NBA Fantasy: Seven undervalued players you should draft early

·5 min read
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jusuf Nurkic and Collin Sexton, pictured here in action in the NBA.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jusuf Nurkic and Collin Sexton. Image: Getty

Avoiding players who are valued too highly is a part of dominating your Yahoo fantasy basketball draft.

But equally-important is targeting and acquiring guys with lots of potential who most other fantasy players have undervalued.

So if you want to crush your competition this season, consider picking these under the radar stars a few spots ahead of their average draft position.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai was great last year, finishing the season as the 50th ranked player. But, this is a very different Thunder team.

No more Chris Paul, Dennis Schröder, Steven Adams, or Danilo Gallinari and the starting lineup will now likely consist of Al Horford, Darius Bazley, Lu Dort, and Hamidou Diallo.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes for a shot as Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, rear, looks on. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Oklahoma City Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes for a shot as Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, rear, looks on. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Thunder are moving Shai to point guard and putting the ball in his hands.

He is as close to a guarantee that you can get to blow up given the structure of this team.

Given his ADP is 34, it’s a real steal to get him at that spot in drafts, given he could end up a top 15 player.

Jusuf Nurkić - Portland Trail Blazers

Nurkić played only nine games last year. But, in those games, he was amazing in his return from a broken leg and was ranked 14th on a per-game basis.

Prior to his injury, he was only playing 27 minutes a night and I find it hard to believe that Terry Stotts will go back to that, given he played 33 minutes in the Orlando bubble in his return from the leg injury.

Even if he does inexplicably play 27 minutes, he will smash through the ADP of 49 that he currently has.

De’Aaron Fox - Sacramento Kings

Fox has his max rookie extension. He is entering his fourth season. He was ranked 35th last season.

So, drafting him at 46 is already a bargain, and that’s assuming he doesn’t get better.

I think he will get better. Plus, Bogdan Bogdanović isn’t in Sacramento anymore and Buddy Hield is not a ball-handler or passer.

Fox should get more assist chances and should be able to fully take over this season.

Domantas Sabonis- Indiana Pacers

This is a no-brainer. Sabonis ranked 18th last season. His ADP is 59. Don’t overthink this one.

Even if Sabonis is worse this season, a possibility given he will have a full season of Victor Oladipo next to him, he has a rather large buffer to be worse and still give you tremendous value on that level of ADP.

He was an All-Star last season, even if I don’t think he will be that this season, he is going to be a fantasy stud in standard Yahoo points leagues.

Domantas Sabonis, playing for the Indiana Pacers.
Domantas Sabonis in action for the Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Coby White - Chicago Bulls

White struggled for most of his rookie season, until just before the season shutdown.

He moved into the starting lineup and was bombing away.

Now, his ADP is 124. I have no understanding of why it is this low. He should be touching the top 70, not on the outskirts of standard league value.

The shooting from his post All-Star Break period probably can’t sustain, but he is going to see a large boost in minutes and could be a breakout player this season.

Collin Sexton - Cleveland Cavaliers

Sexton was a strong scorer for the Cavs last season.

He averaged 30 fantasy points per game as well. That was good for 79th.

You can wait almost 50 picks this year to get him. Make it make sense.

They bring in Isaac Okoro, but he isn’t taking usage from Sexton and unless you think Andre Drummond is becoming Karl-Anthony Towns or Joel Embiid, I feel pretty good about Sexton getting close enough to last year’s results to make his ADP seem comical at season’s end.

Markelle Fultz - Orlando Magic

Fultz’s first season in Orlando went well. But, he played just 28 minutes a night.

He had DJ Augustin as a high-level backup and that kept his playing time down.

This year, his backup is rookie Cole Anthony.

I have significant doubts that Anthony is going to play as much as Augustin did, so Fultz, who averaged 26 points last year, should play more minutes and score more fantasy points.

His ADP is at 132, which is a real laugher. Grab him late and strengthen your team.

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For mobile (optimal experience):

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(With Josh Lloyd for Yahoo Sport Australia)