The 2015-16 NBA season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing for your Yahoo! NBA Fantasy draft!
Use our Fantasy Toolkit to find out which players are the best at each position and outsmart your competition. Make sure to check back to NBA.com/Fantasy throughout the month as we reveal positional rankings, feature articles and more.
Sleepers To Watch
Seven players who could fly under the radar during your Yahoo! Fantasy draft:
C.J. McCollum and Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers
McCollum Scores 30
Highlights from C.J. McCollum’s 30 point night on 11 of 20 shooting versus the Kings.
There’s plenty of opportunity in Portland after the departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo this summer. Leonard and McCollum will likely be in the starting lineup and should be able to build off their impressive preseason averages. Over four games, Leonard is tallying 12.5 points, 2.3 3-pointers, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 25 minutes per game, while McCollum has 17.5 points, 2.3 3-pointers and 4.5 assists in 28 minutes. The Blazers will be an uptempo squad so the shots should be there all season for Leonard and McCollum. Both players are being selected before the 11th round in Yahoo! fantasy drafts.
Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
Top 10 Plays: Nikola Mirotic
See why Chicago big man Nikola Mirotic was selected to the 2014-15 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
The Bulls’ second-year forward won’t qualify as a “sleeper” for many die-hard fans. But to the casual observer, Mirotic’s likely rise in 2015-16 will come as a surprise. Mirotic was limited during his rookie season under coach Tom Thibodeau, playing just 20 minutes per night for Chicago. Despite the limited burn, Mirotic delivered with averages of 10.2 points, 1.2 3-pointers, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks over 82 games. These minutes will rise under new coach Fred Hoiberg and this increased playing time, along with the loss of Mike Dunleavy (back) for 8-10 weeks, should help Mirotic find many opportunities to produce. He’s currently being selected on average with the 79th pick.
Alex Len, Phoenix Suns
Alex Len has been dogged by several ankle sprains.
Len’s value is completely tied to his right ankle. After ankle surgery in 2013, three right ankle sprains forced Len to play just 69 games in 2014-15 with an average of only 22.0 minutes. Another ankle sprain has already sidelined Len for a game this preseason, but Suns coach Jeff Hornacek says it isn’t serious. If healthy, the former No. 5 pick could be a fantasy beast, providing elite-level rebounds and blocks. So far in two preseason games, he’s tallying 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in just 20 minutes per night. It all hinges on the right ankle for the 7-foot-1 center.
Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks
Dennis Schroder has been working on his outside shot.
Schroder took full control of the Hawks’ backup point guard role last season to deliver averages of 10.0 points, 4.1 assists and 0.6 steals in only 19.7 minutes per night. The flashy 22-year-old guard will have a difficult time finding minutes in the Hawks’ backcourt with All-Star Jeff Teague in front of him. But after working on his 3-point stroke with teammate Kyle Korver this summer, Schroder may be in line for some burn at the two alongside Teague. The potential is there. The only question is if the opportunity to produce will be there, too. He’s likely worth the risk in the late rounds of your draft.
Amir Johnson, Boston Celtics
Will greener pastures prove beneficial for Amir Johnson?
After a down year in Toronto last season, Johnson heads to Boston where he looks poised to battle for the Celtics’ starting center job. So far in two preseason games, Johnson is averaging 12.5 points on 64.7 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in 20 minutes per game. This tiny sample size allows you to see the all-around potential Johnson has as a fantasy contributor. If he receives consistent minutes, Johnson could average numbers similar to what he tallied for the Raptors in 2012-13 — 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in 28 minutes
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
NBA Rooks: Myles Turner
Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers talks about how important his family is to him as he gets ready for the upcoming season
The 6-foot-11 rookie has stirred intrigue across the league during Summer League and preseason as he shows flashes of his unique skill set. Turner could be one of the few players to tally blocks, rebounds and the occasional 3-pointer the season. He will backup Ian Mahinmi at center to start the year. But it seems likely the rookie will overtake the veteran for the starting role at some point during the season. Turner has incredible potential and is currently being selected in 33 percent of Yahoo! drafts.
Top 25 Guards
Top 25 Forwards
Top 25 Centers
Top 5 Rookies
2015 Fantasy Toolkit