NBA Fantasy: Danilo Gallinari is the Sleeper You’re Looking For

By Sean McKenney
Danilo Gallinari
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes time to draft the fantasy team, everybody is looking for a secret weapon. Players like Steve Novak and Samuel Dalembert come to mind. Trying to find gems low in the draft is no easy feat. Once you get through the second round, things start to get a little iffy. More and more players you haven’t heard of and more and more panic picks could be on the horizon.

However, rather than fret or pick at random once you reach the end of the draft, you must find the silver lining. Take it as the opportunity to haul in your secret weapon. Your friends will be dazzled as suddenly your stats skyrocket thanks to some little-known player on the Denver Nuggets: Danilo Gallinari.

Since tearing his ACL last season, Gallinari was remembered by the league long enough for everyone in Denver to say, “Oh shoot”, and then move on. When Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose went down with the same injury, it was all anyone could talk about. When Gallinari went down, there wasn’t much talk. He just isn’t household name.

Adding him to your roster could be a bit of a setback and gamble because Gallinari isn’t set to return to action until November. However, once you get down to Gallinari’s area in the draft, the scoring drops off fast.

If there is one thing Gallinari does well, it’s score. I admit scoring is the easiest stat to take care of on a fantasy team, but if you found yourself trying to over compensate for other things that you neglected scorers, or are trying to make racking up points your calling card, bringing Gallinari on board isn’t a bad idea. Sure, you have a dead spot on your bench, but when his 30-point games come around, it will be worth it.

Ideally, no one takes Gallinari and you leave him to free agency and scoop him up when you need him. However, if you do so, be sure to do it a week or so before his return, once word gets out on his official return date, opponents will be scanning the free agent list for his name.

If you are dealing with people who will probably try to get a hold of him, don’t make the Nuggets forward to focal point of your draft, but try to make a run at him once you’ve constructed the core of your team. Looking for the perfect sleeper to bump up your stats? Gallinari might be worth the gamble.

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