Although I’m an unashamed Knicks fan I’ve always been a sucker for the underdog and ever since Kawhi Leonard left the Toronto Raptors I’ve found myself rooting for their continued success. Below I outline four Toronto Raptors players who could make a tremendous leap this year.
Toronto Raptors: OG Anunoby
I drafted Anunoby last year in my fantasy basketball league and unfortunately, his season was plagued by injuries. I had a feeling he might present a buy-low opportunity this year and sadly, I didn’t follow that feeling. Finally, we are seeing a healthy, emerging, Anunoby, and the results have been explosive.
Not only has Anunoby continued to dominate on the defensive end this year, but his well-rounded game has sprung to new heights. On November 4th he recorded a line of 27 points, 4 triples, 7 boards, a dime, and 5 steals after having swiped 5 steals the game prior.
He currently leads the league in swipes, but Anunoby has catapulted to new heights currently ranking as a top 15 player in fantasy. Truly, it’s not a matter of when Anunoby will make a leap – he’s doing it before our eyes.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes
2021’s Rookie of the Year has gotten off to a slow start this season and has burned fantasy streamers by failing to dominate in the absence of Pascal Siakam and Fred Vlanvleet. However, Scottie Barnes bounced back on November 16th by posting a line of 19 points, 6 boards, 6 dimes, a steal, a block, and a triple in 42 minutes.
The next game he dropped 28 points, 11 boards, 9 dimes, a steal, 2 blocks, and 4 triples. When Vanvleet has been sidelined, coach Nick Nurse has shown a willingness to deploy Barnes at point guard. Moreover, with his ability to stuff the stat sheet, the reigning Rookie of the Year certainly has the potential to bounce back and make another massive leap this season.
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher
Boucher, at 6’9,” is a versatile PF that can score, dominate the glass, drain threes, and play pesky defense. He has all the tools to be a dynamic contributor for the Raptors, and his upside has tantalized fantasy managers for years.
After a strong finish to the 2020 season, many believed Chris Boucher would break out last year, but he spent a ton of time in Nick Nurse’s dog house. As 2021 came to an end, Boucher came to life, but inconsistency has been Boucher’s calling card.
This season started off bumpy for Boucher, but he’s been getting consistent minutes lately and is nearly averaging a double-double with 17 points and a hair under 10 boards since November 11th. With injuries troubling the Raptors, it could finally be Chris Boucher’s time in Toronto.
Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa
The big-man rotation for the Raptors is definitely crowded, with Precious, Boucher, Porter, Koloko, and even Thaddeus Young seeing floor time. Precious is an intriguing prospect, though, and he sent shockwaves across the fantasy world on October 24th by dropping a monstrous double-double with 10 points, 22 rebounds, a block, and 2 dimes.
Before sustaining an injury, Precious was seeing a fair amount of minutes, and if he can consistently stroke the ball, leveling out his FG%, he could definitely make a giant leap this year.