Fantasy Basketball 2014-15: H2H Industry Mock Draft Recap
The Fix recently hosted a fantasy hoops industry mock draft, and it was loaded with talented analysts/writers. We drafted under the settings of an 8-category (Points – Rebounds – Assists – Steals – Blocks – 3PtM – FG% – FT%) H2H league and went 15-rounds on Yahoo. Beneath every round of picks I will do a brief commentary on the notable selections of the round and also discuss my own picks.
This is a great opportunity for you to see where some of the best fantasy analysts are taking players. You know every member of this group puts in a ton of time researching the NBA, and if they’re reaching for a player, there’s a good reason for it. Get out your notepad and take notes kids, class is about to begin.
Without further delay, here is the mock draft crew, followed by the draft recap:
1) Kevin Durant – Mark Kaplan
2) LeBron James – Ryan Knaus
3) Stephen Curry – Zack Rewis
4) Anthony Davis – Joe Polito
5) Chris Paul – Nick Raducanu
6) James Harden – Michael Gallagher
7) Russell Westbrook – Seth Klein
8) DeMarcus Cousins – J.J. Calle
9) Kevin Love – Mark Morales-Smith
10) John Wall – Ricky Sanders
11) Serge Ibaka – Scott Malewig
12) Carmelo Anthony – Bryan Mears
No surprises in round one. There were a few that may have went a spot earlier or later than the norm but nothing crazy. This will be the top 12 selections in most drafts this season with the order just slightly shifted around.
I have Steph Curry as my number three player, and I always go best player available in the first round. You could easily make a case for Anthony Davis there, but I just feel slightly safer with Curry and his elite assists and treys over AntD’s elite blocks and boards. But both are super studs.
13) Kawhi Leonard – Bryan Mears
14) Al Jefferson – Scott Malewig
15) Dwight Howard – Ricky Sanders
16) Blake Griffin – Mark Morales-Smith
17) Damian Lillard – J.J. Calle
18) LaMarcus Aldridge – Seth Klein
19) Chris Bosh – Michael Gallagher
20) Kyrie Irving – Nick Raducanu
21) Kyle Lowry – Joe Polito
22) Dirk Nowitzki – Zack Rewis
23) Andre Drummond – Ryan Knaus
24) Goran Dragic – Mark Kaplan
BOOM! It’s always a mystery where Kawhi will end up, and here he goes top pick of round two. I’ve seen him go anywhere in drafts from 10 to 46, usually highest in roto leagues. Kawhi will need to gain more minutes and boost his PTS, 3s and FTA to be worth that 13th pick for my money. It’s definitely possible, but I can’t do it that early. Dwight Howard goes much earlier in H2H leagues as punting a category is not as big of a deal. Still, 15th is high for him, but Ricky is obviously on board for a huge season from D12. Kyrie Irving went a little earlier than I’d expect, but if he can stay healthy, he has top-20 upside.
I was hoping to land Kyle Lowry who I often call “Curry-lite” but was good with adding Dirk to go along with Steph on my squad, they complement each other well. I wrote about Dirk and just how ridiculously good his game still is. Very happy with this 1-2 punch to start my draft.
25) Kobe Bryant – Mark Kaplan
26) DeAndre Jordan – Ryan Knaus
27) Al Horford – Zack Rewis
28) Nicolas Batum – Joe Polito
29) Joakim Noah – Nick Raducanu
30) Paul Millsap – Michael Gallagher
31) Ty Lawson – Seth Klein
32) Marc Gasol – J.J. Calle
33) DeMar DeRozan – Mark Morales-Smith
34) Mike Conley – Ricky Sanders
35) Rudy Gay – Scott Malewig
36) Brook Lopez – Bryan Mears
The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, goes at the top of round three. He’s looking great thus far in the preseason, and his ADP is on a steady incline as it should be. Have to point out that Ryan Knaus is going with a very interesting strategy of taking LeBron then punting FT%, pairing him with elite rebound, block and FG% guys, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan. Love it.
I was happy to land my 20th ranked player, Al Horford, at pick 27 to go with my Curry/Dirk duo. I explained why I am so high on Horford this season over the summer.
37) Eric Bledsoe – Bryan Mears
38) Derrick Rose – Scott Malewig
39) Derrick Favors – Ricky Sanders
40) Monta Ellis – Mark Morales-Smith
41) Victor Oladipo – J.J. Calle
42) Nikola Vucevic – Seth Klein
43) Deron Williams – Michael Gallagher
44) Nerlens Noel – Nick Raducanu
45) Klay Thompson – Joe Polito
46) Kemba Walker – Zack Rewis
47) Thaddeus Young – Ryan Knaus
48) Tony Parker – Mark Kaplan
Derrick Rose is another name I’m always curious to see where he is swooped up. Here Scott takes the gamble at pick 38, which is earlier than I would take him. But who is to say the gambles I take are right and this one is wrong? With Ibaka/AlJeff/Rudy/Rose, Scott has a nice solid core.
Favors goes 39th. I love him to have a true breakout season and Vucevic (42nd) also if he stays healthy. This is the earliest I’ve seen Deron Williams go but Gallagher mentioned DWill’s splits when Pierce was out being impressive, maybe a bounce back is coming. Only other notable here is rookie Nerlens Noel going 44th where Mr. ProjectRoto will expect great boards, blocks and FG%.
I took Kemba Walker here in round four. Despite the poor FG%, I am really high on Kemba this season as I have him 33rd in my rankings. I’m optimistic that he’ll put up similar stats as last season with an increase in his FG% and points plus slight bump ups in steals and treys.
49) Tim Duncan – Mark Kaplan
50) Michael Carter-Williams – Ryan Knaus
51) Chandler Parsons – Zack Rewis
52) Rajon Rondo – Joe Polito
53) Bradley Beal – Nick Raducanu
54) Gordon Hayward – Michael Gallagher
55) Ryan Anderson – Seth Klein
56) Ricky Rubio – J.J. Calle
57) Zach Randolph – Mark Morales-Smith
58) Jeff Teague – Ricky Sanders
59) Jrue Holiday – Scott Malewig
60) Jabari Parker – Bryan Mears
The 5th round had five point guards go, leaving very few dependable starting PGs on the board. Note that if you plan to not go PG early, around the 5th is when the position dries up pretty quick. Knaus took on the woeful field goal shooting of MCW here, knowing he stacked up elite FG% guys earlier, and will gladly absorb that for MCW’s counting stats that he should repeat on an even worse 76ers roster.
The first 2014 drafted rookie goes off the board at the end of round five, and I believe Bryan got great value with Jabari at 60th overall. Joe Polito continued to stock pile assists and steals, adding yet another triple-double threat to his arsenal with Rajon Rondo. 57th is a little early for ZBo in my book, but he’s a sure thing to rack up points and boards if that’s what you need.
I was ecstatic to land Parsons (34th on my ranks) here at 51, whose all-around game I just love. I don’t expect much if any of a point dip for Parsons and believe he’ll continue to deliver a very fantasy friendly game not harming you anywhere.
61) David West – Bryan Mears
62) Kenneth Faried – Scott Malewig
63) Josh Smith – Ricky Sanders
64) Marcin Gortat – Mark Morales-Smith
65) Wesley Matthews – J.J. Calle
66) David Lee – Seth Klein
67) Markieff Morris – Michael Gallagher
68) Andrew Wiggins – Nick Raducanu
69) Dwyane Wade – Joe Polito
70) Lance Stephenson – Zack Rewis
71) Terrence Jones – Ryan Knaus
72) Roy Hibbert – Mark Kaplan
Ricky Sanders continued to disregard FT% as was his strategy, and Smoove is about as perfect a target as you can find when going that route. I’m sure Ricky is hoping Stan Van Gundy can return Smoove to a respectable FG% (was over 45% six straight seasons until 2014 when it was a career low 42%) but either way will be really pleased with the counting stats he’ll get. Markieff Morris and Terrence Jones were sleepers early in the offseason, but the secret is out and I doubt you see either get past pick 75 anymore. Second 2014 drafted rookie, Wiggins, goes here to Raducanu. I think around here is where you have to snag him if you want him, but I’m fading him personally. JoePo gets forgotten all-star Dwyane Wade who is rarely mentioned as a beneficiary from Bron leaving town as Chris Bosh often is. If he plays 75 games, this is a major steal. Big if.
At pick 70, I selected my 61st ranked player, Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson, who much like Parsons helps you in numerous categories. I love wings who chip in nicely in rebounds and assists. I like Lance joining the hive in Charlotte, and I see a slight uptick in his points, treys and steals this coming season.
73) Brandon Jennings – Mark Kaplan
74) Kyle Korver – Ryan Knaus
75) Pau Gasol – Zack Rewis
76) Robin Lopez – Joe Polito
77) Larry Sanders – Nick Raducanu
78) Jonas Valanciunas – Michael Gallagher
79) Luol Deng – Seth Klein
80) Trevor Ariza – J.J. Calle
81) Arron Afflalo – Mark Morales-Smith
82) Nikola Pekovic – Ricky Sanders
83) Isaiah Thomas – Scott Malewig
84) Greg Monroe – Bryan Mears
Seth Klein takes his first wing of the draft, in Luol Deng, after drafting four big men and two point guards with his first six picks. Some drafters like to stack up the bigs and PGs early knowing it’s not as easy to find sure thing production at those spots later in the draft, where at the wing positions there are a lot more options. Bounce back candidate Larry Sanders goes to Nick at pick 77 which is worth every bit of the risk for the 10pts – 10rebs – 3blks – 1stl upside if you can handle the putrid FT% although if his attempts at the line stay as low as over the past two seasons (2.2 FTA/gm) it’s not that huge of a dent. I loved almost every pick of this round, very strong 7th.
I was pleased to net Pau this late who I actually have optimistically ranked 47th this season. I think he fits in terrifically in Chicago and if Carlos Boozer was able to average 15.5 points, nine boards and two assists in his four seasons with the Bulls, Pau should be able to deliver a monster season.
85) Brandon Knight – Bryan Mears
86) George Hill – Scott Malewig
87) J.J. Redick – Ricky Sanders
88) Jose Calderon – Mark Morales-Smith
89) Jordan Hill – J.J. Calle
90) Tobias Harris – Seth Klein
91) Elfrid Payton – Michael Gallagher
92) Tyreke Evans – Nick Raducanu
93) Joe Johnson – Joe Polito
94) Darren Collison – Zack Rewis
95) Draymond Green – Ryan Knaus
96) John Henson – Mark Kaplan
Have to admit that I am a big fan of J.J. Calle’s squad through eight rounds and landing the unleashed PER-36 beast Jordan Hill put an exclamation on my feelings. While I’m not crazy about Rubio, his big assist and steal numbers fit well with the team assembled by the fantasy basketball afrodisiac. With Knight, GHill, Calderon, Payton and Collison going this round, another tier of PGs was wiped out.
I was REALLY hoping my homie Jose Calderon would fall to me here but fellow Fix writer, Mark, crushed my dreams. That said, I am totally fine with Collison this late as my third point guard espcially since I grabbed a couple of solid dishing wings on the way here. The arrival of Sessions in Sacramento doesn’t worry me at all. The Kings have already been playing them at the same time this preseason, and if anyone should be worried it is the Nik Stauskas and McLemore supporters.
97) Trey Burke – Mark Kaplan
98) Jeremy Lin – Ryan Knaus
99) Jared Sullinger – Zack Rewis
100) Omer Asik – Joe Polito
101) Jimmy Butler – Nick Raducanu
102) Giannis Antetokounmpo – Michael Gallagher
103) Kevin Martin – Seth Klein
104) Mario Chalmers – J.J. Calle
105) Jamal Crawford – Mark Morales-Smith
106) Danilo Gallinari – Ricky Sanders
107) Paul Pierce – Scott Malewig
108) Patrick Beverley – Bryan Mears
Mark Morales-Smith didn’t take a “true” point guard until the 8th round (Calderon) but he built up his assists slowly but surely by drafting passing bigs Love and Griffin, also dishing wings DeRozan, Monta and now JamCraw. He wont be close to dominating assists but he didn’t punt it by any means either. Popular sleeper pick, Giannis the “Greek Freak” went 102nd to Gallagher. I’m not overly high on Giannis this season but at 102 he’s a great upside pick. It seemed as if the 9th round opened things up a bit. Everyone began ignoring the ranks more and taking who they felt would outperform their draft position.
Adding another big man here was the plan and my best available was a fav of mine, Jared Sullinger. Sulli is one of my favorite breakout candidates for the upcoming season. I think he gets the majority of the PF mins in Boston and can be used at C in small lineups, too. He’s improving his jump shot and has shown to be a threat from deep at times as well. In two preseason games thus far he’s averaged 16.5 points and 9 boards plus 3/6 from treyville.
109) Josh McRoberts – Bryan Mears
110) Tyson Chandler – Scott Malewig
111) Alec Burks – Ricky Sanders
112) Corey Brewer – Mark Morales-Smith
113) Channing Frye – J.J. Calle
114) Carlos Boozer – Seth Klein
115) K.J. McDaniels – Michael Gallagher
116) Eric Gordon – Nick Raducanu
117) Taj Gibson – Joe Polito
118) Reggie Jackson – Zack Rewis
119) J.R. Smith – Ryan Knaus
120) Enes Kanter – Mark Kaplan
Mark Kaplan started his draft off with seven players you know about what you’re going to get out of (if Kobe stays healthy.) It’s always easier to form a team when it starts with Kevin Durant. After the first seven rounds Mark targeted upside guys who should help in areas of need: Henson (rebs/blks), Trey Burke (pts/asts/3s) and here he snags Kanter who many pegged as last seasons ZBo in the making, which fell flat. He will have the opportunity this season but will he deliver or will he slowly lose more and more time to the Jazz center of the future, who I’ll speak on later? Loved the Burks, McDaniels and Taj picks in this round but it was solid as a whole. Nick will just wince anytime he sees a blurb on Eric Gordon because the poor guy just can’t stay on the court.
I feel I got one of the steals of the draft with Reggie Jackson at 118. Whether he lands the starting SG gig or not, it’s shown over the past few seasons that the SG off the bench for OKC can still produce superbly. I think 13 points, three rebounds, 3.5 dimes, one steal and one trey is very realistic and I love that in the 10th round.
121) Jameer Nelson – Mark Kaplan
122) Gorgui Dieng – Ryan Knaus
123) Matt Barnes – Zack Rewis
124) Ersan Ilyasova – Joe Polito
125) Gerald Green – Nick Raducanu
126) Jodie Meeks – Michael Gallagher
127) Raymond Felton – Seth Klein
128) DeMarre Carroll – J.J. Calle
129) Nene Hilario – Mark Morales-Smith
130) Andrew Bogut – Ricky Sanders
131) Andre Iguodala – Scott Malewig
132) Amir Johnson – Bryan Mears
Knaus drafted Drummond and DeAndre early, so he doesn’t need any more shot blockers, right? Nah, bring in sleeper Dieng also who should be solid this year with Pekovic minutes being limited and if Pek happens to get hurt again, look out. Really liked the Carroll pick by J.J. at 128. He’s very underrated after what he did last season and should go a good bit higher than he did here in roto leagues. The Kawhi lovers will hate this, but Carroll’s numbers last season were just a shade under Leonard’s. Oh, how the mighty have fallen with Iguodala on the board until Scott picked him at 131.
Matt Barnes is another sleeper for me this season. The starting SF for the LA Clippers quietly puts in work for his fantasy owners. In 40 starts at SF last season Barnes averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, one steal, 0.5 blocks, 1.9 treys and shot 47% from the field. Sign me up.
133) Vince Carter – Bryan Mears
134) Avery Bradley – Scott Malewig
135) Tony Wroten – Ricky Sanders
136) Randy Foye – Mark Morales-Smith
137) Spencer Hawes – J.J. Calle
138) Jeff Green – Seth Klein
139) Rodney Stuckey – Michael Gallagher
140) Tristan Thompson – Nick Raducanu
141) Marcus Smart – Joe Polito
142) Mirza Teletovic – Zack Rewis
143) Terrence Ross – Ryan Knaus
144) Ramon Sessions – Mark Kaplan
We’re getting into the fantasy deep end now and this is when you just take players you like even if they don’t fit a need, because your last few rounds are players that if they don’t produce early, they’re on the chopping block for a hot free agent. Take some shots at promising talents like Tony Wroten, Tristan Thompson, Marcus Smart or any of the picks here. Jeff Green falling to 138 seems odd but his situation got even cloudier with the Celtics bringing in Evan Turner and drafting James Young. Still worth a selection this late. Stuckey and Sessions are great late round picks for those who want legit FT% boosts because they get to the line a lot and knock them down. Both got to the line last season over 4.5 times a game and made over 81% of them.
Although the last thing my team needed at this point was three-pointers, I couldn’t pass up another sleeper of mine, Mirza Teletovic. It’s still unknown if he’ll start or not but even if he doesn’t he should get more consistent PT than he received last season. In 30 games where Mirza played between 20-29 minutes (an avg of 24.2 mpg) he averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 treys a night. If you slacked on three point shooting early, this guy can help you make up that ground quickly.
145) Hollis Thompson – Mark Kaplan
146) Brandan Wright – Ryan Knaus
147) Anderson Varejao – Zack Rewis
148) Mason Plumlee – Joe Polito
149) Dion Waiters – Nick Raducanu
150) Danny Green – Michael Gallagher
151) Amar’e Stoudemire – Seth Klein
152) Kelly Olynyk – J.J. Calle
153) Wilson Chandler – Mark Morales-Smith
154) Jarrett Jack – Ricky Sanders
155) Dante Exum – Scott Malewig
156) Timofey Mozgov – Bryan Mears
A lot of sleeper big men went in round 13, which one(s) will hit, nobody knows for sure. Plumlee, Olynyk and Mozgov are in decently crowded situations but all are capable of earning big minute shares and putting up numbers that would make them unbelievable values this late. Kaplan is hoping Hollis wins a big role in Philly which isn’t hard to fathom.
My guy, Anderson Varejao falls in that same category as the big men listed above but also has the reputation of getting hurt every season and missing good chunks of the season. I saw his rebound upside as just too good to pass on this late and he also gets a good amount of steals. He may come off the bench if new coach, David Blatt, starts Tristan instead at center. Either way Andy will hustle his way to plenty of minutes and boards when healthy.
157) Julius Randle – Bryan Mears
158) Samuel Dalembert – Scott Malewig
159) Tim Hardaway Jr. – Ricky Sanders
160) Gerald Henderson – Mark Morales-Smith
161) Maurice Harkless – J.J. Calle
162) Jordan Clarkson – Seth Klein
163) Henry Sims – Michael Gallagher
164) Harrison Barnes – Nick Raducanu
165) Aaron Gordon – Joe Polito
166) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Zack Rewis
167) JaVale McGee – Ryan Knaus
168) Evan Turner – Mark Kaplan
Love the Julius Randle pick at 157 by Bryan. Nobody knows how the minutes in Lakerland will shake out, but they have to get this kid in there to gain experience and playing Boozer over Randle all season would be a crime. Hardaway Jr. didn’t do much aside from scoring via the three last season, and he will get plenty of open looks in the triangle offense. Henry Sims should see a good role in Philly and anybody with a role there can put up stats. JaVale McGee will be back to Shaqtin’ a fool this season, Knaus couldn’t resist more blocks. Evan Turner could be a diamond in the rough if he keeps up what he’s doing this preseason, nice late round lotto ticket.
Another guy who is having a great offseason is my pick, KCP. He’s shown in summer league and in the preseason thus far a drastic improvement on his three-point shot. In two preseason games he’s averaged 19 points and has hit 5/11 from deep.
169) Brandon Bass – Mark Kaplan
170) Nick Young – Ryan Knaus
171) Rudy GOBERT – Zack Rewis
172) Marvin Williams – Joe Polito
173) Solomon Hill – Nick Raducanu
174) Steven Adams – Michael Gallagher
175) C.J. Miles – Seth Klein
176) Evan Fournier – J.J. Calle
177) Ben McLemore – Mark Morales-Smith
178) Nikola Mirotic – Ricky Sanders
179) Manu Ginobili – Scott Malewig
180) Wesley Johnson – Bryan Mears
The final round. Aside from Manu, no player’s role or playing time is known of this group. Marvin Williams has been mentioned as the starting PF in Charlotte but with Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh around, it doesn’t assure him big minutes. C.J. Miles could be in for a nice season in Paul George‘s absence if he makes the most of his opportunity early but others like Solomon Hill — also drafted here — will be nipping at his heels. Wesley Johnson was one of only two players to average over one steal, block and trey last season, Millsap the other. He may get extra time from the jump with Nick Young sidelined about a month of the regular season. Steven Adams is a fun last round pick. The 7’ New Zealander should claim the starting center job in OKC but what he does with it fantasy-wise, tough to say. He’s had a couple really good preseason games starting at center, but Ibaka hasn’t been playing. Still, there’s plenty of upside there and he’s a money super late round pick.
Leading up to my pick Mike Gallagher said “I hope you take who I think you’re taking with your next pick, Zack.” There was no doubt for me here. If you follow me on Twitter, by now you know I have been hypebeasting two guys more than any others: Kobe Bryant and my final pick, Rudy GOBERT! I’ll save my in-depth reasonings for my sleeper piece that’s in the works, but I have drafted Rudy GOBERT in every single real and mock draft I’ve been in this offseason. He’s a better fit on the court beside Favors than Kanter is, and his defensive prowess will earn him plenty of court time. The paint in Utah is where you want to be because GOBERT will be hosting block parties all season long.
I hope this mock draft recap helps you leading up to your fantasy drafts. If you have any questions or comments leave them below or hit me up on Twitter @BigZack44.