Culture of Hoops

Fantasy Basketball: Experts League Draft Results

Screen Capture courtesy of NBA/YouTube.

Screen Capture courtesy of NBA/YouTube.


My first official draft is in the books. It’s a 12-man, head to head league, against no less than some of the industry’s top fantasy basketball minds. It’s the “Triple Crown Hoops Challenge,” an annual league (since 2009) organized by Dave Gawron of I’ve participated in it in four of the last five years. I won the league back in the 2011-12 fantasy season and am hungry for another gold trophy to add to my make-believe trophy case in Yahoo!

Draft order was randomly determined a week ahead of time, so I knew I was picking ninth coming into the draft. It was all good fun, with a solid turnout if 11-of-12 managers present for the live online draft.

Here are the participants and the draft order:

  1. Will Overton, RotoProfessor
  2. Damian Schaab, Formerly of Baller Mind Frame (absent)
  3. Randy Dean, eXpertLeagues
  4. The Hectorious One, independent (Team AutoDraft)
  5. Tom Lorenzo, SB Nation
  6. Mark Kaplan, Fantasy Alarm
  7. Allen Tippy, Fantasy Basketball Daily
  8. Ryan Knaus, Rotoworld
  9. Me, Baller Mind Frame
  10. Daniel Dobish, RotoExperts
  11. Kyle McKeown,
  12. Justin Fensterman, Fantasy Score

Kyle McKeown live-casted the draft. Here is the YouTube video.


Round 1

Pick Player Team
1 Anthony Davis (NO – PF,C) RotoProfessor Overton
2 Stephen Curry (GS – PG,SG) BallerMindFrame Schaab
3 Chris Paul (LAC – PG) eXpertLeagues Dean
4 James Harden (Hou – SG,SF) Team Autodraft
5 Kevin Durant (OKC – SF,PF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
6 LeBron James (Cle – SF,PF) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
7 Russell Westbrook (OKC – PG) FantasyBasketballDaily
8 Kawhi Leonard (SA – SG,SF) Rotoworld Knaus
9 DeMarcus Cousins (Sac – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Ong
10 Al Horford (Atl – PF,C) RotoExperts Dobish
11 Paul George (Ind – SG,SF,PF) RotoKyleNBA
12 Carmelo Anthony (NY – SF,PF) FantasyScore Fensterman

There were very little surprises here in Round 1. That third-overall Chris Paul pick by Dean is intriguing. I personally would have preferred that move in a league with a rotisserie format. Hector had trouble logging in with his co-manager’s account or something and the system selected James Harden for him in the first round, which prompted him to rename his team to “Team AutoDraft.” I think was aiming for Durant, but was “OK” with the Bearded One in the first round, nonetheless.

I was happy to get DeMarcus Cousins ninth overall. I got a Tier 1 center to build my team around and I figured I could go for a solid point guard or shooting guard at bounce.

Round 2

Pick Player Team
13 LaMarcus Aldridge (SA – PF,C) FantasyScore Fensterman
14 John Wall (Was – PG) RotoKyleNBA
15 Paul Millsap (Atl – PF,C) RotoExperts Dobish
16 Damian Lillard (Por – PG) BallerMindFrame Ong
17 Jimmy Butler (Chi – SG,SF) Rotoworld Knaus
18 Klay Thompson (GS – SG,SF) FantasyBasketballDaily
19 Blake Griffin (LAC – PF,C) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
20 Rudy Gobert (Uta – C) RotoExperts Lorenzo
21 Serge Ibaka (OKC – PF,C) Team Autodraft
22 Kevin Love (Cle – PF,C) eXpertLeagues Dean
23 Nikola Vucevic (Orl – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Schaab
24 Draymond Green (GS – SF,PF) RotoProfessor Overton

Part of me felt a bit sad to Paul Millsap go before my pick. He’s been one of my consistent pet picks in the second round in most of my mock drafts. I narrowed my choice to Jimmy Butler and Damian Lillard, both of whom I expect to go bonkers in fantasy this season. I decided to go for Lillard, because who isn’t on the Portland Trail Blazers Fantasy Hype Train?

What surprised me in Round 2 was that no one went for the now-slimmed down Kyle Lowry. His getting gassed in the second half of last season might have played a factor. The most eye-popping 1-2 combo I liked was Anthony Davis and Draymond Green. Less assists and treys, both guys combine as solid core for seven of the nine categories contested!

Round 3

Pick Player Team
25 Kyle Lowry (Tor – PG) RotoProfessor Overton
26 Nerlens Noel (Phi – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Schaab
27 Marc Gasol (Mem – C) eXpertLeagues Dean
28 Pau Gasol (Chi – PF,C) Team Autodraft
29 Kyrie Irving (Cle – PG,SG) RotoExperts Lorenzo
30 Eric Bledsoe (Pho – PG,SG) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
31 Chris Bosh (Mia – PF,C) FantasyBasketballDaily
32 DeAndre Jordan (LAC – C) Rotoworld Knaus
33 Victor Oladipo (Orl – PG,SG) BallerMindFrame Ong
34 Mike Conley (Mem – PG) RotoExperts Dobish
35 Andre Drummond (Det – PF,C) RotoKyleNBA
36 Jeff Teague (Atl – PG) FantasyScore Fensterman

OK, Overton has a mean core of Davis-DrayGreen-Lowry now. Sick!

As expected, the Gasol brothers get picked in quick succession at this point. I’m iffy about picking Kyrie in the third. I know he’s a top-tier PG and all, but his injury makes me wary and was glad he was off the table. I kind of wanted DeAndre, but felt I wanted to grab some support for Lillard ASAP. It was down to Jeff Teague and Victor Oladipo. In the end, I went for Dipo because of his SG-eligibility. I wanted to lock down a solid shooting guard and at the same time improve on my steals. Victor was the best available 2nd-tier shooting guard, who also happens to have the upside to crack the higher tiers.

Mental note: Most of the quality big men go off the board by Round 3.

Round 4

Pick Player Team
37 Al Jefferson (Cha – PF,C) FantasyScore Fensterman
38 Gordon Hayward (Uta – SG,SF) RotoKyleNBA
39 Rudy Gay (Sac – SF,PF) RotoExperts Dobish
40 Nicolas Batum (Cha – SG,SF) BallerMindFrame Ong
41 Hassan Whiteside (Mia – C) Rotoworld Knaus
42 Derrick Favors (Uta – PF,C) FantasyBasketballDaily
43 Reggie Jackson (Det – PG,SG) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
44 Brook Lopez (Bkn – C) RotoExperts Lorenzo
45 Dirk Nowitzki (Dal – PF,C) Team Autodraft
46 Andrew Wiggins (Min – SG,SF) eXpertLeagues Dean
47 Trevor Ariza (Hou – SG,SF) BallerMindFrame Schaab
48 Dwyane Wade (Mia – PG,SG) RotoProfessor Overton

Ok, you got me. I’m high on Nicolas Batum having a bounce-back season with Charlotte, and yes, I am willing to reach for him to secure his services for my fantasy team. I kind of feel bad that Trevor Ariza fell that far down. I’d think he’d be a consideration as a pick ahead of Batum for sure.

Round 5

Pick Player Team
49 Danny Green (SA – SG,SF) RotoProfessor Overton
50 Marcin Gortat (Was – C) BallerMindFrame Ong
51 Goran Dragic (Mia – PG,SG) eXpertLeagues Dean
52 Isaiah Thomas (Bos – PG) Team Autodraft
53 Tobias Harris (Orl – SF,PF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
54 DeMar DeRozan (Tor – SG,SF) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
55 Monta Ellis (Ind – PG,SG) FantasyBasketballDaily
56 Brandon Knight (Pho – PG,SG) Rotoworld Knaus
57 Tim Duncan (SA – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Schaab
58 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil – SF,PF) RotoExperts Dobish
59 Nikola Mirotic (Chi – SF,PF) RotoKyleNBA
60 Greg Monroe (Mil – PF,C) FantasyScore Fensterman

After my grab for Batum in the previous round, I realized that the move forced me to pass up on some solid big men like Derrick Favors, Marcin Gortat, and even Brook Lopez. So, I kind of panicked. Just a little. I knew Cousins needed some help and looked to Tim Duncan for those boards and blocks. Greg Monroe probably has a higher upside given his new team, but he doesn’t block shots. Duncan’s passing ability was a huge plus as well.

Round 6

Pick Player Team
61 Elfrid Payton (Orl – PG) FantasyScore Fensterman
62 Karl-Anthony Towns (Min – C) RotoKyleNBA
63 Dwight Howard (Hou – PF,C) RotoExperts Dobish
64 Tyreke Evans (NO – PG,SG) BallerMindFrame Ong
65 Kemba Walker (Cha – PG) Rotoworld Knaus
66 Jonas Valanciunas (Tor – C) FantasyBasketballDaily
67 Zach Randolph (Mem – PF,C) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
68 Danilo Gallinari (Den – SF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
69 Robert Covington (Phi – SG,SF) Team Autodraft
70 Kyle Korver (Atl – SG,SF) eXpertLeagues Dean
71 Kenneth Faried (Den – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Schaab
72 Chandler Parsons (Dal – SF,PF) RotoProfessor Overton

I totally had Karl-Anthony Towns all queued up. Thanks RotoKyle! Argh! So here we have another pet pick of mine this season. Tyreke offers assists and rebounds at the same time. I am counting on having guards that rebound well to offset the fact that Cousins and Duncan are my only bigs so far. Interesting that I opted to reach for Reke with Kemba still on the board. My concern with Walker is that I think that Batum and Lin could cramp his style this season. That said, I could be totally wrong here and Kemba would be the better pick. Again, as I’ve stated, this is a biased pet-pick grab on my part.

Round 7

Pick Player Team
73 Jahlil Okafor (Phi – C) RotoProfessor Overton
74 DeMarre Carroll (Tor – SF,PF) BallerMindFrame Schaab
75 Khris Middleton (Mil – SG,SF) eXpertLeagues Dean
76 Al-Farouq Aminu (Por – SF,PF) Team Autodraft
77 Jrue Holiday (NO – PG) RotoExperts Lorenzo
78 Michael Carter-Williams (Mil – PG) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
79 Joakim Noah (Chi – PF,C) FantasyBasketballDaily
80 Thaddeus Young (Bkn – SF,PF) Rotoworld Knaus
81 Tyson Chandler (Pho – C) BallerMindFrame Ong
82 Kobe Bryant (LAL – SG,SF) RotoExperts Dobish
83 Ricky Rubio (Min – PG) RotoKyleNBA
84 Bradley Beal (Was – SG) FantasyScore Fensterman

Thaddeus Young got sniped right off the top of my draft queue. Like I always say, “It’s not a competitive league if someone you want isn’t sniped off your queue in the draft.” Well played, Mr. Knaus, well played. Seeing that Duncan might need to handle my team’s power forward position for now, I went off and got the most reliable, really old guy available and took Ty Chandler. Not the prettiest pick, but I like his situation in Phoenix this season. That is, if his back (and everything else) will hold up with all of that running. Now, I can add rebounds to the list of categories my team is competitive in. In hindsight, I probably should have gone after Robin Lopez instead.

Round 8

Pick Player Team
85 George Hill (Ind – PG,SG) FantasyScore Fensterman
86 Emmanuel Mudiay (Den – PG) RotoKyleNBA
87 Derrick Rose (Chi – PG) RotoExperts Dobish
88 Stanley Johnson (Det – SF) BallerMindFrame Ong
89 Terrence Jones (Hou – SF,PF) Rotoworld Knaus
90 Ty Lawson (Hou – PG) FantasyBasketballDaily
91 Roy Hibbert (LAL – C) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
92 Wesley Matthews (Dal – SG,SF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
93 John Henson (Mil – PF,C) Team Autodraft
94 Gorgui Dieng (Min – PF,C) eXpertLeagues Dean
95 Deron Williams (Dal – PG) BallerMindFrame Schaab
96 Jarrett Jack (Bkn – PG,SG) RotoProfessor Overton

I have little to say about my pick in this round, other than that I am a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the “Stanley Johnson Fan Club.” Reach? Perhaps. I had a funny feeling that he wasn’t going to be there on my next pass at the player pool, so I did what I had to do.

Round 9

Pick Player Team
97 Jabari Parker (Mil – SF,PF) RotoProfessor Overton
98 J.J. Redick (LAC – SG) BallerMindFrame Schaab
99 C.J. McCollum (Por – PG,SG) eXpertLeagues Dean
100 David Lee (Bos – PF,C) Team Autodraft
101 Kevin Martin (Min – SG,SF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
102 Rajon Rondo (Sac – PG) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
103 Joe Johnson (Bkn – SG,SF) FantasyBasketballDaily
104 J.R. Smith (Cle – SG,SF) Rotoworld Knaus
105 Meyers Leonard (Por – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Ong
106 Enes Kanter (OKC – C) RotoExperts Dobish
107 Mason Plumlee (Por – PF,C) RotoKyleNBA
108 Ersan Ilyasova (Det – SF,PF) FantasyScore Fensterman

List me as one of the people impressed by what Meyers Leonard has shown so far in the preseason. Given my team’s theme so far, I felt grabbing a stretch-four was a good move. Leonard supports the line I’ve taken and comes with a bit of that magical Trail-Blazer upside.

Round 10

Pick Player Team
109 Robin Lopez (NY – C) FantasyScore Fensterman
110 Marcus Smart (Bos – PG) RotoKyleNBA
111 D’Angelo Russell (LAL – PG) RotoExperts Dobish
112 Ryan Anderson (NO – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Ong
113 Markieff Morris (Pho – PF,C) Rotoworld Knaus
114 Tony Parker (SA – PG) FantasyBasketballDaily
115 Jordan Clarkson (LAL – PG,SG) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
116 Andrew Bogut (GS – C) RotoExperts Lorenzo
117 Kristaps Porzingis (NY – PF) Team Autodraft
118 Eric Gordon (NO – SG) eXpertLeagues Dean
119 Patrick Patterson (Tor – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Schaab
120 Wilson Chandler (Den – SG,SF) RotoProfessor Overton

At this point in the draft, I like to grab what I call “locking mechanisms.” Between Lillard, Batum, and now Ryan Anderson, I essentially lock down the three-point shooting category. Again, he’s a stretch four and at this stage in the draft, I think he can return some good value. Markieff Morris would stand out as a superior all-around choice, but I was after the high volume of three-pointers made and a part of me is wary about Kieff’s beef/drama with the Suns this off-season. Then again, this could come back to haunt me later on in the season.

Round 11

Pick Player Team
121 Jared Sullinger (Bos – PF,C) RotoProfessor Overton
122 Jae Crowder (Bos – SF,PF) BallerMindFrame Schaab
123 Luol Deng (Mia – SF,PF) eXpertLeagues Dean
124 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Det – SG) Team Autodraft
125 Jusuf Nurkic (Den – C) RotoExperts Lorenzo
126 Myles Turner (Ind – C) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
127 Otto Porter (Was – SF) FantasyBasketballDaily
128 Darren Collison (Sac – PG) Rotoworld Knaus
129 Brandon Jennings (Det – PG) BallerMindFrame Ong
130 P.J. Tucker (Pho – SG,SF) RotoExperts Dobish
131 Nik Stauskas (Phi – SG) RotoKyleNBA
132 Trey Burke (Uta – PG) FantasyScore Fensterman

This league has a weekly roster changes setting and I decided that I would sit on Brandon Jennings until he’s 100%, with the hopes that he’ll recover and perform well enough in the second half of the season to boost my team’s performance down the stretch. I know that his injury is a scary one, but in the event that he does bounce back to anywhere close to his 2014-15 numbers, I’ve got a gem on my hands. Conversely, if he experiences any setbacks in his recovery and Reggie Jackson locks up the starting PG gig, then I just drafted a lump of coal. Risks and rewards people, risks and rewards.

Round 12

Pick Player Team
131 Jose Calderon (NY – PG) FantasyScore Fensterman
132 Zach LaVine (Min – PG) RotoKyleNBA
133 Timofey Mozgov (Cle – C) RotoExperts Dobish
134 Julius Randle (LAL – PF) BallerMindFrame Ong
135 Brandan Wright (Mem – PF,C) Rotoworld Knaus
136 Avery Bradley (Bos – PG,SG) FantasyBasketballDaily
137 Aaron Gordon (Orl – PF) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
138 Tony Allen (Mem – SG,SF) RotoExperts Lorenzo
139 Jerian Grant (NY – PG) Team Autodraft
140 Willie Cauley-Stein (Sac – C) eXpertLeagues Dean
141 Harrison Barnes (GS – SF,PF) BallerMindFrame Schaab
142 Ben McLemore (Sac – SG) RotoProfessor Overton

Rounds 12 and 13 in standard sized leagues are normally the spots where I go for upside picks. I like what I’ve seen from Julius Randle so far, and even if he takes the first half of the season to get his groove on I’ve got him stashed on my bench.

Round 13

Pick Player Team
143 Isaiah Canaan(Phi – PG) RotoProfessor Overton
144 Ed Davis(Por – PF,C) BallerMindFrame Ong
145 Alex Len(Pho – C) eXpertLeagues Dean
146 Evan Turner(Bos – SG,SF) Team Autodraft
147 Amir Johnson(Bos – PF,C) RotoExperts Lorenzo
148 Ian Mahinmi(Ind – C) FantasyAlarm Kaplan
149 Zaza Pachulia(Dal – C) FantasyBasketballDaily
150 Rodney Hood(Uta – SG,SF) Rotoworld Knaus
151 T.J. Warren(Pho – SF) BallerMindFrame Schaab
152 Arron Afflalo(NY – SG,SF) RotoExperts Dobish
153 Alec Burks(Uta – PG,SG) RotoKyleNBA
154 Tyler Zeller(Bos – PF,C) FantasyScore Fensterman

Speaking of upside picks, TJ Warren will be a solid producer off-the-bench for the Suns, if not outright win the starting SF job, this season. He’s a solid guy who can score and knock down threes. That, and he’s fun to watch.

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