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2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Draft Strategy

As October draws closer so does the Fantasy Basketball season! This means it’s time to start building the blueprints to a fantasy basketball championship. My biggest key is all about balance baby. You can’t build a team with too many guards or too many Centers. Too much youth or too many veterans is not what you want either. Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the best fantasy basketball draft strategy to pave the way to fantasy championships!

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Fantasy Basketball Draft Strategy for 2021-22

Avoiding injury-prone players

Sounds simple enough but one of the main keys to winning a fantasy basketball title is to avoid injury-prone players and since it’s 2021 avoid load-management players as well. We all know Anthony Davis’s talent but for where he’s getting drafted, he does way more harm than good to your championship aspirations. The Lakers have been prone to resting in the fantasy championship weeks as well which leads me to remove LeBron James off my list as well. The King has been dethroned! It’s time to move on from the past and select the players who we can count on weekly. You aren’t going to win your league because you drafted Anthony Davis over Jayson Tatum, but you may lose it when Anthony Davis is resting on the sidelines during the fantasy playoffs. AVOID!

Draft Balance & Positional Value

This year there are a few different makers in the first round such as Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic that offer top-10 upside in multiple categories that most players can’t offer. Drafting rebounds early and often is a big key for me this season but if you can’t draft at the top, players such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jayson Tatum all offer top-12 point and rebound upside that gives you a great start to your draft. In the second round, I aim for players that are the focal point of their offenses such as Paul George now due to Kawhi Leonard’s injury or high rebound guys like Zion Williamson.

This is where positional value takes a vital role, and you have to make sure you’re getting every category you need. If Stephen Curry falls in your lap, make sure you grab a high-rebound player in the second round. If you drafted your rebounds early, it’s time to move LaMelo Ball up a couple of spots and get your points/assists combo early in the third round.

Middle-Round Strategy

Drafts are usually won in the middle. You get your table setters at the front and some fancy dessert sleepers at the end. Fantasy basketball draft strategy is all about the meat and potatoes right in the middle and you got to make sure you hit. This is where we use all our strategies of balance and adaptability. If you start off strong in rebounds you might need to bump up assist guys here. Dejounte Murray is one of my breakout players and offers all-around upside and makes for a great play. Maybe your set with points? Clint Capela is your guy who led the league in rebounds last season. Jusuf Nurkic is set for a breakout season and is a must-target for big-men in the middle rounds. He’s all Head Coach Chauncey Billups wants to talk about since taking over coaching duties in Portland. Chris Boucher is another solid target for rebounds who showed great upside last season. Anthony Edwards is a great option if you need scoring!

Filling your bench

Once you filled out all your starting positions in your draft it’s time to get the creative juices flowing! Usually, there are only about 3-4 bench spots in most standard leagues. This is where you ignore taking the best player available and fill out all your pressing categorial needs. If you went strong on rebounds and blocks this is where you grab assists and steals and vice versa. Some of my favorite last-round adds are 3PT specialists who can win you weeks such as Evan Fournier and Bojan Bogdanovic. Gone? It’s time to grab assists from Dennis Schroder. Schroder also lost millions of dollars turning down a big contract in LA so the man will be making double-doubles a regularity in Boston.

Know your scoring system

Nine-category league versus eight-category leagues versus points leagues; all carry different weight. Russell Westbrook is one of the prime benefactors from points leagues or any league setting that doesn’t involve turnovers and free-throw percentage. Devin Booker might not contribute as well as other top-20 players in rebounds and assists but his point and 3PT totals give him a boost in points leagues. R.J. Barrett and Buddy Hield were also some of the bigger risers in points leagues from last season.

Be Active and maximize weeks!

We’ll be pumping out tons of waiver wire articles throughout the year here at FanTrax so make sure you stay up to date with the latest news and injuries! Backups can become stars and season savers in minutes so it’s imperative to check frequently on the news!

One of my favorite weekly strategies is maximizing your games played for the week. This is perfect strategy to fiddle with for the tail end of your roster. Adding and dropping players in terms of who’s playing the most games per week. This is more of a strategy to implement if you start off rocky and find yourself out of the playoffs. Having 2-3 players in your lineup playing five games compared to three could do wonders to your win total so make sure you keep an eye on your games played for the week!

Draft time is just around the corner now as we’re roughly 3.5 weeks away from the beginning of the NBA season! Good luck to everyone and let’s get our championship plans and draft prep in motion!

For more great analysis, check out the 2021-22 Fantrax Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit!

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  1. armadillofury says

    First tip is to avoid injury prone players and then a couple of paragraphs later recommend Nurkic?!?

    1. Mike Omelan says

      Thanks! Too risky to take injury prone players in the top-3 rounds but not as detrimental to take some later on with big upside like Nurkic! All about that balance! Happy drafting

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