I just completed my first 12-team live online draft with some fantasypros911.com 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.