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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

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  1. Tecmoballz says:
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    I got him for my late round keeper in my league( round 11 or later, ccouldn’t be happier)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Tecmoballz: Awesome! Yea I think he’s gonna be an awesome value for ya next year, and pretty much anyone that drafts him above where he’ll be ranked in most pre-drafts. Thanks for reading!

  2. Fenris-77 says:
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    DeMar was ranked 97th on the season for 9 cat play last year, and with the small bumps you predict I’d say you have him pegged for something around the 65-75 mark depending on where you slot the percentages exactly and what you predict on the turnover front. That would make him something like the 10th or 11th ranked SG. Does that sound about right? Taking the under (ranked 75th) That would mean you’d be happy to draft him at the bottom of the 6th/top of the 7th area in mixed leagues. Hmm.

    I might do that for roto, but I don’t think I the overall statline enough to take him that high in HtH (mostly because he doesn’t fit a lot of standard HtH builds except punt threes). For teams that aren’t punting he’s weak the traditional G production (3’s mostly) so you’d have to pick that up elsewhere. I think for HtH I’d probably draft him a round or so later than that.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Fenris-77: Well at least I sold you in roto! Haha. I still play and try to spread the word of ThrAGNOF and pick up the hot 3-pt shooters with a streaming spot. But I hear ya, I like my projection for both formats with the solid chance he plays 82 games again next year and possibly had #50-55 upside with that low floor. Thanks for the thoughts & reading!

  3. Fenris-77 says:
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    Honestly, I’m only sold if I can draft him a round later than discussed above. On the upside that’s probably still way ahead of where a lot of guys want to draft him, so there’s that. I’ll grant you the chance he really kicks it up a notch is intriguing, fantasy-wise, but I probably won’t draft him at what I think is the peak of his potential. That’s not sound draft strategy IMO. I think he’s good target for the late 7th/early 8th, at which point he represents actual value even if he doesn’t take a big step forward.For 8 cat play I’d knock down another half round or more because his low TOs don’t play.

  4. Ben says:
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    DeRozan was a great shout! Sleepers have won me many a fantasy in my time.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Ben: Thanks man! There well be plenty more to come so stay tuned!

  5. Moe says:
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    Nice. Derozan my bro..was a sleeper last year at this time..i told you he added u didn’t believe me..now I’m not looking at who wrote this but I’m just assuming its that chick who knows her ball,none the less..you are a season late on this one bro.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Moe: Not sure I follow that at all… So someone can’t be a sleeper two years in a row? Who is this chick who knows her ball? Was that a stab at me being a chick, because you hurt my feelings! HahI didn’t know we had a girl writer but I didn’t start until a few months ago. “Told me he added and I didn’t believe you” I’m not sure that was me musta been someone else. Anyway I think he’s a solid sleeper again this year, as I believe he’s undervalued.

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