Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

I still remember my very first year of fantasy basketball.  I dominated the league, talked smack the entire time, and went into the playoffs with a 1st round bye while already thinking about how to celebrate my championship.  I played a team that struggled all year, barely made the playoffs, and had what I thought was an opposing team of nothing but scrubs.  We both streamed where we could and when the dust settled I lost by a large margin.  All my players played well, I couldn’t understand what happened.  When I added the total games played I realized I lost a hidden, yet easily the most important fantasy category there is, and I lost it by double digits: the category of games played.  I ate every word of trash I talked all year and had to watch two other teams vie for what I considered my championship.

If you are like me and play to win, not just play to compete, then maximizing games played in the playoffs is by far the most important way to do it.  JB chimes in, “But you have to make it there first?”  “Au contraire, mon ami”, I say.   Are you really playing for 4th place?  Does anyone remember who lost in the playoffs anymore than they remember who missed them?  Nay I say, we play to win!  So here it is, the most important 3500 words I’ll write all year as far as winning your RCL goes…

H2H playoff dates are: 1st round March 16-22.  Semifinals March 23-29.  Finals March 30-April 5.  Which should be the playoff schedule for everyone.  If your league uses the last week of the year then I would highly recommend you suggest changing it.  It plays very similarly to the last week of fantasy football.

Da Cream of Da Crop

GSW – 4/4/4, IND – 4/4/4, MIA – 4/4/4, BKN – 4/4/4, CHA – 4/4/4, POR – 4/4/4. UTA – 4/4/4

And the #1 team for the fantasy playoffs goes to, envelop please… The Golden State Warriors. Several teams have a 4/4/4 schedule, but what sets the Warriors apart is that they miss a heavy schedule day in all three rounds (the only 4/4/4 team that does). I’ve seen very few rankings that have Stephen Curry above LeBron James but with an extra game in the semis and an extra 2 games in the finals, Curry is well ahead of LeBron for me. Klay Thompson is one of the best ThrAGNOFers in the game, but since that is ultimately all he is I’m still not too interested unless he falls significantly (6th round maybe). David Lee is getting up there in age, but with a friendly fantasy game and solid schedule he at least makes my top 100. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Andrew Bogut can’t stay healthy, he’s well off my radar. Andre Igoudala was almost unownable last year and he could cede minutes to one of our favorite sleepers, Draymond Green. Draymond hits nearly every category, can play multiple positions, and could even start at SF over the previously mentioned Iggy. Green is in my top 100 and the schedule solidifies it.

Great… (sarcasm) The Pacers have a good 4/4/4 schedule including days off on heavy schedule days in the 1st 2 rounds. I don’t have any Pacer in my top 50. Roy Hibbert is going to be drafted in the top 100 picks, the blocks are just too good to pass up, but is he really going to be any good with the extra usage? Probably, minimally. David West should lead the team in scoring and is probably the only other top 100 asset, but he’s getting long in the tooth and is coming off a very sub-par season. I’m not moving him up and I’m not reaching. Rodney Stuckey is solidified as a top 150 guy and should be pretty useful for almost any fantasy team. Then there’s George Hill, who I thought I would never have to consider drafting again. But with the nice schedule plus a pretty good chance his assists come back, I really should be considering him for the top 100. There are people out there calling Solomon Hill a sleeper but I’m not sold yet. At least the schedule makes him worth giving a shot to as a final pick.

The Heat is another of the 4/4/4’s, they get a little bonus with missing the lone heavy schedule day in the finals. Chris Bosh is right around Nikola Vucevic in our rankings and the Heat schedule compared to Orlando’s schedule is night and day (more on Orlando much later). I don’t think Bosh moves up into the top 20, but with team Durant, plus a PG in the 2nd, and Bosh in the third is looking like a real nice start. Dwyane Wade gets absolutely no boost due to playoff schedule – now I don’t expect him to be benched since they should be playing for real life playoff seeding – but with his age and injury woes he still stays outside the top 50. Mario Chalmers is looking like a solid late round PG. He should have more to do in the offense and he gives solid defensive stats. I’m not sold on a Luol Deng resurgence, but if he falls outside the top 100 picks then I’d consider him. Josh McRoberts could have a similar year to last, but he’s mostly streamer material and playoff schedules have no effect on that.

The Nets, and the next couple of teams below, have 4/4/4 schedules and miss a heavy schedule day in the 1st round. It doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but Deron Williams is draftable, as long as it isn’t in the 1st 4 rounds. Brook Lopez is a guy worth targeting after the 4th too. There’s a few other players worth noting like Mason Plumlee who I like to get 25-30 minutes and Mirza Teletovic who’s offense will have to be relied upon. They both have solid sleeper potential and could even last the entire year on your team if the stars align.

The Horncats, or what about the Bobbets? I see a team slogan coming, “The Bobbets will cut the competition down to size, then throw it out the window driving 80 mph down I-95.” No? OK, the Hornets, 4/4/4 schedule is basically the same to the Nets. Al Jefferson is the most impacted and once again I’ll compare the schedule to that of Cleveland and Kevin Love (4/3/2). An extra game in the semis and 2 in the finals destroys that of Cleveland and there is absolutely no way I could take Love over Jefferson knowing this. Kemba Walker should give some nice value as a 4th round PG and I like him a little better now than Jrue Holiday due to the Pelicans 4/3/3 schedule. A poor schedule could have doomed Lance Stephenson, but he’s squarely on my radar now somewhere in the 70’s.

The Blazers were the go-to team last year when they had 5 games in the semi-finals. They aren’t as dominant this year, but with a 4/4/4 schedule similar to the Nets, all 5 starters are going to be worth wherever we rank them. LaMarcus Aldridge overtakes Love, that Cleveland schedule is a killer. Aldridge v Jefferson is neck-and-neck. As of right this second, I haven’t written that ‘vs post’. I’m seriously considering it. I’m loving Damian Lillard as the #5 PG, the 1st PG taken in the 2nd round. He’s ahead of Kyrie Irving as long as Kyrie is stuck with Cleveland’s schedule, and compared to Phoenix’s 3/3/3 schedule, I have Lillard well ahead of Goran Dragic too. Nicholas Batum is what he is, I’m not planning on owning him so I’m not moving him up any. Wesley Matthews should do his thing and he’s worth the pick, on someone else’s team. JB’s disdain of Robin Lopez is legendary, but a solid schedule from a player with low TOs, and 2 good percents, shouldn’t be underestimated. I’m hoping he falls far enough so I can own him again.

I am so glad the Jazz have a nice playoff schedule, 4/4/4 and they also miss 2 out of the 3 days in the 1st round that are heavy schedule nights. Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward are in my top 50 and are major targets of mine. I would have no problem with Favors as my #1 big and/or Hayward as my #1 wing. However, if I can get 2 PGs and a big in the 1st 3 rounds, followed up by Favors in the 4th and Hayward in the 5th, I’m going to be ecstatic! Alec Burks is a sleeper I’m once again interested in. I doubt he makes my top 100 but he’s going to be real close. There may not be more points available after the 1st 100 picks are off the board. Trey Burke and Dante Exum are all over the place in ADP and I’m pretty worried about both this year. With the schedule though, they could be worth the risk as a late round pick. Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert are interesting for completely different reasons, but with the schedule they could also be worth late round fliers.

The Good

BOS – 4/4/4, PHI – 4/4/4, SAS – 4/4/4, LAL – 3/4/4, HOU – 3/4/4, MEM – 4/4/3, MIL – 4/3/4

Boston, along with the 76ers and Spurs, have a 4/4/4 schedule like the teams in the tier above, unfortunately they play on every heavy schedule day in all 3 rounds. Still, they are 4/4/4 and have plenty of guys I like. Rajon Rondo‘s injury sets him back and with trade rumors bound to swirl all year, his value is unchanged by playoff schedule. Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger are also in the top 150, but they are still pretty limited fantasy contributors. Someone will probably draft Jeff Green. I bet it isn’t going to be JB. Marcus Smart is interesting since he should start the year with 30 minutes per game and if Rondo is moved, should be a top 100 player. He’s worth drafting in a 12er.

There should be a lot of stats to be had on the 76ers, and a 4/4/4 schedule only helps. Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel we’re already so high on that I can’t move them up more. Still though, I would have no problem taking MCW in the 4th or Noel in the 5th. There’s a pretty big drop off after that since everyone else on the team is a last pick flier. K.J. McDaniels offers by far the most upside, so he’s going to be my pick if he’s there at the end.

The Spurs having a good 4/4/4 playoff schedule looks good in theory, but with back-to-backs in all 3 rounds, Tim Duncan or Tony Parker could be looking at a 3/3/3 schedule instead. Kawhi Leonard is still a 2nd round pick with 1st round upside. It’s going to be tough for me to take a wing who doesn’t assist in the 2nd round. If there was one pairing I would feel the best about it would be with Chris Paul. I digress. I feel like I’m forgetting someone… Danny Green was tough to own for a lot of people last year and I’m not going to let something like playoff schedule effect how I perceive him. Let’s just say it isn’t with rose colored glasses.

Since 2 out of every 6 fantasy teams making the playoffs doesn’t play the 1st round, it isn’t nearly as important for schedules as the final two. The Lakers have a 3/4/4 schedule and with a 1st round bye, it would be as good any of the 3 teams immediately above. I don’t really care that Kobe Bryant has a good playoff schedule, I don’t trust his minutes or the chances for DNPs (Did Not Play); he won’t be on my team. Carlos Boozer and Nick Young were never on my radar and they still aren’t. Jeremy Lin is a worthy late round upside PG since Steve Nash will undoubtedly miss games; the playoff schedule only solidifies it.

Houston also has a 3/4/4 schedule, and with that James Harden moves ahead of LeBron to #4 overall. The Cavs (4/3/2) is light years behind Houstons. The extra game in the Semis means Harden will more than likely put up better stats that week. Two extra games in the finals means he absolutely will put up better stats. And what about LeBron being better in the 1st round? This is completely possible, my counter though would be, “What if you had the 1st round bye?” Dwight Howard is what he is and what he is isn’t what I want. I could forgive the FT% if I was punting, but add in high turnovers and blocks drastically falling off last year, plus the now lengthy injury history and age. There are too many red flags irregardless of playoff schedule. I’m glad Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones have a good playoff schedule. They are both top 100 fantasy players.

Memphis has a 4/4/3 schedule; they aren’t a tier lower because they miss the heavy schedule day in the finals. There’s only 2 draftable players in an RCL league from this team and they are both top 50 guys. By now we know what both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are going to give us and with the schedule, they are still guys I’m looking at drafting. However I don’t see them as targets so much as fallbacks, Conley in the 3rd and Gasol in the 5th I would imagine. Someone will draft Zach Randolph, whoever it is is someone that doesn’t listen to anything I have to say and probably owned Tristan Thompson last year.

Normally I wouldn’t call the Bucks schedule a good at 4/3/4, but since they miss both of the heavy schedule days in the semis, I know I’m going to want at least one on all my teams. Since there’s about 8 to choose from, all with upside, I’m sure that won’t be a problem. Picking the right ones will be. Jabari Parker gets drafted 1st and I understand that. Brandon Knight isn’t a strong fantasy player, but he’s still a good 4th PG on any fantasy team. Everyone seems to want Giannis Antetokounmpo and I’m setting a firm highest round I would draft him at 8th. Larry Sanders is worth drafting, so is John Henson and O.J. Mayo. Did you catch that or just keep reading? I hope O.J. Mayo doesn’t get off the bench, but with all the different options for Kidd to try, I don’t expect the Bucks rotation to work itself out quickly.

The Average

MIN – 4/4/3, NYK – 4/4/3, WAS – 4/4/3, OKC – 4/4/3, DET – 4/3/4, LAC – 4/3/4, SAC – 4/3/4, TOR – 4/3/4

The Timberwolves, and the next 3 teams have a 4/4/3 schedule. Minnesota misses a heavy schedule day in the 1st round but that won’t change anything. There’s plenty of quality players to choose from, but no one’s value is changing based off the schedule.

The Knicks have a nearly identical 4/4/3 schedule. They also miss a heavy schedule day in the 1st round and no one’s value changes based off this.

Washington is the third 4/4/3 team but they always play on heavy schedule days. There’s nothing wrong with these 3 team’s schedules and there are multiple players I’m targeting from each.

OKC is the 4th team with a 4/4/3 schedule. OKC does have an advantage over the previous 3 in that they miss a heavy schedule day in the 2nd round. This is really good and almost puts them in the tier above, but a 3 game final only on heavy days keeps them down here. Does this move Kevin Durant down when he’s healthy? Of course not. He’s #1 when he’s on the court, let’s just be thankful he doesn’t have Cleveland or Orlando’s schedule. Russell Westbrook v John Wall is still nearly identical, so I’m not changing based off their schedules. Serge Ibaka could be compared to a few others like Al Jefferson and LaMarcus Aldridge but I don’t think he should be. The blocks keep him well ahead of those guys even with them getting an extra game in the finals. Reggie Jackson is a 4th PG to target and that doesn’t change due to their schedule.

The Pistons and the next 3 teams have 4/3/4 schedules. Missing a game in the semis is something I try to avoid, but with 4 in the 1st round and 4 in the finals I can’t call these schedules poor. Detroit is the best of the 4 since they miss a heavy schedule day in both the 1st and 2nd rounds. Everyone seems to want Andre Drummond, and if I had to use a 2nd round pick to get him I’m OK with it. There are others but their caveats are tough to stomach. Brandon Jennings with the FG%, Josh Smith with the FT%, the uncertainty at nearly every position, they are all draftable for one reason or another but I imagine I’ll let someone else take on that risk.

The Clippers are a 4/3/4 schedule and they always play on heavy schedule days. Nothing changes for any of them on my draft board.

The Kings… re: Clippers.

The Raptors… re: Kings.

The Not Good

DAL – 4/3/3, ATL – 4/3/3, DEN – 4/3/3, NOP – 4/3/3, PHO – 3/3/3, CHI – 3/3/3

Up till now, playoff schedules have only driven a player’s value up. The next 4 teams have poor playoff schedules that should negatively affect value. Having a few players on these lists won’t ruin your playoff chances, having too many however can. Dallas’ 4/3/3 schedule misses a heavy schedule day in the semifinals, so they have an ever so slight edge over the rest. I’m not moving Dirk Nowitzki from his current ranking. He could be a top 10 player, but since he’s already being drafted in the 20’s I don’t think he should moved any lower. Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis are in a very similar boat. They both finished ranked higher last year than where they are being drafted this year. If I had a better option for either I would take it, however you probably drafted them later than where we rank them so getting equal value could prove difficult. Tyson Chandler is still a late round filler big with very little upside. His needle doesn’t move.

The Hawks poor schedule really hurts. Paul Millsap, Al Horford, and Jeff Teague are all targets at their ADP, but with a poor 4/3/3 schedule, and missing the heavy schedule day in the finals, I can’t consider them all for one fantasy team. Millsap can’t be drafted where we have him ranked simply because there are too many other options with better playoff schedules. Late 2nd round/early 3rd is still perfectly acceptable. Horford is now a 3rd round target and can’t be paired with Millsap; this probably means I won’t get him on any team. I still like Jeff Teague in the 5th round or so, PGs are just too thin and he still has plenty of upside. Kyle Korver is one of the better 3-pt specialists in the game due to his FG% but in a draft I’m passing. As a trade chip he still has good value though.

Denver having a 4/3/3 schedule, while missing a heavy schedule day in the 1st round, doesn’t hurt as bad as Atlanta but it isn’t far off. Ty Lawson is losing ground rapidly, he has the ankle issues which don’t seem to be going away and now even if he is good to go we have to contend with a poor schedule. If I can get equal value in a trade I would look into it. Kenneth Faried is one of my favorite 5th/6th round bigs. I’m not going to move him down based off his fantasy playoff schedule. I feel like he’s being a little undervalued as it is, the schedule just evens things out.

The Pelicans have a nearly identical 4/3/3 schedule as Denver, the difference is now we’re talking about the #1 player in our ranks. Obviously this is terribly annoying, but I still think Anthony Davis should be the 1st player off the board. The breakout from last year seems to only be expanding. The problem lies in the next option, Steph Curry, having the best fantasy playoff schedule there is. The reason I’m still taking the Brow is for the league altering blocks with 2 good percents. Jrue Holiday is still being drafted late enough that I’m not going to consider the schedule. It does mean I won’t reach for him though. Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Omir Asik are all being drafted but there are enough similar options at similar ADPs that I’ll probably pass on all 3.

I should be more disappointed about the Suns 3/3/3 playoff schedule than I am, but there’s still enough value from most of their players that I think I can overlook it. After rereading that, I doubt I convinced anyone. Although this does greatly effect Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. They are high draft picks that aren’t going to do enough in the playoffs to warrant their high ranking. I’m sure there will be other options that will be just as good in the regular season but even better in the playoffs. I see Markieff Morris and Isaiah Thomas differently, mainly because if we filled our early picks with good schedules then a few players like these will help us make the playoffs and still do enough to warrant their draft pick.

Finally, a team I can avoid and be glad to do so. The Bulls 3/3/3 schedule leaves much to be desired and since we’re already behind the consensus, we can easily enough just avoid Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah all together. Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler are right on the border. I won’t reach for them, but if they’re there and I need what they give, then I won’t hesitate to take either. While Taj Gibson‘s role isn’t ideal, he should be just fine and a value at wherever he eventually falls.

The Unownable

ORL – 4/2/3, CLE – 4/3/2

There are no words to describe how devastated I am by Orlando’s 4/2/3 playoff schedule. How can I draft Nikola Vucevic or Victor Oladipo if any top 150 player at their position is guaranteed to put up better numbers in the semifinals? In the playoffs, Vucevic or Robin Lopez (4/4/4)? In the semis, Robin Lopez is nearly guaranteed to be the better option. I’m not saying to trade Vucevic for Lopez, but I would be looking to move him at some point in the year. The same goes for Elfrid Payton, Channing Frye, and Tobias Harris. If I had a choice, I would draft someone else unless I couldn’t pass up the value.  But if you’re in a league with me (like the RCL I drafted Tobias in), then you better believe Tobias will play some kind of role in the negotiation process.

The last place team – #30 – the Cavs and their 4/3/2 playoff schedule. An argument could be made that Orlando’s schedule is worse, but since the Cavs boast two 1st rounders and a 2nd they deserve the extra attention. I don’t think I’ve written about LeBron since he decided to take his talents to the Flats and this might also be the last. It’s fairly safe to say there won’t be many fantasy winners who draft LeBron, Kevin Love, or Kyrie Irving. In the playoffs Kyrie or Lillard (4/4/4)? Since Kyrie isn’t a 1st round pick, it doesn’t hurt as bad. Still it makes the choice between the two very easy. Love or Melo (4/4/3)? Closely ranked, but I think it goes without saying Carmelo will have a better semis and finals than Kevin Love. So we got Carmelo first, do we draft Love in the 2nd round or do we draft Aldridge (4/4/4) or Al Jefferson (4/4/4)? I think that’s a pretty easy choice to make. Even though I won’t own any once the playoffs come around, I can reluctantly admit they still have a ton of trade value so they aren’t entirely undraftable.

  1. TheMuppetManiac says:
    (link)

    My draft is Sunday. It’s a keeper league, 12 team H2h. Standard categories, plus double doubles.

    My 3 keepers are Noah, Carter-Williams and Markeiff Morris.

    I have the second pick. I’m hoping to get Wall with my first pick. If it doesn’t happen I can either go Jefferson, Horford or Lillard, maybe Dirk.

    For my second pick, I’m thinking of either Vucevic, Dragic or Lawson,

    My question, obviously if Wall falls to me, I have to take him, which would mean go big for my second pick. If I don’t get Wall, should I take a big first and then go for a PG or should I take Lillard and go big for my second pick?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @TheMuppetManiac: It’s a tough call since we can’t really tell who’s going to be there but I agree Wall is #1 by goodly amount. So it boils down to which combo is better Jefferson/Horford and Dragic/Lawson or Lillard/Vucevic. It’s so close… I think in your case I would favor the big 1st, PG 2nd (assuming no Wall). The reason is pretty simple. There are more options that you like if you go that route. If you go Lillard and Vucevic disappears you could be left having to make a quick decision you weren’t prepared to make.

      • TheMuppetManiac says:
        (link)

        @Slim:

        I didn’t get Wall. I ended taking Al Jefferson and Nikola Vucevic with my first two picks. My league has a double double cat.

        Here’s my team.

        Jrue Holiday, Michael Carter-Williams
        Jimmy Butler, George Hill
        Jose Calderon, Nik Stauskas
        Draymon Green, K.D. McDaniels
        Al Jefferson, Nikola Vucevic
        Markeiff Morris, Jordan Hill
        Joakim Noah, DeMarre Carroll
        Terrence Smith

        I’m actually very happy with my team. I think I have balance, guys who contribute in multi-cats and while I don’t have a top ten stud, I think I have a few underrated glue players, who contribute solid stats and make up for Carter-Williams’ turnovers and FG and FT%

  2. RePete says:
    (link)

    Very useful when drafting and deciding between players. You’re right on about drafting for the playoffs even though it’s not a guarantee; it’s all about 1st place. Also, I see you commented about the Kings in the ‘Average’ group but their playoff games played aren’t listed in the header. Thanks for doing the research and posting this!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @RePete: I wanted to quote Ricky Bobby. I probably should have fit it in somewhere.

      Good catch. JB got it fixed. Thanks.

  3. hamtime says:
    (link)

    Ok, what is the deal with Javale Mcgee being ranked higher than other serviceable HEALTHY players? Is he coming back and would I be crazy to consider getting him?

    16 man h2h 11 cat – I have w. chandler, cj miles, kendall marshall at the bottom of my bench. any of them worth dropping for Bargnani or McGee? Need a center badly.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @hamtime: JB dropped him to 17o-something in the latest ranks update and that seems about right. With over 200 players owned though I think he probably should be one who is. Bargnani had an OK stretch last year until he went down last year and I think I would give him a shot over McGee. I would hold Wilson and CJ, I expect both to play very servicable minutes. Marshall I’m much less bullish on. His minutes could easily go to Knight or Wolters and be left sitting on the bench getting DNPs. Could Marshall start and play 30 minutes? While not impossible I wouldn’t bet on it happening. In a league that deep I want to maximize my minutes as much as possible and I think that means dropping Marshall for Bargnani.

      • hamtime says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Thanks slim. You guys rock

  4. JB Gilpin

    JB Gilpin says:
    (link)

    This is absolutely awesome! Will reference all year and putting into the main menu.

    As Slim mentioned, I am a little less impacted by playoff schedule than he is. Vucevic does hurt a tad… But other Magic guys I’m drafting the same since they’re mostly sleeper types. Slim hath swooned me on staying away from the Cavs though! I already have Love/LeBron below consensus. Passing on Kyrie now too. Not to mention they could start benching starters!

    All hail Slim!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @JB Gilpin: Vucevic and Oladipo are going to be extremely risky come semifinals and it’s not like they make up for it with a good finals. I like them both a lot this year but in an RCL I won’t own either of them past the trade deadline. Their trade value will/should easily pass their expected playoff outputs. If late in the year I feel confident I’m in the playoffs I would gladly let go of Oladipo (4/2/3) for let’s say Ariza (3/4/4), although I imagine I would target Hayward (4/4/4) first to make up for Oladipo’s assists.

  5. OldMilwaukeePounders says:
    (link)

    Got a hypothetical trade to throw out, Slim. I’d love your thoughts on it.

    Keeper league, keep 4 max, 12 team H2H (PTS, STL, AST, FG%, FT%, 3PM, REB, BLK). Steph Curry owner claims to be exploring trades, wants picks only. Would you be willing to trade picks 50 & 71 for Curry?

    My keepers would be Paul, Griffin, Lowry, Curry then should he accept.

    Thanks for any feedback!

    • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
      (link)

      @OldMilwaukeePounders:

      By the way, amazing article here..just awesome work!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @OldMilwaukeePounders: Yeah with that many keepers those draft spots wouldn’t be enough for me if I was a Curry owner. Worth a shot though.

      • OldMilwaukeePounders says:
        (link)

        @Slim:

        Slim, just to follow up. The owner has accepted my trade of picks 50 and 71 for Curry. Leaving me with Curry, Paul, Griffin, and Lowry to start out in a 12 team league. Not a bad core group?

  6. Sio says:
    (link)

    Hey Slim! I have been wondering about the dragic rank… i always thought that he wasn’t spectacular when bledsoe was healthy which is the case this season and now factoring in the playoff sked? Is the rank still justified? Also you have him projected for 34 mins… that’s about what he avg last season with no bledsoe for half of it and no IT2. I’m really curious about your reasoning for his numbers. I love the suns and it would be great to own dragic but now i’m not so sure.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Sio: Yeah I think Dragic’s minutes are the safest of the three headed PG rotation there. The playoff schedule hurts and I’m pretty sure I dropped his numbers some from last year but with what he does to FG% I wouldn’t have any problems taking him anywhere in the 3rd. I don’t really have any numbers to back any of that up, just that I don’t think there will be any major dip in production that would make him unworthy of the 3rd round in a 12er.

  7. WeTheNorth says:
    (link)

    Another great article guys .. great read.. I Swear ever since I found you guys this a fantasy gold mine.. Thanks guys!!

    Quick question I know you guys are down on Roy Hibbert but I really think he will go back to his prime days. Lance was ball hog and was playing for his contract. With PG being out I really think he should be 12-14 ppg 8-11 REB 1.8 -2.4 BLK. With good ft% for a big and decent fg %. With those numbers I think 7 round or 6 round if I’m going to reach would have great value. what you guys think.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @WeTheNorth: I was burned last year by him. With the team overall getting much worse and without Stephenson or George to take any pressure off I don’t think things get any easier for Hibbert. The 7th feels early but if I was desperate for some blocks I would take the plunge again I guess. I definitely do not expect much of any increase in FG%, I just can’t imagine he gets easier looks than he did last year. And I have no faith in 8 boards per game. Not impossible but he would need to be an entirely different player than he was last year for that to happen.

      • WeTheNorth says:
        (link)

        @Slim:

        yea i do agree with you Slim , last year hibbert was a killer, but also 2 years ago he was great. What players you think i can grab late rounds on the draft that can help with blk also not ft% killers. Only player i can think of is Mozgov.. On another note T Burke is killing it in the preseason.. any thoughts ?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @WeTheNorth: Maybe Taj Gibson. Not many that’s for sure. It’s why the Brow and Ibaka are so useful.

          Burke is still a low end assist/steal PG so his fantasy ceiling doesn’t seem to be too high, nice to see his shots falling though.

  8. CTMN says:
    (link)

    The first year I played, none of us knew about fantasy that much so we played H2H but with no fantasy playoffs! Also had OREBS and DREBS to go with normal rebounds, and ft made and fg made instead of %s. It was 8 teams, I picked Orlando Dwight (11-12) and sophomore Blake Griffin 1st/2nd and Rondo in the third (when he was still a triple double monster on a good team) and I won or tied every week of the year for first place. But obviously fantasy playoffs is a lot different, but it’s fun! This post will really help out.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @CTMN: Yeah there really is no good reason to have playoffs except I guess I just find it to be fun and I feel like it plays more like a real sport that way.

      • CTMN says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Yeah of course it’s more fun! This post is gonna be huge for me this year, I’m gonna refer to it for my trade thoughts and of course for my draft coming up this weekend. Do you think getting one of Millsap/Horford and one of Dragic/Lawson would really hurt me in playoffs if I never traded either of them? I’m hoping to have Ibaka and hopefully Wall as my first 2 picks (cause I made a trade) so do you think that’s enough to balance the schedules out?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @CTMN: I wouldn’t be too concerned about 2 guys with 3 in the semis and 3 in the finals. I would just try to make sure I wasn’t loading up on em. Like I think about half with 3 games in either the semis or finals would be the max I could recommend.

          • CTMN says:
            (link)

            @Slim: Ok thanks man. You’re probably more experienced than me with this stuff so I like getting the help with kinda a range of targets and knowing like the farthest to go with stuff like this (ie no more than half the guys should have 3 game finals, etc).

  9. Samsonite says:
    (link)

    haha man you guys rock, such a good site. great article and research, as JB mentioned this is worth referring back to all year.

    While i will be taking this into account, i dont see it as being critical when drafting teams. I think it will be more beneficial in targeting players in trades during the year. If you play your cards right, you could trade a rolling vucevic for 2 solid players with good finals schedules. also later in the year you should know where you are sitting on the ladder, and work out strategies to accommodate.
    is it october 28 yet?!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Samsonite: For drafting it’s more just to make sure you don’t load up. I think most people would be psyched to draft LeBron, Love, and Kyrie on the same team but they would have just lost the finals before a single game was played. Obviously that’s as extreme as it gets… I might have used a bit of hyperbole but I really wanted to try to show how much it ultimately effects winning and losing.

      • dan-o1 says:
        (link)

        @Samsonite: @Slim: glad you guys touched on this. echoed my thoughts and kinda reassured me i’m on the right track. very good article,slim!….on a side note, bynum hittin the road have an affect on augustin’s value much?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @dan-o1: Nah, DJ already won the backup PG job. Augustin could have some 12teamer value this year again but he’s going to have to pass Jennings for that to happen. I don’t think a Jennings/Augustin backcourt would go well.

  10. Philzilla says:
    (link)

    What the hell dude. I’m cool with your rankings and all, but when you start sending out my draft strategies like this, you’ve crossed the line.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Philzilla: Hehe. Just leveling the playing field…

  11. AD needs help says:
    (link)

    So I’m in a14-team keeper auction league 9-cat (slight difference from standard 9-cat leagues in that we got FTA instead of FT% and AFG% instead of FG%). My 6 keepers are Curry, AD, Valanciunas, Calderon, T Jones and Alphabet. I have $49 out of $100 budget to spend on 4 players to round out my roster (we need 4 G, 4 F and 2 C). We then snake draft 6 reserves. Based on our league settings my current team is as good as any other plus I have extra $$$ than all the other contenders. I am targeting Deron and Hayward and can hopefully get them for around $40 combined, then would like to pick up Kieff. For my final player I’m not sure whether I make sure I get Draymond or I pass up on him hoping he will fall to me in first round of snake draft where I’lI pick 11th. I think he will be available to me there but I’m beginning to think the risk of not getting him is too high to pass up.

    Key players available Love, Rondo, Gasol brothers, Monta, Jabari, B Lopez, Timmy D, Wiggins, Ryno, Butler, Deng, Wade, Tony Parker, J-Smoove, Korver, IT2, Elfird, Linsanity, Tyreke, Monroe, Gibson, Beverley, Henson, Jordan Hill,Tobias Harris and then pretty much everyone below that on your rankings.

    Please critique my strategy and tell me what you think on the Draymond Green decision. What might be some other options to Markieff if I have too pay more for Deron and Hayward?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @AD needs help: I agree with adding some more assists so yeah Deron and Hayward make the most sense. I’d be eyeballing Elfrid and IT2 if one of those didn’t work out. I would look to add a few more boards too and Markieff and Draymond, at the right price, works well. Everything you said is exactly how I would play it… Henson would be a nice target I think since the price should be reasonable, really Jordan Hill too.

  12. hamtime says:
    (link)

    Hi again. Can you help with my team? 16 man h2h 11 cat in a TOUGH draft. Who do you think I should let go and target. My team seems so off and need to find better balance thru trades:
    wall
    dirk
    gay
    d. lee
    wiggins
    d. collison
    tyreke
    j. hill
    chalmers
    w. chandler
    cj miles
    k. marshall

    • CTMN says:
      (link)

      @hamtime: you need some blocks and rebounds, the bigs are rough and dirk doesn’t do that much there…

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @hamtime: Yeah I think it’s definitely short a shotblocking big… or 2. The late picks are fine but maybe me a couple of available bigs maybe we there’s a gem left. Steven Adams could fit nicely. As for guys to move in a trade, I think your team is a little wing heavy with Gay, Wiggins, Evans, Chandler, and Miles so I would look to move one of them. Preferable for a shotblocking big man.

      • Slim

        Slim says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Maybe I should have read that 1st… Let me try again.

        The late picks are fine but if you could give me a few options of free agent bigs maybe there’s a gem left in there.

        OK. Better.

        • hamtime says:
          (link)

          @Slim: being a 16 man league, i am left with very little options: bargs, mcgee, jason smith, nurkic.. yuck.

          tried offering tyreke for robin lopez, but doubt the owner will bite. is tyreke for giorgui dieng giving up too much?

          • Slim

            Slim says:
            (link)

            @hamtime: You could probably get more for Tyreke, especially while he’s playing. Bargs is probably the best on the list but we’ll be lucky to get 50 games out of him. Meh, hold what you’ve got. Maybe look into a trade.

  13. MAC says:
    (link)

    whats ur ideal lineup in a standard 13 man 12 team league? like 4pg 4 wings 5 bigs?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @MAC: Yeah that’s it. I would like one of those bigs to shoot 3s… Ala Markieff. I try to limit my non 3pt shooters to a max of 4.

      • MAC says:
        (link)

        @Slim:
        nyc. but, would you pass up a lets say a knight or collison if u have 4pgs already? whats the reasoning for the 4 non 3pt shooters?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @MAC: 3s is a category that isn’t won with one or 2 players, it take everyone chipping in to win it. With 5 or even 6 out of 13 guys not shooting 3s the number needed to win the category always feels too far out of reach.

      • CTMN says:
        (link)

        @Slim: What if you have like a Rubio/MCW type who hits less than a 3 per game as a PG or wing? Do you have a strategy to make up for that?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @CTMN: Not particularly, just to make up for it later in the draft, no need to go overboard though we aren’t talking about much with only 1.0 or so 3s per game from one guy. Easy enough to make up for in even the last round.

  14. Luke Perry M'ba Moute says:
    (link)

    Should I give up my Lowry & Draymond for Wall?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Luke Perry M’ba Moute: If the league is a 12er or smaller then I would do it and still be able to add a solid player off waivers. If it’s a 16er or larger then I would be more hesitant since the FA list is much weaker. Eh, I would probably still do it anyway though.

  15. CTMN says:
    (link)

    It looks like I’m not gonna trade #1 in the end. I’m gonna pick AD, which I’m happy about…for my next picks, I’m thinking maybe Millsap/Horford and Dragic/Lawson but no matter how it works out I’ll probably end up with playoff schedule problems (with AD already not having a very good one). I think I could trade these guys eventually, probably for a PG like Lowry who might not fall, but would you be worried if these are the best available? There’s a lot of activity in my league at least so I know I can get trades done as long as I pick the right guys.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @CTMN: I wouldn’t worry too much about it but it would effect which sleepers I went after. I wouldn’t reach for a guy with a poor schedule since it could be tough to get full value for them in a trade like you can for high end players.

      • CTMN says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Interesting thoughts..I just don’t wanna get loaded with guys who have bad schedules. But maybe I’ll just take the best available until it becomes necessary to do otherwise.

  16. jrsmith says:
    (link)

    man i was stoked to read about portlands 4/4/4 until you bagged the guys i own!? why so down on batum and matthews? would you deal matthews for gordon hayward? i feel like it’s a lateral move.

    also, i own josh smith and hate it. i want favors but no way does someone take josh smith for favors. think jsmoove + jr smith coud get it done?

    what about josh smith + gorgui deng? ( i somehow wound up with 3 t-wolves players… i think i might get last place – wiggins/rubio/deng)

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @jrsmith: Batum is ok at where he’s being drafted. I guess I just always expected more from him, I’m a little concerned with his decline in steals and blocks last year but the added boards and assists are really nice from his SG/SF position. I like Hayward much much better than Matthews. More boards, assists, steals, blocks, and more volume for the good FT%. Does it make up for hurting in FG% and TOs? I say YES!

      That won’t get Favors from me but if I were you I would still make the offer and see if I can get a counter to work with. Either trade would be fine with me if it nets Favors.

  17. Owens says:
    (link)

    Wondering how I did, with 1st pick in a 12 team H to H league:
    Curry
    M Gasol
    Milsap
    Kemba
    Jrue
    Valanciunas
    Korver
    Collison
    Antetokounmpo
    Draymond Green
    A Burks

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Owens: I’ll start from the bottom. Last 4 picks are superb. I think they are all top 100 guys or at least very very close to it. Millsap and Gasol should be swapped but at least you got both. PG depth is great, definitely a strength. If there’s one category I would look to improve it would be shot blocking. Gasol, Millsap, and Jonas are all kind of mediocre shot blockers and won’t add up enough to win the category too often. Also only 3 C eligible players is a little shy if the league starts 2 centers (like yahoo does). So I would look to improve there, not through the FA list but through a trade. I like the top 5 so I wouldn’t look to be adding any of them into a trade. Korver would be my top option to be moved since he has pretty decent value yet not really something you need.

  18. Coen says:
    (link)

    Thanks for this very insightful post. Some basketball friends and I are doing a live draft (we’ll all be in the same room) next friday and after happening to me last season, what you describe in your first paragraph, I fully intend to play to win this time. Which is why I took your rankings and made an extra column categorized ‘Games Played In Play-off Weeks’. Our play-offs actually start a week earlier, which makes the sleepers-in-Orlando situation even worse (2 gpp in the finals week…), but also further ups the NYK prospects with a 5/4/4 schedule. I’ll definitely take that into consideration.

    Speaking of going big or going home, I’m of a mind to just pick KD with my #2 pick. Our league actually sees 8 of 12 players through to the play-offs and I should be able to make that. Once there, I’d have the best fantasy player in the league. I’d love to pair him with Lawson and a big like Drummond or Bosh. My safer option would be Steph Curry (who actually has a 4/4/4 in the play-offs as opposed to KD’s 3/4/4) but he just isn’t the multi-cat-winning beast KD is. What do you think?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Coen: I absolutely agree with those settings to take Durant. 8 into the playoffs also means no 1st round bye so finishing the regular season 1st or 8th makes no difference. Yep, I agree. Curry is certainly safer and I wouldn’t fault anyone for going that route. But I’d go Durant.

  19. Sio says:
    (link)

    Hi guys! Just finished my last draft for the season and i gotta say the re-ranking in yahoo made it really hard to find good value… anyway as always i like to hear razzball nation’s take on my team. It’s 14 team h2h standard 9 cat

    PG: lawson, calderon, nelson
    SG: burks, kcp
    SF: terrence jones, brewer, draymond, mcdaniels
    PF/C: anthony davis, horford, noel, markieff

    I’m really guard light but no one has more than 3 good pg’s and the best guards on the wire are sessions and augustin. Any suggestions to make my team better?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Sio: Blocks are through the roof but they all have really good trade value and I think that’s where I would look to deal. Maybe Noel for a top 50 PG. Tough to trade Draymond or McDaniels since you won’t get much of a PG back… yet…

  20. A Hill O' Beans says:
    (link)

    Looks like its keeper declaration day in the REL. I’m very interested to see who’s gonna get kept by everyone and what kind of auction budgets teams are gonna have available. Definitely excited for the season since I’m liking where my team could be a whole lot more this year than last. Can’t wait!

    • Tim says:
      (link)

      @A Hill O’ Beans: I joined the Rel this year and had the enviable task task of deciding whether to spend 70% of my budget on two players in curry and harden. I elected to keep curry and essentially blow up the team, keeping a few value players. I look forward to the year and am hoping curry doesn’t burn my ass.

      • A Hill O' Beans says:
        (link)

        @Tim: So did you take over the team that I traded Harden to I guess? Yeah two $70+ players would kind of cripple you moving forward flexibility wise. Talent wise that’d be great though. That’s kinda why I traded Harden away for Demar, because Demar may not be Harden, but Demar plus $50 in cap space is probably better IMO.

        • Tim says:
          (link)

          @A Hill O’ Beans: that’s the team. Couple of good values, nothing I was crazy about, definitely not my kind of team. Curry seemed the better fit so I went that way… I was tempted to throw both back and go into auction with a big bankroll, maybe even getting one or both back cheaper or at worse the same. Looks like a lot of teams are gonna have some money to spend, so I had to keep one. I’m looking forward to it.

          • Tim says:
            (link)

            @Tim: and I remember all the hoopla over that trade. I definitely like your side for the future, and it didn’t make sense for this team to absorb harden to make a run and not make any faab moves.

            • A Hill O' Beans says:
              (link)

              @Tim: Yeah it sounds pretty horrible on the surface, I traded Harden for Demar. So I got the initial reaction, but when you look at it the salaries make a world of difference. Who knows, maybe I get Harden back in the draft, lol!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @A Hill O’ Beans: I had a tough decision to make and ultimately I wanted a few more open roster spots over RKelly or Adrien, the Randle draft pick killed me. I’ve got $95 total for 9 spots taken. $105 to fill 8. Harden going back huh? I’m in!

  21. Jason says:
    (link)

    Hello! Just drafted for my keeper league on the year. My front court players are: Howard, Cousins, Ibaka, Favors, durant, Batum and Jabari Parker. My back court: Wall, Rose, Wiggins, harden, Dragic and Lance Stephenson. I was already offered Kevin Love and Victor Oladipo for Wiggins and Rose. Thoughts?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Jason: Your team is crazy. Umm… Yeah I think I would, I don’t think Rose is the player he once was and I would sell the risk for a player in his prime like Love. Wiggins probably has a higher ceiling than Oladipo but it’s not like he doesn’t have a very bright future too.

  22. CTMN says:
    (link)

    Does Curry’s playoff schedule, being the best there is, sway you to pick him over AD? Like let’s say you might have a Curry-Favors combination of your 1st/4th rounds if you picked Curry but a Davis-Kemba combination if you picked Davis. I feel like I’d rather have the Curry version, especially with all the great big men you could get in the 2nd/3rd to go with getting a guy like Favors later. I wanna pick AD but there are SO many great options.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @CTMN: I’ve put a little though to this and I’m going to say NO. It’s close though. If we go Curry 2nd or 3rd or so I’m not so sure Favors will be around at 46,47 or so. One reason I’m not as swayed by the Brows schedule is that even in one less game he’s still going to give huge, category winning blocks with hurting FT%. Curry’s dominant 3s are much easier to make up for.

      • CTMN says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Thanks for the advice. I have #1 pick and i think the guys in my league might not be that smart so i feel like I could get Favors as a steal at 48 but it’s a risk. I just love the idea of my best player having such a good schedule, but you make a great point about the blocks from AD just killing the category while 3s can be made up more easily.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @CTMN: A team of Curry, a Big, a PG, Favors, Hayward top 5 would be a heck of a start and covers every category with a great playoff schedule. The risk might just be worth the reward…

          • CTMN says:
            (link)

            @Slim: Thanks man. I think they’re both great options and that Curry build you listed sounds nasty! I just wanna get the best value possible. It’s gonna be very interesting tonight…

  23. Thunder from down under says:
    (link)

    Been offered Jennings for Rubio in a 8cat Roto league. What are your thoughts? Thanks

    • CTMN says:
      (link)

      @Thunder from down under: Keep Rubio no question, Rubio beats him in everything but points and a bit 3s, 2 easy cats to make up, and even Rubio’s bad fg% isn’t as bad as Jennings.

      • Thunder from down under says:
        (link)

        Thanks CTMN will keep him! @CTMN:

  24. Andrew says:
    (link)

    Hey! Great read! I drafted prior to reading this article and I think I dodged a few bullets. After reading the Atlanta Hawks section, I’m glad I pulled the trigger with this trade thanks to JB’s help. How does my team look in a standard 9-cat H2H 10 team league? Are there areas that I should look to improve in and trade for? I was thinking about trading for Payton, but after reading their schedule. I can cross that off the list.

    Standard 9-cat, 10 team.
    1. KD (10)
    2. Ibaka (11) – traded for Anthony Davis/IT2
    3. Millsap (30)
    4. Horford (31) – traded for Anthony Davis/IT2
    5. Holiday (50)
    6. MCW (51)
    7. Gortat (70)
    8. Calderon (71)
    9. Butler (90)
    10. Antetokounmpo (91)
    11. Draymond Green (110)
    12. John Henson (111)
    13. Gorqui Dieng (130)

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Andrew: It’s real strong on blocks and probably lacking a few assists if MCW isn’t ready to go game one. I would pick one of your last 4 picks, good luck picking which, if you forced me to choose I would say drop Dieng, for some assists. Jameer Nelson available maybe? Maybe Henson is the drop. I don’t know… but definitely one of them, it’s a little overkill now with the Brow on board.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Andrew: They all have a ton of trade value though. You could target Reggie Jackson maybe. It’s a good team though. I’m definitely being nit-picky.

    • Andrew says:
      (link)

      @Andrew: This format might be easier to read.

      9-cat H2H: (10 Team)
      PG: Jrue Holiday, Michael Carter-Williams, Jose Calderon
      SG: Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Thomas
      SF: Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Draymond Green
      PF: Anthony Davis, Paul Millsap, John Henson
      C: Marcin Gortat, Gorgui Dieng

      • Andrew says:
        (link)

        @Andrew: Sorry for posting again. I didn’t see your replies.

        As of right now, I am trying to trade Gortat + Draymond Green for Favors [not sure if this is a fair trade] to free up a slot to pick up a PG from waivers. Maybe Marshall? However, with Durant being out, do you think I should still try to make aggressive moves to try to have a chance at winning a game or two for the first 4-6 weeks? After KD comes back, would my players be good enough for assists or should I still try to pursue a PG or SG that has high assists? Thank you for the advice.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @Andrew: When Durant comes back the assists should be fine. I would try to win as much as I could while Durant is out. We don’t know how long it’ll be and you wouldn’t want to bury yourself in a hole you can’t get out of.

  25. The big dawg says:
    (link)

    Just been offered rubio and nerlens noel for Derrick favours in a 8cat roto league, what are your thoughts? cheers

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @The big dawg: That’s a big haul. I get why he’s dumping them, they both have some issues in roto. But it’s 2 players that are at least equal to Favors so assuming you can handle the hit to points I would go for it.

      • The big dawg says:
        (link)

        @Slim: the rest of my team reads as follows : Steph Curry, James Harden, Rudy Gay, Joakim noah, bledsoe, Tim Duncan, Drummond, Wes matthews and brandon Jennings. considering this, would you still advise it?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @The big dawg: Yeah I’m good with it. Moves Jennings to the bench which is where for the most part he belongs. I really like the boost in steals from Rubio and Favors vs Noel really isn’t that far off. To top it off you have plenty of points to handle the hit there. I say YES!

          • The big dawg says:
            (link)

            @Slim: Thanks! ill get the deal done

  26. DK says:
    (link)

    Finally finished my draft!!! This is my core league (14 teams H2H) that I have been losing badly for the past 3 years. This year I did my homework and I had Razzball!!! I got Draymond too!

    JB and Slim, what do you think of my team?

    1. (4) Stephen Curry (GS – PG,SG)
    2. (25) Paul Millsap (Atl – PF,C)
    3. (32) Ty Lawson (Den – PG)
    4. (53) Marcin Gortat (Was – C)
    5. (60) Michael Carter-Williams (Phi – PG)
    6. (81) Terrence Jones (Hou – SF,PF)
    7. (88) Greg Monroe (Det – PF,C)
    8. (109) Draymond Green (GS – SF)
    9. (116) Jameer Nelson (Dal – PG)
    10. (137) John Henson (Mil – PF,C)
    11. (144) Mirza Teletovic (Bkn – SF,PF)
    12. (165) C.J. Miles (Ind – SG,SF)
    13. (172) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Det – SG)

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @DK: It’s a real solid team. The only knock I have is that I’m not so sure you need all those empty 3s from Mirza and Miles. If one of them turned into a few more boards I would feel a little better about it.

  27. orloeno says:
    (link)

    So who are your consensus top 5 draft picks then? Or even #1? If Bron is hurt this badly from the playoff schedule, and Durant is injured, who’s the top draft?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @orloeno: I’m going with Brow, Curry, Harden, Durant, LeBron. LeBron’s trade value is worth more than Chris Paul so I wouldn’t have a problem drafting LeBron at 5 and looking for a big haul in a trade.

  28. e says:
    (link)

    what do you think? We start PG, SG, SF, PF, C, 3 UTIL

    1. Durant
    2. Millsap
    3. Lawson
    4. Jrue Holiday
    5. Victor Oladipo
    6. Robin Lopez
    7. Larry Sanders
    8. Darren Collison
    9. Spencer Hawes
    10. Brandon Knight
    11. John Henson
    12. PJ Tucker
    13. Andrea Bargnani

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @e: Its real strong. PG depth is great and you should be just fine until Durant returns. Boards might come up a little short but your last 2 picks should help, so yeah looks good. Once Durant returns your league mates are in trouble.

  29. Larry says:
    (link)

    Hi guys, finished my draft, but had a few setbacks because I lost my internet connection for a few rounds: 9-cat 12 team H2H, PG SG G SF PF F C Util 2 bench

    1. KD (5)
    2. Millsap (20)
    3. Dragic (29)
    4. Favors (44)
    5. Rondo (53) – wasn’t supposed to draft him, but this is where I lost my connection
    6. Ariza (68) – also auto-picked for me, but not really complaining
    7. Gortat (77)
    8. RoLo (92)
    9. Knight (101)
    10. Danny G. (116)

    Basically my problem here is assists and FT. Can KD carry all the bad Ft shooters once he’s healthy? I would’ve gotten some other PG than Rondo and maybe another PG instead of Ariza if I could’ve. I like my 1st 8 picks except for Rondo and maybe for a lack of a PG. Thoughts?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Larry: Assists are a problem and with Durant out and only 2 bench spots holding Rondo is tough to recommend. Bigs are solid but 3s are a little short although the last 2 picks should be helpful. Surviving till Durant returns is going to be tough but once he and Rondo returns you should make a huge late season run.

      • Larry says:
        (link)

        @Slim: Should I switch Danny Green for Elfrid Payton or J. Nelson?

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @Larry: Yeah I would go with Jameer Nelson. Normally I would say Elfrid but Jameer adds some 3s with his assists and I think that will be more helpful for your team.

  30. MAC says:
    (link)

    just had my draft, got pick 11. its a standard 12 team 13 man roster.

    1. 11 griffin
    2. 14 drummond
    3. 35 conley
    4. 38 ellis
    5. 59 holiday
    6. 62 ariza
    7. 83 jones terrence
    8. 86 jackson reggie
    9. 107 green draymond
    10. 110 mozgov
    11. 131 miles cj
    12. 134 adams steven
    13. 155 morrow

    picks i dont like: ariza, wanted to get a shot blkng big. lopez robin was there, but just dont like him and felt i can get type of player like him later. so i went wing with ariza being best avail left.
    morrow: my last pick was kj mcdaniels but got pick ahead 3-4 spots. my second choice was kcp, but got picked 2 spots b4 me. hehe

    mozgov and tjones picks were just ok. i was looking for sanders with my tjones pick for huge upside blks but again got picked b4 me. hehe. with mozgov, looking for jordan hill. picked again b4 me.

    what do you think guys?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @MAC: Your 1st 2 picks are massive rebounders so I dont mind passing on RoLo where you did. Punting FT% drops him down a ton too. I agree shotblocking is a little short, but since you are punting FT% it shouldnt be difficult to find on the wire. Assists are coming up a little shy too. I dont know if Miles and Morrow are necessary since they are both empty 3s. If one of those turned into a few more assists or blocks I would like it a little more.

      • MAC says:
        (link)

        @Slim:
        tnx! yup, i agree a bit short on dimes and blks. as expected blks with blake as i didnt get to sanders in the middle rounds. though im hoping all of my other bigs improve on their blks this season, especially with my mozgov and adams pick with massive upside. yup, thats always the plan, tharagnofs in the end for me, especially my morrow pick. as that spot should always be open for an add for a breakout player.

  31. Dom B says:
    (link)

    Which team is better 1 or 2
    Team 1

    3 Stephen Curry, GS PG
    7 Carmelo Anthony, NY SF
    11 Blake Griffin, LAC PF
    15 Al Jefferson, Cha C
    19 Michael Carter-Williams*, Phi PG
    23 Kyle Lowry, Tor PG
    27 DeMar DeRozan, Tor SG
    31 Paul Millsap, Atl PF
    34 Ty Lawson, Den PG
    39 Kenneth Faried
    42 Thaddeus Young, Min SF
    47 Gordon Hayward, Uta SG
    50 Rudy Gay, Sac SF

    Team 2

    4 James Harden, Hou SG
    8 DeMarcus Cousins, Sac C
    12 John Wall, Wsh PG
    16 Kevin Durant*, OKC SF
    20 Serge Ibaka, OKC PF
    24 Jabari Parker, Mil SF
    28 Dwight Howard, Hou C
    32 Kevin Love, Chi PG
    33 Goran Dragic, Pho PG
    40 Victor Olidiopo, Min SG
    41 Nicolas Batum, Por SF
    48 Lance Stephenson, Cha SG
    49 Derrick Favors, Uta PF

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Dom B: This might be the shallowest league I have ever seen. I like team Harden but with so many good players on both sides it could easily go either way.

  32. hamtime says:
    (link)

    in need of a center and saw hickson is back. would you drop cj miles, w. chandler, or k. marshall for him?

    • Hamtime says:
      (link)

      @hamtime: or is nurkic or mcgee a better option? Read nurkic might be the backup? Mcgee is just making the whole rotation messy…

      • CTMN says:
        (link)

        @Hamtime: I wouldn’t want either but if I had to choose I’d probably go Nurkic at this point with McGee out for so long…

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @hamtime: Nah I dont think Hickson has a starting gig. Nurkic in a redraft isnt worth messing with. Anyone else available? The drop for me would be Marshall unless I was really desperate for assists.

  33. Peter Nincompoop says:
    (link)

    Awesome stuff per usual Slim & JB. Thanks again for putting in all of the work.

    Talked with you both back in August about my 12-team keeper league squad. Not much has changed, but just wanted to double-check with both of you before submitting my 10 keepers. Going with…

    Kemba Walker G
    Victor Oladipo G
    Reggie Jackson G
    Nicolas Batum G/F
    Demar DeRozan G/F
    Kawhi Leonard G/F
    Andre Drummond F/C
    DeAndre Jordan F/C
    Jared Sullinger F/C
    Larry Sanders F/C

    I do have Patrick Beverley which I initially was considering keeping over Reggie Jackson, but with Durant going down, it’s a no-brainer at this point. Entertained the thought of keeping an extra guard (due to the positions scarcity) over the likes of Larry Sanders and then picking up a big guy in the draft (e.g., resecting him, or, going with a guy like Gobert, Dieng, Sims, Chandler, etc.) What do you think of that idea?

    Also, I have the 4th pick in this year’s draft. Remembering it’s a keeper league and assuming Parker and Wiggins are going somewhere in the top-3, is drafting Embiid at #4 and waiting on him for a year a crazy idea if he’s there. Also, I need to get Draymond Green onto my roster. I can’t take him at #4 overall (can I?), but am worried he won’t be there at #16 or #18 (i.e., my next two picks). I know you both don’t know the free-agent pool that will be out there following keepers, just wanted your two cents.

    Go Hawks!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Peter Nincompoop:1st off the PG depth does need a little help but I would hold still onto Sanders over Beverley. The blocks upside is too big to pass on. I like Embiid at #4 more than Draymond especially with so many keepers year to year and Draymond isnt really a need per s but if he makes it to 16 or 18 I would defintely draft him. If Embiid gets drafted then I would recommend Smart. Should help some this year but has as much upside as any of your PGs.

  34. SamYo says:
    (link)

    First ever fantasy basketball draft, totally admitting I was somewhat lost but this is what I ended up with. It’s a regular 12 team H2H, 9 cat league

    PG – Dragic
    SG – Ellis
    G – Collison
    SF – Giannis
    PF – Horford
    F- Anthony Davis
    C – Favors
    C – Henson
    Util – Draymond Green
    Util – Brewer
    Bench – A Burks
    Bench – Stuckey
    Bench – CoJo

    What cats do I need help in? Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @SamYo: Blocks and boards are through roof. Maybe assists come a little short but Burks and Stuckey might make up the difference. Definitely short on 3s but thats easy enough to find. You had a real good draft, definitely off to a very good start.

  35. mamba says:
    (link)

    Been out of fantasy basketball for a while but getting back into it this year with some friends. It’s a 10 team h-2-h points based league with this following scoring system:

    Points (PTS) 1 Blocks (BLK) 1.5
    Steals (STL) 1.5 Assists (AST) 1
    Offensive Rebounds (OREB) 0.5 Rebounds (REB) 1
    Turnovers (TO) -1 Free Throws Made (FTM) 0.5
    Three Pointers Made (3PM) 0.5

    Extra bonus: Double-doubles will be worth 10 and triple-doubles worth 25. Should I specifically be targeting big men early like Anthony Davis , Ibaka and Blake to ensure that I’ll get double doubles. And also free throws missed doesnt get you negative points so guys like DeAndre Jordan have increased value. how would you guys setup a draft strategy in this type of league. would you only target big men on the first couple of picks? thanks for any tips

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @mamba: Yeah, definitely favors bigs. Especially the double-double threats. Early I would absolutely focus on that. Griffin/Drummond will be beasts. 1st rounders for sure. Chris Paul gets a boost over Harden since hes a DD guy. The Brow is #1. Rubio gets a nice boost. But yeah the focus is definitely on the bigs.

  36. Humps says:
    (link)

    May have started out a RCL draft with LBJ, Bosh, Kyrie, Dipo and Parsons prior to reading this article… This is fantastic info though. Have a big money H2H draft on Tuesday and this will really help to solidify my choices (since I feel I have a good gauge on relative value and who I like overall). Thanks for all the work and hopefully I’m still able to put up a respectable showing in the RCL 🙂

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Humps: You are very welcome. Yeah those are some scary playoff schedules. 2 Cavs and a Magic is too much. They all have a ton of trade value though so if you wanted to move them I don’t think you would have any problem.

      • Humps says:
        (link)

        @Slim: I would be lying if I told you I was not a huge Cavs fan and I wanted to own some of the Big 3 somewhere. I loved that start until I saw your article but I’m glad I did. Good luck this year!

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @Humps: That’s as good a reason as any to own them. As a Heat fan I actually tried to avoid Heat players the past couple of years. I was worried I would overvalue them so I just avoided them all together. Plus I don’t like watching my team and rooting for one player to do good over another just to help my fantasy team, especially if it resulted in a Heat loss.

  37. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Hey great article you guys rock and I love all the info you guys provide. Just wondering what the downfall is from guys playing on heavy schedule days? Does that actually have a negative effect in some way? Thanks for all the work you guys do.

    • CTMN says:
      (link)

      @Ryan: Heavy schedule days are days with a lot of games. In daily leagues, if a player doesn’t play on a day with lots of games it helps you because you might have to keep an active player on your bench anyway if you have too many active on a heavy schedule day.

      • Ryan says:
        (link)

        @CTMN: Okay that makes sense. I play in a weekly lock so that’s why I didn’t understand. Thanks for the clarification.

        • CTMN says:
          (link)

          @Ryan: Yeah weekly it doesn’t really matter but the actual number of games for playoff schedules is huge, obviously it kills if you have someone like Love for 2 games and have to bench him for someone like Zach Randolph with 4 games in fantasy playoffs.

          • Slim

            Slim says:
            (link)

            @CTMN: Couldn’t have explained it better.

  38. sioxoman says:
    (link)

    How about my team. Thinking of dropping kcp for wesley johnson. Just traded mason plumlee for frye.
    Got the 5th pick h2h 14 teams.
    1. Harden
    2. Lowry
    3. Deron will
    4. Hayward
    5. Gortat
    6. Sanders
    7. Jjohnson
    8. Tyreke
    9. Bogut
    10. Nelson
    11. Plumlee now frye
    12. Drey green
    13. Kcp

    your thoughts pls

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @sioxoman: i’d hold onto KCP. Boards look a little short. Thats where I would look to improve 1st.

      • sioxoman says:
        (link)

        Traded plumlee to frye. Do u think its ok? His ft togther with sanders and bogut might be too much for harden and hayward.

        who would u suggest i drop?

        thinking wesley will cntrbute in my stsls and blks.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
          (link)

          @sioxoman: I think your FT% is fine. Those guys take so few attempts where as Harden and Hayward have a goodly amount of FT volume, Lowry too.

          I think shot blocking and boards could use a little help. I think you have a surplus of assists and could afford to lose either DWill, Joe Johnson, or Tyreke for another big. Deron Williams scares me the most and he probably has the most value so I’d start there.

  39. Smush9 says:
    (link)

    Thanks for this Slim! I’ve been playing NBA roto for years now, but I’ll be joining my first H2H this year. We’re drafting end of this week. Wish I had played H2H before so I’d have experience. But you posting this gives me hope that I have a fighting chance. Lol. Tried to suggest moving the Finals a week earlier as you suggested, the commish didn’t budge. Even worse for Cavs and Magic players then. Haha. Anyway, just wanted to drop by and say thank you. Tho, you think you could drop me some quick tips on how to go about my draft? Thanks!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Smush9: I dont have anything I live by for drafting. My biggest thing is probably that I avoid guys over 30 years old. They hardly ever play up to their draft ranking.

      Yeah I enjoy the everyday ups and downs of H2H and how the season eventually comes down to a couple of important games. Just like it does in real life. Winning your fantasy league in december just doesnt feel right.

  40. RicoSuave says:
    (link)

    Hey Slim, thanks for such a great article… Unlike fantasy baseball, you have to think way ahead and look at playoff schedule. Very Interesting…
    this will be my first year of Fantasy Basketball and I was hoping you can give a little advice for my draft day next week. Strategy maybe?
    I’m in a H2H weekly points league, I need to draft 1 PG, 1 SG, 1SF, 1PF, 2C, 1G, 1F, 2 Utility, 3 Bench and 1 slot for IR.
    The stats/categories for points are as follows
    Points (1pt.)
    Steals (3pts.)
    Rebounds (1pt.)
    3-point-made (0.5pt)
    free-throw-missed (-0.5pt)
    Blocks (3pts.)
    Assist (1.5pts.)
    Turnovers (-0.5pt.)
    Field goal missed (-0.25pt)

    I think this is a kind of weird setup but it’s what I got to work with…
    Appreciate your help
    Cheers

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @RicoSuave: The settings dont look too out of wack. I’m not sure I see any obvious advantages for certain types of players or positions. Good value for steals and blocks, negatives for misses, it looks well rounded. I wouldn’t change any rankings. The negatives arent that bad though. Drummond could go 0-6 FTs but 1 block or steal makes up for it. So yeah i would move those kind of guys up some.

      • RicoSuave says:
        (link)

        @Slim: @Slim: Thanks man! I thought the settings were a bit off, maybe because I’m used to baseball stuff…
        thanks again, and I’m looking forward to follow your posts during the season.
        cheers

  41. Silis says:
    (link)

    slim who would you take with the #1 pick and who would you aim for on the snake back in a 10 team H2H 9cat?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Silis: I would go with The Brow 1st. I would want a PG with one of those 20/21 picks. Lillard would be a favorite of mine if he falls that far. With the other pick… can really go anywhere. Millsap is great for multicat, l think Kawhi Leonard would do well really well with those 1st 2. At 40,41… i would definitely go with another PG here. Should be plenty of options. Also while Davis’ blocks are nice I still want another solid shotblocking big to end the category.

  42. Sam says:
    (link)

    So glad I came across your site before my draft coming up. Wondering if you can help me here please. Got the #2 pick in a Yahoo 12 team 9 Cat H2H-1Win league. Positions – 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 C, 3 Util, 5 Bench.

    I’ve never played H2H or H2H-1 Win before but I understand I effectively have to lock down 5 Cats to win every week. LeBron will be going #1. I know that. Really trying to decide hard between Curry and Davis. Curry’s playoff schedule really is making it hard to pick between the 2. Or I should forget about both of them and go Durant and stash him since I have 4 bench.

    Really could use your input. Thanks

  43. Yokev_o says:
    (link)

    12 team 9 cat league can you rate my team Slim?
    Dragic, batum, holiday, melo, ibaka, favors, bogut, mason plumlee, ariza, wiggins, trey Burke, kanter, Henry sims, and wroten.
    Frye is on the waivers and im debating on taking him.
    Your thoughts? It’s a big money league.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Yokev_o: It’s a good looking team, there’s no need to add Frye. 3s seem solid and that’s about all he does anymore… when healthy. I’d be nervous about starting Wroten early in the week, last year as a starter he shot .551 FT% on nearly 5 attempts per game. He could single-handily cost you FT%. Assists are just middle of the road though so I do agree what he gives is a bit of a need. He’s just so tough to start, oh and he averaged over 3 TOs per game as a starter too. Just a ton of risk, later in the week it should be much easier to decide if you should play him.

      In Daily Fantasy Sports where FT% and TOs don’t play into it I imagine I’m going to roll out Wroten, with MCW down, and feel great about it.

  44. Blint says:
    (link)

    Hey Slim when do we see the new Avatar?

    Overslept and could not wake up for the draft. Before you judge I am in India so it was a 4 am draft time for me 🙁

    9 cat 10 team redraft league this is what my roster looks like

    PG- Lowry , Reggie Jackson, Jameer Nelson

    SG/SF – Carmelo , Oladipo , Jimmy Butler, Jeff Green , , Illyasova, Manu Ginboli

    PF/C- Al Jefferson, Nikola Vucevic, Brook Lopez , Jordan Hill , Keneth Faried, Channing Frye

    Don’t like this team at all because I usually want PG depth. Who all should I drop ??
    PG available are -Stuckey , Exum , Kendall Marshall , N Cole , J Jack , Augustin , Sessions, R Price

    C available – Steven Adams , Gobert , Diaw , Dalembert , Scola , McGee, Bargnani ,

    SF – Porter , KCP , CJ Miles, Teletovic, Lamb , MKD, Mc Daniels , Fournier, Waiters

    Also any trades you recommend? Thanks sooooo much!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Blint: Today I hope. It was a busy weekend I didn’t get any time to write.

      I’m not too surprised you ended up with so many injured players, Oladipo, Lopez, Frye given the autodraft part. Ilyasova and Manu are the last 2 and there is a couple solid replacements I would definitely go with. KCP and McDaniels would be my adds for those 2. That should lock up steals and blocks, or at least be very competitive until Oladipo returns. Now that just leaves Frye. Augustin fits your needs but I’m not sure what kind of minutes he’s going to get, probably not 10er worthy. If you could stream Frye’s spot until Oladipo/BroPez comes back I think that would be ideal.

      As for trades… I would definitely look for another PG. If you can get any PG around where Lopez was drafted I would take it. I like Jeff, Vuc, Hill, Faried. With McDaniels throwing in some blocks that’s a pretty solid set of bigs.

  45. Blint says:
    (link)

    thanks for the detailed reply! Just realized that every non drafted player is on Waivers , have put in a bid for both KCP and MCD . I was surprised you did not recommend either Sessions or Stuckey. Not sure which podcast it was but I remember one of you guys was pretty high on Sessions!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Blint: I imagine that was JB. I don’t think Sessions is going to do enough to be ownable in a 10-teamer. But I could see streaming him, and Stuckey, to try to add a few more assists and FT%. Neither is good for steals or 3s so they are both pretty limited fantasy contributors.

      The next two I was thinking about are Augustin for assists with some 3s or Fournier for some across the board upside while Oladipo is down. I’m just not sure either is going to see 30 minutes opening night so they are probably just watch list guys for you for now.

  46. Blint says:
    (link)

    How many streamers do you pick up a week,last 2 bench players are replaceable every week with players who play the most games that week?

    I am asking because Wesley Johnson is available as well so should I pick him up first week because he plays 4 games and others don’t ?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
      (link)

      @Blint: Is it a weekly league or daily? As in can you switch guys out everyday or is your lineup set for the week on Monday? Just to make sure this is H2H right?

      If Daily I would add a guy for Tuesday since you probably have open active roster spots that day. You probably have a full lineup on Wednesday, since nearly every team is playing. But you probably have an open roster spot on Thursday. So I would drop whoever was added for Tuesday (either Wesley Johnson or Fournier makes for a good add) for an extra game on Thrusday.

      If Weekly then yes the Lakers are the only team playing 4 games and Wesley would make for a nice play, especially if you have someone who is only playing 2 games week 1, which is about 1/3 of the league.

      In the RCL I get 4 moves per week and it’s daily changes. I use all 4 moves and who I stream is mostly effected by schedules. Like if the last guy on my roster only plays Sat or Sun I would look for a team that plays both Sat and Sun and a player off that team/teams who gives me whatever categories I need.

      • Blint says:
        (link)

        @Slim:

        Exactly like yours it is a daily league but I can only make 4 moves a week in one and 3 moves a week in my other league!
        Seeing how you manager your roster I am guessing fantasy basketball is the sport where schedule is most important! Is is a given that teams that play on a Thursday almost always play the most number of games that week?

Comments are closed.