SleepersAugust 22, 2006

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Sleeper Watch

By Clay Burnett

Most of you probably recognize Josh Smith as the guy who won the dunk contest in 2005, or as a high flyer who appears on SportsCenter’s top plays every other week. What many people fail to realize is that he offers a lot more to fantasy owners like you and me.

After getting off to a rocky start in the first half, the twenty-one-year-old southpaw, who came straight out of high school, really came into his own after the all-star break last season. In his last 32 games of the 05-06 season he averaged 15 ppg, 8 rpg, 4 apg, 3 bpg and 1 spg. Most fantasy owners would be very happy with those numbers from Smith, but in those last 32 games he also developed an outside shot where he averaged just over one three pointer made per game. One thing that you have to love about having him on your team is how he gets you those out of position stats. When drafting a small forward, no one really expects to get a guy who is a top five performer in the blocks category. However, with Smith, that is exactly what you get.

Various news sources say that Smith has worked out and gotten bigger physically this summer. All indications are that he is looking to have a big year and pick up where he left off last season. So if you are drafting in a re-draft league (or a one year league), he is a great pick anywhere after the fourth round. However, for everyone that is drafting in a keeper league, Josh Smith is a guy you have to have on your radar anywhere past the mid to late second round.

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