You might be preparing for your last-minute Fantasy football drafts or setting the perfect lineup for Week 1, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the Fantasy world stops. I’m still fighting for my Fantasy baseball championship, while still keeping an eye on the start of Fantasy hoops too.
In fact, draft season has officially kicked off here at CBSSports.com! We’ll be starting our mock drafts next week, but I have already taken part in a few outside of the office — don’t tell my co-workers! I did one Thursday afternoon with some of my twitter followers, and another a few weeks ago with members of the Fantasy community, the results of which can be found here.
I ended up with an early pick in both drafts — No. 1 in one, No. 4 in the other — and my drafts predictably went in separate directions fairly quickly. But there was one thread in common in both, and that was my selection of Los Angeles Clippers ‘ big man DeAndre Jordan in the third round in each draft.
|FG%: 70.3||FT%: 43.0||FPts/G: 30.4|
Jordan is a tough player to build around in Fantasy. He absolutely dominates field-goal percentage, blocks and rebounds, ranking first, second and third in the NBA last season in those categories. However, he is an absolute drain on your free-throw percentage; he is an historically poor shooter from the line, and actually took more shots from the line than the field last season.
Jordan is a player who defines your team, for good and bad, when you choose to select him. He is either undraftable in some players’ eyes or a real bargain, and you can guess where I fall on that spectrum. Drafting Jordan requires a delicate balancing act throughout your draft, but if you can manage it right, Jordan can be a tremendous building block. Let’s look at how I did.
First Mock Draft Results: No. 1 Overall Pick
|Round||Pick No.||My Rank||Player||POS|
|4||48||33||Nicolas Batum||SF, SG|
|5||49||42||Khris Middleton||SG, SF|
|10||120||75||Zach LaVine||SG, PG|
|11||121||97||Aaron Gordon||PF, SF|
That balancing act becomes quite a bit easier if you have the opportunity to pick Harden, who has led the league in free-throw attempts in three of the past four seasons while shooting 86.1 percent at the line in that span. Still, even Harden, the best FT% doctor in the league, can’t make up for Jordan single-handedly, as the two combined to shoot 67.7 percent at the line last season. Harden is a start, but you can’t just choose him and forget about the process entirely.
I thought I managed it about as well as possible at the time, but the team ended up shooting just 73.5% last season from the stripe, a number that will likely put me at or near the bottom in most Rotisserie leagues. The decision to take Jordan alone cost me seven points in free-throw percentage, but he wasn’t the only one who hurt me; Green, Parsons and Ingram all came in below 70 percent last season. However, Parsons has been in the 72-74 percent range in his previous three seasons, so it isn’t unreasonable to expect a bounce-back there.
Ingram could be the key to making it all fit. He got to the free-throw line 4.7 times per game in college, but shot just 68.2 percent when he got there, an abysmal number for a player whose most translatable skill is supposed to be shooting. Given how well he is expected to shoot overall in the pros, I think he might project as more of an 80 percent shooter. If he can get there, the team starts to creep up to respectability.
You’ll never be able to win free throws with Jordan on your roster, but if you can avoid a dead-last finish, his productivity otherwise makes it worth it. This team might struggle to score as well, with only one 20-PPG scorer from last season, and the run from Round 7-10 features four risk/reward players who are going to make or break my season. If nothing else, this team is going to make me sweat.
Second Mock Draft Results: No. 4 Overall Pick
|Round||Pick No.||My Rank||Player||POS|
|4||45||33||Nicolas Batum||SF, SG|
|7||76||52||Evan Fournier||SG, SF|
|9||100||87||Clint N’Dumba-Capela||C, PF|
This is a textbook example of how to make up for Jordan’s shortcomings, right up until Round 9, when I screwed it up. If you take out Capela and Jordan, my first 10 picks combined to shoot 85.4 percent from the free-throw line last season. If you take out just Jordan, they shot 81.1 percent; if you take out just Capela, they shot 75.9 percent.
What I might have to do with this team is look for a trade involving either Capela or Jordan. As you can tell by my ranking of both, I viewed them each as a relative bargain to where I picked them, but you cannot possibly consider combining Capela and Jordan in a true season-long Rotisserie league. Head-to-head categories? Sure, you can punt one or two and still be competitive on a weekly basis.
But this highlights what a delicate balance you have to strike when you decide to take Jordan. The start of a Fantasy draft is full of possibilities, but taking a player like Jordan with an early pick really narrows your path down, and any deviation from that can be deadly.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / 2016 Fantasy Basketball Mock Draft Review: Building around DeAndre Jordan