NBA Roundtable: Postseason Fantasy Draft

NBA Roundtable: Postseason Fantasy Draft

This article is part of our NBA Roundtable series.

Using, a group of RotoWire writers took part in a postseason fantasy draft. Here are the results:

1J. HardenGHOU
2K. DurantFGSW
3G. AntetokounmpoFMIL
4S. CurryGGSW
5N. JokicCDEN
6D. CousinsCGSW
7K. LeonardFTOR
8J. EmbiidCPHI
9R. WestbrookGOKC
10K. ThompsonGGSW
11K. IrvingGBOS
12C. CapelaCHOU
13K. MiddletonFMIL
14B. SimmonsGPHI
15D. GreenFGSW
16E. BledsoeGMIL
17D. LillardGPOR
18P. SiakamFTOR
19P. GeorgeFOKC
20K. LowryGTOR
21T. HarrisFPHI
22J. MurrayGDEN
23A. HorfordCBOS
24B. LopezCMIL
25C. PaulGHOU
26J. ButlerFPHI
27S. AdamsCOKC
28P. MillsapFDEN
29M. GasolCTOR
30S. IbakaCTOR
31D. DeRozanGSAS
32A. DrummondCDET
33N. VucevicCORL
34J. TatumFBOS
35J. RedickGPHI
36L. AldridgeFSAS
37F. VanVleetGTOR
38D. MitchellGUTA
39A. IguodalaGGSW
40J. GrantFOKC
41C. McCollumGPOR
42R. GobertCUTA
43G. HarrisGDEN
44G. HaywardFBOS
45M. MorrisFBOS
46G. HillGMIL
47M. PlumleeFDEN
48M. TurnerCIND
49R. RubioGUTA
50T. YoungFIND
51D. RussellGBKN
52D. GreenGTOR
53D. SchroderGOKC
54J. BrownFBOS
55J. InglesFUTA
56E. GordonGHOU
57B. GriffinFDET
58E. KanterCPOR
59W. BartonGDEN
60K. LooneyFGSW
61M. MorrisGDEN
62R. GayFSAS
63D. CollisonGIND
64D. GallinariFLAC
65P. TuckerFHOU
66T. RozierGBOS
67M. BeasleyGDEN
68P. ConnaughtonGMIL
69K. FariedFHOU
70D. SabonisFIND
71M. BrogdonGMIL
72D. FavorsFUTA
73B. BogdanovicFIND
74E. IlyasovaFMIL
75J. PoeltlCSAS
76S. DinwiddieGBKN
77A. BogutCGSW

Afterward, I sent out a list of questions to gauge people's feelings about the draft. Hopefully, it can provide some insight if you're looking to participate in a postseason draft of your own.

What was your strategy heading into the draft?

Peter Schoenke: I wanted to back a team in each quadrant of the playoff bracket:  GS, DEN, IND, PHI.

Nick Brazzoni: I didn't really have a strategy. I was just going to play it round by round. I tried not to get cute and just took the best available in the first two rounds, but then I started honing in on teams. By the time my third picked rolled around, I saw the opportunity to take a number of Raptors players with value, and focused on getting those guys from that point on. 

Jeff Edgerton: I wanted to target players who would eventually win a series that could go to 7 games, rather than just drilling favorites, as teams like the Warriors and Bucks would be more prone to sweeps. That's primarily why I chose Harden.

Sasha Yodashkin: I tried to grab impact players that I expect to go deep early, then round out my lineup with some of the top guys on lesser teams. While it's important to lay a foundation of safe guys from top teams, the top players on teams that make unexpected runs are the real moneymakers in this format.

Ken Crites: The goal was to stack one or two 2nd-tier teams.  I won this league last year by having KD and a bunch of Celtics.  This year, I had the last pick (11th), so no studs were left.  I grabbed Kyrie and Capela at the turn, committing to stacking either Celtics or Rockets. On my third pick I had to decide between either Al Horford or Chris Paul.  The decision was really "Do the Celtics have a better chance versus the Bucks than the Rockets do versus GS?"  I decided Boston had a better chance of the upset and took Horford.  It was all Celtics after that.  There's no prize for 2nd place – you gotta go for it.

Joel Bartilotta: My strategy coming into the draft was to take as many Warriors and Bucks as possible. That's why I really wanted a top-three pick to land either Antetokounmpo, Durant or Curry but I had to do some adjusting picking 11th. I went with this strategy because I feel as though Golden State and Milwaukee are heavy favorites to reach the Finals and that accumulating as many games as possible is key in this sort of format. 

Mike Barner: I was hoping to get an early pick so I could grab Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the stars on the Warriors or Kawhi Leonard. Since I had the ninth pick, that didn't happen. I did have a chance to grab Klay Thompson, but I think the Thunder have a good run in them, so I couldn't pass up Russell Westbrook.

AJ Scholz: My goal was to try to prioritize players on team ranked 1/2/3, while also trying to make sure I didn't over stack in any one position. Golden State was my priority, as were the Bucks, but I'm sure was the same goal for everybody else.

Shannon McKeown: My goal was to draft as many players as possible from the four teams I expect to make the East and West Conference Finals -- Warriors, Bucks, Thunder and Sixers. 

Alex Barutha: Take players that I think will go far in the playoffs with my early picks. Very late in the draft, I was hoping to just snag some players who might give me quality Round 1 and 2 value.

James Harden, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the first three picks of the draft. In what order would YOU have drafted those players?

Peter Schoenke: Durant just because the Warriors are such a favorite for the finals.

Nick Brazzoni: Giannis first. Not only because he's a statistical beast, but because Harden and Durant likely have to play each other in the second round. I'll take what is likely a safer play with Giannis and his numbers over anything. From there, Durant and then Harden because it would still be shocking if Durant and the Warriors weren't in the finals and playing twice as many games as the Rockets.

Jeff Edgerton: I chose Harden, and I've already illustrated my reasoning there. I would have likely gone with Giannis second, as he will likely play more games than Durant overall.

Sasha Yodashkin: I would go Giannis, Durant, Harden. I just don't see Houston getting out of the second round. While Durant's the safer pick, Giannis has the best balance of per-game fantasy points and a high ceiling for games played. 

Ken Crites: KD, Giannis and then Harden.  This game is much more about picking the winning teams, not the best fantasy players. The Warriors are the heavy favorites. Sadly, with the 11th pick, I was nowhere near having to make this decision.

Joel Bartilotta: Giannis, Durant, Harden. I was pretty shocked to see Harden go first, as he may not even get past the first-round. Even if he does, he has to play the Warriors in the second round and I don't imagine him getting past them.

Mike Barner: Giannis, Durant, Harden.

AJ Scholz: Giannis, KD, Harden based on how far I expect the teams to go.

Shannon McKeown: My top three would have been Antetokounmpo, Durant and Steph Curry, in that order. I had the 3rd pick and didn't have any hopes of landing the Greek Freak. Unless you're convinced Harden is going to beat the Warriors in Round 2, there's no way he can be an option at No. 1. Hell, I probably wouldn't have picked Harden in the top 8.

Alex Barutha: Giannis, Durant, Harden. I think the Bucks will play the most playoff games, and that they'll meet the Warriors in the Finals. 

Who was the steal of the first three rounds?

Peter Schoenke: It wasn't Embiid if he sits out games. I maybe took on too much risk.

Nick Brazzoni: Obviously I think Giannis going anything but No. 1 overall is a steal, but other than him, I think his teammate Eric Bledsoe was the steal of the first few rounds. Bledsoe's been having a stellar second half of the season and appears to be locked in heading into postseason player. His lackluster play in last year's playoffs is obviously a cause for concern, but given that he appears to have a totally different mindset this season, I think he'll continue to be productive as the team leans on him for more production on both ends of the floor. Pair that with that fact that the Bucks are the favorites out East, and I think 16th overall is terrific value. 

Jeff Edgerton: Chris Paul. I didn't expect him to fall that low, and he will be a great value if Houston can play 12-14 games.

Sasha Yodashkin: Paul Millsap getting snapped up the pick before mine in the third round hurt. I can see Denver making the Western Conference Finals while playing a pair of long series to get there and Millsap's well-rounded game makes him an underrated fantasy option.

Ken Crites: There are very few playable Centers.  Brook Lopez at 24th could be huge if the Bucks can make it to Game 7 of the ECF.

Joel Bartilotta: This may sound strange but Antetokounmpo at 3 is an absolute steal. He was my clear cut top option and to land him at number three really surprised me. Jimmy Butler falling to 26th in a nice buy too, as I expect Philly to meet Milwaukee in the conference finals. 

Mike Barner: I really like Paul George at 19th overall. I passed on a chance to pair him with Westbrook and took Ben Simmons instead, which I immediately regretted.

AJ Scholz: Assuming the Bucks make a deep run, which I believe they will, I think Bledsoe in the third round was a great value pick. I could have seen him going higher.

Shannon McKeown: It's an embarrassment that Paul George dropped to the 19th pick. I had the 20th pick and would have declared myself the league champ if he was still available at that point.

Alex Barutha: Aside from Giannis, getting Brook Lopez in the third round was savvy, assuming the Bucks play the most games. He has high upside given his ability to block shots and get hot from deep.

Assuming the Clippers don't pull off the +10,000 upset over the Warriors, was drafting players on the other side of the bracket a priority? (POR, OKC, DEN, SAS).

Peter Schoenke: I tried to get one other Western Conference team and ended up with POR after most DEN players were taken before me.

Nick Brazzoni: A priority? Definitely not, as it's a crapshoot between these teams. But once I saw Paul George at 19, there was no way I was going to pass on him. OKC has an above-average chance of making the conference finals based on matchups, which made PG a no-brainer for me. But for players available after that, I was hesitant. 

Jeff Edgerton: Not necessarily.  I think that side is pretty volatile, but I split my attention between that section and reliable teams in the East.

Sasha Yodashkin: Yes and no. I definitely feel like Harden in particular lost some value because he's blocked by the Warriors, but only one of the teams in the other half of the West bracket is making it to the Western Conference Finals so I viewed the players from that section more on individual merit than based on team. I like Denver to make it there, but I think the true value if you're trying to maximize games played lies in the East.

Ken Crites: I think OKC could sweep Portland, so I avoided the Blazers.  Once Jokic was off the board, stacking Nuggets wasn't really an option.  But I certainly entertained the idea when I didn't know my draft spot.

Joel Bartilotta: No, my priority was to land as many Warriors as possible. While I was only able to get one, I countered that by banking on the Bucks. If Milwaukee and Golden State meet in the finals and go at least five games, I will almost surely accrue the most games played, despite the fact that I have a weaker roster.

Mike Barner: I avoided the Blazers because I don't think they'll make it out of the first round, same for the Spurs. As I already mentioned, I like the Thunder to make some noise in the playoffs, so I was happy to end up with Westbrook. I took Mason Plumlee solely because I think the Nuggets have a very good shot at making the Western Conference Finals based on how the seeding played out.

AJ Scholz: I definitely wanted to avoid matchups with the Warriors and took both Millsap and Morris from Denver, but couldn't avoid Favors with my last pick. Felt he was the best player still available.

Shannon McKeown: Absolutely. Avoiding the Warriors in Round 2 is a huge win to all players on the other side of the bracket. I was planning to go heavy on the Thunder, as I believe they will dispatch of both Portland and the DEN/SAS winner with relative ease.

Alex Barutha: I probably didn't consider it as much as I should have initially, but I ended up with only one player from that side of the bracket (Ricky Rubio) after things were said and done.

How do you feel about your team overall?

Peter Schoenke: I think backing Indianapolis could be a nice risk-reward play for me since that series may be a true toss up.

Nick Brazzoni: Locking up someone like Steph makes me feel great on its own. Getting Paul George as my second guy also feels like a huge win. But the fact that my team is relying on the Raptors to shake off their playoff demons maybe isn't such a great sign. I do think their fortune will change, however, now that they have Danny Green at shooting guard instead of DeMar DeRozan.

Jeff Edgerton: Honestly, not great. I was hoping one reasonable Warrior would come my way and lost out on some guys that got picked just before my turn. I think going first was a handicap in this format due to the severe tier drops between 1 and 22.

Sasha Yodashkin: I like my team. If most of my players are able to go fairly deep and get into some long series, I have some guys that can rack up serious value in a hurry.

Ken Crites: Post-season leagues are much more random than full season.  So I don't mind making some picks with my heart instead of my brain.  This New Englander is very happy with my five Celtics.

Joel Bartilotta: When I look at my roster, I kinda hate it honestly. But, I purely went for quantity over quality and stayed true to my strategy. With only two moves available, I'm hoping to keep this roster throughout the whole of the postseason. Then, I'll just drop Harris and Tucker when they get knocked out while riding my Bucks and Thompson to the finish line. If Milwaukee and Golden State don't get there, I'll lose anyway, so may as well go all-in on that finals matchup. 

Mike Barner: I don't like my chances of winning this. I didn't end up with anyone on the Warriors, Bucks or Raptors, so I'm going to need someone to pull off an upset if I'm going to make a run.

AJ Scholz: Not great. I think I have too many shares of Western Conference teams and would have liked to spread it out between East and West.

Shannon McKeown: Owning Antetokounmpo means I have a chance to be competitive, but I'm not terribly high on my squad. I waited too long to draft a center and I was sniped on a couple of my targets (George, Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka). 

Alex Barutha: My main roster is comprised of players from Milwaukee, Toronto and OKC, which I think will bode well. I'm upset I don't have any Warriors players. Rubio and Rudy Gay are my weakest links, but I think the Spurs do have a chance at an upset.

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Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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