Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Who is the undisputed number one pick?

This time next week, we will have preseason NBA basketball to discuss. For now, the hype is building and people have plenty of questions about their fantasy basketball drafts. I took your questions from Twitter and Instagram and there were plenty of interesting queries. Let’s get to it.

@joshmatth Best player for points league - Kawhi Leonard or Julius Randle.

The reason I’m highlighting this question is two-fold. Number one, the reticence to draft Kawhi Leonard has gone too far with people panicking about the dreaded ‘load management’, after Kawhi missed 22 regular-season games last season. Firstly, 15 of those games were rest last season, and secondly, the Clippers don’t have the luxury of having Leonard sit that much this season. I think he is around 70 games as opposed to 60.

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The second part of this questions is highlighting just how much better Randle is in a points league versus category league, and how much worse Kawhi is in that format. Now, I would still take Kawhi 10 times out of 10, but when accounting for projected games missed, I have Kawhi about six spots higher than Randle only. In a category league, the difference is closer to 50 spots.

@kiddiulf Is John Collins still a second to third-rounder despite the injury update?

Collins reported to Hawks training camp with a hip strain which is going to limit him for a little bit of time. I have zero concerns about this injury impacting Collins’ beginning of the season, so yes, he is still a top 25 type of player this season. But, what this injury may do is push him down the draft board.

People will panic seeing an injury designation on their draft board and instead of spending a top 25 pick on Collins, you may see him fall into the 30s if your draft is in the next two weeks.

@bundleofdelight 3 players you think have high potential to break into the top 50 this year?

Marvin Bagley is being drafted outside the top 50 at the moment, but in a standard points format, he should be a top 50 guy this season. I imagine he starts and plays over 30 minutes, after seeing just 25 minutes a night last season with only four starts. He could be a 20 and 10 player.

Miles Bridges will also be thrust into a much larger role on the terrible Charlotte Hornets. You can get him outside the top 50 everywhere, but with the lack of talent and a focus on youth, I expect him to have a big year and could find himself in the top 50. Brandon Ingram has struggled with injuries and situation, but in a points league, with an ADP outside the top 100, Ingram has a real chance to blossom in New Orleans and could be a surprise top 50 player.

@rahulcoelho Is Mitchell Robinson worth it as a third-round pick in any format?

In a standard Yahoo points league, Robinson is a waste of a third-round pick in my opinion. His rank and ADP are reflecting potential value in a category league, but his game does not translate as well into a points format and is probably outside the top 50 in that sort of setting. In a category league, I can see Robinson being a third-round guy, but I’m not sure I would choose him, depending on who else was available.

@isuansosa Who’s your undisputed number one pick and why?

I’ll answer this question by not answering it. I don’t believe there is an undisputed number one pick. In a points league, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Davis are all in the mix for being the best player. Do you want to trust KAT’s remarkable health record? Do you think LeBron James will unlock even more from Davis? Do you believe Giannis will become even more lethal? Any one of those three is a worthy number one pick.

Karl Anthony Towns, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are all solid options for the number one fantasy basketball pick.
Yahoo Fantasy expert Josh Lloyd says there is no wrong answer when it comes to drafting Karl Anthony Towns, Giannis Antetokounmpo or Anthony Davis with your number one pick. Pictures: Getty Images

In a category league, add James Harden and Steph Curry to those three and you have a five man race for number one. If you get pick one, just feel happy that you have it and realise that you can’t go wrong with any of those guys I’ve mentioned. Use this to go with the player you like the most, like watching the most, whatever criteria you want to use.

@byrnzunit Does De’Anthony Melton’s injury and Josh Jackson’s G League demotion add value to Dillon Brooks/Kyle Anderson?

I always like to throw a deep league question into these mailbags and this is the one. If you haven’t seen it, Melton has a stress reaction in his back and it could be eight weeks until he resumes basketball activities, meaning he will miss the start of the season. Jackson, who came across as a salary dump in the Melton trade, will begin the season in the G League and is not attending the Grizzlies training camp. He is bad. I think Melton had a chance to play a bit next to Ja Morant this season, but now that he is hurt, yes, it does boost Dillon Brooks, who should be the opening night starter. I also think it helps Tyus Jones a lot and the Grizzlies will be experimenting with Jones/Morant backcourts in the preseason. Jones could actually have some sneaky value for some leagues if this works. As for Anderson, I’m not sure it impacts him much, as he is a power forward ideally.

@daverumps In dynasty/keeper leagues, do you accept years you’ll suck and need to rebuild or are you always trying?

Good question, Dave. I’m always trying, but trying in a dynasty format can mean different things. If I’m in a rebuild, I’m trying to flip assets, accumulate draft picks and find players who may blossom in 3-4 years. Depending on the rules of your league, it can be very tough to be competitive every single season, but it also isn't impossible. Smart trades are the key to keeping a team competitive, but at some point, you will suffer and rebuild, maybe just for one year, will be necessary. You can minimise that pain with solid planning and that is a major part of the fun of dynasty leagues.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye out for the next mailbag tweet to gather your questions.

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