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Draft Guide Preview

Default Ranks: ESPN & Yahoo

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 7, 2018, 7:46 pm ET

The NBA season kicks off early for 2018-19 with a two-game slate on Oct. 16 -- the Sixers face the Celtics in Boston, followed by the Thunder visiting the Warriors. The accelerated start to the season means fantasy owners have less time to prepare cheat sheets, analyze rotations and position battles, and organize lengthy pre-draft player queues.


That's where the Rotoworld Draft Guide comes in!


One of the most potent tools in a fantasy owners' arsenal is knowing how to take advantage of a site's default player rankings. Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) explains the importance in his Default Ranks columns for ESPN and Yahoo:


"When you're in a draft room, the default ranks could impact how you rank players when it's your turn to pick. What's more, if someone isn't very prepared, those rankings will absolutely affect their selection.


With that, we take another look at which players we have higher or lower based on where they appear in default ranks."


Here's a sampling of Mike's takes on the ESPN default ranks, identifying players listed too high or too low. There's a separate column breaking down Yahoo ranks, and each column has dozens upon dozens of draft-day recommendations.



"Players listed higher than expected (players I’d prefer to take later than listed)


LeBron James (4) - Talk of minutes coming down; no way he plays 82 again, right?

Russell Westbrook (6) - Even in eight-cat leagues, he was still just 12th.

Joel Embiid (9) - This would require a lot of trust in the health. #TITH

Kawhi Leonard (11) - Ditto.

John Wall (12) - Triple ditto? Wall’s double knee surgery from two summers ago is scary.

Kevin Love (22) - Serious upside and will be focal point, but would wait until third.

Kyrie Irving (23) - He is going to be 100% to start the year, but Boston wants him 100% in April.

DeAndre Jordan (24) - Maybe if you go LeBron/Giannis in R1 and Ben R2, you could go DJ in R3.

Draymond Green (25) - 24th per game in eight-cat leagues, but late-season rest is scary.

Blake Griffin (26) - Strong schedule late, but still too many health risks.

Dwight Howard (28) - Offensive usage should fall in Washington.

[continued in Draft Guide]



Players listed lower than expected (players I’d prefer to take earlier than listed)


Karl-Anthony Towns (5) - Starting all 246 games at his volume is wild.

Nikola Jokic (8) - No. 3 player in last two months, strong late schedule, Nuggets offense will be elite.

Damian Lillard (17) - As durable as it gets at guard, has been tremendous down the stretch in last two years.

Victor Oladipo (20) - Steals leader with well-rounded stat lines and solid efficiency. Last year was no fluke.

Paul George (29) - 33.5 usage rate without Melo on the floor last year. Should go at the turn of round 1-2.

Bradley Beal (30) - Over fibula fracture with 77 and 82 games over last two years. John Wall’s risk adds to BB’s upside.

Kyle Lowry (34) - Goes from having super durable sidekick in DeMar to injury-prone Kawhi.

Kemba Walker (41) - New, up-tempo offense, has missed just six games in last two seasons.

[continued in Draft Guide]



Who to scroll down for after 100 in shallow leagues and should be 30-70 spots higher


Jayson Tatum (101) - Lots of mouths to feed, but obviously have to take around 50-60

Jaren Jackson Jr. (102) - Block rate should be big time, two-position flexibility helps floor.

Robert Covington (112) - First-round value down the stretch, but may take hit.

Wendell Carter Jr. (114) - All the WCJ for me.

Taurean Prince (117) - Last 16: 20.9 points, 4.9 boards, 4.1 dimes, 1.1 steals and 3.1 treys.

Evan Fournier (127) - Boring, but should produce.

[continued in Draft Guide]"



To make things even simpler for fantasy GMs, the Guide includes lists of rankings -- both league-wide and for each position -- which can be printed out and/or viewed online as a cheat-sheet on draft night. And if you're not in a straight-forward 8-cat or 9-cat league, no problem. With our 'Custom Scoring System' you can modify your league size, roster depth, categories, and (if it's an auction) salary cap.


In addition to the Draft Guide, this is a great time to check out Rotoworld's premium Season Pass! Throughout the year, the Season Pass is your one-stop destination for domination. In it, members can access:


Top-200 Values (rest-of-season)

Weekly Stat Projections

Weekly Position Rankings

Playing Time Reports

Updated Dynasty Rankings

The 'Oracle' Report with info specific to your team(s)

'Pickups of the Day'

Dozens of exclusive Columns

Schedule Breakdown

...and for the first time ever, Rotoworld is proud to present the DFS Toolkit!


Whether your leagues' championships involve bragging rights, a tidy payday, or both, the Draft Guide & Season Pass are designed specifically to help you crush the competition. Let’s get started.

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.