Let’s be honest. It can be just as difficult to win an NBA ring as it can be to win a fantasy basketball championship. You may not be up against the best in the world, but you still have to be better than the best in your league and if you are winning too easily every year, stop playing in the little leagues and join us on Fantrax! That’s why you need to make every draft pick count. In this article, we’re looking at the top seven high upside players to draft with your last pick to gain that all-important advantage over your competition.
Wondering what I meant by “upside?” Check out 5 FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE MY FIRST DRAFT.
What?! You didn’t host last year’s fantasy basketball league on Fantrax? Inconceivable!! Check out all the features of Fantrax Fantasy Basketball Commissioner and we’re pretty sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
So Who Are The Best Last Pick Players?
The best last pick for your fantasy basketball team is going to depend on your draft strategy beforehand, to some extent. What categories are your team’s strengths? And, what about weaknesses? If you are happy with the team you’ve built you can take a gamble on a player that could provide the most upside from the last pick position. To prepare, be sure to research your platform’s ADP and rankings. What we are looking for are players that are likely to outperform their ranking and trending to be left over at the end of your draft, according to ADP.
Break your own rules!
Up until now in your draft, you’ve generally applied the fantasy basketball rule of thumb to draft the best player available. Here’s why you need to change your draft strategy when choosing the best last pick player for your team. Drafting the 130th or 160th player that delivers you fantasy value equal to their draft position doesn’t help you win. If every team owner drafts their picks according to ranking and players perform to those rankings then nobody has a competitive edge. Below, we’ll take a look at my top-10 last pick players and why they can provide you with the winning edge.
My Top-10 Best Last Pick Players
Evan Fournier (ORL)
Fournier is getting overlooked and it’s hard to understand why statistically speaking. With approximately 16pts/3reb/4ast, nearly 2 threes and a steal after the All-star break, look for a healthy Fournier to provide top 80-100 value from late in your draft.
Derrick Rose (DET)
Draft Rose if you need to boost up your raw scoring. I like to keep an eye on the team category averages and placings during my drafts, allowing for known anomalies (like rookies or players returning from injury where there are typically now stats in the data). If I see my team needs a boost in points I’m grabbing Rose.
Cody Zeller (CHA)
Zeller could just be the best player on the Hornets this year. He is positioned to see all the minutes and usage he can handle an will help you with points and rebounds with good percentages and he won’t really hurt you in any category. You could do a lot worse, so grab him if he is available and suits your team build.
Three But No “D”
Trevor Ariza (SAC), Jae Crowder (MEM), Harrison Barnes (SAC), Tim Hardaway Jnr. (DAL)
Three-pointers are often a category you can pick up late in drafts. Here’s a quartet of players that should have a firm hold at playing minutes at their position. All of these guys will get you some threes. Along with that, look to Ariza and Crowder for some additional steals. Barnes will provide decent points, and Hardaway Jnr is typically solid from the free-throw line.
RJ Barrett (NYC)
The number three pick in this years’ draft, Barrett is my favorite kind of wild card. With two triple-doubles in Summer League (and nearly a third), there is a chance that his talent could immediately translate at the NBA level. If not, it hasn’t cost you much and you can drop him and chase a hot waiver acquisition. If he breaks out right away though, you’ve got yourself one of the steals of the draft!
Point Guard Punt
Tyus Jones (MEM)
The Grizzlies drafted Ja Morant with the number two pick in this year’s draft, and also acquired Tyus Jones. It’s true to say that Morant holds the hopes of the franchise in his capable hands, but Jones has proved himself with limited opportunities for the Timberwolves (MIN). He will contribute useful assists, steals, and threes from late in the draft, but could fly even higher in the rankings if Morant makes a slow start or is introduced in slowly by the franchise.
Jack Of All Trades…
Cedi Osman (CLE)
Sometimes you just need a little bit of everything. If you’ve built a strong, balanced team and just want to consolidate, Osman is your man. If he breaks through to a new level this year (his third in the league), you will find yourself with a solid points, rebounds, and threes contributor who chips in at just about every category from the small forward position.
It’s Not An Exact Science…
Like anything involving human beings, fantasy basketball isn’t an exact science. I’ve shared some of my best last player picks today, but you can do your own research to take things to the next level. I’m a fan of Josh Lloyd’s Locked On Fantasy Basketball podcast and Kyle Mckeown’s and Josh’s work on Basketball Monster. I also never miss Nate Duncan’s Dunc’d On podcast for the kinds of insight that will help you dominate your fantasy basketball draft and league!
Tweet me @absolutesun or share your questions or ideas for future articles, below in the comments.
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Dave is a weekend fantasy pro, passionate about the NBA and convinced that you don’t have to sacrifice your day job and life responsibilities to compete in your fantasy league. Dave focuses his writing on 101 interpretations of expert analysis so you don’t just know what is going on, but you know exactly what to do with that fantasy basketball strategy knowledge to help you win!
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