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Playoff Preview

NBA Playoff Player Rankings

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Playoff leagues have become popular way to extend the fantasy hoops season, while DFS sites will be going strong until they run out of two-game nights. Here is my take on how you might want to approach a playoff draft. I’ve got one on Thursday night, and I’m guessing you might too if you’re reading this.


Winning one of these leagues often comes down to getting the No. 1 or No. 2 pick, when Stephen Curry and LeBron James will be taken. If you don’t get one of those picks, you’ll likely need a team other than the Warriors or Cavaliers to get to the Finals. This is far from an exact science, so if you like a team to advance farther than I appear to, feel free to venture away from these rankings. And if you find yourself with a couple players from one team early, you might want to just stack that team and hope they shock the world - especially if you don't end up with Curry or LeBron. 


Also, keep in mind that the Jazz could still get in over the Rockets. I put the Jazz players in parentheses where you might want to look at them if they get in.


Round 1


1. Stephen Curry PG GSW

2. LeBron James F CLE

3. Draymond Green PF GSW

4. Klay Thompson SG GSW

5. Kyrie Irving PG CLE

6. Kevin Love PF CLE

7. Harrison Barnes SF GSW

8. Kawhi Leonard SF SAN

9. Russell Westbrook PG OKC

10. Kevin Durant SF OKC


Unfortunately, getting the No. 1 or 2 pick in your playoff league will likely be the key to winning it all. Good luck!


Round 2


11. LaMarcus Aldridge PF SAN

12. Chris Paul PG LAC

13. James Harden SG HOU

14. Paul George SF IND

15. Hassan Whiteside C MIA

16. Paul Millsap PF ATL

17. DeAndre Jordan C LAC

18. Damian Lillard PG POR

19. C.J. McCollum SG POR

20. Isaiah Thomas PG BOS


Who knows how many playoff games the Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, Pacers, Heat, Hawks, Blazers and Celtics will play, but here are the top players from most of those teams.


Round 3


21. Dwyane Wade SG MIA

22. Jeff Teague PG ATL

23. Tristan Thompson PF CLE

24. J.R. Smith SG CLE

25. Blake Griffin PF LAC

26. Al Horford C ATL

27. Avery Bradley SG BOS

28. Kemba Walker PG CHA

29. Tony Parker PG SAN

30. Manu Ginobili SG SAN


Here are the rest of the best, with some bad Cavs thrown in for good measure.


Round 4


31. Tim Duncan PF SAN

32. Goran Dragic PG MIA

33. Kyle Lowry PG TOR

34. Enes Kanter C OKC

35. DeMar DeRozan SF TOR

36. J.J. Redick SG LAC

37. Iman Shumpert SF CLE

38. Dwight Howard C HOU (Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert if Jazz get in)

39. Jae Crowder PF BOS

40. Nicolas Batum SF CHA


Tim Duncan should be more reliable in the playoffs than he was in the regular season, while you have to worry about how far guys like Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard and Jae Crowder will go.


Round 5


41. Dirk Nowitzki PF DAL

42. Al Jefferson C CHA

43. Andrew Bogut C GSW

44. Andre Iguodala SF GSW

45. Jonas Valanciunas C TOR

46. Joe Johnson SF MIA

47. Luol Deng PF MIA

48. Marvin Williams PF CHA

49. Deron Williams PG DAL

50. Wesley Matthews SG DAL


You’re pretty much just rolling the dice here and this is where you’ll see guys start finalizing the pieces when stacking teams.


Round 6


51. Al-Farouq Aminu F POR

52. Moe Harkless F POR

53. Steven Adams C OKC

54. Andre Drummond C DET

55. George Hill PG IND

56. Reggie Jackson PG DET

57. Zach Randolph PF MEM

58. Norman Powell SG TOR

59. Patrick Beverley PG HOU (Rodney Hood, Shelvin Mack if Utah gets in)

60. Amir Johnson PF BOS


It will take an upset for one of these guys to break through but I could see the Pacers, Thunder, Raptors and Clippers possibly winning more than one series.


Round 7


61. Jamal Crawford SG LAC

62. Kent Bazemore SG ATL

63. Tobias Harris F DET

64. Marcus Morris F DET

65. J.J. Barea G DAL

66. Zaza Pachulia C DAL

67. Josh Richardson SG MIA

68. Trevor Ariza SG HOU

69. Jeremy Lin G CHA

70. Timofey Mozgov C CLE


There are some good players here, but we just don’t know how deep their teams will go.


Round 8


71. Dennis Schroder PG ATL

72. Monta Ellis SG IND

73. David Lee PF DAL

74. Lance Stephenson G MEM

75. Matt Barnes SF LAC

76. Kyle Korver SG ATL

77. Danny Green SG SAN

78. DeMarre Carroll PF TOR

79. Jared Sullinger C BOS

80. Matthew Dellavedova PG CLE


Even if their teams go deep, there’s not much to love here. Danny Green and Kyle Korver deserve to be next to each other.


Round 9ish


81. Marreese Speights PF GSW

82. Shaun Livingston PG GSW

83. Channing Frye PF CLE

84. Festus Ezeli C GSW

85. Richard Jefferson SF CLE

86. Brandon Rush SG GSW

87. Anderson Varejao C GSW

88. Mo Williams PG CLE

89. Myles Turner PF IND

90. Ian Mahinmi C IND

91. JaMychal Green C MEM

92. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG DET

93. Courtney Lee SG CHA

94. Corey Brewer SG HOU


The rest of the scrubs on championship-caliber teams should all be drafted and might be worth taking a little earlier than I have them listed here.




Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.