Fantasy Basketball Rankings 2019: Top sleepers from proven simulation that nailed Lauri Markkanen's breakout

With the 2019-20 NBA season opening on Tuesday night, last-second Fantasy basketball drafts are being held across the nation and owners everywhere have to adapt their Fantasy basketball draft strategies to an offseason full of big headlines. In the latest and most disappointing NBA news, Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus. Meanwhile, several younger players who are hoping to take huge steps forward this season just signed massive extensions, with Jaylen Brown signing a four-year, $115 million deal with the Celtics, Buddy Hield inking a four-year, $94 million deal with the Kings, and Pascal Siakam completing a four-year, $130 million extension with the Raptors. With even more secure long-term financial futures, will these players be among the 2019 Fantasy basketball sleepers to target in your upcoming drafts? Be sure to check out the 2019 Fantasy basketball rankings and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine before the season tips. 

Last season, for example, the model identified Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen as one of its Fantasy basketball sleepers. The All-Rookie from 2017-18 averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first season in Chicago, but took a major step forward just as the model predicted in Year No. 2, averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting nearly identical percentage of 43 percent from the floor and 36 percent from beyond the arc. The model also nailed Aaron Gordon's big season the year prior, calling for a 20 percent production increase as he went from 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game to 17.6 and 7.9.

Now, SportsLine has simulated the upcoming season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy basketball rankings 2019, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. This model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2019 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets.

SportsLine's cheat sheets and rankings, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there's a change on a roster, the team at SportsLine updates its cheat sheets. 

One of the biggest 2019 Fantasy basketball sleepers according to SportsLine's model: Raptors center Serge Ibaka. The veteran had his best season since 2013-14 with the Thunder last season in Toronto, averaging 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while helping the Raptors to their first-ever title.

Now, with Leonard leaving in free agency to join the Clippers, Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol will all have to take on larger scoring roles to make up for the loss. That should mean more minutes, more shots and more overall productivity for Ibaka. Which is why the SportsLine Projection Model ranks him ahead of players with eight-round ADPs like Jonas Valanciunas, DeAndre Jordan and Thomas Bryant despite a ninth-round 2019 Fantasy basketball ADP of his own.

Another sleeper the model loves: Pacers shooting guard Jeremy Lamb. When you look at all of the aforementioned deals given out, the Pacers got a sweetheart deal for the seven-year NBA veteran this offseason.

Lamb signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract coming off a career-best year. Last year with the Hornets, Lamb had career highs in ppg (15.3), rpg (5.5) and spg (1.1) while playing 28.5 minutes per game. He shot 44 percent from the floor, 35 percent from the 3-point line and 89 percent from the free-throw line. And as a plus defender, you don't have to worry about game-flow taking him out of contests for large stretches of the game.

Now he joins a Pacers squad that was the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference before Victor Oladipo got hurt last season. With a strong supporting cast that features excellent backcourt depth, Lamb may even earn some positional versatility playing small forward to further enhance his value. That's why the model ranks Lamb ahead of seventh-round options like Brandon Ingram and Caris LeVert despite the fact that he's got a ninth-round 2019 Fantasy basketball ADP.

SportsLine's 2019 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets also have a stunning prediction for Pelicans forward Zion Williamson who was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, but will miss at least six week with a knee injury. Knowing what value you can get out of the most exciting superstar to enter the league since LeBron James could be the difference between winning and losing your league.

So what Fantasy basketball sleepers should you be all over? And where should Zion Williamson be in your Fantasy basketball rankings? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy basketball cheat sheets from the proven model that powered all three Fantasy sites and find out.

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