The 2020-21 NBA season is set to begin this month and that means it’s time to start prepping for fantasy basketball. Not every center can be a unicorn like Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis. We’ve identified a few you should probably be higher on as you prepare for your fantasy draft. Let’s take a look at four sleepers who could outperform their ESPN ADP.
Note: Average Draft Position on ESPN can be found via FantasyPros.
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
ESPN ADP: 86
I think either Wiseman or LaMelo Ball will be the top rookie fantasy basketball option this year but I’m a little lower on the Warriors big man. His 7’1” frame and 7’6” wingspan should make rebounding easy playing alongside Draymond Green in the frontcourt. He probably won’t be the focus of the offense like Ball because of proven scorers like Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Kelly Oubre Jr., but he he should easily average double-digits in points thanks to his athleticism and the amount of attention other players will attract. Wiseman is perfectly capable of getting blocks but his ability to stay on the floor by being competent in other areas on defense will determine his upside.
Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets
ESPN ADP: 109
Allen kicked off 2019-20 behind DeAndre Jordan on the depth chart but appears to have played his way into a starting role after a tremendous playoff run. His offense has a long way to go but he’s a rebounding monster who could squeak by with quiet double-doubles thanks to second chance and hustle points. The Nets have a ton of fantasy potential and it’s not crazy to think that four if not all of their starters could be top 100 fantasy players.
Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls
ESPN ADP: 142
Carter has been clamoring to play power forward but remains a tantalizing center prospect. Health issues have plagued him through two seasons but the belief is that he’ll show new life under Billy Donovan. Carter’s defensive capabilities are impressive but his offense is what could take a big step forward in his third NBA season. Donovan has been vocal with Carter about wanting to increase his role in the offense by involving him in decision making from the high post. Face-up opportunities away from the basket to reveal more playmaking ability and scoring opportunities for Carter. He nearly averaged a double-double on close to 30 minutes per game in year two and could do a lot more as a significant part of the offense.
Tristan Thompson, Boston Celtics
ESPN ADP: 145
Thompson has averaged a double-double for two straight seasons but is somehow ranked lower than Daniel Theis and Tacko Fall. His two-year, $19 million contract suggests that he’ll be a significant part of the frontcourt rotation for a Celtics team that lacked rim protection and physicality in the post last season. Thompson isn’t a stud by any means but is significantly better than a good number of the players ESPN has ranked above him.