SleepersJuly 21, 2005

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Sleeper Watch

By Arlo Vander

When Danny Granger, projected by many to go off the board in the top ten picks of this year’s NBA draft, finally wound up heading to Indiana with the 17th overall pick, the groan you heard didn’t only come from those whose mock drafts had been turned upside-down. Fantasy owners were equally disappointed: instead of stepping in as a producer on a rebuilding team, Granger will spend most of his rookie season on the bench. So much for picking him up as an immediate-impact sleeper, but for owners in dynasty leagues, investing a bench spot in the talented rookie might be an idea worth considering.

Barring injuries to Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jermaine O’Neal, (or suspensions, which can never be ruled out on this team), Granger won’t see a whole lot of minutes this year. The Pacers drafted for value, not need. And the team certainly added solid value with this pick. A hard-worker, the New Mexico product is one of the most well-rounded players in this draft class and was considered by many to be the best forward among this year’s NCAA seniors. He can score inside and outside, draws fouls, and plays solid defense.

For now, we’ll most likely only see those skills in brief cameo appearances. Yet once he begins to see more time on the court, Danny Granger could turn into an excellent fantasy option at small forward. Until then, you’ll need to be patient, but that’s what dynasty league bench spots are for.

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Ike Diogu by Brett Roberts (posted on 08/06/2005 in Sleepers)