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What is your draft approach?

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What is your draft approach?

Postby NikkiSixx » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:20 pm

I'm curious to what everyone plans for their draft. I usually play the standard 9 category roto leagues. I play head to head as well and am open to other leagues, but I usually stick to the 9 cat roto leagues.

In my drafts I like to get great depth at the point guard position and the center position. I feel like if I am strong there with 1 strong scorer I can fill out the rest of my team relatively easily. I usually like to get 2 strong point guards within the first 4 rounds and most of my big men come in the middle rounds. In the early rounds of my mock drafts (and a couple of yahoo public league drafts) I find myself targeting Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, John Wall, Ty Lawson, Kemba Walker, and Eric Bledsoe (usually I end up with a late pick and Derrick Rose and Chris Paul are already gone, not too interested in drafting Stephon Curry that high this year). I like to land 2 of those guys.

I definitely try to land 2 of those guys, and I'll even try to land a Dragic/Lowry/Holiday a little later or if I miss out on them I try and wait for Steve Nash Trey Burke. This way I end up with 3 point guards. Trey Burke isn't ideal but I feel he is likely to outproduce his draft spot and doesn't have the injury concern of Steve Nash.

Other than those guys my targets in the first 4 rounds are (assuming I miss out on Lebron/Durant/Cp3): Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, Mike Conley, Paul Millsap, Chris Bosh, Demarcus Cousins, and Roy Hibbert (only if I'm hurting in the blocks category at this point). I sometimes get the urge to target Dwight Howard or Josh Smith but usually I opt for someone else. If I were to get the first overall pick I would get Lebron James and prey Dwight Howard falls to me at the end of round 2 and just completely punt free throw percentage and try to dominate the other categories and is usually the only case I would draft Blake Griffin (especially since he lost his center eligibility).

In rounds 5 and 6 (depending on who I get in the first 4 rounds and assuming all my previously mentioned targets are taken), I usually try and land players such as Klay Thompson, Thaddeus Young, Derrick Favors, Ryan Anderson Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, Bradley Beal, Greg Monroe, and if I need a center still at this point and all my other targets are off the board I will go for a Kevin Garnett, Tyson Chandler, or Jonas Valanciunas.

from rounds 7 on I draft for need and I usually find that I end up being relatively thin at small forward and especially thin at shooting guard. Luckily I have a lot of late round shooting guards I like so if I don't have Klay Thompson or Eric Bledsoe filling in my spot at this point I will opt for Eric Gordon. If I don't get Gordon I wait until 8 or 9 to land players like Evan Turner, JJ Redick, or Victor Oladipo. I will also target Kyle Korver and Ray Allen if I want to ensure myself to be competitive in the 3 point category. If JaVale McGee is available in rounds 8 or 9 I'll usually pounce on him. I will only target Andre Drummond if I'm punting free throw percentage. JaVale McGee I can work with at least to maintain competitive in the free throw percentage category. I always want to get Paul Pierce but I haven't landed him because someone always snags him before I do. Same thing with Kenneth Faried.


At the very end of the draft I usually target players like Channing Frye, Andrea Bargnani, or I'll take a flyer at Danilo Gallinari in the very last round if available. The only rookies I target in my drafts this year are Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, and Kelly Olynyk.


These are most of the players I've been targeting this year, if I miss out on a lot of these guys I'll have to trust myself to watch the waiver wire and make strong pickups but I find that I'm pretty safe with this strategy. I have other targets as well but based on what I've seen so far these are the players that I usually end up with.


That is only in snake draft leagues. I have one auction league so far this year and I ended up with this team:


Budget $200

1. (16) Deron Williams (Bkn - PG) $46
2. (37) Chris Bosh (Mia - PF,C) $24
3. (39) Ty Lawson (Den - PG) $23
4. (42) Eric Bledsoe (Pho - PG,SG) $21
5. (50) Roy Hibbert (Ind - C) $19
6. (56) Klay Thompson (GS - SG,SF) $14
7. (57) Thaddeus Young (Phi - SF,PF) $13
8. (61) Ryan Anderson (NO - PF,C) $13
9. (63) Tyson Chandler (NY - C) $12
10. (68) Goran Dragic (Pho - PG) $8
11. (79) JaVale McGee (Den - C) $5
12. (110) Victor Oladipo (Orl - SG) $1
13. (119) Danilo Gallinari (Den - SF) $1
Unused $0


I try to be as balanced as possible unless I'm punting FT%. I feel comfortable with the players I'm getting so far. What do you guys usually have in mind on draft day?
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby silentjim » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:55 pm

I try not to go into too many drafts with preconceived notions to be honest. Every draft is a different animal.

I really like your auction draft below, but I don't think you'll see Oladipo go for a buck too often. You got good deals on a lot of guys and have a nice balance. You probably went a bit too far center wise with Chandler and McGee, though McGee for 5 bucks is a nice gamble.
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby NikkiSixx » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:11 pm

silentjim wrote:I try not to go into too many drafts with preconceived notions to be honest. Every draft is a different animal.

I really like your auction draft below, but I don't think you'll see Oladipo go for a buck too often. You got good deals on a lot of guys and have a nice balance. You probably went a bit too far center wise with Chandler and McGee, though McGee for 5 bucks is a nice gamble.

I completely agree. I've simply just been recapping how my drafts have went thus far. Although my point guard depth and center depth approach doesn't usually change. And no, Oladipo going for one dollar was a joke, I simply nominated him and nobody contested. my jaw definitely dropped.
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby bokzg » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:45 pm

I also tend to prioritize PGs and PF/Cs when drafting and like to go with a balanced approach (vs. punting).

Quick explanation of my rationale is that I see PGs as being able to provide everything that SGs can, except they also give assists, and there are not that many good-to-elite and consistent PF/C's who contribute well in FG%, rebounds, and blocks. If you miss out on good-to-elite PGs, it's difficult to be competitive in assists. If you miss out on good-to-elite PF/C's, you'll be left with specialist PF/C's that will make it hard to be strong in the "big man" categories.

There are obviously many exceptions in the form of players who provide unusual production for their positions (i.e. Lebron, Harden, Wade, Gasol, Kobe gives PG-like assists, and Wade and Parker give big-like FG% boosts, etc.), but they're exceptions and not the general trend. If you want a nice all-around and balanced team, I think a PG and PF/C focus early on is a good way to go. Punting changes everything of course.
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby deadshot11 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:05 am

In general, I play roto and go BPA throughout the draft.

In general, I try to have all of my PG's contribute in 3's and steals. And all my big men to contribute at least some blocks.

At the top of my draft sheet, I have written:
- Do not draft more than one injury risk, and none in the first 2 rounds.
- Reaching for a sleeper negates their value.
- Do not draft rookies.
- Always take the solid pick.

For that last one, if I'm undecided between two players, draft the one with less injury risk and a more established fantasy game.

I won my only league last year after settling on these principles after many years. Partly because I didn't have any huge injuries (my one injury risk was a mid-round Nowitki pick that worked out well). Partly because I picked up Larry Sanders early in the season. And partly because I had a LOT of solid contributors, who I wasn't targeting, but who fell to me (Wesley Matthews, Garnett, Zach Randolph, and David West, who I did kinda target because I knew he was falling in drafts). Oh yeah, and I bet on Calderon finally getting traded, which he did.

EDIT: Oh yeah, my draft sheet used to also always say: Do NOT draft Antoine Walker, Shaq.
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby Fenris-77 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:43 am

deadshot11 wrote:I won my only league last year after settling on these principles after many years.

This sounds like a quote from the Book of Five Rings. :-b

It's good to have a cheat sheet for the draft, and/or a do/don't draft list, but when you get down to brass tacks, every draft is different, and the only real recipe for success in knowing all the players well enough to be able to change approaches on the fly and make the best of the value the draft gives you. No particular pairing strategy, or positional drafting strategy, is nearly as useful as knowing every player well enough to change approaches on the fly. That's maybe not the easy answer, but it's the probably best answer. ;-D
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Re: What is your draft approach?

Postby Phil O'Pastry » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:55 pm

I more or less wing it. I have a list of players I'd like to target, but find overall I need to be flexible as other managers strangely like the same players I do.
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