We are only a few weeks away from the beginning of NBA training camps, which means fantasy basketball season is kicking off. We’re either drafting or preparing for our drafts, and that means finding out information and asking questions.
So, here is the first of my weekly fantasy mailbag columns, where I’ll be answering the best questions you’ve asked me on Twitter.
Let’s get to it.
@thewinter82: In the first half of drafts do you choose the best available even if they don't compliment the players that you previously drafted or do you choose someone who fits your build?
In a fantasy points league, you are looking for who you consider to be the best producing player over the course of the season. I wouldn’t get too bogged down in positions early on, but there does come a point where grabbing point guards becomes superfluous. So, I would want to fill in all ten of my starting spots in the first ten rounds and then drafting a mix of players late for my bench.
In a category league it’s a very different situation, as you should be drafting based on your prior pick, not on the best player available.
It’s important you understand the nature of your league before you head into a draft.
@gianluvona: Which are the proper weeks to schedule fantasy playoffs? Taking into account the load management of the last weeks before real Playoffs.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your head to head leagues finish on March 22nd. Anything after that is when things get wild with rests, tanking, and fake injuries. Work back from that date depending on how many weeks you want your playoffs to go for and how many teams you have qualifying.
@FSDoublaA: Which one player landed in THE best spot for major fantasy impact, whether it be by way of trade, free agent signing, or draft selection?
I don’t think he is a very good player, but the answer has to be Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets. They lost Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb, their two best offensive options from last season, meaning Rozier is going to get his chance to run a team and play a ton of minutes.
He’ll take a lot of shots, and miss a lot as well, but this is his opportunity to bludgeon his way into fantasy value through sheer volume.
@romerb: In which ways would you differ your draft strategy if drafting in a weekly-change league (as compared to your draft strategy in a daily-change league)?
This is a really good question and it highlights the importance of understanding your league settings when drafting. In a weekly change league, you set your lineup at the beginning of the week. If a player gets hurt, you are stuck with zeroes from that slot during the week with no way to change it. So, there are two major differences to be aware of. Selecting injury-prone players or guys who could be subject to rests in a weekly change league is tough, because if they get hurt or sit unexpectedly, you can’t use your bench to just replace them on that day and it will ruin your matchup. Players like Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, and Kawhi Leonard become riskier propositions in leagues like this. But, because you are only using ten slots per week instead of the usual 13 slots in a daily changes league, your bench acts as an extended injured reserve or stash area. So, drafting players like Victor Oladipo, Klay Thompson, or Jusuf Nurkić makes more sense in this format, because you can just sit them on your bench until they are ready to return.
It also allows you to stash players, like Jarrett Culver from the Wolves or RJ Barrett from the Knicks who may only begin to become solid fantasy players in the second half of the season. You can just park them on the bench and wait until they are ready as opposed to daily changes leagues where every spot is vital.
@Azztecc23: Who will most people regret dropping this season?
Much like people regretted dropping Trae Young after his November struggles last season, I believe Ja Morant will go through similar growing pains. His field goal percentage may be unacceptable for the first 6-8 weeks of the season and Taylor Jenkins has a solid backup in Tyus Jones to help ease Morant in.
Pretty cool that the umpires for tonight’s Redbirds game wanted a picture with Ja Morant. Also got his autograph. We love to hate them. But they’re just sports fans like the rest of us. pic.twitter.com/Grgy1N7x7o— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) August 23, 2019
I can easily see people labelling Morant as a bust in the first few weeks, as they did with Young, and cutting him to the waiver wire. If that happens in my league, I will snap Morant up and be happy to ride a potential top 50 finish to the season.
@jackJMACdavis: Can you identify who on the Hornets is worth rostering? Kemba Walker left a lot of fantasy points available.
As I mentioned earlier, Terry Rozier is going to get a ton of shots on this team. We are going to see Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges start, most likely, and get their opportunities as we saw down the stretch of last season. Bridges is the better option of the two, but Bacon has his value in a points league. After that, maybe you could take a flier on Malik Monk or perhaps get some marginal early season value from Nicolas Batum until his minutes drop earlier in the season. The team is bad, but people still have to score and get rebounds and get assists.
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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