You gotta have a draft routine; the things you do or eat or wear to ensure you’re in the best possible zone while picking players that you will spend the next seven, er, five months swearing at. What do you mean LaMarcus Aldridge might miss the start of the season? He was my fourth pick! Oh, that sonuvabee! Personally, I enjoy conducting my drafts with a bottle of marshmallow-flavored vodka and a seat in my massage chair without the constraints of wearing pants. My draft game is on point, believe. Don’t worry, fellow Wall’s Dougie Leaguers, we won’t be in the same room, so it won’t be an issue. Really, it’s only an issue in live drafts. My friends get weird about the semi-nudity. Frankly, they should be less worried about that and more worried about all the marshmallow vodka I’m no longer planning on sharing since they made fun of me.

Another important draft day tool designed to make you feel most comfortable is the 2011 Fantasy Basketball Draft Tiers. <– Note: don’t click that link if you do not want to see the spreadsheet. I probably didn’t have to tell you that, but they have warnings on Tide containers asking parents not to let their children do shots of detergent, so I might as well cover my bases.

I find that having draft tiers handy saves a lot of time in middle-to-late rounds. You must find that to be true, too, because a fair amount of you asked about this year’s draft tiers. Well, here ’tis. By the end of your draft, most drafters are focusing in on either specific stats necessary to round out their teams or specific positions. And even among those searching for specific stats, usually only two or three positions are possible destinations to find that player you’re looking for.

The list is divided among the top five positions, which you already know if you’ve already peaked at the list. But if you’ve already peeked at the list, I’m at a loss as to why you’ve gone back to read this last part. Anyway …

In case your scroll up function is on the fritz, feel free to click here for the 2011 Fantasy Basketball Draft Tiers.

  1. Sarah Palin Rice says:

    10-team, H2H, standard 9-cat, non-keeper

    What do you think of this mock? I had the 4th pick

    1. Chris Paul (LAC – PG)
    2. Blake Griffin (LAC – PF,C)
    3. Rudy Gay (Mem – SF,PF)
    4. Gerald Wallace (Por – SF,PF)
    5. Jrue Holiday (Phi – PG)
    6. Carlos Boozer (Chi – PF,C)
    7. Andrew Bynum (LAL – C)
    8. Arron Afflalo (Den – SG)
    9. Brandon Jennings (Mil – PG)
    10. Jared Dudley (Pho – SG,SF)
    11. J.J. Hickson (Sac – PF,C)
    12. Omri Casspi (Cle – SG,SF)
    13. George Hill (Ind – PG,SG)

  2. Steve says:

    Good morning,
    Eric Gordon is knocking on the door to SG tier 1, but you aren’t sold on him. Al “Grab him now” Jefferson is probably great, also much higher than Gordon in your rankings but is he the right keeper pick? Got Paul as my keeper. With Jefferson I would have a solid foundation (and the “of course go PG/PF” combination), but I may miss some points then which is harder to find later in the draft. You have Paul/AL at 18 and 19,5 points, others even less. Gordon at 20, some at 24. So, who should be the keeper here?
    Lopez/Nene/Noah/Zach may be there when the snake comes back to me! Or do I worry too much?

  3. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Sarah Palin Rice: I’m terribly worried about those blocking numbers, but the assists are legit and I could see you parlaying some of those into a trade for a blocker.

    @Steve: I’d rather build a team around Paul/Jefferson than Paul/Gordon. I’m not as sold on Gordon’s a) health, b) ability to lead a team, and c) ceiling as a lot of other people. One could make the same arguments against Jefferson, but people aren’t drafting Jefferson with the expectation of improvement like they are with Gordon.

  4. Sarah Palin Rice says:

    @Adam: What would you have done differently to add blocks…McGee instead of Boozer in Round 6 or maybe DeRozen, Richardson, or Thornton instead of Bynum and Hibert instead of Afflalo in Round 7?

  5. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Sarah Palin Rice: I don’t mind Bynum at the seven, but, yeah, McGee at seven and Hibbert at eight instead of Boozer and Afflalo (you don’t need him, even if he reaches his projected upside this season) would have made this squad stronger.

    Look at this team with McGee/Hibbert in place of Boozer/Afflalo. That’s a team meanin’ biznass.

  6. Zebo says:

    please rank these guys in order in 9 cat H2H league: Devin Harris, Darren Collison, Toney Douglas, Jeff Teague, Jarrett Jack, Jerryd Bayless, George Hill, Barron Davis, thanks.

  7. Mark says:

    Are these rankings assuming your league is a standard 9 cat H2H?

  8. Zebo says:

    @Mark: yes, so much has changed since Adam’s original rankings came out. Seems like the mid to lower tiered PGs are a total crap shoot.

  9. Fahed Misho says:

    I am going to have my draft tonight…it is head-to-head categories, 8 people are playing and we are using: Points, rebounds, assist, blocks, steals, ft%, and 3pm

    What do you think the order of drafted players should be…the first 20 would be great but I will settle for top 10..

  10. Eric says:

    Hey just had my draft in a 14 team H2H League with 9 categories.

    1) Dwyane Wade
    2) Rudy Gay
    3) John Wall
    4) Tyreke Evans
    5) Andrew Bogut
    6) DeMarcus Cousins
    7) Afflalo
    8) Jeff Teague
    9) Ed Davis
    10) Brendan Haywood
    11) Landry Fields
    12) Jordan Crawford
    13) Tristan Thompson

    haha I need to make some trades, which works well since I’m a big trader, are there any trades that you can suggest to improve my team? I’m kinda blind when it comes to my own team haha. At the moment, if I can trade DWade for Howard, I can flip Howard for Lebron so that’s one double trade I have going.

  11. Eric says:

    oh yeah, I had the 6th pick in the draft

  12. barker says:

    12 team with ast/to as cat
    what do you think adam??

    1. (5) Chris Paul PG
    2. (20) Al Horford PF,C
    3. (29) Rudy Gay SF,PF
    4. (44) Kevin Martin SG
    5. (53) Joakim Noah PF,C
    6. (68) Tony Parker PG
    7. (77) Roy Hibbert C
    8. (92) Arron Afflalo SG
    9. (101) Jason Terry PG,SG
    10. (116) Jeff Teague PG,SG
    11. (125) J.J. Hickson PF,C
    12. (140) John Salmons SG,SF
    13. (149) Marcus Camby C
    14. (164) Austin Daye SF,PF
    15. (173) Rodrigue Beaubois PG,SG

  13. George Costanza says:

    It.. it wasn’t my fault! I was in the auction and they just started bidding me up on ALL MY PLAYERS Jerry! ALL my players! I wound up with:

    PG John Wall 49
    SG Tyreke Evans 35
    SF Andre Iguodala 30
    PF Dirk Nowitzki 38
    C Andrew Bogut 17
    G Devin Harris 8
    F Kris Humphries 6
    UTIL James Harden 6
    UTIL Chris Kaman 1
    UTIL Emeka Okafor 3
    BE Trevor Ariza 2
    BE Ricky Rubio 1
    BE Anthony Morrow 1

    So.. what… whadya think?

  14. byrone says:

    okur over udoh?

  15. Smiledog says:

    Hey Ad, rookie to your site and love the info. Curious to get your take on my auction draft tonight. It’s my sophomore season in an auction, last year I was the ultimate stars&scrubs. I tried to spread the wealth a little more among the top half of my team this year, staying away from the absolute top tier prices. Early on I thought I was seeing value, probably a bit anxious and jumped the gun. Settled down as the draft wore on and found some nice value late. What do you think?

    14-team, 12-cat league, $220… mix of sharks, lots of veterans, few auto-drafters… (overall pick/nomination first in parenthesis)

    (2) Duncan (PF,C) – $13
    (7) Tyreke Evans (PG,SG) – $26
    (19) Melo (SF,PF) – $47
    (34) Blake Griff (PF,C) – $57
    (39) Bogut (C) – $21
    (40)T Parker (PG) – $13
    (78) Devin Harris (PG) – $12
    (99) Kaman (C) – $5
    (103) Thaddeus (SF,PF) – $4
    (108) Beasley (SF,PF) – $9
    (137) J Dudley (SG,SF) – $6
    (150) Salmons (SG,SF) – $3
    (154) Jamal Crawford (PG,SG) – $3
    (163) D Favors (PF) – $1

    Thanks dude, looking forward to following the site this year.

  16. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Zebo: Harris, Collison, Jack, Teague, Douglas, Hill, Bayless and Davis.

    @Mark: They’re a hybrid of both 9-cat roto and H2H, meaning that I averaged out the roto ranks and H2H ranks to determine each player’s placement.

    @Fahed Misho: Little late with my response, but generally, nothing shifts too much. The bigs would benefit from the lack of TOVs, the guards would benefit from not compiling the FG%. Really, I might bump only Kevin Love up a few spots and leave everyone else alone.

    @Eric: With only Cousins and Bogut as your bigs, you might just want to keep Dwight. Or if you really want LeBron (and who could blame you if you did?) I’d work toward acquiring another solid C/PF.

    @barker: REALLY like Daye at 164, Hickson at 125 and Gay at 29. Actually, those first five picks are a great, great rotation. With the exception of three health risks, there is no weakness in that five-man unit. You’re going to need a little luck with some of your other picks, but they weren’t reaches and you won’t need a ton of luck. I like this team a lot.

    @George Costanza: I like John Wall a ton, but he’s not worth $11 more than Dirk and $14 more than Evans. That says more about your league than it does about your bidding. I actually think you got a lot of good value here. My biggest issues are your FT%, and your bench. You only paid a buck for some of those guys, but I’m not sure how much help they’re going to be to you.

    @byrone: Not big on Okur. He’s 32, played only 13 games last season and finds himself stuck in a frontcourt with two studs (Jefferson, Millsap) and two high draft picks (Kanter, Favors). He’s a bad bet. Udoh, on the other hand, is a young guy challenged only by historical flop Kwame Brown and recent flop Andris Biedrins. I don’t love either, but Udoh seems like a better bet.

    @Smiledog: Thanks! I appreciate it. You’re about $10 too high on Blake, but about $10 too low on Carmelo. HOORAY, BALANCE! I like what you did grabbing yourself two middle-tiered PGs after missing the elites. Also, I’m willing to bet that between the $18 you paid for Dudley, Beasley and Crawford, you’ll get a production value worth twice that.
    Out of curiosity, what are the 12 categories. Or, at least, what are the other three categories that aren’t obvious right away?

  17. ringo says:

    I Just had what I feel is the best auction I will probably ever have… the weird thing is I went in with the most rigid gameplan I have ever had for any draft in any sport and came away with this… (12 team, 9 cat league)

    1. SF/PF Lebron James $69
    2. PG John Wall $35
    3. SG/SF Andre Iguodala $28
    4. PG/SG Tyreke Evans $14
    5. C Andrew Bynum $11
    6. PF/C Javale McGee $9
    7. PF/C Carlos Boozer $6
    8. PG Devin Harris $5
    9. SG/SF Stephen Jackson $4
    10. PF/C DeMarcus Cousins $4
    11. SF/PF Boris Diaw $3
    12. C Chris Kaman $3
    13. PG/SG Jeff Teague $1

    Like I said I went in targeting not the best value at all, but almost blindly targeting these players (minus Carlos Boozer, I needed bigs and he was damn cheap), I can almost never luck into an early pick and get a stud like LeBron (most expensive player taken) or KD, so I went for him when I could. Crazy thing is I actually had $8 left over.

  18. Adam

    Adam says:

    @ringo: Uhhh …. McGee at $9, Boozer at $6 (6!), Jackson at $4. Did anyone NOT have money left over?

  19. Smiledog says:

    12-cats are:


    Not a big fan of the PF cat because I hate that you can win a cat in any week by not playing anyone. I had the same issue with turnovers, which I was happy they eliminated this year. It’s a solid league with mostly passionate owners and a handful of absolute sharks. Between the roster sizes and owners skill level there’s not much floating around the waiver wire for very long so drafting well and staying healthy are huge.

    Thanks for the comments, appreciate it.

  20. Smiledog says:

    my bad… forgot PTS

  21. ringo says:

    @Adam: It was definetly the weirdest auction I have ever been in, in any sport… One guy had $44 left over, another owner waited everybody out (himself included) and had about $45 left with no real starpower or direction. There were auto pickers of course who went crazy early with no money left late, and other than that other teams really tried hard to get certain guys and paid for it (ie Rose & Paul together / one guy really wanted LeBron and Durant together, settled for Durant and Wade)… I am thinking about trading for another early round stud, given how some of the autopickers drafted. Any ideas what I should be targeting? Or who I can move without worrying about later on?

  22. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Smiledog: I agree with you thoughts on negative stats (PF, TOV). I don’t like the counter-intuitive strategy of simply trying to simultaneously accumulate the most of something and the least of something else. At some point, an algorithm needs to be invented to properly compete.

    @ringo: Hard to say. I might spring for another shooting guard. Maybe in a few weeks you could muscle one of the guys that spent everything too early after he realizes that two studs and a bunch of junk won’t do the trick. Unless of course, he got two top-tier players and continued drafting well on the cheap.

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