There are barely two weeks remaining before the NBA season tips off, which means your fantasy drafts are on the horizon or even taking place as we speak.
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The participants, in order of draft position, were Tom Carpenter, Joe Kaiser, André Snellings, Jim McCormick, Kyle Soppe, Eric Karabell, Seth Walder, John Cregan, Field Yates, Austin Tedesco, Damian Dabrowski and an auto-draft spot.
Read on for our experts' takeaways and the full results of the draft.
Tom Carpenter: The term "post-hype" is thrown around a lot in fantasy circles to refer to a player who has failed to live up to the hype the season prior. You'd be hard-pressed to come up with a player who fits the bill better than Markelle Fultz, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, then turned into an injured and epic flop as a rookie. Guess what? He appears healthy now and has some air of confidence on the court, and you can currently draft him in the 90-100 range. I can't resist the potential upside value he provides this late in drafts.
Joe Kaiser: When Giannis Antetokounmpo went with the No. 1 pick, I had some terrific options sitting there for me at No. 2. How do you pass up Anthony Davis in that spot? Well, I did, opting for the reigning MVP and top scorer from a season ago, James Harden, whose high ceiling and history of durability won me over.
Taking DeMar DeRozan and Jrue Holiday with my next two picks left me thin in the frontcourt; getting Enes Kanter, a much better option in points leagues than in roto, felt like a score in Round 4, but by then options were limited at power forward. If I could do it all over, I'd go with a power forward such as Draymond Green or Blake Griffin over Holiday in the third round and address point guard later: Goran Dragic, Jamal Murray, Dennis Smith Jr. and Trae Young were all available in Round 5.
André Snellings: The biggest decision that I had in the draft was with my very first pick, the third overall. I expected Antetokounmpo and Davis to be gone and that I would have to choose from among the rest. With Russell Westbrook dealing with his knee issue, that brought my choice down to Harden vs Karl-Anthony Towns -- or so I thought.
I was leaning toward taking Towns because if Jimmy Butler is traded, then Towns has much higher upside. But to my surprise, Harden was taken with the second pick, which left Davis on the board. I really like KAT if Butler is traded, but Davis should challenge Antetokounmpo for best producer in the league for as long as he's healthy. Davis has some history of injury, but last season he did well, and he is just peaking right now, so I chose Davis over Towns.
Jim McCormick: My takeaway from this draft is that Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie could surface as a key value in this head-to-head points format (and arguably in all contexts). The Nets were first in the league in pace in 2016-17 and sixth last season in possessions per 48 minutes. Dinwiddie's backcourt ADP peers are mostly complimentary players, while this up-tempo Brooklyn system funnels a lot of offensive opportunities Dinwiddie's way and supports a sturdy floor we covet for this fantasy format -- he was 32nd in the NBA last season with 70.7 touches per game, just behind Murray, Davis and Chris Paul.
Dinwiddie was 23rd in the league last season with 12 drives per game, just behind Butler and Kris Dunn. A high volume of touches and drives led to a reasonably repeatable slash for Dinwiddie last season; his strong line of 12.6 PPG, 6.6 APG, 1.8 3PG and 0.9 SPG was accomplished by six players in 2017-18, the other five being Harden, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Paul and Kyle Lowry. In no way, obviously, is Dinwiddie even near this tier of players, especially as the thresholds are all lowered to include him, but being in this group does reveal just how rewarding a heavy workload at the helm of a fast offense can prove.
Kyle Soppe: I'm finding myself more and more interested in Jeff Teague. Now, there is the risk that he is included in a Butler trade, but assuming that's not the case and Butler is out of town sooner than later, I think Teague is a serious bargain at his current asking price.
He was not a top-30 PG in terms of usage rate last season, something that suggests to me that there is room for significant fantasy growth if Butler (10th-highest usage rate among SGs) takes his talents elsewhere. I'm labeling his 2017-18 stat line (14.2 PPG and 7.0 APG) as a floor for this season and believe an 18/8.5-type of season is very much obtainable.
Eric Karabell: I'm not someone who generally covets rookies in any fantasy draft regardless of sport, but I felt Deandre Ayton and Wendell Carter Jr. slipped too far in this mock, so I pounced. Each offers nightly double-double potential and should thrive in points formats as opposed to roto, in which individual statistical negatives are tougher to overlook. All these two need are minutes, and I think they will get plenty of them.
Seth Walder: I remember being bummed out this time last year about Gobert being snagged at No. 15 in a points mock draft, one spot before my second-round pick. Now I get to grab the Jazz center in the third round at No. 31 overall? Sign me up.
No, Gobert's production on a per-game level last season wasn't quite what it was two seasons ago. But we're not talking about some aging veteran here. We know his ceiling is higher than what he showed last season (even at a rate level), when he battled injuries. Gobert has the 22nd-highest points-per-game projection this season, per Andre' Snellings. Sure, he'll go a tad after that, given the knee problems he battled last season, but at 31, his upside is easily worth it.
John Cregan: I try to build around high-usage-rate players in points leagues. I wanted to go point guard early and often. At the same time, mock drafts let me try different extreme strategies. My extreme here: Go PG with at least three of my first four picks.
In the first round, I knew I'd end up with Westbrook, Curry or Lillard at No. 8. (Walder's reach for Drummond at No. 7 left me with my first choice). But my PG-heavy strategy really hinged on getting Wall or Paul in the second round at No. 17. If they were both gone by 17, I'd have gone for Leonard or Butler. Then I'd have been left hoping Walker or Holiday slid to me at No. 32.
Feeling my oats, I went Vucevic in the fifth round. I normally avoid him like the plague due to a lack of games played and a lack of blocks ... but I like Orlando's fantasy prospects for 2018-19. (I liked the Brandon Ingram pick at the end of the fifth. I love Ingram in points leagues this season.)
Field Yates: A pair of takeaways emerged from my draft, both tied to some of my initial picks. The first is that my roster skewed "big." In loading up with frontcourt players (three of my first four picks were forwards or centers), I'm reminded that the team you draft is by no means the team you need to finish with. Late-round point guard fliers should help offset my front-loaded big men selections.
Butler in Round 2 was not a risk, but it still was a pick that I pondered as I was making it. At the time of the draft, Butler remained a member of the Timberwolves. There isn't a team that Butler could be traded to with which his value would be totally mitigated, but there is obvious reason to be intrigued by where he ends up. The NBA world is waiting.
Austin Tedesco: Is top 40 too aggressive for Luka Doncic? The rest of the fourth round makes me feel better about snatching the Slovenian sensation so early in this draft. There are opportunity and injury questions surrounding the other players available around this spot, but Doncic seems guaranteed to command the ball, and he held up well over a daunting international season. Rookie point guards are almost never good, but even if Doncic doesn't bring a dramatic on-court impact in his first NBA season, the counting stats should be there.
Bring on the tiger tattoos.
Damian Dabrowski: In our roto mock draft recap, I mentioned that Griffin and Jayson Tatum were the two players I just missed out on, so I was certainly happy to grab them this time around. Picking at the back end of the first round again, my strategy didn't change much from the last time, and honestly, I felt like the flow of the draft as a whole was fairly similar despite the change in scoring format. That's important to note, as the difference in player values between roto and points can be far more drastic in other sports, such as baseball, for instance.
I took Tatum with Gordon Hayward still on the board here, and I think that's an intriguing dilemma that managers will face throughout this draft season. We all expect Tatum to take a big step forward in his sophomore season, especially after what we saw from him in the playoffs, and nobody is quite sure what to expect from Hayward coming off that injury. That said, if Hayward can return to his previous form, I believe he is a more balanced and valuable fantasy asset, and he presents a terrific value at his current ADP.