The 2021-22 NBA season is almost here, which means fantasy basketball and DFS competitions are back in full swing. The small forward position is loaded in the NBA, which usually means plenty of options and flexibility for fantasy managers. There are several intriguing prospects to break out in this year’s field, while there are some obvious regression candidates. Here’s a look at two small forward sleepers and two “busts”, in relation to their ESPN ADP. A sleeper is someone expected to outperform his ADP while a bust is expected to produce below his ADP.
Small forward sleepers
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
ESPN ADP: 43.0
Harris has evolved into a consistent scorer and will get close to 20.0 points per game against this season. However, the 76ers are likely going to get rid of Ben Simmons at some point. That makes Harris the clear top perimeter option for Philly and will also give him more creativity and playmaking duties. There’s a chance for Harris to really take another step forward offensively if the 76ers move on from Simmons quicker than expected.
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
ESPN ADP: 109.8
The Hornets are going to have a fast-paced offense centered around dynamic guard LaMelo Ball, and Hayward should benefit. The versatile forward can score from anywhere on the floor and offers some playmaking chops offensively as well. Hayward’s injury history is a little troubling, but this ADP is something he can easily beat.
Small forward busts
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
ESPN ADP: 10.4
Tatum is a fantastic player and one of the top scorers in the league. However, is he really a better fantasy option than Paul George and LeBron James this season? The Celtics are going to look different under new coach Ime Udoka and Tatum’s production will be affected in some way. He’s still a great fantasy player, but shouldn’t be in the top 10.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
ESPN ADP: 24.9
Like Tatum, Butler is a fantastic player. In fact, if he found out he was listed as a “bust”, he’d likely put up one of the best seasons of his career. There’s just too many mouths to feed in Miami for Butler to be a all-around offensive superstar again and that’s okay. The addition of Kyle Lowry will take away some of his scoring opportunities. Growth from Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson will also impact Butler. He’s still one of the best players in the league, but he’ll have a tough time justifying this ADP.