Sleepers. How you win your leagues. I love sleepers; it’s my favorite part of any fantasy forecasting where you identify the diamonds in the rough. A big reason I love sleepers is they are the guys that can end up on a lot of your teams at a draft day value discounted where you know you can beat your draft to them.
So that takes me to DeMar DeRozan, a guy I wasn’t going to write my first sleeper post on at first, but amidst my ranking at 67 in my Way Too Early Rankings, I decided to dig deeper and try to convince Razzballers why they should spend a higher price on DeRozan than other rankings would suggest:
2012-13 Line: 18.1 Pts/3.9 Reb/2.5 Ast/0.9 Stl/0.3 Blk/6.7 FGM/0.4 3PTM/4.3 FTM
2012-13 %s: 44.5 FG%/28.3 3PT%/83.1 FT%
Decent numbers across the board, but nothing really sticks out. DeRozan’s best asset, scoring, is obviously not the most ideal stat, but is still valuable. DeRozan also set career-highs in several stats, including points, assists, rebounds, and FT%. Sure setting a career high in minutes boosts some of those counting stats, but a huge jump in Ast/TO ratio (has been 1:1 his whole career up to 2.5:1.8 last year) has me seeing he’s more confident and efficient with the ball.
My big excitement stems from the acquisition of Rudy Gay which a lot of drafters would see as a detriment to DeRozan’s numbers. However, it was the opposite that became true. Remember, DeRozan isn’t a blossoming superstar, I don’t think anyone outside of Toronto sees that, and while he got the big contract, might have been ill-suited to be the team’s only main scoring option. Also, remember Gay isn’t exactly an elite scorer either, only averaging over 20 a game in 2007-08 in his second season. I think the two players are going to work exceedingly well off of each other.
After Gay was acquired on January 30th this year, DeRozan posted fantastic numbers, that I think can even improve with off-season time to gel with Gay. His post All-Star break numbers of 19.1 points a game while shooting nearly 3% better from the floor and 2% better from deep, while indeed only marginal improvements, has me seeing the added defensive emphasis needed on Gay helped loosen up DeRozan. In the last 9 games of the season, DeRozan simply went off for 22.9 points a game, a three-pointer per, shooting 54% from the floor and 50% from deep, with 6 of those games against playoff teams.
DeRozan isn’t going to all the sudden be a multi-cat powerhouse and also won’t vault into the top 20 or anything, but he’s a solid scorer, improving on his efficiency, and gets to play off of another star rather than be forced to do it all himself. He gets to the line at a good clip/with a good percentage and I think can improve his shooting from deep. His floor is pretty low, with a solid ceiling that could make him a top-50ish player. I also like guys with low floors that miss very few games, and DeRozan has played in all but eight Raptors games in four seasons, including playing all 82 last year. At a discounted price, he’ll end up on a lot of my teams.
2013-14 Proj: 19.5 Pts/3.5 Rebs/2.9 Asts/1.1 Stls/0.3 Blks/6.9 FGM/0.8 3PTM/4.7 FTM