Fantasy Basketball: Round One

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IOctober 20, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 29:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets looks on during a break in the action against the Denver Nuggets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 29, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Hornets 107-86 to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals against Dallas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I just completed my first 12-team live online draft with some followers. I’m going to break down each round for you.

League settings: Roto-8 category scoring


No. 1 pick: Chris Paul

No. 2 pick: LeBron James

No. 3 pick: Dwyane Wade

No. 4 pick: Kobe Bryant

No. 5 pick: Kevin Durant

No. 6 pick: Danny Granger

No. 7 pick: Deron Williams

No. 8 pick (me): Dirk Nowitzki

No. 9 pick: Amare Stoudemire

No. 10 pick: Dwight Howard

No. 11 pick: Chris Bosh

No. 12 pick: Al Jefferson


There were no surprises with the first six picks, as these players should be coming off the board. Picks 4-6 vary depending on the owner’s preferences. One can make a case for Durant or Granger over Kobe.

My Strategy: The player I was targeting was PG Deron Williams, but he was selected right before. I opted to take one of the safer players going in the first round. Dirk is the top fantasy power forward and scorers in the NBA (25.9 last season). His fantasy value equaled the ninth overall player last season.

What I like about this pick is that he contributes all across the board and shoots solid percentages (48 from the field and 88 from the line). Even though his three-pointers and rebounds have declined since 2006, it does not concern me so much. He has missed just 10 regular-season games the past three seasons and played 37.7 minutes per game in 2008-09.

Best pick: Chris Paul has finished as the top player in fantasy over the past two seasons.

Questionable pick: One of the biggest questions coming into the fantasy season is where Dwight Howard should go. While he led the NBA in rebounds and blocks, his free-throw percentage (59) is a concern since D12 led the league in attempts per game (10.7). According to last year's numbers, Dwight had a third-round value.

Riskiest pick: According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Al Jefferson is out indefinitely with Achilles tendinitis. This is not good news considering he missed 32 games last season due to an ACL injury. However, when he is on the court, Al Jeff is one of the best fantasy bigs.