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