A group of top video creators from NBA Playmakers and yours truly got together and underwent a live in person fantasy basketball draft earlier this week. If you’re not familiar with the NBA Playmakers, get familiar with them as we’ll be checking in on this league all year long. The group is part of a video network doing great things with the league and covering all things basketball.
Caron Butler was also at the draft and good times were had by all under our new format that lends itself to beginners, as it’s head-to-head weekly with this scoring format: 1 Point, 1.2 Rebound, 1.5 Assist, 3 Block, 3 Steal, -1 Turnover. It’s that simple. And everyone loves H2H. Everyone except these poor saps who have to face my team here.
The main takeaway is players who are traditionally dinged in rotisserie formats thanks to poor free throw shooting, such as DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond, get a huge boost. Whereas Stephen Curry, the NBA’s first unanimous MVP (and recent back-to-back winner) lasted until the second round because his prowess from three and excellent FT% are less valuable. Still, getting Curry in the second round is a steal in any format.
Everyone loves the Greek Freak, and this proves he can’t be taken early enough (he went #1 overall). One of the highlights of this draft was when Caron Butler made a big point about availability being of the utmost importance, and then Anthony Davis was taken immediately thereafter. AD has as much upside as anyone in the league but durability remains a major question mark… Devin Booker was a bit of a reach here, but the same owner got a steal with Jimmy Butler in the third round… Lonzo Ball went in the top 25 picks, which was both a fun and far out there pick. Ball is a playmaker, but he won’t score nearly enough to justify this pick.
DeAndre Jordon and Andre Drummond would be terrible picks here in a traditional 9-cat league, but in this format, both look like steals… Victor Oladipo in the fifth was robbery as well, as he’s going from playing alongside a player who had the No. 1 Usage Rate to being the clear No. 1 scoring option on his team…Caron Butler was adamant Kyle Kuzma is going to be a star, and I’m not going to question Tuff Juice, so lower Julius Randle on your cheat sheets.
It was absurd Jusuf Nurkic went after Jonas Valanciunas, Nerlens Noel and Dwight Howard. Nurkic has top-25 upside…The battle for Rookie of the Year is going to come down to Ben Simmons vs. Lonzo Ball. Markelle Fultz was taken in the eighth round here, but who knows what’s going on with his newly invented shot. I’d rather draft Dennis Smith Jr. than Fultz in yearly leagues… Gary Harris in the middle of the eighth round was a steal. He’s going to explode this year…I took Danilo Gallinari with my last pick. Obviously durability is a concern, but this is someone who ranked No. 32 over the final three months last season (top-25 after the All-Star break) and is now the clear No. 2 scoring option for the Clippers. He sure looks like a steal even given the health risk.