Grabbing a sleeper pick during your draft and watching it pay off for you every game during the season is an amazing feeling. In fact, there may be nothing more satisfying in fantasy sports than hitting the jackpot on a sleeper pick.
To aid you in your quest for the elusive fantasy basketball sleeper, we've put together a list of potential breakout or bounce-back characters to help you win this season.
This list is in alphabetical order and the degree to which these players qualify as sleepers obviously depends on your specific league. We've included each player's projected stats for the upcoming season so that you can properly evaluate them.
Miami Heat (C)
Adebayo, the 14th overall pick out of Kentucky in 2017, was able to make an impact as a rookie. He saw 19.8 minutes per game, averaging 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and a combined 1.1 blocks/steals. He even drew 19 starts while Hassan Whiteside missed games due to injury. In those tilts, Adebayo averaged 7.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists and a combined 1.1 steals/blocks across 24.9 minutes -- enough to make him relevant for a stretch in DFS. The 21-year-old doesn't project to see much of an increase in role this season, assuming Hassan Whiteside’s minutes plateau, rather than decrease again. As a result, he can likely be avoided once again during Fantasy drafts, but might be a nice waiver wire target in the case of some frontcourt injuries for the Heat.
Memphis Grizzlies (F)
The Grizzlies thought highly enough of Anderson’s talents to tender him a four-year, $37 million offer sheet that the Spurs somewhat surprisingly chose not to match. The 24-year-old swingman continued to fill out the stat sheet last season, his fourth in San Antonio. Anderson totaled career highs across the board – 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals on a career-best 52.7 percent shooting – averaging 26.7 minutes while Kawhi Leonard missed all but nine games with his quadriceps issues. A jack-of-all-trades with an above-average defensive skill set, Anderson seemingly fits right into Memphis’ slow-paced, half-court philosophy, one that somewhat resembles that of the Spurs team he leaves behind when running on all cylinders. Despite the presumed starting job, Anderson could ultimately see only a slight bump in playing time over last season, considering the likes of second-year man Dillon Brooks and veterans Chandler Parsons and Omri Casspi are also available to help man the three.
Denver Nuggets (G)
In a super-sixth-man role, Barton started 40 of his 80 appearances for the Nuggets last season, seeing 33.1 minutes per tilt -- a role that will only be expanded with the departure of Wilson Chandler to Philadelphia via trade. Barton’s Fantasy value comes from his all-around playstyle. In 2017-18, the 27-year-old averaged 15.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 steal -- being one of only 15 players to do so. That list shortens to eight players when including Barton’s 1.9 threes per tilt. He’s also stayed relatively healthy over the past three seasons, missing just 23 games. Plus, due to his dynamic skillset, Barton is often the player who sees extra usage when a backcourt or wing player goes down due to injury. There were 14 occasions last season where Barton saw at least 40 minutes, averaging 20.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and a combined 2.4 steals/blocks in those contests. Overall, he should be ready to improve on an already ascending career in 2018-19.