As a way to become more involved in the DFS community, our team decided to put together a 10-man season-long fantasy basketball league on ESPN with fellow contributors in the Fantasy Sports community on Twitter.
We held our draft on Wednesday, October 19th and while this draft was the actual draft for our league, we are using it as a mock-draft for all of you guys, so you can see where we believe each player deserves to be drafted. To break down this draft, I will include every pick of draft and who they were drafted by. I will also provide a brief personal analysis of a pair of picks from each round (one I like, and one I don’t). I will try and remain as unbiased as I can, but I mean, c’mon, I killed this draft.
*Writer’s Note: We adjusted the scoring in the league to follow Fanduel scoring, and hence, drafted with this scoring in mind
Pick I love – #9 LeBron James
There should need to be any type of explanation here. If you can get arguably the best player in all of basketball at the second to last pick in the first round, consider yourself extremely lucky.
Pick I hate – #6 Chris Paul
It’s really hard to hate any of these picks, as they’re all worthy of a first round pick, but I think that Paul will be outproduced by arguably all four players drafted after him. When it comes to Fanduel scoring, Paul gets the points, assists and steals, but all four players behind him get those, plus rebounds and blocks. Plus, he’s starting to creep up there in age and with a healthy Blake Griffin, his scoring could be down a bit in 2017.
Pick I love – #15 Anthony Davis
Yes he’s injury prone, but he just put up 33 and 13 in 37 preseason minutes yesterday. Davis was a top 3 pick in drafts last season, and if the injuries knock him 12 spots down in your draft, please don’t pass him up.
Pick I hate – #16 Kyle Lowry
Again, I don’t HATE this pick, I simply think that both Jimmy Butler and Blake Griffin will outproduce him in fantasy points this season. I also think that DeRozan could take yet another step forward offensively, boosting Lowry’s assist totals, but possible putting a dent in the scoring column.
Pick I love – #27 Andre Drummond
In Fanduel scoring, Drummond clocks in as a nightly threat to be the top overall scorer because of his dominance on the glass and his scoring upside. Getting him at the back end of the third round is a gift. He should be the focal point of the offense with Reggie Jackson sidelined for the first portion of the season.
Pick I hate – #23 CJ McCollum
I love McCollum and the way he plays, but he’s too hard to rely on in fantasy basketball when being drafted in the top 25. He takes a backseat to Dame in the offense and will most certainly be outscored by a number of players drafted immediately after him.
Pick I love – #35 Carmelo Anthony
He was hurt last season, but I still believe that Melo is one of the most dominant pure scorers in the game. The fact that his teammate ProzinGOD was drafted a pick before him stuns me. This is Carmelo Anthony. If you watched the Olympics this summer, you know that he looks poised for a bounce-back season.
Pick I hate – #39 Greg Monroe
I hate Greg Monroe. It’s the Bucks fan in me, but he just doesn’t fit the system in Milwaukee. He’s also been delegated to a bench role behind either John Henson or Miles Plumlee. If you find yourself behind either of those two on a depth chart, you know that there’s no reason to draft him in the top 50.
Pick I love – #44 Nikola Vucevic
His production and minutes could take a small hit with the addition of Serge Ibaka, but Vuc is one of the most offensively gifted bigs in the league. He also possess great rebounding upside and can go for 30/10 on any given night.
Pick I hate – #48 Jae Crowder
Another example of a great player, but not the greatest in terms of fantasy. He was drafted immediately in front of Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love in this round. Two players that high MUCH higher ceilings and skill than him.
Pick I love – #53 Dwight Howard
If any of you have been paying attention to the NBA preseason, you should know that Dwight Howard has been dominant to say the least. He’s fresh off of a 16 point / 15 rebound performance and he’s beginning to look like the Superman we once knew in Orlando. If his development of a mid-range game is true, then look out NBA.
Pick I hate – #56 Jeff Teague
It’s hard to hate this pick, but I think that the change in venue hurts his fantasy stock. He goes from being one of the top offensive options on a team without an elite scorer, to the second or third option behind superstar Paul George. The Pacers also added Thaddeus Young and have breakout candidate Myles Turner. Teague may find it difficult to get enough shots to make value at this pick.
Pick I love – #70 Ricky Rubio
While Rubio doesn’t pile up the points, he can easily dish out 10-15 assists, record a handful of steals, and even grab a fair share of boards on any given night. With Fanduel scoring, he’s the perfect player to draft in this stage of the draft as he carries a considerably high ceiling and a somewhat consistent floor.
Pick I hate – #61 Trevor Ariza
I know Ben didn’t mean to draft Ariza, but I can’t ignore it. Terrible pick, don’t do it. Leave it at that.
Pick I love – #76 Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas has literally ZERO competition behind him this season after Bismack Biyombo departed for Orlando. With that in mind, his usage should be through the roof and so should his minutes. Expect double-doubles on a nightly basis.
Pick I hate – #74 Zach LaVine
LaVine had an impressive sophomore campaign, but the Wolves just have too many other options on offense to warrant a 7th round fantasy pick for a player that really only puts up fantasy points when he’s scoring the basketball.
Pick I love – #90 Alex Len
If you watched the second half of last season, you know that Alex Len was a man amongst boys in the post. With Tyson Chandler hobbled, Len had a number of monster double doubles and has been extremely efficient in his young career. His minutes are still gonna be somewhat low for what fantasy owners want, but the potential is through the roof.
Pick I hate – #86 Darren Collison
Yes he’s the starting point guard with the departure of Rondo, but I just don’t like him in terms of fantasy. Boogie is going to dominate that offense with Rudy Gay being a distant second. Anyone else behind them isn’t the most viable fantasy option.
Pick I love – #99 Kenneth Faried
Faried seems to have plateaued a bit in his career, but he’s still an athletic freak and a walking double-double. The Nuggets’ frontcourt is beginning to get a little crowded, but when Faried gets hot, he gets hot.
Pick I hate – #93 Al-Farouq Aminu
This pick sucks. He’s the 3rd or 4th option on offense, and that would be a very very distant third. While he does contribute across the board, give me Aaron Gordon, Mason Plumlee, Jordan Clarkson, and Kenneth Faried over him.
Pick I love – #108 Steven Adams
Adams is up there for my steal of the draft. He’s expected to start over Enes Kanter this season and is still a fresh 23 years young. With no Serge Ibaka or Kevin Durant, expect his usage and minutes to both increase as he should have no problem boosting his 8 ppg and 6.7 rpg from last season.
Pick I hate – #106 Harrison Barnes
This is a biased pick, but I despise Harrison Barnes. Nice job Dallas, a downgrade from Parsons is an understatement. Also, to provide a more legitimate description, Harrison Barnes has been nothing more than brutal this preseason, and that’s being generous.
Pick I love – #119 Rodney Hood
I cannot believe Rodney Hood slipped to the second to last round. He has the potential to light up the scoreboard without Gordon Hayward. Hood will be a hot commodity for the first portion of the season, don’t be surprised to see his average ppg hover around 16-19.
Pick I hate – #112 Mirza Teletovic
He’s a role player, nothing more, nothing less. He’ll have the occasional 20 point game, but he’s not a viable fantasy option.
Pick I love – #124 Robin Lopez
We saw Lopez have a couple of monster games last season (some 20/20 performances) with the Knicks and now he replaces Joakim Noah. He should dominate the minutes at the 5 and is an incredible last round pick.
Pick I hate – #127 Matt Barnes
Another player I despise, mainly for his antics both on and off the court, but he’s also never been a relevant fantasy player.