SleepersMarch 16, 2009

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Sleeper Watch

By Phil Londen

With fantasy leagues heading into the final week before playoffs, many managers are looking for that final free agent pickup with fantasy upside. The Toronto Raptors’ recent free agent acquisition Pops Mensah-Bonsu is certainly an available player with plenty of upside and serious potential.

Mensah-Bonsu had a career game on Sunday as he scored twenty-one points and pulled down eight boards in 28 minutes. Perhaps the most important indicator of his potential was the standing ovation he received from the Raptors faithful following his career game. His all-out hustle won the fans over and hopefully the coaching staff as well. If Mensah-Bonsu earns more minutes after this game, he could be in store for a strong finish to the fantasy season.

So who is Pops Mensah-Bonsu anyways?

Mensah-Bonsu is a British national who played college ball at George Washington and went undrafted in the 2006 NBA Draft. He was undrafted due to concerns after a a serious knee injury in college. Physically, he has the body to play power forward in the NBA at 6′10″ and 240 pounds. His game is based upon hustle and he also has some definite highlight dunk potential based upon his athleticism. Since 2006, Mensah-Bonsu has appeared in games for the Mavericks, Spurs and now the Raptors. The Raptors have a decent three game schedule this week playing a home and home against Charlotte and the Clippers once. It may be worth watching Mensah-Bonsu’s performance in Charlotte on Monday before deciding whether or not he should be scooped up. If he follows-up Sunday’s performance with another solid line, you can expect Pops to be grabbed in most competitive leagues by the middle of the week.

Only time will tell if Sunday’s game marks the turning point in Pops Mensah-Bonsu career from relative obscurity to fantasy producer. As he is virtually unowned, he should be available to any manager willing to take a risk this week and hope for continued fantasy success.

Phil Londen is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Phil in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of plonden.
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