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Thunder Dan's Fantasy Basketball 9-Category Specialists (Premium Content)

Karl-Anthony Towns - NBA DFS Lineup Picks, Daily Fantasy Basketball

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard.

Welcome to RotoBaller's 2021-2022 premium draft kit! We're here to be your secret weapon when it comes to this fantasy basketball season.

Here I want to highlight my favorite 9-cat specialists, players who can contribute across the board in all of the nine categories of standard H2H leagues. These well-rounded players not only help us out in multiple categories, but they also don't hurt our teams anywhere and force us into specific punt strategies by drafting them.

There are not all that many players in the league that don't have at least one major categorical weakness, but here are a few studs and mid-tier players who can make that claim. Let's start with the early-round studs who you can build just about any type of team around first then I will give you some guys to target in the middle and late rounds as well.

I included our RotoBaller consensus rankings for each player as well as their average ADP (based on Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS).

 

Nine Category Specialists: Early Round Targets

Karl-Anthony Towns - C, Minnesota Timberwolves

20-21 Stats: 24.8 PTS, 10.6 REB, 4.5 AST, .8 STL, 1.1 BLK, 3.2 TO, 2.4 3PM, 48.6% FG%, 86% FT%
Consensus ADP: 9.7
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 4

Building a team around KAT is always a good decision and with Kawhi Leonard out for most of the season, there's really no one else you can take in round one who's going to give you such awesome, balanced production across the board.

KAT's numbers held steady across the board with only slight dips in scoring, three-pointers, and FG% but he also raised his FT% to a career-high 86% on six attempts per game.

Steals are his only true weakness and if you're drafting a big man early, you're likely already planning on grabbing some steal artists at the guard positions later in the draft. KAT is still young and in his prime and this Minnesota offense starts with him, even with D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards in the mix as high-usage guards. KAT is going to get his 25-10 nightly with great percentages and is an excellent building block in round one regardless of your strategy.

Nikola Vucevic - C, Chicago Bulls

20-21 Stats: 23.4 PTS, 11.7 REB, 3.8 AST, .9 STL, .7 BLK, 1.4 TO, 2.5 3PM, 47.7% FG%, 84% FT%
Consensus ADP: 17.7
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 16

Vuc had a truly awesome and underappreciated 2020-2021 campaign. He finished the year with the 12th-best overall rating in 9-cat according to Basketball monster and only one spot behind KAT. Yes, he did put up more volume in the scoring department while in Orlando, but the rest of his stats were nearly identical even after coming over the Bulls at the deadline as he finished the final 26 games of the season in Chicago.

He's never been a shot blocker, so you're not getting 1+ blocks out of him, but he's arguably one of the most balanced contributors in 9-cat fantasy basketball. Now DeMar DeRozan is joining the mix in Chicago this season and it remains to be seen as to how he will coexist with him and another high-usage player like LaVine. But I'm not all that concerned about it as he's still very likely to contribute across the board even if his scoring takes a small hit. I would draft him in round two with confidence and honestly, if you're able to grab Towns and Vuc in rounds 1 and 2, you have an incredible foundation for a team that shouldn't have to punt many (if any, at all) categories.

Honorable Mention: Jrue Holiday- PG, Milwaukee Bucks

20-21 Stats: 17.7 PTS, 4.5 REB, 6.1 AST, 1.6 STL, .6 BLK, 2.2 TO, 1.9 3PM, 50% FG, 78.7% FT
Consensus ADP: 35.3
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 32

 

Nine Category Specialists: Middle Round Targets

OG Anunoby - SF/PF, Toronto Raptors

20-21 Stats: 15.9 PTS, 5.5 REB, 2.2 AST, 1.5 STL, .7 BLK, 1.7 TO, 2.4 3PM, 48% FG, 78.4% FT
Consensus ADP: 77
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 44

I think it's safe to say that we are all pretty high here at RB on OG to bust out (even more than he already did last year) in a big way this year. We are much more bullish on him than the average drafter and for good reason. He finished 35th in BB monster 9-cat ratings last year and that was with Siakam in the lineup. Toronto will be without Siakam for the first 6-8 weeks of this season and that should allow OG a major opportunity to increase his role in this offense. He's already a stud in the peripheral categories so a boost to his scoring, threes, and rebounding is going to make him a top-40 player with ease. Draft him with confidence and don't be afraid to reach on him a round early as he is a guy that other sharp players will be coveting.

Tobias Harris - SF/PF, Philadelphia 76ers

20-21 Stats: 19.5 PTS, 6.8 REB, 3.5 AST, .9 STL, .8 BLK, 1.7 TO, 1.3 3PM, 51% FG, 89% FT
Consensus ADP: 43.7
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 37

Tobias had a stellar year statistically, even if the Sixers did underachieve in the playoffs. Now with the Ben Simmons drama looking like he's going to probably be moved, Harris is positioned to possibly even exceed his 2020-2021 output. He took a dip in threes last year but made up for it with awesome production across the board and impressive averages. He's still only 28 years old and he should thrive as the Robin to Embiid's Batman this season.

Gordon Hayward - SF/PF, Charlotte Hornets

20-21 Stats: 19.6 PTS, 5.9 REB, 4.1 AST, 1.2 STL, .3 BLK, 2.1 TO, 1.9 3PM, 47.3% FG, 87.3% FT
Consensus ADP: 82.7
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 59

Gordo put up some great numbers in his first year in Charlotte but did miss a large chunk of games with yet another injury. We saw the emergence of LaMelo Ball in Charlotte last year cut into Gordon's peripheral stats down the stretch, but we are still talking about a guy who can do a little of everything (other than block shots) who seems to be falling too far in drafts. This Hornets team could be sneaky good and even though they are loaded with young talent, it's Hayward's veteran presence and scoring/passing ability that is going to be key for them to really gel on offense. Don't get caught sleeping on him again and scoop him up in the middle rounds.

Honorable Mention: Jaylen Brown - SG/SF, Boston Celtics

20-21 Stats: 24.7 PTS, 6.0 REB, 3.4 AST, 1.2 STL, .6 BLK, 2.7 TO, 2.8 3PM, 48.4% FG, 76.4% FT
Consensus ADP: 40.7
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 25

 

Nine Category Specialists: Late Round Targets

Al Horford - PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder

20-21 Stats: 14.2 PTS, 6.7 REB, 3.4 AST, .9 STL, .9 BLK, 1.0 TO, 2.0 3PM, 45% FG, 82% FT
Consensus ADP: 126.3
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 129

I think our RotoBaller ranking on Horford will improve once my fellow analysts adjust for the news that Horford should start for Boston. It's very possible his scoring takes a hit here as he won't be one of the first options on offense in Boston as he was in OKC, but Big Al is still a fantasy goldmine as far as a big man who can produce useable stats in every category. He's really been fun to watch late in his career as he's really sharpened every aspect of his game. His athleticism may be gone, but he's about as fundamentally sound as you'll find in the league and he's going to be a key piece of this Boston rotation this year.

Kyle Anderson - SG/SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies

20-21 Stats: 12.4 PTS, 5.7 REB, 3.6 AST, 1.2 STL, .8 BLK, 1.2 TO, 1.4 3PM, 46.8% FG, 78.3% FT
Consensus ADP: 122
RotoBaller Consensus Ranking: 89

Man, I love Slo-Mo! People gave up on this guy being a useful rotation player years ago and then last year he had a terrific season as the starting SF for an exciting young Memphis team. He set a career-high in scoring with over 12 PPM and was the glue-guy that this team needed on the wing and he even found himself playing the four at times.

He's never going to be a sexy pick, but smart players will grab him up in the later rounds as he adds so much value to your roster with his balanced production and multi-position eligibility. Kyle Anderson is a good player and he's established himself as a key piece of this Memphis rotation. He might not play massive minutes, but he will still be able to produce plenty even in 25-30 minutes a night.

Good luck in your drafts, RotoBallers, and never hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS or in the RotoBaller Premium slack chat!




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