Mock drafts are the best. That’s especially true for fantasy basketball. Those of you that live and breathe fantasy sports around the clock hopefully know that the stakes of the draft are very high for hoops. Owners really have to be on the ball for every pick and draft a well-rounded team. As for the other popular fantasy sports, some lucky dude will win your fantasy football league from two great picks while another fantasy baseball owner will have his team get hot in the last month of the season and win that league. NBA players tend to stay consistent with less variance in their stats.
On the night of September 26, 12 fantastic fantasy guys got together to test the waters of the fantasy hoops landscape. Here are the results of a 12-man, nine-category mock draft:
Editor’s note: Make sure you download the Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide. We have projections and analysis for 356 players, tons of sleepers and a lot of strategy-based info.
We’ll also be tweeting a lot of hoops updates, so be sure to follow Doctor A, Aaron Bruski, Ryan Knaus and me along with the official Rotoworld NBA feed.
1. Kevin Durant F OKC - Jeff Andriesse, Damnliesandstats.com
2. LeBron James F MIA - Ethan Norof, Bleacherreport.com
3. Stephen Curry G GSW - Matt Buser, Basketballmonster.com
4. Chris Paul G LAC - Dave Gawron, eXpertLeagues.com
5. James Harden G/F HOU -Brian Rosenworcel, celebrity guest, drummer of Guster
6. Kyrie Irving G CLE - Nick Raducanu, Fantasytrade411.com
7. Kevin Love F/C MIN Scott Malewig, Thefakebasketball.com
8. Paul George G/F IND- Adam Levitan, Rotoworld
9. Russell Westbrook G OKC - Steve Alexander, Rotoworld
10. Serge Ibaka F/C OKC - Aaron Bruski, Rotoworld
11. Marc Gasol C MEM - Mike Gallagher, Rotoworld
12. Al Jefferson F/C CHA -Troy Balego, fantasy enthusiast
Round Recap: The first thing that was shocking was Mr. Buser going with Stephen Curry. However, he did mention this was an exploratory move and he took Chris Paul at three in his last mock. Obviously, it’s hard to knock this pick considering SC set the record for treys in a season.
Besides that, it was fairly status quo. Some people may scratch their heads on Bruski’s pick on Serge, but I can’t find an issue with it whatsoever. He’s a stud in percentages and as long as you get a dime-heavy guard, you’re good to go. I thought Levitan had the steal of the round with George at eight.
As for me, the big-man well is going to dry up quickly, so I thought grabbing the best one seemed to make a whole lot of sense. Marc Gasol is money in the bank for percentages and durability to go with his double-double stats.
1. Nicolas Batum G/F POR - Balego
2. Carmelo Anthony F NYK - Gallagher
3. Anthony Davis F/C NOP -Bruski
4. John Wall G WAS - Alexander
5. Al Horford F/C ATL- Levitan
6. Derrick Rose G CHI - Malewig
7. Deron Williams G BKN Raducanu
8. LaMarcus Aldridge F/C/ POR - Rosenworcel
9. Dirk Nowitzki F DAL - Gawron
10. Larry Sanders F/C MIL - Buser
11. Dwyane Wade G MIA - Norof
12. Mike Conley G MEM - Andriesse
Round Recap: First and foremost, LaMarcus Aldridge should not go 20 in any Roto-style draft. I almost took him at 14 over Melo, and in hindsight, I would swap LMA for Melo based on how the rest of the draft went. It’s worth mentioning that you don’t ever be that guy in your league with a lack of big men. Derrick Rose is the ultimate risk/reward pick this year. I usually don't like to gamble too much in the early going, but the former MVP should definitely be off the board in the top 20.
As for my RW mates, Mr. Bruski is a little stubborn with his guys. I know he was all about that Ibaka-Davis life last year and he certainly hasn’t changed his tune so far. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Davis become the best big man in fantasy in his second year. Doctor A and I are sippin’ the Wall Koolaid and Levitan taking Horford was an easy/safe pick.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Deron and Dirk picks. Deron getting an MRI so soon is scary and Dirk has seen some of the official blogs talk about possibly taking it easy on him with the minutes. I'd take Conley over D-Will all day. I do like them in the third, though.
I went with Melo and I kind of regret it. Lesson learned.
1. Damian Lillard G POR - Andriesse
2. Joakim Noah F/C CHI - Norof
3. Paul Millsap F ATL - Buser
4. Ty Lawson G DEN - Gawron
5. Nikola Vucevic F/C ORL - Rosenworcel
6. Ricky Rubio G MIN - Raducanu
7. Pau Gasol F/C LAL - Malewig
8. DeMarcus Cousins F/C SAC - Levitan
9. Tim Duncan F/C SAS - Alexander
10. Kobe Bryant G LAL - Bruski
11. Roy Hibbert C IND - Gallagher
12. Josh Smith F DET – Balego
Round Recap: It’s hard to believe, but there were a lot of gambles in this round. That’s fantasy basketball, though. I think my favorite pick is Ty Lawson since he and Brian Shaw should get on the same page quickly. I smell a breakout and I think he’ll be a top-10 guard as long as he’s healthy. Also, I do think that Paul Millsap is ranked a little low in the Yahoo! rankings. He’s a fantasy force for boards, points and percentages. He might be the safest pick in this round. I like Rubio quite a bit and he won a lot of leagues last year with the dimes and steals coming in bunches. Pau Gasol is a risky pick, but he said on Thursday that he's healthy. He was once the best big in fantasy.
DMC was steady countin’ those Benjamins Thursday night with his extension, so he has every opportunity to blow up and redeem himself after a sub-par 2012-13. Levitan was right on time with his pick and there was no way he would have made it back to him. Doc will also be the first to tell you he made a mistake taking Duncan here.
Maybe I saw too much playoffs, but I believe in Hibbert. He was stupendous in the second half and he carried it into the postseason. The G-Town product can shoot free throws at a solid clip, plus he’s a solid shot blocker. I have aspirations of him being the top center in fantasy this year.
1. Chris Bosh F/C MIA - Balego
2. Monta Ellis G DAL - Gallagher
3. Jeff Teague G ATL - Bruski
4. Derrick Favors F/C UTA - Alexander
5. Eric Bledsoe G PHX - Levitan
6. Dwight Howard C HOU - Malewig
7. Blake Griffin F LAC - Raducanu
8. Kawhi Leonard G/F SAS - Rosenworcel
9. Brook Lopez C BKN - Gawron
10. Kemba Walker G CHA - Buser
11. Jrue Holiday G NOP - Norof
12. David Lee F/C GSW - Andriesse
Round Recap: It’s time to take who you want. That’s the best part about fantasy hoops. Really, you can take anyone from 25-50 and there won’t be many issues as long as you did your research. The RW posse was all over the place in this round with guys that have massive upside. Teague, Ellis and Bledsoe all could be in the top five in steals and I like all of these picks. Nobody is sleeping on Bledsoe and he won't be going past the fourth round in any credible league. Dwight and BG went where they should with their FT% issues and they could prove to be bargains in this format. Kawhi, Brook and Kemba could all be studs, too.
I would be remised to not mention that I was shocked that Doctor A didn’t take Jeff Green here. To give you guys an inside scoop, Doc and I have spent a lot of time talking about how many stats JG will produce.
I like Monta a lot, but that’s assuming he stays off a moped. Kidding aside, he has some serious upside. Sure, Dirk is going to lead the team in scoring, but Ellis has a legitimate shot at scoring in the high teens while ranking in the top five in steals. It’s easy to forget he was tied for second in total steals last year. Dallas should run a fast pace and that'll help all of their players. Monte!