We're back this week with our second mock draft, this time focusing on the classic rotisserie (roto) format, where teams battle over racking up the best stats in various categories over the course of the season. You can see how the results differed from our first mock draft, which used a head-to-head points format, because it requires a different strategy to succeed.
With that in mind, you can check out the results of this 10-team roto mock and read key takeaways from our analysts below.
The participants in our 10-team points mock, in order of draft position, were: Ohm Youngmisuk, Eric Karabell, Kyle Soppe, Autodraft, Joe Kaiser, André Snellings, Tom Carpenter, John Cregan, Jim McCormick and Matt Williams.
Ohm Youngmisuk: With the first overall pick, I wanted a superstar who would do a little bit of everything, so I took Giannis, believing that he will only get better. But I won't lie, there was a brief moment when I thought about taking Anthony Davis instead. The idea of Davis returning fresh, after playing sparingly for the final half of last season, and being in L.A., motivated and playing alongside LeBron James, was tempting, but in the end, not enough to take him over Giannis.
My team has a ton of point guards, but I simply couldn't turn down Terry Rozier (and the ample opportunity he will get to shine in Charlotte), and then Mike Conley and Lonzo Ball in Rounds 6 and 7. I have Lonzo and Brandon Ingram pegged as two guys I think really could blossom in New Orleans and away from the L.A. pressure cooker they were in the last two seasons. At times last season before they got hurt, Ball and Ingram showed they were on the verge of putting things together and figuring out how to utilize their diverse strengths.
Eric Karabell: I look at ADP and general rankings somewhat, but if I think a young player is going to really improve, I don't mind securing him a round or two early. That's how I ended up with the Kings' De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III -- and probably Knicks center Mitchell Robinson too. I don't wanna miss out. Fox looks like a star. Bagley will break out. Robinson is a shot-blocking machine. Plus, who is to say Fox can't be worthy of a late second-rounder?
Kyle Soppe: Quality home runs in fantasy baseball. Receiving running backs in football. Quality 3-pointers in fantasy hoops. For me, acquiring these types of players in the early rounds is simply non-negotiable.
What do I mean by "quality"? That my players need to check those boxes along with doing other things. I need 3PG, plain and simple. The game is trending in that direction. Don't believe me? Consider these: 15-22-25-41-43. Those are the number of players with at least 150 3-pointers in each of the past five seasons -- and I'm not in the business of falling behind in any category early on.
As for something I learned ... the assists dry up fast. Really fast. I had both Ball and Ricky Rubio as eighth-round targets and missed the boat, so I will be adjusting that moving forward, as I think both players provide strong value in a tough-to-fill category.
Autodraft: If you want to play fantasy hoops but don't want to spend a ton of time on it, you can autodraft your team, which simply means the game system makes your draft picks on your behalf. As you can see by looking at the autodraft results below, you should end up with a solid base of talent to compete with. The catch is that you may have some holes to fill via free-agent pickups or trading. This team ended up light on 3s and assists but has enough blocks to make trading a viable option.
Joe Kaiser: With small forward being the scarcest position this season, I went that route early and often to try to get a leg up on the competition. After having James Harden fall to me with the fourth overall pick, I went with Kawhi Leonard in Round 2 and then Jimmy Butler in Round 3. This set me up to go with either a PG or SG in Round 4, since Harden qualifies at both positions, and hold off on addressing the deeper PF and C positions until Round 5 and after. That worked out well, as I was able to land Kemba Walker in Round 4 and still had one of my main targets at PF there in Round 5, Lauri Markkanen, with centers DeAndre Jordan, Hassan Whiteside and Marc Gasol all falling to me in the middle and later rounds.
André Snellings: Because this was a rotisserie mock instead of points, my draft strategy was entirely different. I hammered multicategory shooter/scorer types early, with Stephen Curry, Devin Booker and CJ McCollum, giving me the foundation of my identity. My early big men were do-everything types in Pascal Siakam and Zion Williamson, and then in the middle of the draft I went with more pure point guard or center types in Myles Turner, Ja Morant and Kyle Lowry.
I also drafted a lot of rookies in this mock, and I think that all three of Williamson, Morant and Jarrett Culver could be impact producers from opening tip as potential starters on teams that finished in the lottery last season. Add in late-round fliers on two wings who have bounce-back potential in Gordon Hayward and Andrew Wiggins, and two veteran bigs in Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, and my team feels very balanced and with a lot of upside.
Tom Carpenter: I love drafting toward the middle of each round, especially in roto drafts, because it allows me to strategically build my team round by round. With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the first two rounds, I got a little bit of everything. Then I focused on picking up players I saw as quality value picks for roto leagues (e.g., Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Ingram), as they provide hustle stats and/or breakout upside. I knew toward the end that I was light on 3s, so I took a shot at some upside in that department by nabbing Kevin Huerter and JJ Redick, but this is something I likely would have to fully remedy via trade during the season in order to compete for a title.
John Cregan: For this draft, I looked to build assists via positions other than point guard. My thinking was to de-prioritize point guard in the extreme and wait until the later rounds to get a starter. I liked getting Beal in the second round. Beal and LeBron are both going into 2019-20 with pseudo-point guard duties. Both picks lined up with my approach.
I'm high on Derrick White at No. 93 as a Swiss Army knife type of producer in San Antonio. I was hoping for Valanciunas, Aldridge or Holiday to swing back to me at pick 33. They went in the three picks before 33. Rounds 3 and 4 are volatile territory in roto drafts. There's a soft spot after you get past Deandre Ayton/Jimmy Butler. I choked at 33 and drafted Montrezl Harrell a round too early. Blake Griffin would have been a better fit for my non-PG/assist strategy.
Jim McCormick: As I touched on in a recent breakdown of players who changed teams this summer, Chris Paul posted a usage rate of 28.6% and slashed for per-36-minutes rates of 22.5 PPG, 12.5 APG and 5.4 RPG, with 3.1 3PG and a gaudy 2.2 SPG last season with Houston in the 726 minutes he played with Harden on the bench, versus 17.6 PPG, 9.2 APG, 5.2 RPG and fewer 3s and the same steal rate with Harden on the floor on a per-36 basis.
I'm not suggesting he produces his prime CP3 level of production, but I do think a real window for profit has opened this fall in that Paul joins a new team and won't have the compromised usage that curbed his production when healthy. Durability concerns are entirely legitimate, given the track record the past few seasons (58 games in each of his two Houston campaigns), but I find that this risk is more than baked into his current ADP (55th overall), leaving me happy to have acquired him in the sixth round of this draft.
Brooklyn's Caris LeVert is another potential profit pick from my haul in that he was playing at a top-50 clip fantasy-wise before going down with an injury last fall. Managers who net either of these players will be happy they did so this season.
Matt Williams: From a fantasy standpoint, the 2019-20 season could be an interesting one for Russell Westbrook, whom I took at the turn at No. 11, after he averaged a triple-double in three straight seasons. That is still amazing, considering only one other player has done this in NBA history: Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.
Now he is partnered up with Harden, and there are plenty of questions in terms of fit for this backcourt duo. According to Second Spectrum, Harden led the NBA in isolations and dribbles last season, while Westbrook ranked second in touches per game and fourth in isolations. Obviously, the ball will not be in Westbrook's hands as much, and I am curious how the Rockets offense will go through both players.