Slim and I dressed up in suits and bow ties, Slim gelled his beard, I flossed for the first time since 2011, and we went in and crashed the Yahoo Friends & Family League! What fantasy basketball draft isn’t improved with an early Latrell Spreewell joke in the draft chat?
So with the updated Yahoo player ranks eerily mimicking a lot of our sleeper calls, Slim and I had to really pull A Beautiful Mind to get our draft strategy in order. On top of drafting with some experts, league settings were a major factor in our strategy. The league is a 12 team H2H, but instead of RCL/default week 21-23 playoff schedule, the Y! F&F is weeks 22-24. Right away, all Cavaliers were absolutely off-limits. Looking at Slim’s ridiculously awesome breakdown of playoff schedules, the Cavs have 3 games week 22, 2 in week 23, then week 24 is the final 10 days of the season. I’m not even going to look at their schedule, since there’s a good chance the Cavs rest their starters for several games in that final 10 days. The experts knew this too, as Kevin Love fell to 15th overall, with us passing on him with pick 14.
The other main settings differences were roster composition and the league is weekly with only 2 moves allowed a week. The roster breakdown is PG, SG, SF, PF, C, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, BN, BN, BN. Slim and I unanimously agreed to go PG and C heavy, filling out SG/SF with ThrAGNOFs. Limited moves also made us want to hoard PG since fewer will break out off the wire. Here’s how team Razzball (will be co-managed by both of us) panned out:
Round 1, Pick 11 – Serge Ibaka – PF, C – This was an easy one! I’ve been one of the industry leaders on Ibaka since the offseason last year, and it was a near certainty that he was going to be our first pick with a late draft spot. If John Wall had fallen we might’ve taken him first and hoped Ibaka would fall to 14, and we would have absolutely taken Kevin Durant (went 8th). Another factor for taking Durant is the weekly league aspect. You more or less have 3 IR spots that do nothing for you.
Round 2, Pick 14 – Paul Millsap – PF, C – Got a little tougher here, even though I’m so huge on Millsap. Slim is too, but we had Kevin Love on the board. In my ranks I still have Love higher, but in a league with the playoff schedule EVEN WORSE for the Cavs, we just couldn’t do it. And it’s rougher on the Cavs with it being a weekly league. Can you really play Love in the semis with only 2 games?! I don’t think so… Awesome start, giving us great FG% with 2 steals and 4 blocks a game locked up.
Round 3, Pick 35 – Derrick Favors – PF, C – Soooo, three straight bigs huh?! We were hoping Goran Dragic would fall (or Ty Lawson), but they went 30 then 31 respectively. Our strategy of heavy bigs and PG is still going fine, and with us both big Favors fans, we were happy with this pick. We won’t be able to stream any counting stats late in the week, so we’re up to 3 steals and 6 blocks a game from our bigs. That’s going to be tough to beat against us, since we don’t even have guards factoring into our steals yet.
Round 4, Pick 38 – Ricky Rubio – PG – Lock up those counting stats! With our solid bigs, Rubio’s FG% can be easily handled, and we’re feeling really solid in steals and blocks while starting our PG run for assists. Really feeling good about all categories now, except points/treys.
Round 5, Pick 59 – Jeff Teague – PG – A perfect, perfect fit, although if Jrue Holiday fell here which he almost did, we would’ve had to take him first. We need a PG with assists… and need points/treys. “You have MCW so much higher JB, what’s the deal, you get rattled in the draft?!” Pa-hah! Clever Kathy. Slim and I were sure to be draft ninjas, and Basketball Monster Phan was our only opposing drafter between picks. I had his ranks up compared to our on FantasyPros, and he’s got MCW 75 and Teague 59. We knew MCW would get around to us so locked up Teague.
Round 6, Pick 62 – Michael Carter-Williams – PG – More PG! And some treys! We all know my love for MCW, and even if we bench him the first week or two, it doesn’t hurt our team in the least.
Round 7, Pick 83 – Isaiah Thomas – PG – Threes! Points! Point guard! Really for some unfathomable reason, teams were avoiding PG depth like the plague. We mentioned IT2 as a main target right after MCW and it made this an easy one.
Round 8, Pick 86 – Larry Sanders – PF, C – Last year was obviously an unmitigated disaster. But at this value, an extra high-upside, counting stats big man was an incredible find. Brook Lopez was a big everyone was passing on, as yet another foot injury has cropped up and he’s going to move way down our ranks. If this isn’t sticking to our PG/C strategy, I don’t know what is!
Round 9, Pick 107 – Brandon Knight – PG, SG – Finally a SG/SF eligible player! And sticking to our team philosophy adding some additional assists, while at the same time addressing our main needs of points, treys and a SG eligible guy. I have Knight ranked 67. Yeah, I love how this draft turned out.
Round 10, Pick 110 – Kevin Martin – SG, SF – I think it’s weird given how confident we were with how everything unfolded, but this my favorite pick of the draft. Somehow a guy Yahoo had ranked in the 70s fell this late (I have him 80) and he fills out our starting roster. And what do we need? Points and treys! Plus our FT% isn’t that great and K-Mart helps there.
Round 11, Pick 131 – Jameer Nelson – PG – We almost had a Sophie’s Choice of Collison or Nelson. Nelson helps more with the threes making them close even though I have Collison ranked much higher, but Colly was picked 128. 128?! Slim and I were even further confused by the lack of aggression on PG. Very happy landing Nelson adding more threes.
Round 12, Pick 134 – Timofey Mozgov – C – J.J. Hickson is reportedly close to returning from his ACL injury, but he’s still out for now and so is JaVale McGee. We’re not playing him week one since the Nugs only have two games, so we’re going with a wait and see approach past that.
Round 13, Pick 155 –
Otto Porter – SF – Spencer Hawes – C – We drafted Porter for an extra SF, and while he’s got some great buzz looking at a starting role, Spencer Hawes went undrafted and we’re going to go after 3s in week one. Along with some big man stats since we’re sitting Mozgov. Plus the 2 moves allowed per week hasn’t kicked in for week one, so we might as well make an early move.
What’d you think of our draft? We’ll be sure to mention this league occasionally on the Pod (only if we’re doing well!) and in articles to keep you updated, so be sure to cheer us on for a debut title in the F&F!