This article is part of our Rebound & Rant series.
Are you familiar with the NFBKC? You should be. The lengthy acronym stands for National Fantasy Basketball Championship. They started in 2006, with the premise of paid entry contests resulting in both league champions and a single national champion winner derived from their 100's of leagues. Learn more here. These are all season-long contests, with standard 8-category roto stats. (No turnovers, which is my only complaint). They use the KDS Preference system to set draft order and go with a 3rd Round Reversal draft process, both of which are great features. As you can imagine, the $350 entry feed weeds out the beginners. NFBKC battles are for folks who know what they are doing. And me.
This season there are over 16 "RotoWire Online Championship" leagues, where a RotoWire scribe participates within each league. Yours truly drafted his squad on Friday. Here are the results and my semi-intelligent observations:
K-Train's NFBKC Draft (6th spot, 3RR)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo, 6
- Kemba Walker, 19
- LaMarcus Aldridge, 31 (F/C)
- C.J. McCollum, 42
- Klay Thompson, 55
- Ricky Rubio, 66
- Serge Ibaka, 79 (F/C)
- Kyle Kuzma, 90
- Lauri Markkanen, 103
- Lonzo Ball, 114
- Josh Jackson, 127
- Markieff Morris, 138
- Bojan Bogdanovic, 151
- Marcin Gortat, 162
- Marvin Williams, 175
- Terry Rozier, 186
It was a very fun draft, with lots of enjoyable sidebar banter. Everyone involved was highly informed and clearly had some sleeper picks they were willing to reach for. Here are my observations:
Love for Ayton
There was a definite premium paid for Centers (active lineups are 4G, 4F, 2C and 2 flex). Combine that with a group obsessed with nabbing high ceiling rookies, and I should not have been surprised that Deandre Ayton was picked 32nd . I was debating LaMarcus Aldridge (F,C) versus Ayton with pick 31. I figured Ayton had a better chance at being available in the fourth round – heck, I had Ayton ranked in the upper 50's. So I took the vet, LMA. Ayton was then nabbed with the very next pick, so clearly I was wrong about Ayton lasting. I learned later that Ayton went 29th in Shannon McKeown's NFBKC draft a few days earlier. I'm a typical cranky old man when evaluating rookies, but this is a no turnover league, so I should be a tad more optimistic with the youngsters. In three games of pre-season ball, Ayton is averaging 21.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks from
Hate for Ball
I've made it clear in past R&R's that I have a strong disdain for the entire Ball family. I want nothing to do with Lonzo Ball and his poor shooting. So I thought I was being sufficiently negative when I ranked him 77th before the draft. I still took teammate Kyle Kuzma at 90, despite Ball still on the board (and showing the highest ADP of remaining players). Come the 9th round, I grabbed Markkanen despite a November 30th expected return from injury date. Ball sat in the virtual green room, a top the available player list, for what seemed like forever. I finally relented with the 114th pick and grabbed Ball. Will he lose touches to LeBron? Of course he will. But point guards are always valuable, even if you hate their Dad. For your reference, here are a few PG's picked ahead of Ball: D'Angelo Russell (70), Goran Dragic (72), Dennis Smith (81), Darren Collison (91), Elfrid Payton (93), Trae Young (97), De'Aaron Fox (99), Markelle Fultz (now THAT's a shooting problem, 112).
Centers Going EARLY!
I know I mentioned that there was a premium on Centers. Still, I can't decide whether or not I was smart to ignore the trend. Here are some of the crazier early center picks (Actual pick number, K-Train ranking):
Whiteside was grabbed after four straight centers were nabbed. That had to be a panic move. Sometimes you just gotta stay strong with your pre-draft rankings. (Someone is going to send me a link to his article when I'm ranked 10th in blocks and FG%).
Shooting Guards Ignored
It wasn't my plan to end up with C.J. McCollum or Klay Thompson, but the value for both was just too much to ignore. I had McCollum ranked 26th and grabbed him at 42. I can't ignore 2.3 treys and 1.0 steals per game, with solid percentages. Same story with Thompson at 55. I had him ranked 28th. Let's hope both continue pitching in a half block a game, or I'm in trouble. With the Thompson pick I would have been wise to remember that there are no trades in NFBKC (to prevent collusion). I may not be able to leverage my extra made threes.
Marvin Williams is The Classic Old Man K-Train Move
Why is it I'm unable to turn my back on aging vets with limited upside? OK, sure, I grabbed Williams in the 15th round. But why didn't I grab a youngster like Jerami Grant, who could start for OKC and clearly has more upside? I always draft Williams thinking "well, he should start" and then immediately regret it.
Well, ballers, I hope my analysis above has interested you in joining an NFBKC league. Again,
click here to learn more. CHOO-CHOO!