Every year people put together rankings and many people draft solely based off of said rankings. Over the years I’ve learned one thing: Having a list of players you don’t want tends to be more beneficial than having someone tell you who you should want.
The most important thing for me when I’m drafting is making sure I have a team full of players I at least like. If you don’t like your players, it’s tough to enjoy setting your lineup every day.
Every year before my drafts I set a list of players I’m staying away from. Here’s what my list looks like this year.
Hip injury aside, there’s too many cooks in the kitchen in Cleveland for me to get excited about Thomas. Yes, Kyrie Irving was highly successful in Cleveland but this is a completely different roster. With Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade, JR Smith, Kyle Korver, Lebron James and Kevin Love all on the roster demanding shots, it’s hard to see how Thomas will get the needed opportunities to score like we have all become accustomed to. With a current ADP of 57 (according to FantasyPros.com), there are plenty of PG farther down the list I would rather have. Elfrid Payton (#60), Dennis Smith Jr (#72) & Malcolm Brogdon (#106) are all guys I believe will end up putting up similar, if not better stats than Thomas this season.
My reasoning for Lebron is somewhat similar to Isaiah. Again, there’s starting to be too many mouths to feed in Cleveland and Lebron has already shown that he’s ready to start taking a back seat. He’s starting to rest more each year and this team arguably has more people with the ability to shoulder the load. With an ADP of 6, I can’t justify taking him over guys like Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard.
As a basketball fan, I love me some Paul George. He’s an ultra-talented player who plays both sides of the ball extremely well. I also loved the move to OKC when it was just going to be him, Russ and who cares who else. Then the Thunder decided to add Carmelo Anthony to the mix. After that, my inner fantasy basketball fan died a little. Westbrook and Anthony are two players that demand the ball and tend to be more quantity over quality when it comes to their shots. They also ranked #2 and #3 in isolation plays last year. Much of George’s 2017-18 ADP (#17) is based off of how dominant he was last year and I’m not sure he will have the ball in his hands enough to warrant being a second round pick. Draymond Green (#21), Demar Derrozan (#26) and even Otto Porter (#51) are SF/PF eligible guys you can take later who will have similar fantasy production.
Yes, I’m aware this is the third Cleveland player on the list. No, I don’t have anything against the cavaliers. This selection actually has a lot less to do with him being on the Cavs and a lot more to do with him being at the tail end of his career. He will end the year with decent counting stats, but my biggest issue with Wade is availability. He has only played in 70 games or more once since the 2010-11 season. There is nothing more frustrating than a player who misses games constantly. If I’m committing to someone on my roster, they have to be someone I can count on on be out there on a consistent basis. Currently with an ADP of #81, Jamal Murray (#126), Malcolm Brogdon (#106) and Darren Collison (#100) are all later round guys that will still be highly productive.
My biggest issue with Gasol is his lack of rebounding. If I’m going to draft someone to occupy a PF/C spot in my lineup, they better average more than 6.3 rebounds per game. Last year, Brook Lopez was the only starting center to average fewer rebounds per game (5.4). Yes Gasol does now contribute in threes and assists, but his 45% shooting is also sub-par and if I’m gonna draft someone who shoots 45% and can’t rebound, he better be under 6’7″. With Gasol currently sitting as a fourth round pick (#32), I’d much rather take Joel Embiid in the same round (#35) even with his minutes restriction or wait and take someone like Andre Drummond (#43) or Jusuf Nurkic (#45) a round later.