SleepersFebruary 1, 2008

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Sleeper Watch

By Jonathan Huang

This floppy-haired Frenchman comes from a whole family of various talents. His dad was a star tennis player, while his mom is a former Miss World. Joakim Noah hasn’t done bad himself, helping the Florida Gators to back-to-back championships with his trademark hustle, passion, and intensity. He has now brought his skills to the Chicago Bulls.

Many ridiculed his choice to stay in college for one more year, and for a while that criticism was legit. Noah’s numbers fell in the season of the Gators’ second championship and his draft stock dropped. Yet in last year’s NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls still took him with the 9th overall pick to back up a similar player – Ben Wallace.

Now, with the Bulls hurt by injuries to Luol Deng and Ben Gordon, Noah is getting a chance to prove his worth. His game is extremely similar to Wallace’s, but the obvious difference is that he’s much younger. As a player that thrives on energy, Noah does not need many minutes to make a difference in the game. However, recently, the Bulls have decided to insert him into the starting lineup and he is making a difference. For example, on Tuesday (January 29), Noah had a double-double – 10 pts, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal in 31 minutes. And on Wednesday (January 30), he had 10 pts, 8 rebounds, and an assist in 30 minutes.

He is starting to slowly gain confidence in himself, and the coaching staff of the Bulls is putting more trust in him as well. So what does this all mean for us fantasy owners? Well, if you’re looking for a shot in the rear in points, rebounds, with a few steals, blocks, and assists mixed in, give Joakim a try.

Note: In this case, Noah is a pretty deep sleeper. It is suggested that he is picked up in deeper leagues only. There are probably better options than Noah in shallower leagues.

Jonathan is an aspiring sportswriter who also happens to dominates his fantasy leagues. You can find Jonathan posting in the Cafe forums as baller_crimson.
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