First and foremost, thanks for your purchase of the 2019 Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide! I can’t begin to tell you how many hours we put into this thing in hopes of your team dominating all season and winning a title.
This is a lot of stuff to digest and hopefully you’re not purchasing this on the day of your draft. If you are, that’s OK. We update this thing every day, so if a guy makes a charge in a preseason game or someone gets hurt, we’ll have it in an update the next day at the latest — it’ll likely be minutes later.
If you have some time, you might want to start getting an additional document to have everything ready for your draft. You’ll obviously want our cheat sheet — we’ll get to that — but having just a sheet of notes on things you’re watching leading up to your draft can help you out.
While I personally don’t use one for basketball (I look at basketball stuff all day every day), I love doing this for my fantasy baseball drafts. When Spring Training starts, I always get a document or a notepad-type thing on things that caught my eye. If we sound the alarm on a hot player in a column, the Draft Guide or on our Players News page, you’ll want to know who that is.
Personally, I am a huge fan of drafting the buzzier guys. Of course, if the price is too steep, there’s just no way you can draft everyone. I’ll be doing this about mid-October and help you guys out on when you’ll want to draft the hot names, but you should kind of at least have them in the back of your mind before you read it. You can check out our Breakout Players here and Doctor A’s Sleepers. I'll add a list of Deeper Sleepers here.
Furthermore, the more you know about the buzzy guys, they better off you are. Basically, you can read all of our columns on here to help let you know who you should keep an eye on. Plus, there are some other strategy columns to check out for those of you who are new.
You should also know who is hurt for your draft. Luckily for you guys, we’ll have out Injury Page all set with timetables and all that good stuff. Plus, our depth charts will also have everything up to date, too. Again, you will want to know this information before you go into your draft room. That 60-120 seconds can go mighty fast for the unprepared.
OK, so you’re all prepared and you’re getting ready to figure out who you want. As you’ve probably heard 100 times: It’s not just who you draft, it’s when you draft them. Ideally, you take each guy in the last possible round every single time. In other words, yeah it might be nice to get your favorite target in round six, but if nobody would have drafted in round seven, you didn’t maximize your pick.
That’s kind of what you have to keep in mind when looking at our rankings. We’re not the shy types. Neither ESPN or Yahoo! have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander inside their top 75 (at the time of the guide release), but we have him over 40 spots higher. You don’t have to take him where we have him ranked and chances are there are going to be other players ranked higher than SGA. If you’re confident nobody else is going to pounce on him (or whoever), go ahead and grab the player the consensus’ better selection. We'll be providing some average draft position (ADP) data once it is gathered, so stay tuned. Plus, you can also check out the mock drafts in this guide. Side note, do not trust ADP data early. There are way too many auto picks factored into that info.
Generally, it’s all about rolling the dice late. You might notice the older guys are probably a lot lower with us than on the other sites. The unknown ceilings are much more appealing later in the draft. At pick 110, you shouldn’t want that guy who has a 50 percent chance to be a top-80 guy. You want the guy who has a 30 percent chance to be a top-40 guy (numbers unofficial). Some people mix in some safer picks later in drafts to mitigate the risk, but not me. I’m more about the dice than Andrew Dice Clay. Scared money don’t make money.
The biggest change this year in the ranks is the load management factor. Besides the obvious stuff we’ve talked about all summer (hope you’re a pod listener!), this also affects the ranks. The eight- and nine-cat ranks are skewed a little more to head-to-head category leagues. That’s because most people play H2H these days and more of the hardcore people are into Roto style. If you are in a Roto league, you’ll basically wanna bump up all the load management risks like Kawhi, Steph, LeBron, AD, Embiid, Horford and basically anyone over 29 on a good team or a really bad one. Why? Because the ranks have extra weight on late-season rest in the fantasy playoffs, which obviously have way more value in H2H playoffs. However, in Roto, the late-season value for games is much close to earlier -- yeah, you do like the late games because you can make adjustments, but it’s not close.
OK, so we have the Dynasty Tips column, but I just wanted to drive home a point here. These rankings in the guide are not considered with the safe guys. It’s basically with the mind set that every pick should be a homer. However, in a real Dynasty draft, you can’t do that. There’s too much at stake and if you miss on 4-5 picks through the middle rounds, that’s going to sting. The bottom line is you shouldn’t roll the dice on every pick in Dynasty. We’re also heavliy favoring young guys for true dynasty formats. In a vacuum, you’d rather have 15 years of a top-50 guy compared to 3-4 years of a top-30 kind of guy.
Happy drafting! Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MikeSGallagher and let me know you purchased the guide, too!