#1 at Anthony Rendon has replaced the demoted Danny Espinosa at second base. All thats left is for catcher Wilson Ramos to return from a left hamstring injury. Ramos w von dasg234 01.06.2019 06:19

While its crucial fantasy basketball players adjust lineups throughout the year, making advantageous trades and waiver-wire pickups, much of your success or failure on the season will come down to the draft. Did your first-round selection flop? Did your late-round sleeper exceed expectations? How this plays out could be the difference in whether you take home the league title in 2016-17.To help you navigate this process, our group of experts got together to provide their list of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Its defined as follows:Sleeper: A player who will far surpass his average draft position (ADP) in standard ESPN leagues for the 2016 season.Breakout: A player who will leap into or close to the upper echelon of players at his position for the first time because of a dramatic increase in production compared to his previous seasons.Bust: A player who is expected to be a solid starter in standard ESPN leagues but will fail to live up to those expectations this season.Our panel includes John Cregan, Joe Kaiser, Kevin Pelton, Jim McCormick, Matthew Wittyngham, Tom Carpenter and Jeremias Engelmann.SleepersNikola Mirotic, SF/PF, Chicago Bulls There arent many endgame picks out there that are capable of carrying a team in 3s while qualifying at PF. Mirotic was victimized by a little too much Fantasyland hype going into last season. Now hes going undrafted in many leagues. If he stays healthy, he could prove deadly in Chicagos new-look lineup as a much-needed 3-point option. Plus hell chip in a steal and block for good measure. Mirotic is Ryan Anderson, but five rounds later. -- John CreganRyan Anderson, PF, Houston RocketsThe 28-year-old stretch-4 enters a new stage of his career as he joins a Houston Rockets team with Mike DAntoni running the show. To me, this is a perfect recipe for Anderson, who will likely have the green light to shoot as many 3-pointers as he so desires. Though not a big contributor at any areas aside from scoring and 3s, Anderson is a proven commodity with something to prove on his new team. He has averaged 5.4 3-point attempts per game over the course of his career, but thats a number that could easily rise to 7 or 8 this season under the up-tempo style of DAntoni, making Anderson a good value after pick No. 75 and an even better value if you can get him in the 80s. -- Joe KaiserJames Ennis, SF, Memphis GrizzliesThe Grizzlies didnt offer much certainty at media day that Chandler Parsons would be ready to go for the season opener, and if hes out the door is open for Ennis to play a big role given Memphis lack of wing depth. Quietly, Ennis averaged 15.9 PPG in nine games with the injury-battered New Orleans Pelicans at the end of last season. While hes unlikely to be that productive on a relatively healthy Grizzlies team, Id consider him as a flier in the last round of a deeper draft. -- Kevin PeltonMyles Turner, PF, Indiana PacersTurner is my favorite sleeper given his amazing upside at a shallow center position. Going at pick No. 109 on average in ESPN live drafts, Turner could provide massive profits for investors given his elite block potential. Turner led the NBA playoffs in blocks per game and block rate and is poised to consume nearly 30 minutes per night for a retooled team that could be a dark-horse challenger to Clevelands crown in the conference. In a league where rim protection proves rare, Turner could become a special asset and the price is quite nice. -- Jim McCormickVictor Oladipo, SG, Oklahoma City ThunderThe offseason moves of the NBA shined on Victor Oladipo. First, he moves from Orlando, a team ranking 22nd in offensive efficiency, to Oklahoma City, a team who ranked second. His usage percentage? 22.8, second to Nikola Vucevic and .4 percentage points above Jason Smith. Now in Oklahoma City, hell also be a No. 2, but to Russell Westbrook, who is pegged to have an MVP-like season. With Westbrook on the court last season, OKC had an offensive efficiency of 113, which wouldve ranked best in the NBA.Oladipo has increased his FG percentage each year in the NBA, starting at 41.9 and finished 2015 with a 43.8 FG percentage. Last season, teammates not named Kevin Durant shot a near-5 percentage points worse with Westbrook off the court. With the Thunder possibly going with a Enes Kanter-Steven Adams duo, Westbrook slashing to the hoop would open up Oladipo on the wings or for an uncontested mid-range shot, ideally. I think in the up-tempo, top-10 in pace system, Oladipo has an opportunity to really shine. In addition to playing in a division with the Nuggets, Timberwolves and Jazz, hell have multiple games against sub-par defenses where he can explode. -- Matthew WittynghamElfrid Payton, PG, Orlando MagicOut from under domineering coach Scotty Skiles and no longer having to run alongside combo guard Victor Oladipo, the door is wide open for Payton to take a major step forward in his fantasy production. Granted, Payton is a lousy free throw shooter and hasnt proved himself as a scorer yet, but new coach Frank Vogel said he has given the guard the green light to shoot this season, which is key.After the break last season, he averaged 9.9 PPG, 7.5 APG and 1.1 SPG -- pretty intriguing numbers for a 22-year-old who will have the rock in his hand plenty, assuming he keeps D.J. Augustin in the backseat. With an ADP of 106, he makes for a terrific target in the later middle rounds if your team is looking weak in assists. -- Tom CarpenterBrandon Jennings, PG, New York KnicksThe New York Knicks have only two point guards on their roster: Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. Jennings, having only played about 45 games over the last two seasons combined, isnt high on most peoples radar, but heres why I like him: Jennings just turned 27, and the reason for him missing all those games was a freak Achilles injury. That injury is very unlikely to reoccur. Achilles tendon ruptures also tend to have a long recovery time, so expect a healthy improvement in per-minute production from what he did in 2015-16.Furthermore, the player in front of Jennings on the depth chart, Derrick Rose, is not only extremely injury prone, he is also currently under investigation by the LAPD for allegations of rape. Given all this, I would not be surprised if Jennings starts more than half of this seasons games, and gets back to solid per-game-production. -- Jeremias EngelmannBreakoutsNikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will attract more sophomore year buzz. Thats fine by me. If I told you that you could have Porzingis-type upside at center, but 10-15 picks later in your draft, would you believe me? Because given 30-34 minutes a night, Jokic will put up one of the most statistically diverse lines in fantasy. Jokic followed up a strong closeout to his rookie season with an even stronger Olympic performance. Hes rolling into his leap year (year two) campaign and should post positive contributions in every fantasy category. Double-doubles, blocks, assists, steals, 3s, terrific percentages... Jokic is a top-30 player. -- John CreganEvan Fournier, SG/SF, Orlando MagicOrlandos trade of Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka creates a situation where the 23-year-old Fournier, coming off a career-high 15.4 PPG last season, is now one of the only true scoring options in the Magic backcourt. He took 11.8 shots per game last season and I expect that to rise in a starting lineup full of players who are known more for things other than scoring (Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka). The lone exception is offensive-minded center Nikola Vucevic.Fournier is a steady source of 3-pointers (two per game last season) and steals (1.2 SPG) as well as a secondary source of assists and rebounds, and he shoots at a high percentage for a swingman (46.2 FG, 83.6 FT). Increased usage rate and shot attempts should help his scoring approach 20 PPG in his fifth NBA season, and hes someone to consider in the late 40s. -- Joe KaiserDennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta HawksIm buying all the Schroder stock available. The Hawks system is friendly to point guards, and with Jeff Teagues departure, Schroder is poised to benefit. My SCHOENE projections have him averaging 17.0 points and 6.2 assists in 30 minutes per game, similar to (and in fact slightly better than) Teagues averages of 15.7 points and 5.9 assists last season while splitting time with Schroder. -- Kevin PeltonDennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta HawksUsage rate is an advanced metric that aims to reveal how much of a teams offensive results a player consumes while on the floor. Schroder ranked ninth in usage this past season and is now due a sizable uptick in minutes and touches with Jeff Teague joining Turner in Indy. As you may have noticed in our recent staff mock, Im confidently chasing shares of both Myles Turner and Schroder whenever possible. Talent plus youth plus opportunity is often the requisite formula for fantasy breakouts and enduring upside. -- Jim McCormickDAngelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles LakersHe is finally out of the clutches of a Kobe Bryant-Byron Scott-run team. Russell showed signs of life towards the end of last season, including the ice in my veins game, where he finished with 39 points, six rebounds and three assists. His peak month was February of last season, shooting 46 percent from the field and from 3-point range, in addition to a PER of 19, his highest in a month.The Lakers hired Luke Walton in the offseason as the new head coach, the person who basically strategized an unreal Warriors start thanks to peak point guard play. Under his leadership, Russell can flourish. He has weapons to help him out as well in Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram (eventually) and veteran leadership in Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. -- Matthew WittynghamVictor Oladipo, SG, Oklahoma City ThunderIts the age-old fantasy adage: Talent plus opportunity equals fantasy gold. During his first three seasons, Oladipo was stuck on an Orlando Magic team that mostly ran at a middling pace and limited his usage. Even when they worked at a relatively decent pace last season, Oladipo ranked just 77th in the NBA in usage (22.8). Now he joins an even faster-paced team in OKC that lost Kevin Durant, who ranked ninth in usage last season at 30.5. No doubt, Russell Westbrook is going to be an insane usage hog, but he isnt going to eat up that 30.5 lost by Durant -- and neither are the likes of Ersan Ilyasova, Enes Kanter or Steven Adams.Consider that he averaged 19.4 PPG, 1.4 3-PPG, 3.8 APG, 4.9 RPG, and 2.1 SPG from February on last season, despite his usage remaining stuck at 22.5. His current ADP is 31, but you can make a legitimate case to take him in the second round. Working off of Westbrook, Oladipo has tremendous upside as a player capable of racking up huge steals to go with scoring, 3s and dimes. -- Tom CarpenterClint Capela, C, Houston RocketsClint Capelas production last season, per 36-minutes, almost rivaled Dwight Howards: He scored 13.3 points, together with 12.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and a very good 1.4 steals. His FG% of 58 percent was also one of the leagues best. On a per-game basis, though, the numbers didnt look as pretty -- Capela was only the second-string center and played only 19 minutes a game.With Howard gone, we think Capelas MPG are most definitely going to rise. With the Rockets bringing in Ryan Anderson, a power forward whose specialty is making 3s, Capela wont have to worry about competing for rebounds with another big. Age is also working in Capelas favor: At only 22 years old, Capela is likely to still improve in many facets of the game. -- Jeremias EngelmannBustsAndre Drummond, C, Detroit PistonsWatching?Andre Drummond?gather possession of a basketball is one of our simplest and purest NBA pleasures. The top rebounder in fantasy. Hes also a stat-based defender that will chip in 1.5 blocks and a (gaudy for a center) 1.5 steals a night. As his touches on offense increase, Drummonds points per game output will continue to inch closer to 20 points per game.And its all meaningless. Meaningless as long as Drummond continues to rank among the worst free throw shooters in the history of basketball. Thats not hyperbole. His 36 percent success rate in 2015-16 rated as one of the worst ever.Think of it this way ... if youre in a turnover league, would you be scared off of giveaway machines like John Wall, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade? Players whose category-killing deficiency in one less-followed (but equally important) metric forces your entire team to punt? Thats Drummond in any league that tabulates free throw production, but with exponentially higher risk.Or think of it this way...if Drummond had turned in a league-average, replacement-level performance at the charity stripe? He would have finished the 2015-16 campaign 12th overall on our Player Rater with 12.96 points. Thats right between Paul Millsap and Kyle Lowry. But instead of second-round production, Drummonds minus-9.76 free throw ratio knocked him down to 114th. Thats right between Cody Zeller and Lou Williams. -- John CreganKlay Thompson, SG, Golden State WarriorsWeve moved Thompson down in the rankings, and hes going in the third round in many drafts rather than the second round like last season, but Im still very concerned that Thompson will be the Warrior whose stats are most negatively impacted by the arrival of Kevin Durant. Coming off a season where he posted career highs in points (22.1) and shots per game (17.3), Thompson will almost certainly see both of those numbers take a noticeable dip in 2016-17. And his usage, which ranged from 24.3-25.5 over the past two seasons, will likely fall as well. These are all huge red flags, and Thompson doesnt do enough aside from scoring and shooting the 3-pointer to make up for a lesser role in the offense, which will have me looking elsewhere at that early stage in the draft. -- Joe KaiserDerrick Rose, PG, New York KnicksThe hope that Rose can revitalize his career in the Big Apple should be tempered by the Knicks continuing to emphasize elements of the triangle offense. Thats a bad fit for Rose, who isnt a threat without the ball in his hands because of his poor outside shooting and needs to attack the basket in the pick-and-roll to have any kind of success. Expect a low shooting percentage and few assists. -- Kevin PeltonRajon Rondo, PG, Chicago BullsI was tempted to include both Rondo and Dwyane Wade as co-busts here, which I suppose I am by mentioning them in the lede. Either way, I dont appreciate the usage overlap well likely see with this ball-dominant backcourt duo, especially with Jimmy Butler still in the mix as a high-usage asset himself. Rondo is a player who requires the ball and heavy minutes to net the elite assist and steal numbers we need for him given the utter lack of scoring and 3-point production. With this trio of high-usage guards in Chicago, someone will lose out, if not all three to a degree. -- Jim McCormickDwyane Wade, SG, Chicago Bulls It is easy to say Stephen Curry, not because hes going to literally bust and be bad, but because of his video game 2015-16 season. However, Im going Wade. Wade was the go-to player in Miami, despite his injuries and age. Wade finished fifth in usage percentage last season among qualified players, topping out at 31.5 percent, just below Kobe Bryant and right above Russell Westbrook.He now goes to a Chicago Bulls team devoid of outside shooting and playing a faster pace than he is used to in Miami. Since entering the NBA, the highest pace Miami played at was 95.8, his last season that added Goran Dragic, a notable transition player. The Bulls played at 98.3 in 2015, Fred Hoibergs first season as head coach. A combination of Wade not being the top option, the fast pace and his age, I dont think he will play up to the same standards and results as in Miami. -- Matthew WittynghamKlay Thompson, SG, Golden State WarriorsTo me, a bust is a player who fails to live up to where he goes in a draft. Thompson is an incredible real-life shooter, but his ADP as of late September was 21st overall, which is a round or two too early for my tastes. The issue in fantasy is that Thompson is just a 3-point specialist who has contributed little else, aside from some quality percentages, but even his FT% is hollow, since he attempts just a few per game.Now he has to compete with Durant for shots, so his ceiling is capped and his floor likely will slide downward too. Furthermore, the one stat he churns out the most -- 3s -- is something you can garner elsewhere; last season, 28 players averaged at least 2.0 3-PPG, a dozen of whom chipped in at least 2.5 PPG.Id much rather take upside players like Victor Oladipo, Kemba Walker, C.J. McCollum or Gordon Hayward at the second-third round turn. -- Tom CarpenterHarrison Barnes, SF, Dallas MavericksHarrison Barnes was signed this summer by the Dallas Mavericks to a 4-year/$94M deal. A deal of this magnitude would suggest that Barnes is capable of star-level production. The Mavericks might think Barnes has it in him to be the focal point of an offense, and that his production was simply limited by playing with other great players. But I think his below-average production in 2015-16 simply shows that hes just not that good of a player.For one thing, playing with teammates so offensively gifted should have led to more than a measly 1.8 assists per game. Or maybe should have allowed him to focus more on the defensive side -- but he only recorded 0.2 blocks and 0.6 steals per game. Furthermore, his shooting percentages are a sure thing to drop with the Mavericks, as Barnes wont have the benefit any more of opponents changing their entire defensive game-plan to keep Curry in check. In all, Barnes might see a small uptick in per-game production -- mostly due to playing more minutes -- but dont expect a sudden rise to stardom. -- Jeremias EngelmannCurry 6 Shoes For Sale . Now, with Game 6 set for Fenway Park and an 8:07 p.m. ET first pitch, the Detroit Tigers face the unenviable task of having to beat the Boston Red Sox twice, on the road, to advance to the World Series. Stephen Curry 1 Low Shoes . President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. http://www.curryshoesclearance.com/ . Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. Victor Moses converted a 20th-minute penalty after an Ethiopian handball, and Victor Obinna made certain of Nigerias place in Brazil with his powerful free kick in the 82nd at UJ Esuene Stadium. Curry 4 Shoes Cheap . The move comes after the Canadiens were approached by the Buffalo Sabres for permission to speak to Dudley - a former Sabres player and head coach. "The Sabres called for permission and I appreciate that, Im flattered, Dudley told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. Curry 1 Low Shoes For Sale . "I was fortunate to play many years at this level with a great organization and unbelievable teammates," said Hejduk in a statement.WASHINGTON -- Yes, that was Bryce Harper, not a mirage, in the Washington Nationals clubhouse, ready to return from the disabled list. Manager Davey Johnson wanted to be sure. "I went in there and said, Is that really you? Are you OK? Are you ready to go?" Johnson said. "He shook my hand and said Im ready. It seemed like I hadnt seen him in half a year. It seems that long." The 20-year-old sparkplug of a slugger was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Monday, following his recovery from a knee injury that stemmed from a collision with the Dodger Stadium fence. Harper missed 31 games with bursitis, diagnosed after he reinjured the left knee several times after he kept trying to play for two weeks following the mishap in Los Angeles on May 13. He pronounced himself fit after going 4 for 11 with a double, a triple and a home run during a four-game rehab assignment last week with Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. "A little swelling, but not much," Harper said. "Nothing to be cautious about. I feel good, and its to the point where I want to play." Harper said he will wear padding to protect the knee. He was in the starting lineup, batting third and playing left field for the homestand opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Nationals were 25-19 when Harper played, 16-21 when he didnt. That added up to a middling 41-40 mark at the halfway point for a consensus preseason pick to repeat as NL East champions. He was batting .287 with 12 homers and 23 RBIs when he went on the DL. "Not only his bat, but I think the energy he brings, he takes a lot of the focus and hes a competitor," Johhnson said.dddddddddddd "Just to have that 20-year-old energy running around 100 per cent, Im sure hes still probably going to run into the wall, Im sure hes going to dive headfirst. ... I dont want to put a damper on that. Thats who he is, and thats how he plays the game, and thats great." The return of Harper was the last thing the struggling Brewers needed. Milwaukee arrived in Washington on a five-game losing streak. "Well see after the series how bad of a break it is. ... What it does is it adds a guy who can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He can hit any pitch, and you have to be really careful with how you pitch him." Harpers return puts Johnson closer to the lineup envisioned at the start of the year, except that Anthony Rendon has replaced the demoted Danny Espinosa at second base. All thats left is for catcher Wilson Ramos to return from a left hamstring injury. Ramos was scheduled to catch seven innings at Potomac on Monday and could return to the major league club as early as Thursday. Johnson moved Rendon from second to seventh in the batting order to create a left-right-left-right-left top of the order consisting of Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. "Its all about matchups late in the ballgame that you want to create," Johnson said. NOTES: Johnson said LHP Ross Detwiler had a good bullpen session Monday and is on pace to start Wednesday as scheduled. Detwiler had stiffness in his lower back after his last start. ... The Nationals optioned RHP Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Harper. ' ' '

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