In the middle of a difficult fantasy football season (for myself at least..), we had our fantasy basketball draft. You’ll probably recognize a lot of these owners from previous leagues. To be honest, I dont think any of us did any serious research into basketball this season (at least I didnt…) as it had taken a backburner to fantasy football. This was pretty evident from how a lot of teams opted to build with the same players they had last year (except for Shubh, who opted to copy my team from last year). No one really chased the punt FT% strat which was a bit surprising. To the surprise of no one however, an issue came up involving, who else, Adrian during the draft, but other than that it went pretty smoothly…
My strategy for this year was simple: 1. Get Wiggins. 2. Chase points. My first 6 picks were guys that I expected to be high usage players and I hoped the other stats would just work themselves out after. Maybe not the best strategy for a league that counts double-doubles as a category, but it’s kind of mitigated by the fact that we dont count TO’s either. My middle picks were some filler players with upside and I closed with some interesting dart throws. A 10-team league with 10 starters, 4 bench spots, 1 IR…yup, we are only rostering 140 players so there’s bound to be plenty of usable players floating around throughout the year.
There’s a dearth of PGs this year so I was really hoping CP3 would fall to me at #9 overall and that I could pair him with Wall in rd 2 (#12 overall). Doing so would easily give me a huge lead in the AST and STL cats. Turns out that Lebron was the one that fell to me a#9. I wasnt exactly enthused to take him due to concerns about the mileage on his legs (plus a back issue that cropped up in the preseason), but at the end of the first, I couldnt pass him up either. While Kyrie is out, CLE should lean on Lebron more, so he might get even more usage than normal. Wall was still my target in rd 2 as one of the few players that can consistently get double-doubles from the PG position. He and Lebron should continue to be above-average in STLs.
I was sad to see Bledsoe go in the beginning of the 3rd and took Bosh at #29. With Lebron gone, Bosh was having a nice season as the primary option in MIA until blood clots ended his season early. I dont think he’ll get too many DDs with Whiteside gobbling up REBs, but he should be able to score relatively efficiently. The 3PM are a nice addition to his game though I would have preferred to see >1.0 STL or BLK per game, but Im just nitpicking. Round 4 (#32), I pulled the trigger on Wiggins. A total reach, but I wanted him on my team. Im not sure if his game will mature past scoring this year making him an over-priced Corey Maggette, but Ill be damned if he isnt one of the most interesting players in the league right now.
At #49, Monta should thrive as IND’s secondary scoring option. He doesnt have Carlisle’s system to fuel his AST totals, but he should get a useful amount just by virtue of having the ball in his hands. Monta’s STLs also pair nicely with Lebron and Wall. By this point, Ive pretty much ignored building up any particular category, instead opting for the classic BPA strategy. Monroe got paid this year and maybe he can thrive in MIL. Kidd and MIL had a nice run last year and are one of the buzziest teams entering this season. Hopefully Monroe is that piece that can help MIL’s young core take the next step.
Gallo at #69 is a pretty risky pick considering his injury history, but he looks to be DEN’s best option on offense. If he works out, he can provide a big boost in 3PM. Elfrid Payton is a typical pick of mine; a young, unproven PG that showed flashes last season, he’ll be the primary facilitator on a young ORL team with a lot of interesting pieces. The ASTs and STLs should continue to be useful and an increase in efficiency would be appreciated though they arent too harmful considering his relatively low number of attempts.
Terrance Jones (#89) was a favorite glue guy of my team last year. He wont be asked to do much offensively in HOU, but those BLKs are very handy in fantasy and he has the upside to contribute beyond that. Looking back, maybe Burks (#107) would have been a better pick than Clarkson at #92. Clarkson was pretty useful down the stretch last year as he produced in the dumpster fire of LAL. With Russell and Kobe in tow, he wont reach the usage he did last year.
Nearing the end of the draft, I opted to take Otto Porter (#109) and Aaron Gordon (#112). Otto Porter is probably most famous for Shaqtin a Fool, but did have some good moments last year. With Pierce gone, Porter’s role should expand. This guy was the #3 overall pick a while back, so maybe he’ll continue to develop into a useful fantasy asset. Aaron Gordon, another lottery pick, had a tough go of it last season with, I think, a broken foot? He had himself an exciting preseason, but during the regular season, he probably wont have much of a role on offense in ORL, but Im interested to see what he can do on defense. He does remind me a lot of another one of my late picks last year, Draymond. Porzingod probably wont breakout this year, but how can you pass on someone with a nickname like that? Amir Johnson is another glue guy that might provide some BLKs, but will probably be the first guy I drop.
Some quick superlatives:
- Best Guards: “My Balls on Abby’s Chin” (CP3/Butler/Conley), “Team Popstefanajnanogw” (Westbrook/Lowry/Isaiah)
- Best Bigs: “Team Reffe” (Boogie/Pau/Bropez), “Insert Adrian Sob Story” (Marc/Ibaka/Gortat), “Team Lopez” (Love/Al Jeff/Dwight/ZBo/Chandler), “Pride leads to destruction” (wut??? AD……………./Deandre/RLopez)
- Best Wings: idk… “Team Reffe”? (George/Hayward/Ariza)
Typically in H2H cat lgs, I try to dominate certain categories, but this draft I probably did a poor job of that. Im aiming to be the league leader in PTS with this squad. I should be above average in AST and STL. No one is exactly a huge drain on FG% or FT%, but I didnt exactly build up either percentage cat either. Gallo is probably my only major source of 3PM and its not really a collective strength of the rest of my team. I’ll probably have to lean on some waiver 3PM specialists to be competitive in that cat. My team’s biggest weakness is probably the lack of big men. I picked like none so REB, BLK, and possibly DDs will probably become a problem. Im kind of lamenting the lack of the defensive stat mavens that I love so much and missing out on Bledsoe, but otherwise, I dont have much issue with my draft. So, here’s to another season in search of answering the eternal question, “whos team is ass?”