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. Few centers are stars in today’s NBA but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of impactful big men up for grabs. We’ve identified a trio of deep sleepers worth keeping an eye on as the 2020-21 season approaches.
Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards
Average ADP: 135
Bertans is more of a wing at this point now that Robin Lopez has joined Thomas Bryant in the center rotation but he’s retained power forward and center eligibility. The sharpshooter had a breakout season in 2019-20 and notched career-highs in points and rebounds per game while shooting 42.4 percent from deep. He doesn't provide as much rebounding upside as most bigs but his ability to fill it up could help him put together monster stats from time to time.
Playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal could be tough for Bertans, but he doesn’t need to hold onto the ball to be an impact player and was one of the best shooters in the NBA off the catch last season. He’s comfortably Washington’s third option on offense and has two guards who are capable of attracting tons of attention by driving. Bertans made at least three shots from beyond the arc in 39 games last season.
Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks
Average ADP: 121
Basketball fans know Tom Tibedou loves his vets runs starters into the ground with heavy workloads. He’s not so big on playing young players a ton so Mitchell Robinson might not have the breakout season many fantasy managers think could be in the cards. Robinson has yet to start for the Knicks in a preseason game and the clock is ticking for him to establish himself as a key player early on.
Noel can produce with enough playing time and averaged 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals in his first two NBA seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers on just under 30 minutes per contest. There’s no guarantee that he’ll come close to that mark this season but he’ll get a hefty share of exposure with only two legitimate centers on the Knicks’ roster.
Mason Plumlee, Detroit Pistons
Average ADP: 99
Plumlee lived in Nikola Jokic’s shadow last season and averaged a career-low 17.3 minutes per game. He should be heavily featured in Detroit after signing a three-year, $25 million deal over the offseason. The Pistons surprisingly acquired multiple centers over the offseason and let Christian Wood walk. Rookie Isaiah Stweart and Jahlil Okafor shouldn’t encroach on Plumlee’s territory too much. I expect his actual ADP to be outside higher than 100 and has the ability to be a pleasant surprise as a starter. He averaged 11.1 points and 8 rebounds per game as a starter for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2016-17 and could come close to matching those numbers this year.