Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers: P.J. Dozier, Theo Maledon
Kev Mahserejian offers up his Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers, and his NBA Week 18 Sleeper Picks might include waiver-wire pickups who’ve fallen through the cracks into free agency. Roster percentages refer to figures from Yahoo! Sports fantasy basketball leagues.
Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
P.J. Dozier, PG/SG, Denver Nuggets (27% rostered)
Jamal Murray? Out.
Monte Morris? Out.
Will Barton? Out.
The Nuggets are in desperate need of guard help and while Nikola Jokic is basically the team’s PG, someone has to score alongside Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon. P.J. Dozier presents a last-ditch depth piece who is in an expanded role and has produced decently over the past few games. Morris has missed the past four games and Barton essentially the past two. Dozier exploded in the Nuggets’ most recent game versus a depleted Houston roster and scored a career-high 23 points. He also added on 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 threes, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
This kind of stat-line will not be the norm but usage will likely be there given that Morris and Barton are both out for the foreseeable future with hamstring injuries. Dozier can be an all-around contributor who does not hurt you in any category and plays 4 games this week. Must-add territory even if Austin Rivers sees more play-time.
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Theo Maledon, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (19%)
Five games this week is notable and Maledon, unlike half of the Thunder roster, is not resting. Maledon is an absolute tank in more ways than one. Since Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s foot injury, Maledon is averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 threes and 0.8 steals per game. While he does significantly hurt your FG (35%) and turns the ball over 2.6 times per game, Maledon should be rostered for any manager that can afford these deficits because the stat sheet will be stuffed otherwise.
With oft-rested players like Lu Dort, Aleksej Pokusevksi and Isaiah Roby in-and-out of games consistently, Maledon has opportunities of spiked usage throughout the week, especially with back-to-backs approaching.
Dwayne Bacon, SG, Orlando Magic (4%)
With Terrence Ross (back spasms) and James Ennis (calf) dealing with their respective injuries and missing the past few games, Dwayne Bacon has stepped into a larger offensive role in Orlando. Over the past 4 games with both Ross and Ennis out, Bacon is averaging 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 threes. He is not a major stat-stuffer and can be dropped when both return but in the meantime, his shot volume is 12.3 FGA per game and that is worth rostering despite a 40% average from the field this season.
Bacon is a sneaky contributor as a free-throw shooter as he has gotten to the line 19 times in the aforementioned stretch and made 17 of those 19 attempts to the tune of an 89.5% FT. This, along with steals, threes, and points are his plus categories while your only hit is FG.
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