Securing top talent with your first couple of picks is what most fantasy managers are concerned with. However, a smart fantasy manager embraces the middle and late rounds just as much as the top picks in order to build the most complete team.
Those later picks allow you to take risks on sleepers who could have a big payoff down the line. With that in mind, here are our top 5 fantasy basketball sleepers for the 2020-21 season.
5. Al Horford, PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder
Al Horford continues to be a complete big man even as his career winds down. In his first season with the Philadelphia 76ers last year, he averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. While those are average (or slightly below) compared to his heights, he's still a starting-level big man. Now on an Oklahoma City Thunder team with sparse depth in the frontcourt and few dependable scorers, Horford will be a go-to option for this lottery-bound team, which bodes well for his fantasy production.
4. OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors
Anunoby earned a promotion to starter last year with Kawhi Leonard gone, and he delivered with career highs in PPG (10.6), RPG (5.3) and steals per game (1.4). Anunoby continued his upward 3-point shooting trend, registering his most makes (89) in a season and highest 3PT% (39.0). With Serge Ibaka headed to the Los Angeles Clippers, Anunoby should see even more time at backup power forward, giving him a chance to improve on the 29.9 minutes per game he played last season and putting him in prime position for another career year.
3. Seth Curry, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers needed shooting, so then went out and got it in the form of Seth Curry. The younger Curry continues to be one of the league's top marksmen, connecting on 45.2% of his threes last season while attempting 5.0 per game. Even if Curry doesn't start to begin the season, don't be surprised if the team elevates his playing time in order to surround notorious non-shooter Ben Simmons with as many 3-point threats as possible.
2. DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, Houston Rockets
Finally back after sitting out the 2019-20 season to recover from a torn ACL, former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has a great chance to rebound with the Houston Rockets. Cousins already looks like himself, putting up 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in Houston's first preaseaon game. The Rockets' lacking frontcourt options outside of Cousins mean he'll step into a starter-level role right away. If the team opts for a rebuild mid-season and trades James Harden, Cousins will have all of the looks he wants.
1. Derrick Rose, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons
Derrick Rose is a player who has found a second life after his ACL tear. While not the same player of his MVP days, Rose remains an offensive spark plug off the bench. Rose averaged 18.1 points in 26.0 MPG, showcasing the veteran's ability to pour in buckets whenever he touches the court. The Detroit Pistons drafted point guard Killian Hayes in this year's draft, and while he may be the PG of the future, no rookie is able to avoid first-year growing pains. Hayes will struggle, and the Pistons want to compete for the playoffs. Even if Rose serves as sixth man to begin the year, there's a likely chance that he'll be elevated to starter minutes at some point, which opens the door for even more production from the 32-year-old.
SIGN UP AND GET AN INSTANT DEPOSIT BONUS UP TO 500! We'll match 20% of your first deposit on FanDuel Fantasy Sports. Max bonus $500