Sunday, November 1, 2015 · 5:48 pm EST Blog
Big thanks to the guys at FCBLZone.com for hosting the Big Chief Invitational College Fantasy Basketball League! I just completed my first NCAA league draft today. The settings for the 20 team league are 10 roster spots, each week starting 2 G, 2 F, 1 C and 1U, with one of the starters being a freshman. Scoring is three categories: Points, Assists+Steals, and Rebounds+Blocks.
Here is what I ended up with:
Round 1, Pick 7: Gary Payton Jr. (Oregon State, 28.3 Fantasy Points per game) – Payton’s 2014-15 fantasy output was 28.3 points per game, which was third best in college basketball. He could improve, so the pick was a fairly safe one. The only other pick I would have considered here was Skal Labissiere, but at the time of the draft, he hadn’t been cleared to play yet, and having a wasted first round pick would have been a disaster in this league of skilled owners. Payton is a perfect fit for this setup, he’s a big rebounder, big in steals and assists and can score at a decent clip. A three category player with big rebounds at the Guard position is a valuable commodity.
Round 2, Pick 14: Troy Williams (Indiana, 23.8 FP/game) – My strategy was to try and grab a starting forward after selecting a guard with my first pick. I wanted a big scorer and rebounder who could at least chip in a few assists/steals. Williams put up 13.2/7.7/3.2 in our three category scoring system in 2014-15 and should get even better this season, as some have predicted him as an NBA pick. If he can repeat the 54 FG% and 46.2 3P%, he should have a big season.
Round 3, Pick 7: Michael Gbinije (Syracuse, 23.5 FP/game) - Gbinije qualifies at Guard and Forward in our league, so the positional eligibility is a huge plus. There has been talk of Gbinije handling point guard duties this season, which makes him a great play in our setup. He is an adequate scorer, putting up 12.7 PPG with a 46.0 FG% and 39.2 3P%. The rebounds are solid for a guard at 5.0, but what I’m really counting on here is a bump in the Assist/Steal category with Gbinije moving to PG. He is either going to be an above average rebounder if I play him in the guard spot or an above average in assists if I play him in the forward spot.
Round 4, Pick 14: Andrew Andrews (Washington, 22.8 FP/game) – I don’t think Andrews is an elite college player in any way, but this is fantasy basketball we are dealing with not real life basketball. Sometimes a players situation trumps his talent. Washington is a disaster and Andrews is the only talent returning this season. He will shift to PG, which should give him a big boost in value, just like Michael Gbinije selected in round 3. Washington could be starting Andrews along side four freshmen and he could be looking at 35-37 minutes a game. He is going to get assists and he his going to carry the scoring load, and that is worth a gamble in the fourth round.
Round 5, Pick 7: Devin Williams (West Virginia, 21.8 FP/game) – By the fifth round every quality center was gone. After some research I found that Willliams did in fact qualify at center even though he was listed at forward. Most of the owners in the league overlooked his center status. He is listed on the Naismith Hall of Fame Kareem Abdul Jabbar Center of the Year Awards List. Williams posted a three category 11.3/8.4/2.1 in our league scoring last season.
Round 6, Pick 14: Tyler Dorsey (Oregon, Freshman) – In our league you must start one freshman every week and round six seemed like a good time to pick the most likely freshman to get minutes. In this league, most owners go with a freshman pick in the first three rounds, but I thought the better strategy might be to wait and stock the team with dependable guys first and then speculate on a few freshmen towards the later rounds, hoping one of them hit. Dorsey is a pure scorer, and if he can put up 13-15 points a game with a handful of rebounds and steals I’ll be happy.
Round 7, Pick 7: Dillon Brooks (Oregon, 19.3 FP/game) – After researching Tyler Dorsey, I decided that one of his teammates was also a quality target for an improved year. Brooks posted an 11.6/5.5/2.3 fantasy line as a freshman last season and there should be plenty of room for improvement. And if Dorsey is a bust, Brooks should be the guy who has to pickup the scoring load.
Round 8, pick 14: Justin Jackson (North Carolina, 17.4 FP/game) – I couldn’t believe Jackson was still on the board in round 8, especially since he has G/F position eligibility. Given the positional versatility and the fact that he should improve on his freshman season, he was a steal in this round.
Round 9, Pick 7: Yankuba Sima (St. John’s, Freshman) – With my team solid at every position with proven starters, it was time to go back and find a couple of freshmen to gamble on in the last two rounds just in case Tyler Dorsey doesn’t pan out as expected. Sima is a center who has a spot open for him on a terrible St. John’s team. In fantasy, just getting minutes on the court is everything. Sima should start and having a freshman in the center spot in this league is a huge advantage.
Round 10, Pick 14: Dejounte Murray (Washington, Freshman) – Honestly, I don’t know much about this guy, but while researching Andrew Andrews for an earlier pick, it appears that Washington is going to be terrible and could be starting four freshmen. Murray was the jewel of their recruiting class, so I would expect that there are minutes available and not much competition that would keep him on the bench, and that is all you can ask for when you gamble on a last round pick in fantasy basketball.