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NBA Roundtable

Roundtable: I Love My Squad

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! I’m one of those guys who believes that leagues are won on the waiver wire, but a strong draft alone will get you to the postseason. At Rotoworld, we all have our favorite studs, breakout candidates and value picks, and sometimes we will aggressively draft our targets a round or two early just to be safe. For example, I would’ve sold my left kidney if it meant that I could end up with D’Angelo Russell and Jusuf Nurkic in all my drafts.


Anyways, this week’s topic should be a lot of fun, as I asked the Rotoworld Hoops crew to talk about which team they're most proud of having drafted. Context is everything, so I also asked them to provide a few league details/settings as well. I’ll start us off…


Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)


League Size: 12 teams


Scoring System: 9-cat H2H


Draft Style: Snake


PG- D'Angelo Russell, Jrue Holiday (IR)

SG- James HardenDevin Booker, Danny Green (IR)

SF-  Bojan Bogdanovic, Jonathon Simmons (picked up with extra roster spot)

PF- Al Horford, Draymond Green, Terrence Jones

C- Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Vucevic, Robin Lopez, Bismack Biyombo


I'm in a lot of leagues, but this was the first one that I had the No. 1 pick. Harden looked nothing short of incredible on Wednesday and should help me win points, assists, steals, treys and FT% every week. Al Horford is the definition of a safe pick in the second round and I love that he doesn't hurt me anywhere. Draymond Green loses a bit of luster this season with Durant around, but taking him at the turn of the third round to secure more steals and blocks was a no-brainer.


While I was very satisfied with my top three picks, I was thrilled to get three of my favorite breakout candidates in Russell, Nurkic and Terrence Jones. Nurkic had 23 points (9-of-13 FGS, 5-of-6 FTs) nine rebounds, three dimes and one block in just 26 minutes in his debut, while Russell had 20 points, three dimes and four treys. 


My best value pick in this draft was Vucevic in Round 5 which was just absurd, and I think people are overreacting to the addition of Biyombo. With that said, it's not a bad thing that I used my second to last pick on Biz just in case. Lopez is so underrated and it's amazing how cheap he was in drafts. This team has the look of a league winner and the eventual return of Jrue Holiday will make it even more dangerous. 


My turnovers could get out of hand with Harden, Green and Russell, but I should have a solid FG and FT percentage. I should probably look into acquiring another guard, but my team is balanced pretty well and doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. 


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Ethan Norof (@Ethan_Norof)


League Size: 12 teams


Scoring System: 9-cat H2H


Draft Style: Snake


PG-Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tim Frazier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Marcus Smart

SG-C.J. McCollum, Kent Bazemore, Eric Gordon, Josh Richardson

SF-Tobias Harris, Justise Winslow

PF-Paul Millsap, Ryan Anderson

C-Marc Gasol, Robin Lopez


With the exception of assists, what I most like about this team is its balance. This is a squad where I purposefully emphasized efficiency (Mudiay and Smart were last-round fliers) and targeted those players that contributed in multiple categories rather than just going after a bunch of specialists. The back-to-back top selections of Giannis and Prince Paul really set the tone for that type of roster. 


Nabbing Tobias Harris was a real big get considering his depressed ADP, and I was quite pleased to be able to get discounts on underrated fantasy centers in Marc Gasol and Robin Lopez. Justise Winslow was also a steal in the later rounds, as well. 



Steve Alexander (@docktora)


I have 10 season-long leagues, so it took me a minute to figure out which one was the best. I'm going with my Yahoo!, 14-team, 9-cat, Head-to-head league with Stephen Malkmus and some other rock stars (and celebrity chef David Chang). First of all, it's my favorite league due to the other owners and all-around good times we have doing it. But I also think I had a decent draft. 


I got James Harden at No. 2 and followed him up with Nikola Jokic (not great), D'Angelo Russell, Jusuf Nurkic (to fix the Jokic mistake), Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin, Dwayne Wade, Harrison Barnes, Robert CovingtonJared Sullinger, Evan Turner and Jamal Crawford.


I replaced Sully with Timofey Mozgov, picked up Tony Parker for four games in Week 1 by dropping Crawford, and dumped Turner for Jonathan Simmons after his Tuesday night breakout. I'm a little worried about big-man stats with only Jokic, Nurkic and Mozzy, but as long as I've got Harden running the show, I'm hopeful that I'll have a shot at winning the league.


I'm currently up 6-3 on Bob Nastanovich and only have four blocks after two nights of NBA action. But I also have a ton of assists, points, excellent free throw shooting, rebounds (and turnovers). 



Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)


League Size: 14 teams


Scoring System: 9-cat H2H


Draft Style: Snake


PG: Eric Bledsoe, D’Angelo Russell, Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose

SG: James Harden, Brandon Knight

SF: Chandler Parsons, Al-Farouq Aminu, Brandon Ingram

PF: Julius Randle, Tristan Thompson 

C: Marc Gasol, Jahlil Okafor 



Admittedly, I came away from this draft a little guard heavy, but I think I can address my lack of frontcourt depth by trading one of my excess PG’s for a forward. This is a league with a lot of active owners, so I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding willing trade partners. That is essentially my approach in nearly every draft I’m in, regardless of the sport. The vast majority of the time, I will take the best player available. I’ll worry about balancing my roster after the draft. I just want the best value possible on draft day. 


I got Harden with the 3rd overall pick, so obviously I’m happy with that. I think he finishes the season as fantasy’s top scorer and is the type of dude that can carry you by himself some weeks.


I thought my best value picks were two Lakers. I got D’Angelo Russell in the 5th round and then Julius Randle in the 9th. Randle and Russell each played a team-high 29 minutes in the season opener. Russell poured in 20 points. Randle stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points (9-for-11 from the floor) seven rebounds and six assists.



Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)


League size: 30 teams, 12-man rosters w/ two IR spots


Scoring system: 9-cat head-to-head


Draft Style: Snake


Active Rosters: PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, UTIL


I was the runner-up in the '30-Deep' league for two straight years in 2013 and 2014, but I've yet to break through with a championship. This lineup doesn't jump out because of the absurd depth of the league, so I'll include each player's draft position in parentheses for context. 


Chris Paul (No. 11), Serge Ibaka (50), Evan Fournier (71), Steven Adams (110), Marcus Smart (131), Willie Cauley-Stein (170), Mario Hezonja (191), Andre Roberson (230), Tim Hardaway Jr. (251), Willie Reed (290), Raymond Felton (311), Thomas Robinson (350)


Strengths: CP3 at No. 11 was a great start. Ibaka is a value-pick at 50, and I was very lucky to find a viable No. 1 center (Adams) and a No. 2 point guard (Smart) in the 100-140 range. The later rounds were focused on filling positional gaps with potential upside players (WCS, Hezonja), and I was pleased to snag Roberson way down at No. 230 overall...he won't score much, but does enough to offer legit 9-cat value in a league this deep. Willie Reed has interesting potential and Felton was just insurance for CP3. I've already cut Thomas Robinson.


Weaknesses: The combo of CP3's two-game week and Marcus Smart's ankle injury started my backcourt out on the wrong foot, so to speak. Taking two Magic players with my top three picks leaves me very vulnerable to poor schedules for Orlando, a team that already has a poor playoff schedule. To have a realistic chance at going all the way, I'll need at least two guys to step up from the group with WCS, Hezonja, Hardaway Jr. and Reed.