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.
Portland Trail Blazers (F)
Bazemore will play for his fourth team after being traded to Portland for Evan Turner. In his final season with the Hawks, Bazemore compiled his second-best scoring (11.6) and rebounding (3.9) averages of his career, despite shooting just 40.2 percent from the floor and 32.0 percent from three -- his worst marks since his rookie season. Encouragingly, Bazemore was still a quality defender with 1.9 combined blocks/steals, and he's collected at least 1.8 blocks/steals in four straight seasons. His role was largely scaled back last year, as Bazemore played just 24.5 minutes per game and started only 35 of 67 appearances. The playing time represented a four-year low for the eight-year veteran who will hope to see his role grow in Portland. He'll vie for playing time with Rodney Hood and new additions Anthony Tolliver and Mario Herzonja, but if he can earn a steady rotational role with the Blazers, Bazemore has proven to be a reliable source of threes and defense in his career.
Charlotte Hornets (F)
The 12th overall pick in 2018, Bridges had a solid rookie season. Once the Hornets were clearly out of postseason contention, he was given more run, securing 25 starts and 10 games seeing at least 30 minutes. In those 10 games, Bridges averaged 12.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals. Though he was a low-usage player as a rookie, taking 10.8 shots per 36 minutes, he posted quality efficiency with shooting splits of 46.4 FG%, 32.5 3P% and 75.3 FT%. With the Hornets' two leading scorers from last season (Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb) moving on, Bridges may be asked to handle a bigger offensive burden in 2019-20. On one hand, based on Bridges' rookie year, we shouldn't expect him to turn into a volume scorer. On the other hand, someone has to take shots for this Hornets team, and it can't just be Terry Rozier and Nicolas Batum. It's tough to gauge what to expect from Bridges in Year 2, but it's nearly a guarantee he'll take on some sort of expanded role, making him an intriguing late-round flier.
Washington Wizards (F)
Despite being selected No. 15 overall by the Wizards in the 2018 NBA Draft, it took a while for Brown become a regular member of Washington's rotation during his rookie season. After appearing in just 29 of the team's first 59 regular season outings and playing just 7.1 minutes per game during that stretch, the opportunity for playing time emerged for the final stretch of the regular season when the Wizards traded away starting small forward Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls. As a result, Brown appeared in each of the last 23 games for Washington with his workload growing with every passing contest. He showed real promise in the last 10 games of the season, all of which he started, averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists across 30.3 minutes per game. Now, with the Wizards looking like a completely different team heading into 2019-20, Brown's continuity could put him at a real advantage. Brown will likely be competing with fellow swingman C.J. Miles, who the Wizards acquired via trade this offseason, for the starting small forward spot, but given that Washington is now a team built with a number of young pieces, the 20-year-old Brown should see usage in line with what he had during last year's final stretch.