This is the final night of exhibition games, and kicks off a huge weekend for fantasy basketball drafts. We hope the last six weeks of lists, opinions and advice has helped you prepare and that there’s a championship in your future.
My draft tonight is in a 20-team keeper league, where I was able to collect three “extra” draft picks in trades last season. Each team keeps four players, so the draft begins in the fifth round, and Anthony Davis will be the #1 pick. At #9, I’m hoping to get Damian Lillard, but will “settle” for a veteran PG who might outperform the rookie this season.
A word of caution about allowing draft pick trading in your league. It does add some complexity, and makes it easier to rebuild a weak roster in one season, but it’s a nightmare when you are trying to replace a departed owner with someone new. A disgruntled owner who knows he isn’t returning the next year can recklessly trade away picks, leaving his franchise a mess in an act of deliberate sabotage. We’ve actually rescinded that rule going forward; it has been far more trouble than it’s worth.
In addition to H2H and Roto leagues, I will also be playing every day at FanDuel, starting on Tuesday. If you haven’t tried that format yet, it’s a one-day points league. Each player in an NBA game that night is assigned a salary. You must fill nine positions (2 PG, 2 SG, 2 SF, 2 PF, 1 C) without going over a $60,000 salary cap. Jump to Page 4 to learn more about how it works and to join our $1,000 tournament on October 31.
October 25 Games
MIL @ CHA: Not only did Byron Mullens return from his knee bruise with 11 PTS, 5 REB and two more 3-pointers, I got my lineup wish. Gerald Henderson (14 PTS) started at SF, Ramon Sessions at SG and Ben Gordon now backs up both guard spots. That means more minutes and greater job security for Kemba Walker, who had 20 points, 7 assists and keeps inching up my list. It could take Sessions from late-round filler to fantasy bargain, though he shot 4-16 today. It even helps Gordon’s value. This rotation might continue until Michael Kidd-Gilchrist plays his way back into the starting lineup. Bismack Biyombo started at C but Brendan Haywood (8 PTS, 13 REB) replaced him on a quick hook and was much more effective.
It was a tough morning at the office for Brandon Jennings (2-12) and Monta Ellis (2-13) but the Bucks won anyway. Maybe someone showed Tobias Harris my column, where I called him a disappointment and hoped he’d improve against other backups. The sophomore scored 18 points in as many minutes (hitting 3-of-4 from downtown) as the starter. Mike Dunleavy came off the bench to play 26 minutes, adding 17 points. Rookie Doron Lamb, slowed by an elbow injury, made his first appearance, scoring 12 points in 20 minutes, ten of them to spark the fourth-quarter comeback.