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Our friends over at Underdog have fired up a massive best ball tournament. 100k prize pool with 20k to first. This is a top heavy payout structure so we want to build as much ceiling as possible into our lineups in order to try and capture that first place prize.
Basic roster construction depends on where you invest early on. With this format you need your early round picks to be in your starting lineup most weeks. If you invest in a start like Luka/Devin Booker then you don’t want to be allocating 6 roster spots to the guard position. My favorite approach is to attack guard/wing players early since you have to start 2 each week and you only need to start 1 big man. If you play season long fantasy football, you are probably familiar with waiting on QB. In this format the edge you can gain on the field is waiting on picking a big man.
Games played is one of the more important things we need to look into when evaluating players. This season in particular we will have a lot of players sitting out the front or back end of back to backs. The shortened offseason was a hot topic once the NBA Finals ended in October. You will see me reference games played a lot when talking about players I will be targeting or avoiding.
One last point before we dive into specific players is that you need to have a good plan heading into your draft. Understanding how each selection can impact your future decisions is important. Your first four rounds really determine how the rest of your draft will go.
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Players to Target/Avoid
Avoid Lebron James (ADP 6)- After winning an NBA championship in October, Lebron has been one of the more vocal players about taking time off and getting his body right. You won’t see the Lakers push him hard during the regular season. They added scoring depth with Dennis Schroeder and Montrez Harrell this offseason to help accomplish that.
Avoid Kevin Durant (ADP 9.5)- Kevin Durant missed the entire 19-20 season with a ruptured achilles. Many believe that an achilles is the most difficult injury to come back from in all of sports. Durant will frequently sit out back to backs and he will be missing 1-2 games a week for the Nets this season.
Avoid Kawhi Leonard (ADP 12.7)- If you play NBA DFS then you are very familiar with Kawhi sitting back to backs. That won’t change this season.
Target Trae Young (ADP 9.6)- Trae is one of the better bets to play 70 games this year. He has been extremely durable and the addition of ball handlers can help his scoring production. He was a 45% catch and shoot three point shooter last season.
Target Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ADP 14.3)- Shai has one of the highest floors in basketball this year. Consistently playing upper 30’s minutes and will get a usage bump with Chris Paul leaving town.
Target Donovan Mitchell (ADP 25.4)- Mitchell showed us his upside during the bubble. He has the ability to take over the game. After agreeing to a max extension during the offseason look for the Jazz to lean on Mitchell heavily.
Target Jamal Murray (ADP 37.3)- Jamal/Jokic pick and roll will be the Denver Nuggets offense for years to come. We saw even when they got healthier that Murray is their focal point on offense.
Avoid Zion Williamson (ADP 38.6)- We have seen the Pelicans take an extremely conservative approach with Zion and his playing time. He will be a great per minute producer but I cant trust his games played at this current ADP.
Avoid Jrue Holiday (ADP 42.6)- Jrue lands in a better real life basketball spot but the Bucks will limit his minutes and cap his fantasy upside.
Target Dejounte Murray (ADP 56.6)- Dejounte finally started to get unleashed during the bubble and we saw what he was capable of. With the Spurs moving more toward a youth movement, look for Murray to take a big step forward. He is the perfect type of player that we to invest in.
Target Devonte Graham (ADP 67.9)- Graham has fallen down draft boards with the addition of Lamelo and Hayward. He’s a usage monster for the Hornets who may play faster this year with the addition of Lamelo and their lack of defense.
Avoid Kemba Walker (ADP 69.2)- We already know that Walker is going to miss until the middle of January. With the shortened off season and offseason health issues I will be avoiding.
Target Darius Bazley (ADP 72.1)- Bazley is a high upside wing that we saw breakout during the bubble. He will be asked to play big minutes and someone needs to score for the Thunder. He could be a breakout star for fantasy this season.
Target Christian Wood (ADP 72.4)- Wood is the optimal big man target for this format. He has shown that he is an insane per minute producer. Wood finally got a contract and a great landing spot to be a fantasy producer. I would target Wood aggressively.
Target Victor Oladipo (ADP 83.3)- Olapidos ADP is held down to the time he missed with his brutal leg injury. He came back and produced during the bubble and they even uncapped his minutes.
Target Killian Hayes (ADP 102.1)- Rookie PG Killian Hayes was one of my favorite rookies during the draft process. He lands in a spot where there is usage that needs to be filled. Detroit will be bad this season but that can benefit younger players.
Target Delon Wright (ADP 122.5)- Probably the best value pick this draft season. Same situation as Hayes where they will be asked to be high usage players for this awful Pistons team.
Target Wendell Carter (ADP 140.4)- Carter will step into a much different role under this new look Bulls team. He is the type of big we want to be targeting. The steals/blocks upside is massive.
Target Eric Gordon (ADP 150.4)- Gordon is interesting, he is a target for me. He would be a screaming value if James Harden was to get moved at any point this season.
Target Chris Boucher (ADP 164)- Boucher is another high upside big man that we want to target late. The departure of Ibaka dn Gasol should open some playing time for the former G-League MVP.
Target Derrick Jones (ADP 172.6)- Jones will be inserted into the Miami Heat starting lineup with the departure of Crowder. He will be asked to play a much bigger role this seasona nd fits this scoring format well.
Target Jaxson Hayes (ADP 191.5)- As you can see I love targeting young high upside big men late. Should step into a bigger role this season and fits this scoring format well.
Target Austin Rivers (ADP 191.8)- One of my favorite late guard targets. Rivers will play big minutes for Thibs and the Knicks this year.