Fantasy Basketball Rankings 2019: Sleepers from proven simulation that nailed Lauri Markkanen’s breakout

The 2019 NBA season is just over a week away as Zion Williamson begins a new era with the Pelicans against the defending champion Raptors, who will be adjusting to life without Kawhi Leonard. Meanwhile, Leonard will begin his career in Los Angeles with the Clippers as he and Paul George take on former Pelicans forward Anthony Davis as he joins forces with LeBron James and the Lakers. The action begins on Oct. 22 and Fantasy basketball owners will all be curious to see how an NBA offseason highlighted by superstars on the move will impact the Fantasy basketball rankings 2019. However, they’ll also be on the hunt for the 2019 Fantasy basketball sleepers who can outperform their 2019 Fantasy basketball ADP to help round out their rosters and lead them to a Fantasy basketball championship. So before your upcoming Fantasy basketball drafts, be sure to check out the 2019 Fantasy basketball rankings and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, for example, the model identified Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen as one of its Fantasy basketball sleepers. The All-Rookie from 2017-18 averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first season in Chicago, but took a major step forward just as the model predicted in Year No. 2, averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting nearly identical percentage of 43 percent from the floor and 36 percent from beyond the arc. The model also nailed Aaron Gordon’s big season the year prior, calling for a 20 percent production increase as he went from 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game to 17.6 and 7.9.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the upcoming season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy basketball rankings 2019, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. This model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2019 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets.

SportsLine’s cheat sheets and rankings, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there’s a change on a roster, the team at SportsLine updates its cheat sheets. 

One of the biggest 2019 Fantasy basketball sleepers according to SportsLine’s model: Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum. The 11-year NBA veteran took on a smaller offensive roles the last two seasons with his average field-goal attempts per game dropping from 12.7 to 7.5 from 2016-17 to 2018-19. However, with Kemba Walker taking 20.5 attempts per game and 25.6 points per game to Boston and no natural replacement, Batum is going to be one of the more experienced scoring options in the Charlotte lineup. 

In that 2016-17 season, Batum averaged 15.1 points per game and he’s become a more effective 3-point shooter (38.9 percent last season) and efficient scorer (.553 eFG last season) as he ages. With more shots, Batum has the potential to see a major uptick in production and that’s why the model ranks him ahead of R.J. Barrett (sixth-round ADP), Rui Hachimura (7th) and Andrew Wiggins (7th) despite an eighth-round ADP of his own.

Another sleeper the model loves: Mavericks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. The former Michigan guard spent two seasons in New York, two seasons in Atlanta and then almost two seasons in New York again before he was traded to the Mavericks as part of the Kristaps Porzingis-Dennis Smith Jr. trade a season ago. Now he should benefit from being part of an emerging Mavericks squad.

Dallas will get Porzingis back from injury to start the season and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic needs a wing partner who can score. As it so happens, that’s been Hardaway’s niche his entire career. Hardaway has averaged 17.5 ppg and 18.1 ppg the last two seasons, and Doncic’s creativity, combined with Porzingis’ ability to spread the floor should yield higher-quality scoring looks for Hardaway. That’s why he ranks ahead of Josh Richardson (7th round ADP), Brandon Ingram (8th) and Caris LeVert (8th) in SportsLine’s rankings despite an ADP of 96.40 (9th round).

SportsLine’s 2019 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets also have a stunning prediction for Pelicans forward Zion Williamson who was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Knowing what value you can get out of the most exciting superstar to enter the league since LeBron James could be the difference between winning and losing your league.

So what Fantasy basketball sleepers should you be all over? And where should Zion Williamson be in your Fantasy basketball rankings? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy basketball cheat sheets from the proven model that powered all three Fantasy sites and find out.

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