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Reader Draft: 8-cat Roto

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This is a mock draft from a Rotoworld reader, Dorian, who was kind enough to share it for inclusion in the Draft Guide. I was not in this draft and neither were any Rotoworld employees or fantasy writers. The idea is to present what a 'normal' draft might look like, rather than one where six professional fantasy writers who know one another are all competing for the same picks.


This draft fits the bill perfectly and it even has one auto-draft team (The Steel Curtain), which is not uncommon. Here are the league details:




12 teams, 14 players per team

PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, C, UTIL, UTIL, Bench (x4)


Round 1

Anthony Davis(NO - PF,C) And 1z
Stephen Curry(GS - PG,SG) Salami & Cheese
James Harden(Hou - SG,SF) I GET BUCKETS
Russell Westbrook(OKC - PG) OKC
Chris Paul(LAC - PG) metaworldpanda
Kevin Durant(OKC - SF,PF) Jail Blazers
DeMarcus Cousins(Sac - PF,C) White Chocolate
LeBron James(Cle - SF,PF) World B. Free
Kawhi Leonard(SA - SG,SF) The Steel Curtain
LaMarcus Aldridge(SA - PF,C) Ultimate Warriors
Al Horford(Atl - PF,C) Kobe Wan Kenobi
John Wall(Was - PG) I am Sams


The first round was pretty typical with two exceptions -- Chris Paul going ahead of Kevin Durant at No. 5 in an 8-cat league, and Al Horford going No. 11 overall. CP3 is coming off an 82-game season and presumably Durant's foot surgery scared away 'metaworldpanda' from taking him, but Durant has looked terrific all preseason and isn't on any sort of medical limit -- I can't pass him up at No. 4 in any format this year. Horford is an excellent player who is often underrated in fantasy, but I think this was a big reach by Kobe Wan Kenobi -- Jimmy B, Klay and Lillard would all have been way ahead of Horford for me.


Round 2

Klay Thompson(GS - SG,SF) I am Sams
Damian Lillard(Por - PG) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Jimmy Butler(Chi - SG,SF) Ultimate Warriors
Carmelo Anthony(NY - SF,PF) The Steel Curtain
Rudy Gobert(Uta - C) World B. Free
Kyle Lowry(Tor - PG) White Chocolate
Nikola Vucevic(Orl - PF,C) Jail Blazers
Paul George(Ind - SG,SF,PF) metaworldpanda
Nerlens Noel(Phi - PF,C) OKC
Kyrie Irving(Cle - PG,SG) I GET BUCKETS
Serge Ibaka(OKC - PF,C) Salami & Cheese
Blake Griffin(LAC - PF,C) And 1z

I'm warming to Carmelo as a target in the second round, as he's looked completely healthy and dominant this preseason. Paul George has also leapt up my rankings with a strong exhibition season, whereas I was initially skeptical of his health. He's getting a ton of touches and could thrive offensively as a stretch-PF this year, so if he stays healthy this could be a steal for the metaworldpandas.


I love Nerlens Noel right around No. 20, and you can often get him lower than this -- it's worth reiterating that over the final 26 games last season he averaged 13.1 points, 10.0 boards, 1.9 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. I don't have a strong argument against a single pick in this round.


Round 3

Eric Bledsoe(Pho - PG,SG) And 1z
Paul Millsap(Atl - PF,C) Salami & Cheese
Brook Lopez(Bkn - C) I GET BUCKETS
Chris Bosh(Mia - PF,C) OKC
Marc Gasol(Mem - C) metaworldpanda
Kevin Love(Cle - PF,C) Jail Blazers
Andre Drummond(Det - PF,C) White Chocolate
Draymond Green(GS - SF,PF) World B. Free
Hassan Whiteside(Mia - C) The Steel Curtain
Pau Gasol(Chi - PF,C) Ultimate Warriors
Al Jefferson(Cha - PF,C) Kobe Wan Kenobi
DeAndre Jordan(LAC - C) I am Sams

No. 25 overall would be too early for Eric Bledsoe in a 9-cat league, but I think this is a reasonable spot for him in 8-cat. Chris Bosh has been falling pretty far in many drafts but that didn't happen here, as OKC scooped him up at No. 28. Marc Gasol was stolen with the very next pick, and I like the Ultimate Warriors' pick of Pau late in the third round. Pau isn't a particularly 'fun' pick, and he lacks the explosive upside of someone like Hassan Whiteside, but he's also far safer. I don't expect a repeat of last season's monster numbers now that Hoiberg is in control, but Pau has been a top-20 player in 8-cat for five of the past seven seasons.


The only pick I dislike is Al Jefferson at No. 35 overall. Big Al slimmed down this summer and this could pay off if the 30-year-old stays healthy, but I'm afraid that his disappointing 2014-15 campaign will be the start of a slow decline. If I'm targeting a big man in this range, I'd rather have Greg Monroe, Derrick Favors, or even one of the punt-FT% centers.


Round 4

Greg Monroe(Mil - PF,C) I am Sams
Rudy Gay(Sac - SF,PF) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Mike Conley(Mem - PG) Ultimate Warriors
Victor Oladipo(Orl - PG,SG) The Steel Curtain
Gordon Hayward(Uta - SG,SF) World B. Free
Kyle Korver(Atl - SG,SF) White Chocolate
Reggie Jackson(Det - PG,SG) Jail Blazers
Derrick Favors(Uta - PF,C) metaworldpanda
Marcin Gortat(Was - C) OKC
Trevor Ariza(Hou - SG,SF) I GET BUCKETS
Jeff Teague(Atl - PG) Salami & Cheese
Danilo Gallinari(Den - SF) And 1z

The 'I am Sams' locked up an elite backcourt in the first two rounds with Klay Thompson and John Wall, so they used the turn of rounds 3 & 4 to lock up DeAndre and Monroe. Pairing DeAndre with guards who get 3-pointers and assists is critical, so I already like where this punt-FT% approach is going (though in general I'm not huge on punting in 8-cat).


Reggie Jackson averaged 18.5 points and 8.7 assists as a starter last season and Detroit installed him as their unquestioned PG with a big contract this summer, so I'm not at all concerned about Brandon Jennings' eventual return. It helps that his copious turnovers don't matter in 8-cat.


This is a bit early for Kyle Korver, especially since 3-pointers are relatively easy to mine in the final rounds, but Round 4 saw some of my favorite (and often undervalued) targets fly off the board -- Marcin Gortat, Trevor Ariza, Jeff Teague and Danilo Gallinari.


Round 5

DeMar DeRozan(Tor - SG,SF) And 1z
Giannis Antetokounmpo(Mil - SF,PF) Salami & Cheese
Kenneth Faried(Den - PF,C) I GET BUCKETS
Kemba Walker(Cha - PG) OKC
Monta Ellis(Ind - PG,SG) metaworldpanda
Dwight Howard(Hou - PF,C) Jail Blazers
Jonas Valanciunas(Tor - C) White Chocolate
Tobias Harris(Orl - SF,PF) World B. Free
Dirk Nowitzki(Dal - PF,C) The Steel Curtain
DeMarre Carroll(Tor - SF,PF) Ultimate Warriors
Goran Dragic(Mia - PG,SG) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Nicolas Batum(Cha - SG,SF) I am Sams

I've been trumpeting Nicolas Batum's fantasy potential as a centerpiece of the Hornets' attack, and would be ecstatic to land him at No. 60 in any league. DeMarre Carroll is a subtle value pick here as well, and I really hope this is the season the Manimal is unleashed -- Kenneth Faried has never averaged more than 28.1 minutes in his career.


Dwight Howard should be right around No. 25 when punting FT% in 8-cat leagues, but I'm still skeptical of this pick by the Jail Blazers. With Kevin Durant on the team, you're now eradicating one of his biggest values (stellar, high-volume FT%) by pairing him with a total FT% anchor like Dwight. To make matters worse, there are two teams which already have better punt-FT% options in DeAndre and Drummond, and even Hassan Whiteside could be considered a punt-FT% building block. In other words, it'll be an uphill battle to consistently succeed with the punt strategy itself.


Round 6

Khris Middleton(Mil - SG,SF) I am Sams
Danny Green(SA - SG,SF) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Tim Duncan(SA - PF,C) Ultimate Warriors
Brandon Knight(Pho - PG,SG) The Steel Curtain
Isaiah Thomas(Bos - PG) World B. Free
Karl-Anthony Towns(Min - C) White Chocolate
Bradley Beal(Was - SG) Jail Blazers
Elfrid Payton(Orl - PG) metaworldpanda
Wesley Matthews(Dal - SG,SF) OKC
Michael Carter-Williams(Mil - PG) I GET BUCKETS
J.J. Redick(LAC - SG) Salami & Cheese
Andrew Wiggins(Min - SG,SF) And 1z


I see no way Karl-Anthony Towns fails to exceed this valuation. He went No. 66 overall and I have him around 40-50, as the Wolves won't be shy about playing him big minutes as a rookie. The owner of 'White Chocolate' now has a dominant frontcourt with KAT joining Jonas Valanciunas, Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins, with Kyle Korver and Kyle Lowry also in the mix. Expect a spurt of guards and swingmen in the coming rounds.


Danny Green is even more valuable in 9-cat leagues, sure, but he remains consistently underrated in most fantasy leagues. Last season the Spurs' demure swingman averaged 11.7 points, 2.4 triples, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks, while shooting 87.4% at the FT line. Which is to say that he posted top-50 value. 


Round 7

Zach Randolph(Mem - PF,C) And 1z
Gorgui Dieng(Min - PF,C) Salami & Cheese
Chandler Parsons(Dal - SF,PF) I GET BUCKETS
Joe Johnson(Bkn - SG,SF) OKC
Joakim Noah(Chi - PF,C) metaworldpanda
Kobe Bryant(LAL - SG,SF) Jail Blazers
Nikola Mirotic(Chi - SF,PF) White Chocolate
Meyers Leonard(Por - PF,C) World B. Free
Jrue Holiday(NO - PG) The Steel Curtain
George Hill(Ind - PG,SG) Ultimate Warriors
Dwyane Wade(Mia - PG,SG) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Ricky Rubio(Min - PG) I am Sams

Chandler Parsons is expected to miss at least the Mavs' opener and they'll be cautious with his playing time once he returns. He could be a steal if he reaches 100% early in the season, and stays healthy, but I'm way too leery of his health to be targeting him. Microfracture knee surgery, even the less serious kind which Parsons had, is no joke.


Joakim Noah is slated for a reserve role and he's coming off a brutal 2014-15 season, making him a 'pass' for me on draft day. I understand the appeal, however, as he was a complete stud for years before injuries hampered him. Fellow Bull Nikola Mirotic is a much more enticing pick than Noah, Joe Johnson or Kobe Bryant this season.


World B. Free jumped on Meyers Leonard at No. 80 overall, the earliest I've seen him go in any draft -- apparently he was a 'must-have' target. I like Leonard's upside as a key part of the Blazers' offense, and I doubt he'll be seriously challenged for the starting PF job, but I'll only draft him if he falls closer to the 90-100 range.


George Hill should be a value-pick here despite the arrival of Monta Ellis and the return of Paul George, as he doesn't need high usage to return solid numbers. Ricky Rubio's health makes me very nervous but it's a great gamble this late in the draft, and I'd rather roll the dice on him than Jrue Holiday or Dwyane Wade.


Round 8

Terrence Jones(Hou - SF,PF) I am Sams
Enes Kanter(OKC - C) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Thaddeus Young(Bkn - SF,PF) Ultimate Warriors
Tyson Chandler(Pho - C) The Steel Curtain
C.J. McCollum(Por - PG,SG) World B. Free
Jabari Parker(Mil - SF,PF) White Chocolate
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope(Det - SG) Jail Blazers
Tyreke Evans(NO - PG,SG) metaworldpanda
Roy Hibbert(LAL - C) OKC
Ersan Ilyasova(Det - SF,PF) I GET BUCKETS
Ryan Anderson(NO - PF,C) Salami & Cheese
Derrick Rose(Chi - PG) And 1z

I find it shocking that Thaddeus Young, and his 65.5% free throw shooting, wasn't picked up by one of the punt-FT% teams. C.J. McCollum fell considerably farther than I expected and you'll typically have to reach for him in Round 6 or 7 to ensure that he's on your squad. The Bucks are rightfully being extremely cautious with Jabari Parker, but the prospect of DNPs and a strict minute-limit make him unappetizing to me outside of keeper/dynasty leagues. 


Round 9

Ty Lawson(Hou - PG) And 1z
Emmanuel Mudiay(Den - PG) Salami & Cheese
Robin Lopez(NY - C) I GET BUCKETS
Rajon Rondo(Sac - PG) OKC
Wilson Chandler(Den - SG,SF) metaworldpanda
Trey Burke(Uta - PG) Jail Blazers
Tony Allen(Mem - SG,SF) White Chocolate
Robert Covington(Phi - SG,SF) World B. Free
Deron Williams(Dal - PG) The Steel Curtain
D'Angelo Russell(LAL - PG) Ultimate Warriors
Markieff Morris(Pho - PF,C) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Jarrett Jack(Bkn - PG,SG) I am Sams

Although I'm not a fan of Ty Lawson as a member of the Rockets, this is late enough to make it a decent gamble. You either hit a homerun or he hovers around the top-100 mark and you shrug your shoulders. Ditto for Deron Williams. Trey Burke has played very well all preseason and the starting PG job is likely his to lose. That said, he shot 36.8% from the field last season and I want to see him sustain some success in the regular season before targeting him in fantasy.


Robert Covington is a nice under-the-radar pick here, as he should have a big role once again for the anything-goes 76ers. I'm less sold on D'Angelo Russell as a rookie, though he's at least a better late-round target in 8-cat leagues. Jarrett Jack caps off a PG-heavy round 9 in style, as the veteran is all but assured heavy minutes and a major offensive role as a starter. He was nearly a top-60 player with New Orleans in 2011-12.


Round 10

Jahlil Okafor(Phi - C) I am Sams
Al-Farouq Aminu(Por - SF,PF) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Luol Deng(Mia - SF,PF) Ultimate Warriors
Andrew Bogut(GS - C) The Steel Curtain
Julius Randle(LAL - PF) World B. Free
Stanley Johnson(Det - SF) White Chocolate
Patrick Patterson(Tor - PF,C) Jail Blazers
Aaron Gordon(Orl - PF) metaworldpanda
Harrison Barnes(GS - SF,PF) OKC
Marcus Smart(Bos - PG) I GET BUCKETS
Timofey Mozgov(Cle - C) Salami & Cheese
David Lee(Bos - PF,C) And 1z

I GET BUCKETS he shot added Marcus Smart this round, which is a solid pick with one caveat -- Smart is a lousy FT shooter (64.6% last season). James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Brook Lopez and Trevor Ariza were the first four picks for this team, providing a terrific base to win FT% each week. Since then he's added Smart, Kenneth Faried (69.1%) and Michael Carter-Williams (69.4%), so keep an eye on the balance of FT% for Mr. Buckets over the final rounds.


Al-Farouq Aminu's defensive stats and rebounding are reason enough to target him in the late rounds. Aaron Gordon isn't starting yet but it's hard to envision him coming off the bench very long for Scott Skiles, so I like the target here by MWPanda. I haven't drafted David Lee in any league and probably won't -- despite being favored to start, he doesn't provide defensive stats and I envision him with a 24-30 minute role that isn't quite enough for top-100. That said, there weren't many good big men left to choose from when And 1z made this pick.


Rounds 11, 12, 13 & 14

Eric Gordon(NO - SG) And 1z
Jamal Crawford(LAC - SG,SF) Salami & Cheese
P.J. Tucker(Pho - SG,SF) I GET BUCKETS
Ed Davis(Por - PF,C) OKC
Jordan Clarkson(LAL - PG,SG) metaworldpanda
Mason Plumlee(Por - PF,C) Jail Blazers
Alec Burks(Uta - PG,SG) White Chocolate
Jusuf Nurkic(Den - C) World B. Free
Kevin Martin(Min - SG,SF) The Steel Curtain
Jared Sullinger(Bos - PF,C) Ultimate Warriors
Jae Crowder(Bos - SF,PF) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Lou Williams(LAL - PG,SG) I am Sams

John Henson(Mil - PF,C) I am Sams
Avery Bradley(Bos - PG,SG) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Andre Iguodala(GS - SG,SF) Ultimate Warriors
J.R. Smith(Cle - SG,SF) The Steel Curtain
Jeremy Lin(Cha - PG,SG) World B. Free
Kyle O'Quinn(NY - PF,C) White Chocolate
Ben McLemore(Sac - SG) Jail Blazers
Anderson Varejao(Cle - PF,C) metaworldpanda
Patrick Beverley(Hou - PG,SG) OKC
Rodney Hood(Uta - SG,SF) I GET BUCKETS
Darren Collison(Sac - PG) Salami & Cheese
Otto Porter(Was - SF) And 1z

Gerald Green(Mia - SG,SF) And 1z
Manu Ginobili(SA - SG,SF) Salami & Cheese
Mo Williams(Cle - PG,SG) I GET BUCKETS
Tristan Thompson(Cle - PF,C) OKC
Evan Turner(Bos - SG,SF) metaworldpanda
Frank Kaminsky(Cha - C) Jail Blazers
Jeff Green(Mem - SG,SF) White Chocolate
Alex Len(Pho - C) World B. Free
Amir Johnson(Bos - PF,C) The Steel Curtain
Cory Joseph(Tor - PG) Ultimate Warriors
James Johnson(Tor - SF,PF) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Luis Scola(Tor - PF,C) I am Sams

Zach LaVine(Min - PG) I am Sams
Jose Calderon(NY - PG) Kobe Wan Kenobi
Anthony Bennett(Tor - SF,PF) Ultimate Warriors
Bojan Bogdanovic(Bkn - SG,SF) The Steel Curtain
Nik Stauskas(Phi - SG) World B. Free
Tony Parker(SA - PG) White Chocolate
Tony Wroten(Phi - PG,SG) Jail Blazers
Willie Cauley-Stein(Sac - C) metaworldpanda
Bobby Portis(Chi - PF) OKC
Zaza Pachulia(Dal - C) I GET BUCKETS
Brandan Wright(Mem - PF,C) Salami & Cheese
Kelly Olynyk(Bos - C) And 1z

Favorite Picks: J.R. Smith, Darren Collison, Brandan Wright, Jordan Clarkson, Jusuf Nurkic, Kyle O'Quinn, Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Eric Gordon, Mason Plumlee (assuming punt-FT%), Gerald Green


Least-favorite Picks: James Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Anderson Varejao


Thanks again to Dorian and all of his league-mates for sharing this draft. Some really excellent picks and overall a fun, interesting draft to discuss.

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.