2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders

by Brian Dailisan
2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 2 Waiver Wire

Hold onto your hoops, folks! The NBA regular season is gearing up to hit the court in just a few days. As you fine-tune those draft strategies, keep an eye out for the unsung heroes of the season - the 2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders. Oh, you know them. These players don't just dabble; they dominate a category, seemingly making it their mission to boost your fantasy team.

Now, while these court connoisseurs showcase skills in multiple arenas, there's always that one niche where they're not just good, they're legendary.

In the realm of fantasy basketball, you're dancing with a set of classic moves: Points, Assists, Rebounds, Steals, Blocks, FG%, FT%, and 3-Pointers. Spot a 'One Category Wonder' who excels in one of these, and you're practically shimmying your way closer to that coveted fantasy gold.

So, without further ado, let's deep dive into each category, highlighting one player ready to be the unsung hero of your team and another poised to raise more than just a few eyebrows.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Points

Under-the-radar

Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Denver Nuggets

The points category in fantasy drafts? It disappears faster than my motivation to hit the gym post-holidays. When you're deep into the draft, eyes squinting to see those hidden gems, don't pass up on Aaron Gordon. Last season, he popped off with an average of 16.3 points. Sure, he might've been a letdown in FT% (60.8%), threes (0.9 3PG), and steals (0.8 SPG), but hey, nobody's perfect.

With an ADP lurking around 118, he's poised to be the dark horse of the season, especially in a Punt FT% setup. And since the Denver Nuggets seemed to think, "Why fix what ain't broken?" with no major roster shakeup, Mr. Gordon is all set to keep that scoreboard ticking

Dark Horse?

Keldon Johnson, SF/PF, San Antonio Spurs

Looking for a sneaky pick in the final stages of your draft? Let's talk about Keldon Johnson. Last season, despite hovering outside the top 150 in nine-category leagues, the man effortlessly poured in an average of 22.0 PPG. That surge in points? Perfect for a Punt FT% build, but he's no one-trick pony. He could also be a snug fit in Punt Blocks and Punt Assists setups.

True, Victor Wembanyama's arrival in San Antonio might have him sharing the spotlight a tad more, but with Johnson's current ADP of 116, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better late-round booster for your points category.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Assists

Under-the-radar

Tre Jones, PG, San Antonio Spurs

Regretting that snooze button which made you miss out on Tyus Jones? Say hello to his equally talented brother, Tre Jones. This guy is dishing out assists like hotcakes, boasting a solid 6.6 APG. And if you're into side dishes, he’s also serving up steals (1.3 SPG) and keeping those turnovers on the low (1.6 TPG).

He's your go-to if you’re playing the Punt Threes or Punt Points game. Word on the street hints at Jeremy Sochan handling some PG duties, but as of now, the Spurs are spinning their web around Tre.

Dark Horse?

Jaden Ivey, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons

Let's talk about Jaden Ivey. Last season, if you were searching for him in the top 250 of nine-category rankings, well, keep scrolling. Way down. Blame it on his rather pedestrian percentages (41.6 FG% & 74.7 FT%), a penchant for turnovers (3.2 TPG), and a somewhat uninspiring steal rate (0.8 SPG).

Sure, Cade Cunningham's return throws a little shade on Ivey's comeback, and the Pistons' shiny new rookie, Ausar Thompson, might cut into his minutes. But! If you're scrounging for assists in the later rounds, Ivey’s 5.2 APG from last season might just tickle your fancy. Considering a punt on percentages? Here’s a late-round gem to pocket.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Rebounds

Under-the-radar

Bobby Portis, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks

Strolling into the 10th round of nine-category leagues last season, Bobby Portis not only boasted averages of 14.1 points per game but also snatched up 9.6 rebounds per match. And while his steals (0.4 SPG) and blocks (0.2 BPG) won't be breaking any records, he promises some steady mid-round output. Especially when you consider a sidelined Giannis Antetokounmpo and a Brook Lopez who's catching up on his beauty sleep due to, well, the inevitable hands of time. If you're sketching out a punt blocks strategy, Portis might just be the Picasso you need.

Dark Horse?

Josh Hart, SG/SF, New York Knicks

Now, if late-draft steals were a thing, Josh Hart would be our poster boy, particularly with his out-of-position rebounds and an attractive ADP of 126. The man hoarded 7.8 rebounds per game last season, granting managers some sneaky 8th round value in nine-category leagues. On top of that, he's dishing out assists (3.8 APG) and snagging steals (1.2 SPG) with notable efficiency.

But before you roll out the red carpet, remember he's a Knicks guard who can be a bit stingy on the scoreboard, putting up only 9.8 PPG last season. Tread carefully, or he might just break your points' heart.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Steals

Under-the-radar

De'Anthony Melton, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers

While most folks fixate on point totals, De'Anthony Melton has been quietly sneaking into the elite echelons of the steal category. Last season, he nestled comfortably within the top-80 of nine-category leagues. Sporting averages like 10.2 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 4.1 RPG, and 2.6 APG, it's his stealthy hands with a steal average (1.6 SPG) that truly shine, tying him with notables like Tyrese Haliburton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. And for some extra zest? He outpaced Chris Paul and Marcus Smart in the steals department.

At an ADP of 119 this year, Melton's price feels like you're the one getting away with a steal. And sure, he might have a reputation for starting seasons on a slower note, but with all the haze surrounding James Harden's fate, grabbing Melton at a markdown feels like a slick move.

Dark Horse?

Ausar Thompson, SG/SF, Detroit Pistons

Now, we all have eyes on rookies Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren, but there's another freshman I'm shamelessly ogling: Ausar Thompson. The Overtime Elite prodigy boasted impressive stats like 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and a jaw-dropping 2.4 steals per game. Between the Thompson twins, Ausar seems poised for an early breakout. On the Pistons' turf, his main rival for minutes is the aging Bojan Bogdanovic – who, let's face it, could be traded mid-season.

But forecasting aside, even in limited minutes, Ausar could emerge as a sly steals specialist. Give your late-round pick a sprinkle of Ausar magic; the potential payoff could be sweet.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Blocks

Under-the-radar

Al Horford, PF/C, Boston Celtics

With Robert Williams packing his bags for the Portland Trail Blazers, enter the rejuvenated Al Horford. Last season, this old-timer cracked the top 70 in nine-category leagues, flexing averages of 2.3 3PG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, and a rock-solid 1.0 BPG, all while keeping turnovers (0.6 TPG) to a polite minimum.

Now, he might not be your guy if you're gunning for points galore (he averaged a modest 9.8 PPG last season), but for managers eyeing a late-round blocks boost, Horford at an ADP of 125 feels like a steal. The Celtics, with a front line resembling more of a picket fence, will undoubtedly lean on Horford's experience.

Dark Horse?

Derrick White, PG/SG, Boston Celtics

Derrick White earns his spot here because, let's face it, who doesn't fancy some out-of-position blocks? Last year, he impressively claimed the title as the second top guard in blocks per game (0.9 BPG), sitting just a tad behind the starry Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (1.0 BPG). Even more eyebrow-raising, he sent back more shots than towering figures like Bam Adebayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Deandre Ayton – all at 0.8 BPG.

Now, the Celtics' shiny new toy, Jrue Holiday, might cast a wee shadow over White’s expected breakout year. Yet, those block numbers? As legit as they come. So, while there's no need to wrestle other managers to snag him, if Derrick dangles in the later rounds and you're itching for a guard with a penchant for swats, swipe him up.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: FG%

Under-the-radar

Wendell Carter Jr., PF/C, Orlando Magic

Dipping past the 100th pick, you'll stumble upon Wendell Carter Jr. If you're looking for a big man who can gift you with a solid FG% (52.5%) without skimping on the points (15.2 PPG) and rebounds (8.7), he’s your guy. Now, don't get me wrong; if it's the flashy big-man stats you're after, mid-rounds might be your treasure trove.

However, for those plotting a punt blocks strategy, Wendell’s appealing FG% comes as a treat. And snagging him at his ADP of 102? That feels like swiping the last piece of pie at Thanksgiving.

Dark Horse?

Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Orlando Magic

Here's a name that's been buzzing in our ears: Markelle Fultz. While his youth still glistens, the lad has seasoned himself quite well over the years. So why the fuss? Well, his out-of-position FG% earns him a seat at the big boys' table. With an impressive 51.4% FG last season, this 25-year-old 76ers guard managed to outshine big names like Jaren Jackson Jr. (50.6 FG%), the King himself, LeBron James (50.0 FG%), and the towering Kristaps Porzingis (49.8 FG%).

If you're crafting a punt threes or punt points masterpiece, Markelle, with his elite passing, sly steal rate, and an ADP of 96, might be the brushstroke you're missing.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: FT%

Under-the-radar

Immanuel Quickley, PG/SG, New York Knicks

Venturing into the late rounds? Searching for a guard who packs a punch? Immanuel Quickley, with a sparkle in his stats, might be your find. Last season, Quickley showcased a 9th-round value in nine-category leagues, boasting averages of 14.9 PPG, 2.1 3PG, and a noteworthy 81.9 FT% on 3.1 FTA/G.  Now, while he's playing second fiddle (or third? fourth?) to Knicks stars like Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, and Josh Hart, don't count him out.

Quickley's talent is undeniable, suggesting he could hustle and snatch those vital minutes, delivering the goods for fantasy gurus. Feeling adventurous? Slide him into your late-round list. Who knows? He might just be your ticket to the leaderboard.

Dark Horse?

Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic

Cole Anthony might be the name that’s escaping most draft boards, but if you're in the hunt for late FT% magic, he's your knight in shining armor. His display last season? A dazzling 89.4 FT% on 2.8 FTA/G. Not frequenting the line as we'd wish, his numbers still secured him a spot in the 11th round of nine-category rankings.

Despite the apparent gridlock in the Magic's backcourt, early pre-season vibes suggest Anthony has a few tricks up his sleeve. He might fly under the radar in standard leagues, but for the deep league aficionados, he's a name worth a second glance. So, while everyone else is looking left, perhaps it's time for you to swerve right and nab this potential FT% powerhouse.

2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: Threes

Under-the-radar

Gary Trent Jr., PG/SG, Toronto Raptors

Struggling to boost your points, steals, and treys? Queue Gary Trent Jr. on your radar for those late rounds. Last season, this Raptor gave us a delightful mix of 17.4 PPG, 1.6 SPG, and a handy 2.5 3PG. With Fred VanVleet now taking his talents to Houston, Trent's prospects are looking up – and by that, I mean expect him on the court, a lot.

Crafting a Punt FG% or Punt Assists squad? Gary’s your guy. Those points, swipes, and treys are just the trick for such a strategy.

Dark Horse?

Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings

Sure, I bleed Kings purple, hence the slight bias here. But jests aside, if Keegan Murray eludes your draft and you're hunting for a 3-point ace, Kevin Huerter's your man. The lad registered an admirable 8th round value in nine-category leagues last season, flaunting 15.2 PPG, 1.1 SPG, and an enticing 2.7 3PG. And the cherry on top? He’s draining those shots at a 48.5% clip.

While the rest of his stat sheet might not scream “All-Star”, at an ADP of 130, he's the kind of savvy, late-draft pick that might just make your rivals kick themselves.

Who are your favorite 2023-24 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders? Feel free to comment below!


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