2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Forward Sleepers

by Mitch Longerbeam
2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Forward Sleepers

The NBA season is quickly approaching and fantasy leagues are coming to form. This year's draft pool provides a vast amount of talent. This means middle to late round picks can be the difference between being the champion or a bottom-dweller. The selection process is crucial, and there may be no position more important than forward.

With names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the forward position is the most versatile in the league. Along with versatility comes production, and there are many under-the radar players that provide just that.

Here's a look at forward-eligible players that are being undervalued in drafts:

2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Forward Sleepers

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Tobias Harris, SF, Los Angeles Clippers

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Possibly the most underrated player in the league, Harris' production cannot be overlooked. In his first 32 games following his trade to LA, he averaged 19.1 PPG and 6.0 RPG on 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep. Along with offensive prowess, the new Clippers star was averaged 1.8 steals/blocks per game.

With the price of a 4th round pick, your team will secure a highly efficient two-way forward in his prime. Harris is worth about 85 to 90 percent of the production a star like Paul George possesses, only with a more reasonable price. This season comes with the departure of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. On a team now lacking star power, Harris is in the perfect environment where he can become a statistical star.

Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic

Now into his fifth year in the league, the 23-year-old appears primed for a breakout season. The Magic star averaged 17.6 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 2.3 APG in 58 games, his best season to date. Gordon resigned with Orlando on a four year, $76 million contract over the summer. The franchise's commitment to the former dunk contest champ shows he will be the centerpiece of the franchise for years to come.

Injuries did affect Gordon last year, playing only 52 games. Don't be alarmed by this, as these injuries were moderate at worst and should not cause any problems during the season. Gordon has always had immense athletic ability, and now his overall game is starting to come to form. If he manages to develop a more consistent outside jumper, Gordon may be a fantasy star in the making.

Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Indiana Pacers

Probably the last thing from a household name, Sabonis had very little expectations following his trade to the Pacers. The team ended up being pleasantly surprised. The 22-year-old averaged a productive 11.6 PPG and 7.7 RPG on 51.7 percent from the field, mostly coming off the bench. He was a key piece during the team's playoff run and will likely take on a bigger role entering his third season.

Sabonis is expected to come off the bench this upcoming season. Despite this, expect him to be utilized more often than not in the offense. He proved last year to be a better low-post option than starter Myles Turner. The Pacers may opt to move Turner to stretch four, when Sabonis is in the game. If this duo becomes successful, expect a significant increase in minutes and production. Likely to be a late-round draft pick, Sabonis presents a low-risk, medium reward outlook.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets

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Another player far from a household name, Hollis-Jefferson is a solid asset who plays with grit and consistency. He averaged a productive 13.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and 2.5 APG on 47.2 percent from the field. In the latter half of the season when the Nets were out of playoff contention, Hollis-Jefferson only played 19.2 minutes per game. During this time, the 23-year-old averaged 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. These stats are hard to come by and should increase next year, assuming he will see much more playing time.

With the Nets likely to be in the bottom tier of the league again, expect the franchise to continue developing their young stars. This means that Hollis-Jefferson, now entering his fourth season, will be one of the centerpieces of the rebuilding franchise. Although he won't put up flashy stats, Hollis-Jefferson is a solid late-round pick with a strong upside in defensive categories.

Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers

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This might be the riskiest sleeper on the list. Nance is far behind Kevin Love on the depth chart, and Tyronn Lue is known to be an inconsistent wild card when managing the rotation. Despite this, Nance still presents a unique outlook to fantasy owners, especially on the defensive end. In 24 regular season games following his trade to Cleveland, he averaged 8.9 PPG and 7.0 RPG, with 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

Nance only played 20.8 minutes per game with Cleveland last season, and 15.4 MPG during the playoffs. This can be blamed on LeBron James, who ate up most of the power forward's minutes. With LeBron out of the picture, Nance's minutes will surely increase, along with his productivity. If he begins the season on a high note, expect Nance to directly compete with Tristan Thompson for playing time.

Although inconsistent at times, Nance is an athletic powerhouse who is capable of sufficient fantasy production on both sides of the ball. Consider Nance a risk as a mid-round pick and a steal as a late-round pick.

Check out the rest of the 2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Coverage to help win your leagues.

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1 comment

September 24-30, 2018 - Fantasy Basketball Links - FantasyRundown.com September 27, 2018 - 11:05 pm

[…] has uncovered some forwards that could prove to be fantasy sleepers in […]


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