Fantasy basketball draft week is upon us and managers everywhere will be looking to find an edge by finding undervalued players capable of exceeding expectations. Do-it-all small forwards are often some of the most important players in fantasy basketball and we’ve identified a trio of deep sleepers worth keeping an eye on as the 2020-21 season approaches.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers
Average ADP: 139
THT wasn’t close to being a rotation player last year but could be one of the NBA’s most improved players in 2020-21. The 20-year-old wing is stuffing the stat sheet in preseason games and has easily looked like the Lakers’ best player on the court with LeBron James and Anthony Davis resting.
I don’t think the 26 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game Horton-Tucker has averaged through two preseason appearances are a fluke. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews are perfectly capable of guarding small forwards for spells but Horton-Tucker’s well-rounded game could help him creep up the depth chart and steal minutes from the veterans. If the Lakers blow teams out like they should, Horton-Tucker could be a garbage time All-Star.
Justise Winslow, Memphis Grizzlies
Average ADP: 171
Like Jaren Jackson Jr., Winslow won’t be able to play when the season begins later this month. The sixth-year swingman should step into the starting lineup immediately when healthy and can do a little bit of everything.
Winslow’s shooting could be better but you could make the argument that he’s Memphhis’s second-best passer and rebounder. He doesn't need to go for 20+ points a game but can be a triple-double threat on his better nights. We haven’t gotten to see what the oft-injured Winslow can really offer but the young talent around him could bring out the best in his age-24 season.
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers
Average ADP: 177
Cleveland hasn’t been shy about handing the team over to young players, as Collin Sexton and Darius Garland ran the show for the Cavaliers down the stretch last season and averaged more than 30 minutes per game. There’s a clear battle going on at the small forward spot between Okoro, Kevin Porter Jr., and Cedi Osman but the rookie appears to be too good not to start so far.
Okoro is already Cleveland’s best perimeter defender. While the knock against him was his shooting coming into the league he’s averaging 16.5 points per game on 62.5 percent shooting. If he can help the Cavaliers’ small starting backcourt and score efficiently it’ll be hard to keep him off the hardwood. He might not be a star in year one but his diverse skillset could help him blow by the expectations set for him.