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Fantasy Basketball Draft Recap: Part Two


Because we can't get enough fantasy basketball here at RotoBaller, our NBA crew put together a new league this year and just finished our draft.

A few of us wanted to write about that draft and give our readers their thoughts on what they did during the draft, so decided to pull all those voices together into a few articles. Below, you'll find a recap of our draft, plus commentary from our writers on why they made the choices they made.

Read on to see what we were thinking during rounds four through seven of our draft.

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Fantasy Draft Recap: Rounds Four To Seven

Round Pick Overall Pick Position Player
4 1 37 C Al Horford
4 2 38 SG C.J. McCollum
4 3 39 PG Eric Bledsoe
4 4 40 SF Gordon Hayward
4 5 41 PF Blake Griffin
4 6 42 SG Gary Harris
4 7 43 SG Klay Thompson
4 8 44 SF Tobias Harris
4 9 45 SF Aaron Gordon
4 10 46 SG Josh Richardson
4 11 47 C Deandre Ayton
4 12 48 C Nikola Vucevic
5 1 49 PG Luka Doncic
5 2 50 PG Mike Conley
5 3 51 PG Jamal Murray
5 4 52 SF Jayson Tatum
5 5 53 C John Collins
5 6 54 SG Lou Williams
5 7 55 SF Robert Covington
5 8 56 C Hassan Whiteside
5 9 57 C DeAndre Jordan
5 10 58 PG Jeff Teague
5 11 59 PG Ricky Rubio
5 12 60 C Steven Adams
6 1 61 SG Nicolas Batum
6 2 62 C Jonas Valanciunas
6 3 63 SF Taurean Prince
6 4 64 SF Brandon Ingram
6 5 65 SG Will Barton
6 6 66 SG Joe Ingles
6 7 67 PF Julius Randle
6 8 68 C Enes Kanter
6 9 69 PF Paul Millsap
6 10 70 PG Dejounte Murray
6 11 71 PF Nikola Mirotic
6 12 72 SG Kyle Anderson
7 1 73 PG D'Angelo Russell
7 2 74 C Jarrett Allen
7 3 75 PG Kris Dunn
7 4 76 PG Dennis Smith Jr.
7 5 77 PG Lonzo Ball
7 6 78 PF Dario Saric
7 7 79 C Brook Lopez
7 8 80 PG Goran Dragic
7 9 81 SG Tim Hardaway Jr.
7 10 82 PG Trae Young
7 11 83 C Dwight Howard
7 12 84 PG Dennis Schroder

4.03 - Eric Bledsoe - Kent Shen

I took Marc Gasol in round three to stay open to both punt rebounds and punt FG% and my pick here achieves the same goalm letting me defer my commitment again. Bledsoe returns second round value in both builds and I’m happy to snatch him up here. At this point, I think I’m in a pretty solid position in terms of where I can go, having grabbed a valuable coverage guy in Marc Gasol already and with our league having only one mandatory center, I can pretty much go heavy into whichever build I commit to.

4.05 - Blake Griffin - Gianni Costantiello

I have to start off saying that Blake Griffin is not who I was looking to take with this pick, but at pick 41, it may not be so bad if he can stay on the court. If Griffin can play at least 70 games and can produce similar to what he did when he arrived in Detroit last season, then there is some serious upside. To go along with Coach Casey saying that he wants Griffin to lead the club in assists, that's what added some confidence to my pick as so far in the first three rounds I do not have big assist type of players at this point and getting possible point guard assist numbers from the four spot is a big bonus.

4.06 - Gary Harris - Justin Carter

The Nuggets spread the scoring load around, but Harris gets his via a good amount of threes, making a guy who can help out a lot if I'm punting points but still wanting solid production in my percentages and in threes. I'm a little nervous about grabbing multiple Denver players this early and about the chances that Jamal Murray's increased usage cuts into what Harris is capable of, but this seemed like a good spot to grab him.

4.07 - Klay Thompson - Andre Liu

Okay I admit, Klay is not the sexiest pick to brag about, but that’s mainly because his value doesn’t get hyped up. Shooting guards are rightfully undervalued in fantasy, and picking a Warriors player other than Curry and Durant can often leave owners wanting. However, Klay acts as a fantasy anchor for me. He doesn’t hurt you in any category, and he is consistently healthy. On the nights that Curry’s gelatinous ankles sideline him, Klay shows incredible highs. I took him for his fantasy ceiling backed up by his sniper-like three point shooting and front court level field goal percentage.

4.08 - Tobias Harris - Dicky Fung

I really, really wanted Deandre Ayton and he was available to me, but I told myself to stay disciplined and target the best available player instead of chasing upside and drafting players at their ceiling. History suggests that rookies don’t always pan out as advertised from a season-long perspective. So I went after a guy who is going to be an absolute stud for the Clippers in Tobias Harris. Harris finished top-25 in the last two months of the season since being traded to the Clippers, and things look a lot better when he’s going to have the green light as the #1 option for this team. He’s one of those 9-cat gems who will be ultra efficient, all while providing a sprinkle of the other goodies - such as 3-pointers, rebounds, and steals. The best thing about Harris? His career average of just 1.3 turnovers per game.

4.10 - Josh Richardson - Trevor Crippen

Man, I thought long and hard about Deandre Ayton here.  This was a slow draft, so I made this pick a while ago, before a decent chunk of his insane preseason run.  If a few more preseason games had been in the bag, I would’ve gone for Ayton. Of course, I think someone even higher in the 4th (or late 3rd) might’ve gone for him at that point, too. I’m still happy with Richardson. He’s a guy I have on nearly all my teams, and he was particularly important to snag for his elite contributions as a point guard in the assists punt I was happily starting to build.

4.11 - Deandre Ayton - Matt Sparkington

With my fourth-round pick I may have gotten too excited and drafted Deandre Ayton a little early, but I picked Ayton right after his second preseason game. Dale Johnson and I were talking about how well Ayton and Luka Doncic were playing, so there was extra helium on Ayton that led me to take him abovehis 58.5 Average draft position. Ayton does plays center which is a shallower position and gives me a good field goal percentage and rebounds. The projected negative for Ayton was three-pointers but he did shoot them in college.

4.12 - Nikola Vucevic - Dale Johnson

I really wanted to target Deandre Ayton, but I talked him up too much to the team and he was grabbed the pick before. Here, I’m lacking SG/SF eligibility on my team, but it was too early to worry about that so I picked who I thought was best available, Nikola Vucevic. There are concerns Mohamed Bamba will eventually take over the center position, but I don’t foresee that happening at any time during this season. Vucevic has expanded his range recently without a big hit to his big man numbers and is one of the coveted 1-1-1 players in fantasy (one three, one steal and one block).

5.01 - Luka Doncic - Dale Johnson

Missing out on Deandre Ayton was a bummer, but here I was happy to take the next best rookie available, Luka Doncic. Doncic really impresses me due to his size and multi-position eligibilities to help add versatility to my squad. Doncic dominated the Euroleague, which is light years ahead of the NCAA in terms of competition and skill levels. I see Doncic finishing as a top-50 player this season, especially with early injuries to Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki.

5.02 - Mike Conley - Matt Sparkington

Before my fifth round pick, Dale took Luka Doncic, which probably wasn't the worst thing because taking rookies like that back-to-back would've been risky. I do really like Luka though. I then went point guard since it does get shallow quick and selected Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. Conley gives you solid stats where point guards would get stats generally free throws, assists, steals. Conley also is a traditional point guard and gives no rebounds blocks and sub-optimal field goal percentage.

5.03 - Jamal Murray - Trevor Crippen

Sorely disappointed that Ayton didn’t survive around the turn, I added another source of elite scoring and percentages at a guard spot for my assists punt in Murray, who had slid a little ways past his ADP. I was counting on building a lead in those categories and catching up in rebounds and defensive stats later in the draft.

5.05 - John Collins - Dicky Fung

I wanted Jamal Murray, but of course he was off the board by the time it got to me. I was beginning to think that I shouldn’t chase for assists anymore, especially seeing how elite point guards were being grabbed left and right. I did need some big man numbers, and although I was thinking of Hassan Whiteside, I went with Collins instead for the upside. I thought if Collins can pan out and be the man in the paint for the Hawks this season, I found a gem that could really rebound, block shots, and give me some bonus 3-pointers from the PF/C position. Unfortunately news came out today and he would miss 10 days of actions due to ankle soreness. Still, he’s a good mid-round target you can now grab a slight discount due to this injury news.

5.05 - Lou Williams - Andre Liu

In the fifth round, to continue my search for high quality guards, I was happy to pick up Lou Will. By now, most of the more desirable guards were off the board, but Williams still stuck out to me. The man is a certified bucket getter, and he will boost my team in points, threes, free throw percentage, assists, and steals. Williams got paid last season to stay with the Clippers and clearly stands out even among the Clippers crowded back court. That may cause concern for others, but Williams has thrived in the role of 6th man for years, and I believe he will show even more when he is clearly the best guard in the LA depth chart.

5.07 - Robert Covington - Justin Carter

RoCo! Despite 75 percent of Sixers fans deciding that Covington is a terrible player who shouldn't be on the floor after last year's playoffs, he...isn't? Covington can do most of the things that I need in a punt points build -- blocks and steals, three-pointers, rebounding. I love the value I'm getting on him here when I ignore his limited scoring upside.

5.08 - Hassan Whiteside - Gianni Costantiello

I was overly pleased to be getting Whiteside at 56. There has been a lot of positives out of Miami that he is in shape and that his attitude has changed to a more positive manner. Also, pairing him with Gobert (who I selected in the second round), if they can both stay healthy, I will not be losing in the block department in many weeks, if any. I figure worst case scenario, he does not work out this year, they give more minutes to Bam and they ship Whiteside and his bloated contract off for young talent to a cellar-dwelling squad and his value could potentially rise in that scenario.

6.03 - Taurean Prince - Kent Shen

I went pretty safe with my last pick (Jeff Teague) so I won’t talk about that, but Prince here is a firm commitment into FG% as my hard punt. At this point, I think it’s pretty likely I’ll be punting both rebounds and FG% to an extent, so my pick this round kind of determines which one of those 2 categories is my hard punt vs which one is my soft punt. With Prince on the board here and worth 3rd round value in punt FG% as well as providing much needed forward eligibility, I take him here and lock myself into a build late, which is exactly where I want to be. Now I’m ready to round out my team in the last few rounds.

6.05 - Will Barton - Gianni Costantiello

Barton, at 65...why not? I felt as I had taken three big men thus far in the draft and I needed some wing help, especially at the small forward spot. I love Barton’s skill set when it comes to fantasy as he does a bit of everything and with decent efficiencies. Barton was massively underrated last season and there is no reason why he does have similar output this season and maybe even an uptick in production as the Nuggets are actually quite slim at the small forward position.

6.06 - Joe Ingles - Justin Carter

My pursuit of "guys who can hit threes while not shouldering a huge scoring load" continues with Jingles. I'm a big fan of the three-and-D guys when working in a build like this, so getting Ingles in the sixth round was a no brainer decision here. (Also, props to me for swiping Ingles right before Andre, whose team name had Ingles in its name when the draft began.)

6.07 - Julius Randle - Andre Liu

This is the point in most drafts where you get angry when others take your guy… I was dying to get Joe Ingles here, who would slot in as an incredible piece to my 3 point and assists focused team, but Ingles was snatched one pick before me. But perhaps this was good for me. At this point, I had only been focusing on guards and I was letting the high quality centers slip by me. I grabbed Randle for his upside. Randle was already showing dominance at the end of last season combining physicality with footwork to bully his way to the rim. Playing next to Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday on a playoff contender will only increase his other stats as well. He has the ability to play small ball center and having strong players like Davis and Nikola Mirotic to spread the floor will open up plenty of opportunity. The one part of his value that may slip is his rebounds, which I plan on punting regardless. Randle has MIP potential, and, although, he doesn’t perfectly fit my team, I chose him for his value, and he might even be a trade piece further into the season.

6.08 - Enes Kanter - Dicky Fung

I grabbed Kanter simply because this is a Head-to-Head league and I wanted to secure the key categories where I felt strongest. I wanted Kanter to anchor my team with his field goal percentage, as well as his aggressive rebounding. Not many dudes can rip down 20 rebounds and put up 22 points. Yes, it was preseason and it was against the Nets, still - Kanter is one of the most consistent and durable big men in fantasy. There’s also no one fighting him for the boards in New York.

6.10 - Dejounte Murray - Trevor Crippen

This one hurts, badly. As it’s been said, this was a slow draft, so I made this pick a few days before Murray blew out his knee. I was his biggest fan going into this year -- no joke, I owned him on seven fantasy teams. He was perfect for my punt assist team at this point -- yet more depth at the hard-to-fill point guard spot, and a source of steals and rebounds -- the two of the three stats I was starting to worry most about (along with blocks), given my early emphasis on points, threes, and percentages. Next year, Dejounte. Next year.

6.11 - Nikola Mirotic - Matt Sparkington

I used my sixth round pick to fill out my roster with power forward Nikola Mirotic. In Mirotic I get a small forward that gets solid stats in three-pointers and rebounds and is also projected to get nearly a block and steal a game. Mirotic also doesn't get many turnovers as well, which helps one of my weaker categories. Mirotic's biggest weakness is a by-product of a strength since he does shoot mostly threes, so his field goal percentage isn't great.

6.12 - Kyle Anderson - Dale Johnson

I was really hoping Dejounte Murray fell to me at this pick, but this was before the season-ending injury so I dodged a bullet there. Insert Murray’s former teammate Kyle Anderson, also known as “Slo-mo”. Anderson is not flashy and does not necessarily stands out, but he’s a defensive anchor and is now on the defensive-minded Memphis Grizzlies. I’m a little concerned the Grizzlies will opt to play Chandler Parsons more as an attempt to win now, but Anderson’s defense should be good enough to justify my pick even if his minutes are less than expected.

7.01 - D'Angelo Russell - Dale Johnson

This was a tough decision as I could have went with standout Jarrett Allen and all but sured up rebounds and blocks with a four centers in seven picks strategy. However, I decided to strengthen up my weak spots of points, assists and threes with D’Angelo Russell. Russell started out last season looking like he would average 25.0 points and 8.0 assists per game throughout the season. Unfortunately for him, his knee injury limited his success to just 48 games played, most of which he was getting back into game shape. Russell’s is coming into the season healthy again and is already impressing me throughout this preseason. I think I got a steal here at the beginning of the seventh round.

7.02 - Jarrett Allen - Matt Sparkington

Drafting Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen was strictly a value play. This was the 74th pick and Jarrett Allen's player rank and ADP on Fantasy Pros is 64. Allen also helps field goal percentage, rebounding, and blocks. Allen like most centers doesn't get many assists and steals but unlike most centers, Allen doesn't kill your free throw percentage which is an added bonus. Also center is another position that can get shallow quick and now I have four quality centers.

7.03 - Kris Dunn - Trevor Crippen

What made the Dejounte pick even worse in retrospect was that all three of the team fits I was hoping would slide back to me -- Nikola Mirotic, Jarrett Allen, and Kyle Anderson -- went off the board in the four picks between my selection of Murray at 70 and my next pick at 75. Here is where the trajectory of my draft radically changed. Dunn had inexplicably slid well past where I typically rank him, and all the great remaining picks for my intended build felt like reaches. Steals are always so tightly contested that Kris Dunn’s potential league-leading impact there felt like too great a value to pass up. And so I selected my fourth point guard -- whose clear second best cat is assists - for my assist punt. I figured, at worst, I could trade Dunn for more value than I could otherwise draft here. However, as the draft continued to progress, I realized that my team was sorely lacking in blocks, with a couple of centers in Towns and Love who profile as elite in punt blocks. Meanwhile, I was now lower to middle of the pack in assists after picking Dunn, since a few other teams had also been employing an assist punt strategy. It might be time to audible.

7.05 - Lonzo Ball - Dicky Fung

I can admit, I was slightly - just slight biased towards this pick because I’m a huge Lakers fan. However, I felt like I got very good value here in grabbing Ball, who can help with rebounding, steals, and 3-pointers. Rebounds from a point guard is a very good thing to have, and Ball is a great fit for my team who is punting assists. He’s not likely going to average 6.0 dimes this season because guess what? LeBron James and Rajon Rondo is in town. However, he’ll get better scoring opportunities this year, and he’ll average anywhere between 1.2 - 1.7 steals per game as well. For the record, Ball finished #78 in last year’s 9-category rankings as a rookie. He looks to be a lot more stronger and is in much better shape this year. Playing with the best (and unselfish) player in the world can only mean better things are ahead this season.

7.06 - Dario Saric - Andre Liu

In round seven, I was looking for breakout candidates such as Dennis Smith Jr or Lonzo Ball, but they were scooped up before me. I also toyed with the idea of Trae Young. But ultimately, the fear of unreliable rookies and the lack of any floor stretching bigs later on led me to choose Saric. Saric is similar in archetype to Randle but he can shoot the three way better. Randle is great for his unknown upside, but Saric’s role is pretty much clear and should change from how it was last season. Saric plays an incredibly complementary role on the Sixers; he plays hard and will fly across the court for a good cut and easy basket. There isn’t any competition for his starting role and Saric is a very dependable center eligible player for my team.

7.08 - Goran Dragic - Gianni Costantiello

Dragic had a bit of an up-and-down season last year and he added it was due to the heavy offseason with his play with the Slovenian National Team. He mentioned how this summer he took it much easier and is in excellent shape. I wanted another point guard at this spot and felt Dragic was the best one available at this point in the draft. I like Dragic’s ability to rebound at a better-than-average rate for his position and also his ability to maintain relatively efficient percentages. The age did not bother me as in South Beach, the Heat and their conditioning is possibly the best in the league.

7.10 - Trae Young - Kent Shen

Now that I’m  locked into punt FG%, I can focus on looking for value and coverage in categories I’m lacking, and Trae Young is perfect to cover my holes in points and threes. With the Hawks in full tank mode and with my team not caring about Young’s likely high volume hit in FG%, he is a perfect fit and helps to boost up a category (points) that I will have trouble making up ground in this late in the draft. I think Young can legitimately return fourth round value in a punt FG% build, and I’m happy with this pickup.

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