How do you want your team to look like?

This is a question you really should ask yourself before drafting, and you should go into the draft with the answer in mind. Because the reality is that most people in your leagues aren’t going to draft with a big plan and instead just hope for the best.

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So if you come in with a ready idea of ​​what talent looks like in different parts of the draft, it will give you an advantage in the competition right from the start.

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There are many ways to build a championship level team and ultimately you will need to come up with a strategy that works best for you. In my experience, I love the old adage “Practice makes perfect” so I prefer to do mock drafts before my real drafts to get an idea of ​​which players should be available.

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Will my sleeping picks be there or is everyone aware of them so they disappear sooner than expected?

Likewise, are there any really good players who are simply lower-than-expected in the software draft and therefore might leave later than they should?

Having these questions answered beforehand is very important when it comes time for your actual project(s).

To that end, here is a brief overview of how drafts are formed so far. Using Average Draft Pick (ADP) data, I looked at and studied the types of players who fill different positions in the draft.

Here are some of the players that caught my eye in different places in different rounds considering their ADP slots.

Note. All ADPs listed are as of October 5th.


The foundation

Round 1: The highest level and the best rest

Nikola Jokic is one of the easiest number one picks in fantasy basketball in recent memory. After Jokic, I go to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic in that order, especially in the points league. Antetokounmpo finished second behind Jokic in fantasy points per game last season, and Doncic still has an achievable 30/10/10 potential in any season. They make up a clear top 3 level.

For the rest of the round, I’m hoping for one of Joel Embiid, Jason Tatum, or LaMelo Ball. Embiid has the highest predicted fantasy average per game of any trio, less than one FP/G behind Doncic’s predicted average. But Embiid has a history of injury, which makes him more risky; The 68 games he played last season is actually a career high.

Tatum is probably the safest pick in this group as he has never missed more than eight games in any season of his career so far. Tatum ranks sixth in total fantasy points this season, and he also plays small forward in the tiebreaker, a rarity this season. Tatum is the only forward eligible player in my top 10 in terms of total implied fantasy points.

The ball, however, may be the biggest value of the round. Although his current ADP is 8.3, Ball actually ranks fourth in total fantasy points, only slightly above that top end. Ball improved greatly from rookie through his second season and finished ninth in total fantasy points last season; I believe he will make another leap in a magical third year.

End of Round 1/Start of Round 2 Mystery: Do you feel lucky?

LeBron James and Kevin Durant are third and sixth in projected fantasy points per game this season. Their ADP is lower, 9.7 and 10.5 respectively. I’m not likely to pick them on my fantasy team in any league where they climb even that high because I can’t risk picking them first.

The two aging legends have missed a total of 116 regular season games over the past two seasons, with LeBron missing 52 and KD missing 64. Another story. It’s still a risk, but I’m more likely to take risks if I already have a more reliable team anchor in the first one.

Early Round 2: Still Standing Despite Trades

Trae Young and Karl-Anthony Towns were comfortably in the top 10 in fantasy points scored last season, playing at their usual level. But this offseason, both teams lost their fantasy value when their teams were traded for elite producers in similar positions.

When the Hawks traded Young to DeJonte Murray and the Timberwolves traded Towns to Rudy Gobert, I initially assumed that this would result in all four players dropping down the fantasy rankings.

But when I completed my predictions, despite their low numbers, Young (11 ADP) and Towns (14.3 ADP) were still in my top 10 for predicted fantastic points this season. In their current ADP draft, Young and Towns will be selected in the second round.

Late second/early third: Pascal Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton

Siakam finished 15th in total fantasy points last season, although he missed the first 10 games of the season and 14 games overall. He went full-time to the center of the Raptors to finish the season and used his speed discrepancy to post good runs and assists. This season, he is ranked 14th in total fantasy points, making him worth at his current ADP of 20.6.

Halliburton’s productivity exploded when he got the ball last season, first with the Kings and then with the Pacers. He actually finished 11th in fantasy points last season. Another guard in a magical third season, he has the keys to the franchise in his hands, I predict Haliburton will rise to eighth in fantasy points this season. As such, he represents outstanding value with his current third round ADP of 17.7.

Round 3: Cade Cunningham and Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic finished 20th in fantasy points last season, even after having a very slow start as a scorer in the then-new look of the Bulls. He was a walking player for 20-10 years and returned to that player by the end of last season even alongside DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine.

Cunningham also had a slow start to his rookie season, but by the end of the campaign he was averaging around 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and was clearly on the rise. I predict Vucevic 18th in fantasy points this season and Cunningham 17th, both well ahead of their borderline third/fourth ADP of 28.5 and 27.6.

Round 4: Teammates Toronto

Fred VanVleet (45.2 ADP) and Scotty Barnes (40.2) both have ADP in the fifth round but predicted value in the fourth round (35th and 32nd respectively) in total fantasy points. VanVleet and Barnes are two of the top three offensive creators for a Raptors team with a strong starting lineup but not much depth.

VanVleet has great value per game, but he has an injury history that has lowered his predictions. Barnes is the current Rookie of the Year and should continue to improve ahead of his second season.

Middle Rounds (Rounds 5-8): Two Knicks, Bane, Giddy and Sengun

Julius Randle (40.0 ADP) is having a bad season in every way, which seems to be in large part because he was the Knicks’ sole/primary offense builder and the opposing defense could focus directly on him. Jalen Brunson (45.0 ADP) is second only to one of the most popular players in the NBA, but every time Doncic has been absent, Brunson has put in monstrous numbers.

I think playing together will actually be a big boon for both as Brunson has shown he can carry the load on team offense and has brought Randle back to his favorite spot by playing with another creator. I predict Brunson 24th and Randle 27th in fantasy points this season.

Desmond Bain (61.9 ADP) started his second season as a substitute in the starting lineup, receiving minutes due to injury to teammates. But he played so well that he became a regular starting flank and the team’s second scorer. With Jaren Jackson Jr out for the first few months of this season, Bane should be able to solidify his role as Lieutenant Ja Morant. I’m projecting it to 41st place in the ranking of the most fantastic points this season.

Giddy (71.3 ADP) flirted with triple-doubles every night in the last 24 games of last season, generating four of them in that time. He seems poised to improve on those numbers in Season 2 and I predict he’s in 57th place for fantastic points.

Alperen Sengun (69.0 ADP) has delivered great stats at every level, from being the 18-year-old Turkish Super League MVP to the great Las Vegas Summer League and the numbers per minute he generated as a newbie in Houston. Since Christian Wood is gone and is no longer ahead of him on the depth chart, my guess is that Sengun will be 42nd in fantastic points in the league this season.

Late Rounds and Flyers (Round 9 onwards): Rookie and four other celebrities.

Keegan Murray (88.3 ADP) was one of, if not the best offensive rookies in the Las Vegas Summer League this year. A born teenage forward, he often plays in fours and creates mismatches against slower big men. He looks like he’s poised to score a lot of points as a rookie and I predict he’s ranked 67th in fantastic points.

Lauri Markkanen (93.6 ADP) was one of the most impressive producers in his draft class in his sophomore year and looked like he had a 20-10 future. Injuries and talented teammates have kept him from pursuing a career, but he’s healthy this season and looks set to play on a rebuilding Jazz team that has swapped out its veteran starters. Markkanen’s achievable growth this season has placed him 70th in fantastic points.

Spencer Dinwiddie (100.2 ADP) appears poised to take Brunson’s place as Doncic’s top lieutenant in Dallas this season, but he’s already shown in his early days at the Nets that he can produce plenty of his own results when he’s given the lead. role. I’m projecting him to 76th in fantastic points.

Jalen Suggs (111.4 APD) looked ready for a great rookie season as he dominated the Las Vegas Summer League, but injuries ended his stay in Vegas and followed him throughout his first campaign. If he can recover, he could look forward to a big boost as a sophomore.

Tre Jones (113.5 ADP) has…