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Fantasy

Fantasy Basketball 2020-21: Who are the biggest fantasy sleepers this season?

The 2020-21 NBA season is almost here, set to tip off on Dec. 22.

With preseason hoops already underway, fantasy basketball drafts are set to take place sooner rather than later.

To get you prepared for your draft, we have you covered with top 200 rankings and a mock draft to give you an idea of where players might get selected.

You'll go into your draft knowing which stars you want on your team, but what about the picks later in the draft? Hitting on sleeper picks can make the difference in becoming a championship-calibre team, so make sure you keep tabs on these names on the draft board.

Fantasy basketball sleepers

Collin Sexton - PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

Sexton is my favourite sleeper of the 2020-21 fantasy basketball season.

Playing in Cleveland for a struggling Cavaliers team, the exciting 21-year-old guard is often forgotten, but his close to his sophomore season was nothing to sneeze at. Over Cleveland's last five games before the league's hiatus, Sexton took his game to another level, averaging 30.0 points, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting an efficient 58.4% from the field and 37.5% from 3.

You obviously shouldn't expect him to post those numbers for an entire season, but if he can carry that momentum into this upcoming season, Sexton will be the steal of fantasy drafts as a player that will likely fall to the middle rounds, regardless of the type of league you play in.

OG Anunoby - SF, Toronto Raptors

We saw Anunoby flash his potential on offence last season but he rarely needed to be a consistent scoring presence for the Raptors to be successful. Defence was his main focus, with offence often falling in the rear-view.

This season will be different with key pieces like Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka heading elsewhere in free agency. Gasol didn't take many shots, so Ibaka is the scoring void that Anunoby will likely have to replace. With the way his offensive game has developed over recent years, I think it will be a breakout scoring season for OG.

Last season, Anunoby averaged double figures for the first time in his career with 10.6 points per game, doing so efficiently. This season, he'll exceed that scoring average and that will make him a great value play late in fantasy drafts.

Jerami Grant - SF/PF, Detroit Pistons

Grant created fantasy value on the waiver wire last season as a player who does a little bit of everything - scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks - while posting efficient shooting numbers.

This year, Grant won't make it to the waiver wire because of an increased role with his new team, but he still won't be selected in the early rounds of fantasy drafts. As an expected starter with the Pistons with more offensive opportunities, Grant has the potential to become a fantasy stud this season. If his per-36 numbers in Denver last season are any indication of what's to come (16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and over one steal and block per game), he'll most certainly be a value play in the mid-to-late rounds.

The one caveat here: expect lower shooting percentages with an uptick in volume.

Terry Rozier - PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets

With the breakout season Devonte' Graham had last year, the selection of star rookie LaMelo Ball and the addition of Gordon Hayward in Charlotte, Rozier may be overlooked as a fantasy option this season. He shouldn't be.

Rozier was one of the most underrated players in fantasy (and in the NBA) last season, averaging 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game while posting the most efficient shooting numbers of his career at 42.3% from the field and 40.7% from 3. While he may get less shot attempts because of Hayward and less assist opportunities because of Ball, Rozier will still be a key part of the Hornets offence and playing alongside playmakers like Graham, Ball and Hayward will only help his scoring (and efficiency).

Rozier will slide in drafts because of all the attention drawn to his teammates. Don't let him slide too far.

Coby White - PG, Chicago Bulls

White's rookie season never reached its full potential because of his limited role under former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen. Even playing the majority of his first year as a reserve, White still averaged 13.2 points per game as a microwave off the bench, but his ceiling is higher than that of a bench-scoring gunner.

Under a new head coach in Billy Donovan, White will be the starting point guard in Chicago this season and his fantasy value will take a leap because of it. Yes, his scoring and 3-pointers made per game will increase, still holding similar value to what he brought to fantasy teams last season, but expect his assists, rebounds and steals numbers to take a jump as well.

If the opportunity presents itself in the mid-to-late rounds, take a swing on White.

Rookie sleepers

Tyrese Haliburton - PG, Sacramento Kings

Haliburton's name is starting to pick up some steam from a fantasy perspective so he hardly still counts as a sleeper here, but he's worth mentioning if he wasn't on your radar.

Haliburton is a do-it-all point guard who will fill up various categories on the stat sheet in his rookie year. He might not give you 20-plus points but he'll dish out assists, grab boards and come up with steals in addition to some scoring.

He'll be the backup in Sacramento behind De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, but Haliburton will have plenty of opportunities to play alongside those two fantasy stars, which will only increase his value.

Deni Avdija - SF, Washington Wizards

Avdija isn't on the radar of most fantasy drafts with other enticing options on the Wizards like Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura. If it's one of the last rounds of the draft and he's still on the board, take a chance on the 19-year-old prospect.

Avdija already impressed in his first preseason game, scoring 15 points on a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3, and his potential as a passer makes him a unique bench option for your fantasy team.

Cole Anthony - PG, Orlando Magic

When you're looking to draft rookies in fantasy, their value can sometimes be hindered by their opportunities with their team (see: Coby White). That shouldn't be an issue for Magic rookie Anthony, who will have plenty of opportunities to add a scoring threat to your fantasy team as one of the first players off the bench in Orlando.

If the Magic are serious about trying to make Anthony and Markelle Fultz their backcourt of the future, Anthony should have a defined role right from the get-go and you'll be able to snag him in one of the last rounds of your fantasy drafts.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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