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DRAFT NBA Strategy: Friday

by Spencer Limbach
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This new segment will cover daily rankings and strategy for DRAFT’s fantasy format. If you aren’t familiar with DRAFT, it’s essentially one-day fantasy sports with a live draft feature instead of building within a salary cap. You can find more information at draft.com or quickly join a contest from anywhere after downloading the app.

 

 

Below, I will be listing player tiers by position while also including strategy notes on how to approach tonight's 11-game NBA slate on DRAFT.  

 

 

 

GUARD (Draft 2)

TIER 1

James Harden – Houston

 

You could argue LeBron, AD, Harden, Giannis as the first overall pick on DRAFT. I’m looking towards Harden with a similar projection and less opportunity cost at the guard position. There’s a substantial drop-off between Tier 1 and Tier 2 here, making Harden the easier pick. That’s especially the case in H2H contests, where you can snag Harden first overall, then still grab one of the top tier forwards alongside him.

 

 

TIER 2

Victor Oladipo – Indiana

Bradley Beal – Washington

Chris Paul – Houston

Jimmy Butler – Minnesota

 

There’s some debate between this bunch, but Oladipo is clearly next-in-line behind Harden at the guard position. The drop-off between Tier 2 and Tier 3 isn’t as severe as the forward position, so waiting on guards seems like the preferred strategy.

 

 

TIER 3

Damian Lillard – Portland

Devin Booker – Phoenix  

Kemba Walker – Charlotte

Lou Williams – LA Clippers

Kyrie Irving – Boston

Elfrid Payton – Phoenix

Tyreke Evans – Memphis

DeMar DeRozan – Toronto

Jrue Holiday – New Orleans

Donovan Mitchell – Utah

Kyle Lowry – Toronto

Eric Bledsoe – Milwaukee

 

Elfrid Payton and Lou Williams probably have the largest discrepancy between the DRAFT default rankings and this article. I’m high on both of them tonight, as this Phoenix-LA Clippers matchup has all the makings of a fantasy blitzkrieg. I’ll take either of them over DeMar DeRozan, who has a tough matchup vs Milwaukee.

 

 

TIER 4

Dennis Smith Jr.– Dallas

Dennis Schroder – Atlanta

CJ McCollum – Portland

 

These guys are fillers if you are in a 10 person draft and need a guard to round-out your lineup.

 

 

 

FORWARD (Draft 2)

TIER 1

LeBron James – Cleveland

Anthony Davis – New Orleans

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee

 

I already mentioned James Harden as the top overall pick, but that’s only due to the lower opportunity cost at guard. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are along the same projection levels tonight, and you’d be ecstatic to get either of these guys in your DRAFT lineup. I’m ranking LBJ marginally above Davis, as he’ll continue to carry a heavy workload with Cleveland’s new pieces getting settled.

 

 

TIER 2

Blake Griffin – LA Clippers

LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio

 

Griffin and Aldridge lag behind most of the guards listed in Tier 2 or Tier 3. However, the guard position is deeper when you start getting down to that level. The forward position drops off considerably after this tier. For that reason, it makes sense while looking towards one of these two guys, then rounding out your guard position later on.

 

 

TIER 3

Otto Porter Jr – Washington

Julius Randle – LA Lakers

Tobias Harris – LA Clippers

Al Horford – Boston

Khris Middleton – Milwaukee

TJ Warren – Phoenix

 

I believe Porter and Harris are underrated within the DRAFT default rankings. Don’t be afraid of exploiting that by taking either of them above guys like Mirotic, Middleton, Horford, etc.

 

 

TIER 4

Harrison Barnes – Dallas

Nikola Mirotic – New Orleans

Derrick Favors – Utah

Thaddeus Young – Indiana

Brandon Ingram – LA Lakers

Dwight Powell – Dallas

Danilo Gallinari – LA Clippers (questionable)

Kyle Kuzma – LA Lakers

Josh Jackson – Phoenix

 

I like the upside of Powell and Mirotic of this group, while most of the other picks are safety fillers to round out your lineup.

 

 

 

CENTERS (Draft 1)

TIER 1

Andre Drummond – Detroit

Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota

Nikola Jokic – Denver

 

As mentioned several times throughout this article, the guard position is deep following James Harden at the top. It makes sense to try and pin down one of these three centers before going crazy in Tier 2 or Tier 3 at guard.

 

 

TIER 2

Dwight Howard – Charlotte

Rudy Gobert – Utah

Hassan Whiteside - Miami

DeAndre Jordan – LA Clippers

Clint Capela – Houston

Marc Gasol – Memphis

 

We are splitting hairs in this group. Howard and Jordan have comfortable matchups, but the former is playing in a back-to-back set. Meanwhile, Gobert and Capela are steady options with a penchant for upside as well. Hassan Whiteside will benefit from playing up in pace and Kelly Olynyk has been ruled out yet again.

 

 

TIER 3

Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto

 

Valanciunas is someone who is only on the board for 10 team drafts. I really like his upside tonight, facing a Milwaukee team that ranks dead last vs Centers and 29th in rebound rate.

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.