We’re a month away from the start of the 2023-24 NBA season and fantasy basketball draft season is upon us. We all know who to draft in the early rounds, but picking out guys that can greatly exceed their average draft position, or ADP, helps you win league championships. Finding those NBA sleepers in current fantasy basketball ADP can be key to taking home the league title. As you prep for those fantasy basketball drafts and fine-tune your NBA projections or fantasy basketball draft rankings, let's help you pinpoint those rising talents. Let’s dive into the top 10 fantasy basketball sleepers heading into the upcoming NBA season.
2023-24 NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft Sleepers
Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards (ADP - 46.1)
Take a dive into the deep end as Jordan Poole is a player that I’m trying to grab in as many fantasy drafts as I possibly can. Poole gets a fresh start in Washington on a team that he’s immediately getting handed the keys to now that Bradley Beal has been moved to Phoenix. Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen what Jordan Poole can do when he is THE guy, which he is here.
Poole has tremendous upside and is a guy who’s played a lot over the past two seasons missing just six games overall. It remains to be seen if he can actually repeat the numbers he put up without Stephen Curry over the past two seasons, but he’ll have every opportunity to do so. A MASSIVE season loading, for Jordan Poole.
Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets (ADP - 61.1)
If you’ve followed me over the past two seasons, you shouldn’t be surprised by seeing Alperen Sengun make this list. Why is he on this list you ask? Look at the leap from year one to year two and then ask yourself what that year three leap is going to be with new head coach Ime Udoka will look like. Per 36 minutes, Sengun averaged 18.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks on 55% shooting. With the departure, self-inflicted, of Kevin Porter Jr., the offense will naturally run through Sengun more who’s a threat off the dribble as much as he is just being a big body on the low block.
Anthony Edwards had this to say about Sengun last year;
His ability to create for his teammates has sometimes had him compared to Nikola Jokic. In 22 games without Kevin Porter Jr. last year, Sengun averaged 5.6 assists. He’s not going to average a triple-double like Jokic, but is a nightly triple-double threat if he can stay out of foul trouble and turn the ball over less. His two biggest issues likely tighten up under a structured system of head coach Ime Udoka. He has top-40 upside if he takes the leap he could take.
Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers (ADP - 82.7)
*Editors note - the write-up below was prior to the Lillard trade. His ADP has actually dropped a position and that's great news for those looking at Grant as a sleeper.
I already explained in the Underdog bestball targets article why I’m in on Jerami Grant but he has top-40 fantasy appeal, which is vastly higher than the current ADP. No matter what happens with Damian Lillard and the trade that will eventually come, Grant signed a five-year, $160M contract and is a multi-category contributor. He had the best shooting splits of his career in 2022 as he shot 47% from the field, 40% from three for the first time in his career and he shot 81% from the FT line. Grant is likely going to be a 20-point scorer for the third time in four years along with all the other counting stats.
Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets (ADP - 109.1)
Another late-round center that we have an interest in grabbing is Mark Williams, the projected starting center for the Charlotte Hornets. Look, they did re-sign P.J. Washington, which isn’t great if the Hornets use him as a small-ball center as they did at times last year. BUT, Kai Jones is away from the team indefinitely which hurts their depth at the position. Williams didn’t get a chance during the beginning of his rookie year, but things changed when the team traded Mason Plumlee. In 17 starts last year, Williams averaged 26.9 minutes, 11.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and north of one block as well. To take that further, in four games in which Williams topped 30 minutes last year, he averaged 13.5 points and 11.5 rebounds. Those are elite numbers for a starting center you can get at nearly pick 110.
ALSO, here’s Mark Williams talking about adding the three-ball to his game;
Dennis Schroder, Toronto Raptors (ADP - 137)
Another play in Dennis Schroder that’s overlapped in the Underdog Bestball Targets article, but Schroder is being drafted around pick 140 on most of the major platforms. We’re not seeing many starting point guards drafted this low, especially ones that have averaged 16.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds as a starter throughout his career. That’s what Shcroder is in Toronto; the starting point guard. I understand Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes both are good passers, but the ball will be in Schroder’s hands a lot.
His fit in Toronto is what he liked the most about the situation. He talked about it with Lakers Nation here and talked about how the style of head coach Darko Rajakovic allows him to play similarly to the international style. In case you missed it, Schroder and Germany won the FIBA World Cup and he was named MVP of the tournament.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Detroit Pistons (ADP - 127.6)
For six consecutive seasons Bojan Bogdanovic has started every game he’s played in and he’s been a VERY productive scorer over that span. Since the 2018-’19 season, Bogdanovic has averaged 17+ PPG or better in each campaign, including a career-high 21.2 PPG last year. Now, Cade Cunningham was injured and that will change, but even with Cunningham healthy during the 2021-’22 season, he averaged 18.1 PPG.
Bogdanovic is listed as the starter ahead of Isaiah Stewart on the depth chart and he has a chance to get some run at small-forward as well. Bogdanovic is a candidate to have a 50/40/90 split in his current role. Cade Cunningham is going to lead this team in scoring, but Bogdanovic will compete with Jaden Ivey for second on the team in that category.
Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards (ADP - 104.2)
With Kristaps Porzingis traded, the next man up for the Washington Wizards is Daniel Gafford. He enters camp as the team’s starting center and when you look up the rest of the roster he really doesn’t have any competition behind him. Gafford started 47 games in 2022-’23 and averaged 10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 blocks during them and now not only Porzingis is gone, but Bradley Beal is as well. Gafford played 30+ minutes in seven games last year, and those numbers improved to 13.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.0 blocks. He has a chance to play 30 minutes per game given backup Mike Muscala hasn’t topped 18 minutes since 2018-’19 season.
Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks (ADP - 106)
We saw how good Okongwu could be as a starter in 2023 as he started 18 games and averaged 32.3 minutes, 10.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.0 steals. The former sixth-overall pick in 2020 is still projected to enter the year as the backup, but last year offered a glimmer of hope towards the two potentially swapping roles at some point this year.
Okongwu has been really efficient from the floor throughout his career and has improved greatly from the foul line over his three seasons. He’s significantly better than Clint Capela in both of those areas and is significantly better of a shot blocker despite playing fewer minutes per game. There is a definite chance that Clint Capela is dealt at some point this year and with a contract worth $20M+ in each of the next two seasons, it makes sense, especially if Atlanta is not competing toward the trade deadline and Okongwu’s rookie deal is expiring. They need to maximize his playing time to see if he is in fact the center of the future that he looks to be,
Collin Sexton, Utah Jazz (ADP - 137.2)
It’s crazy to type this out, but the 2023-’24 season is going to be Collin Sexton’s year 25 season, which feels impossible. Sexton is something that averaged, wait for it, 24.3 points in the ‘20-’21 season. He’s been an absolute bucket in the past, but a torn meniscus kind of derailed any hype behind him. When you look at what’s going on in Utah, the depth they’ve brought in is mostly in the front court. They did, however, draft Keyonte George, who is likely to only really make a difference in their rotation if/when they fall out of playoff contention.
Sexton saw 15 starts for the Jazz last year and averaged 16.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. He’s not going to be the 24-point scorer he was in Cleveland with Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson in town, but Sexton has never seen a shot he doesn’t like. He enters the year as the projected starting point guard and his competition are guys with a lot of question marks. Kris Dunn wasn’t on the team until February last year, Talen Horton-Tucker hasn’t shown any consistency, and the aforementioned George is a rookie that is listed as the fourth PG on their depth chart.
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (ADP - 139.3)
I know he broke down after just 42 games last season, but look at what Adams was doing prior to said injury. He was averaging a career-high 11.5 rebounds, his second-most assists, and averaged north of one block for the first time in three years. He also played 27 minutes/game, which is still incredibly solid for a guy being drafted this late. In roto formats, he’s hard to love because he shot 36% from the foul line, but that seems somewhat of an anomaly considering he’s shot it at a 59% clip. Adams starts the year without Ja Morant this year and in the five games without him last season, he had three double-doubles and had 10+ rebounds in four of them. He’s going to be a massive part of what the Grizzlies do this year, especially while Morant is out for the first 25 games of the year. If you missed out on some of the center value that went a few rounds before him, that are also in this article, Adams fills the late-round need perfectly.