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2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

A list of undervalued players to target in 2016-17 fantasy basketball leagues.

Grabbing a sleeper pick during your draft and watching it pay off for you every game during the season is an amazing feeling. In fact, there may be nothing more satisfying in fantasy sports than hitting the jackpot on a sleeper pick.

To aid you in your quest for the elusive fantasy basketball sleeper, we've put together a list of potential breakout or bounce-back characters to help you win this season.

This list is in alphabetical order and the degree to which these players qualify as sleepers obviously depends on your specific league. We've included each player's projected stats for the upcoming season so that you can properly evaluate them.

Alex Abrines  Oklahoma City Thunder

2016-17 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
78 16.8 8.2 1.7 0.8 0.7 0.1 1.4 0.5 44.0 84.1

The Thunder picked up Abrines in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft and have tracked the 23-year-old's development closely while he's played for Spanish club FC Barcelona the last three seasons. While competing against players typically much older than him, Abrines showed steady improvement in each of those seasons, culminating in an average of 9.3 points in 19.2 minutes per game while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range during Euroleague play in 2015-16. In an effort to add some long-range shooting to the roster for the upcoming season, the Thunder put the full-court press on Abrines to bring him stateside, ultimately inking him to a three-year, $18 million deal. Though Abrines wouldn't appear to have much upside in the defensive categories, there may be an opportunity for him to deliver sound contributions right away for the Thunder in the form of supplemental scoring and three-pointers off the bench. The Thunder added Victor Oladipo this offseason to handle starting shooting guard duties, but the minutes could be wide open at the other wing spot, where none of Andre Roberson, Kyle Singler and Anthony Morrow are entrenched in major roles. Abrines could end up surpassing all of them on the depth chart if his shooting proves to be as good as advertised.

Jerryd Bayless  Philadelphia 76ers

2016-17 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
73 29.9 11.1 2.6 3.9 0.9 0.2 1.8 1.3 41.9 78.5

Bayless has bounced around the league as a backup combo guard for his eight seasons as a pro, but the 28-year-old will get his first shot at a full-time starting role in 2016-17 after inking a three-year, $27 million contract with the 76ers this offseason. He earned the big payday by turning in a career-best campaign with the Bucks while serving as a sixth man and occasional starter, averaging 10.4 points, 3.1 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game while shooting a superb 43.7 percent from three-point range. Bayless’ efficiency from the field and downtown figures to take a hit with the 76ers planning to deploy him as one of their primary scorers and distributors rather than a complementary option, but he’s nonetheless poised to turn in his best counting stats production of his career thanks to an expected spike in his usage rate. While he’s slated to start at point guard and see most of his action at that position, Bayless’ prowess from distance will also allow him to log time alongside backup point guards T.J. McConnell and Sergio Rodriguez, likely putting him in line for more than 30 minutes per contest.

Trevor Booker  Brooklyn Nets

2016-17 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
78 25.1 7.9 6.9 1.4 0.8 0.6 0.3 1.4 48.4 63.8

Booker signed a two-year, $18.5 million contract with the Nets in July, stepping into a situation where he'll have a chance to be a full-time starter for the first time in his career. The six-year veteran has started 112 career games, but only seven of those came with the Jazz, with whom he spent the previous two seasons. In 2015-16, Booker averaged 5.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.7 minutes per game as the backup to Derrick Favors and, at times, Trey Lyles. Booker s value is borne out more in real-life basketball than in fantasy, but he averaged 10.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, so if his playing time increases in accordance with his projected starting role, he could be a solid source of rebounds in deeper fantasy formats. Of course, Booker isn't going to approach 36 minutes per game, though he should see a noticeable bump, especially considering the relative lack of talent behind him on the depth chart.

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