The 2017-18 season is nearly over, and fantasy basketball leagues are wrapping up. We asked our experts to look to the future and predict the unheralded sleepers of the 2018-19 draft season.
Andre Snellings: Mike Conley has always been solid, but he had been stepping it up during the 2016-17 season, in which he ultimately finished 29th in the Player Rater. That is roughly third-round value. This season, however, he fought with injuries all season long and eventually he was shut down. Not coincidentally, the Memphis Grizzlies had their worst season in a long time.
Fast forward to next year, after having most of a year off, Conley should be healthy and at full speed. But he never was a big name guy and after a year off the stage, he's likely to get undervalued next season.
Jim McCormick: The Nuggets rank sixth in offensive rating this season and were fifth last year. Gary Harris has served a pivotal role in this productive offense with a clean .604 true shooting clip across the past two seasons (a measure of shooting efficiency at all three levels).
In the height of the 3-and-D era, it's compelling to note that among players 23 or younger, only Gilbert Arenas in 2004-05 joins Harris this season in averaging at least 17.7 points, 1.8 steals and 2.4 made 3-pointers. Harris had an average draft position of 102nd overall this past fall in ESPN leagues and yet is 37th on the Player Rater by averages, ahead of the likes of Otto Porter Jr., Klay Thompson and DeMar DeRozan.
Harris is an undeniably ascendant talent that seems to get lost in the shuffle amid Denver's borderline elite offense. I'm guessing the market will again overlook him next fall, just make sure you don't.
Joe Kaiser: Harris tends to be overlooked and underappreciated, but the two-guard blossomed into quite the fantasy player in 2017-18 with 17.7 PPG on 48.6 percent shooting while adding 3.0 APG, 1.8 SPG and 2.4 3PG. While others have their eyes on players like Bradley Beal at shooting guard, the savvy drafter will wait a round or two later next season to select the rapidly improving Harris.
Kyle Soppe: There is no shortage of potential among the young players in the NBA, and while I'm not sure that Malcolm Brogdon will ever be a bona fide fantasy star, I expect him to be vastly underrated heading into the 2018-19 regular season.
The former Virginia Cavalier was averaging 13.3 points in an efficient manner (48.7 percent shooting from the field, 37.8 percent from deep, and 88.2 percent from the charity stripe) prior to a knee injury that cost him nearly half of the season. I believe that Brogdon's assist upside is far greater than what we've seen through his first two professional seasons (3.9 assists per game), thus making me think that he can be a Jeff Teague-type in rather short order. Is that the upside of a Ben Simmons or Lonzo Ball? No, but based on draft-day cost, it wouldn't shock me if Brogdon is the better value.