The Duel

Fantasy Basketball Sleepers: 2019 Draft Risers From NBA Preseason

Dan Israeli
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
New York Knicks v Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
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The NBA preseason is off and running, but just like preseason football, fantasy basketball owners shouldn't put too much weight on these exhibition games. However, the preseason can provide us with a glimpse of how rotations could shake out, while also showcasing the 2019 rookie class.

Below is a list of three players who, in just a few games, have increased their fantasy basketball draft stock in the preseason. With that in mind, here are three fantasy basketball sleepers to be keep an eye on heading into the 2019-20 season.

For more fantasy basketball coverage, be sure to checkout The Duel's 2019-20 NBA Fantasy Cheat Sheet & 2019-20 Draft Kit.

1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

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The most highly coveted young player the Oklahoma City Thunder got in return for Paul George, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is often heralded as a future star for OKC. So far this preseason, he has more than looked the part, averaging 21.0 points over two games on 52.0 percent shooting. SGA has also attempted 12 3-point shots through two games, and while he's only sunk four, that volume is encouraging. He should be in line for a big role on a Thunder team that lost its main ball handlers in Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

2. Norman Powell, SG, Toronto Raptors

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Norman Powell is in line for a big opportunity this season on a Toronto Raptors team that not only lost Kawhi Leonard, but starting shooting guard Danny Green as well. The latter's departure opens the door for Powell to gain a starting role, and he has faired well in his audition thus far, averaging 18.0 PPG in two preseason contests. He's also been really efficient, connecting on 7-of-10 3-point attempts. Powell is still competing with Fred VanVleet for the starting role, but if he wins the job, Powell could be a great fantasy basketball sleeper for the defending champs.

3. Moritz Wagner, PF, Washington Wizards

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In deeper leagues, your final picks should be used on guys who may not have big roles to start the season, but possess upside if such an opportunity presents itself. Moritz Wagner of the Washington Wizards fits the bill. After a lost rookie season on the Los Angeles Lakers, Wagner was traded to the Wizards as part of the Anthony Davis deal. He will now face far less competition in Washington, likely playing behind Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura in the Wizards' frontcourt. Wagner is averaging 18.3 PPG through three preseason games, and has a very fantasy-friendly skillset as a power forward capable of knocking down 3-point attempts. If he manages to carve out a significant role this season, Wagner could be a sleeper to monitor.


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