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With the NBA season nearly upon us, let’s take a look at a few players that could outperform their preseason projections. We recommend you go after these guys a round or two early to make sure they get to your team. These picks are based off standard points leagues.
While we are far from the “Linsanity” days back at the Garden, the 29-year old Lin still holds some value near the end of your draft. An injury plagued year has Lin as a bit of a sleeper going into drafts this year. He played in only 36 games a season ago after playing in at least 71 contests in each of the last 4 seasons. Lin is going to have the ball in his hands a lot on a not so talented Brooklyn team. The Nets played significantly better when Lin was on the court last year so if he can stay healthy, expect a lot of minutes for Lin. Kenny Atkinson will have the Nets playing in an up-tempo system again this season. Brooklyn led the NBA in possessions per 48 minutes last season so expect plenty of opportunities for Lin to put fill up the box score.
The name of the game in fantasy basketball is opportunity. With a large number of minutes on a nightly basis, pretty much everyone in the NBA can put up respectable numbers. With Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade now elsewhere and Zach LaVine still recovering from last season’s torn ACL, there’s a tremendous opportunity for Mirotic to be the No. 1 scorer in Chicago. The Bulls have a $12.5M team option for Mirotic for the 2018-19 season so the 26-year old has plenty of incentive to put up a big year.
Randle has been the forgotten man in Los Angeles and the Lakers have shown no interest in locking up the upcoming free agent, looking to preserve cap space for bigger fish. Randle has come out and said that the entire situation has motivated him and he’s looking for his breakout season. Randle has had a solid preseason and was an above average rebounder a season ago. Expect another step forward this season for the Kentucky product.
Booker put up a solid season in his second year out of Kentucky but it feels like a breakout is looming. The 20-year old on a bad Suns squad, put up a solid 24.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.1 APG after the All-Star break last season. The team doesn’t have a ton of scoring options other than backcourt mate Eric Bledsoe so expect Booker to have the ball in his hands a lot. Especially in keeper leagues, Booker is a guy to covet for now and for years to come.
Coaches, players and scouts have raved about the 9th overall pick in this year’s draft. His athleticism is off the charts and the rebuilding Mavs seem inclined to get him plenty of minutes. Expect Smith to be a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year. Similarly to Booker, if you play in a dynasty or a keeper format, these are a pair of young guards you want around long term.