longer beyond the monstrosity that is Al Jefferson, Kanter has the chance to absolutely breakout in his third season in the league. Sure, Derrick Favors may be receiving more fantasy love, but don’t sleep on Kanter, who will immediately log as many minutes as he can handle. Despite being buried in the depth chart last year, Kanter produced very well on a per-minute basis, averaging 7.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and half a block in just slightly over 15 minutes per contest. Imagine the type of production we will see out of him as he becomes the starting center? Take a look at his per-36 minute numbers and you begin to get an idea of the fantasy upside this 21-year old has. Last year, he averaged 16.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes, and the big man was productive from the field, shooting 54.4 percent. He also shot an impressive 79.5 percent from the free throw line. Upside and an uptick in volume should result in a breakout 2013 for Kanter.
Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder are planning on using Lamb in a much bigger way this season, and if the preseason is any indication, he’ll be extremely bust this upcoming year. As of right now, Lamb has logged 223 preseason minutes, which is the eighth-most in all of basketball. With Kevin Martin out of the picture and Russell Westbrook sidelined for the first 4-6 weeks of the season, Lamb will see the court quite a bit, which is terrific for fantasy value when playing alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, who is arguably the best player in all of fantasy hoops. It was a small sample size, but Lamb was strong on a per-36 minute basis last year, averaging 17.4 points and hitting 2.3 threes per game. He impressed all preseason, as well as Summer League, so as long as he can translate that to the regular season, he’ll be a big part of this offense in OKC. And in Yahoo! leagues, Lamb has dual eligibility at SG and SF.
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers: With Andrew Bynum in town, and the Cavs taking Anthony Bennett with the number one pick, many seem to be forgetting about Thompson. That, my friends, is a mistake. The third-year power forward was awesome during the second half of last season, and when Anderson Varejao went down with an injury, Thompson filled in admirably. He improved his stats vastly from his rookie season, averaging 11.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists. More importantly, however, is the fact that he was a walking double double. Last season, Thompson (in a limited role for some time) finished 16th in the league in double doubles with 31. So far this preseason, Thompson has been picking up right where he left off, posting his second consecutive double double the other night. Also, he appears to have switch from left-handed to right, and it is helping his field goal percentage. During his last three games, Thompson is shooting 62.9 percent from the field, and the notoriously poor free throw shooter is shooting an improved 66.7 percent from the strike. He’ll still have a major role on this team, especially when you consider that Bynum can’t stay on the court.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS