Kev Mahserejian offers up his Week 14 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers, and his NBA Week 14 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 14 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Houston Rockets (43% rostered)
The Rockets are definitely a team. With Christian Wood
dealing with an illness after suffering an ankle injury in the middle of the season, there is a non-zero chance that he is shut down for the rest of this season eventually to make way for the Rockets to continue their tank and preserve Wood, who is a crucial part of their future.
Is Olynyk *good enough* to get significant minutes over front-court guys like Justin Patton
and D.J. Wilson
? Absolutely. Olynyk sans Wood is the only competent big in Houston. Therefore, the opportunity will be plentiful. Olynyk has only played two games thus far in Houston and he’s averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 threes. This is largely meaningless given that he is shooting 60% from the field while his career average is closer to 47%.
The biggest stat to look at is shots taken as he has 25 total FG attempts. While he is unlikely to average double-digits with Wood in the lineup (he never has throughout his career), the games in which Wood is out, Olynyk’s usage will skyrocket to top-75 levels. Go get him.
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Hamidou Diallo, SG/SF, Detroit Pistons (22% rostered)
The Pistons are another talent-deprived team. With the Delon Wright
trade and general tanking attitude displayed, someone’s gotta play minutes on this team and Diallo is solid enough for the job. He’s been fairly fantasy-friendly this season despite inconsistencies and a groin injury that kept him out for roughly a month. Luckily, he is back on the floor and produced well in his most recent game as a Piston.
Diallo stuffed the stat-sheet versus the Raptors in a 14-point win. He put up 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and shot extremely well from the floor and free-throw line. While Diallo is generally a poor free-throw shooter (65% this season), he is very good from the floor (49%) which is surprising for a guard but it is a result of his massive athleticism that ended up winning a Dunk Contest in 2019.
Diallo has averaged 23mpg in 2020-2021 but after playing 27 in just his 2nd game on a new team, it is not impossible for him to hit roughly 30 per game to end the season while providing points, rebounds, stocks, and a good FG% with low turnovers.
R.J. Hampton, PG/SG, Orlando Magic (3% rostered)
The Magic have been bereft of depth across the board and are playing for no other reason than to acquire a high draft pick in the draft along with evaluating the talent in-house. R.J. Hampton is a recent first-round pick acquired in the Aaron Gordon trade
who was pegged by some draft experts as a lottery pick prior to his first year overseas. While Hampton is still very young and needs to fill out his frame, he will continue to see opportunities on the NBA floor unless he fails spectacularly.
The Magic are starting Michael Carter-Williams
at PG right now and are unlikely to have Cole Anthony (ribs) back anytime soon. Hampton will essentially be competing with MCW and Dwayne Bacon
for play-time in this backcourt as Terrence Ross
(knee) is out indefinitely as well.
Hampton played 17 minutes in his Magic debut and scored 10 points on 8 shots while attempting 2 threes and making 1. The hope here is that he sees an expanded role with the ball in his hands and can provide a baseline of decent rebounds and assists to match some scoring in the low double-digits. He may even provide a steal and three per game as well if he plays enough minutes. He is a work-in-progress and the Magic can afford the opportunity to work through kinks.
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