In fantasy basketball managers are always looking for the late-round pick that will wind up being a steal. With the NBA season roughly two weeks away, it is important to know which players are worth taking a flier on. These players are rostered in less than 40 percent of ESPN leagues and have upside. Here are some underrated players in fantasy basketball that should be drafted in all leagues.
Underrated Players in Fantasy Basketball
Reggie Jackson – Los Angeles Clippers (PG)
Once Kawhi Leonard went down in the playoffs last summer, it was Reggie Jackson who ended up being the second-leading scorer on the Clippers. He averaged 17.8 points per game in the post-season and is now returning as the starting point guard this season. The Clippers did bring in Eric Bledsoe to start at shooting guard but Bledsoe looked washed up last season. With Leonard not expecting to return until the spring of 2022, Jackson should continue to average between 16-18 points as the lead guard on a team lacking scoring behind Paul George. Jackson is currently rostered in only 34 percent of leagues on ESPN.
Saddiq Bey – Detroit Pistons (SF)
Saddiq Bey was one of the best rookies last season and was awarded a first-team all-rookie selection. He only averaged 12.2 points per game but shot 38 percent from three on the season. What is encouraging is that Bey scored 20 or more points eight times in his last 22 games. Bey is expected to take another step forward this season on a young Detroit team. The only concern with Bey is that his production came without Jerami Grant (shutdown) and the Pistons just drafted Cade Cunningham. However, Bey should still improve from his rookie season and if the Pistons ever get hit with injuries he could vault up the rankings. He is currently rostered in only 26 percent of leagues on ESPN.
Wendell Carter Jr. – Orlando Magic (C)
Wendell Carter Jr. was having another disappointing season last year with the Bulls when he was traded at the deadline to the Magic for Nikola Vucevic. This season, he is expected to start at center for the Magic and should get every opportunity to breakout. While Carter Jr. may never be a star player, he is still a nightly double-double threat. For teams that waited on the center position in drafts, Carter Jr. is a quality draft pick that still has upside at only 22 years old. He is currently rostered in 29 percent of leagues on ESPN.
Scottie Barnes – Toronto Raptors (PF/SF)
If there is one intriguing rookie outside of the big four (Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, and Jalen Suggs) it’s Scottie Barnes. Barnes is a point forward whose only weaknesses are his scoring ability and outside shooting. This may scare some managers but Barnes’ ability to contribute in multiple categories should have him owned in more leagues. With Pascal Siakam injured to begin the season, Barnes will get major minutes right away. Even when Siakam returns, if Barnes plays well initially there is no chance Nick Nurse will decrease his role. He is owned in 34 percent of leagues on ESPN.
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