NBA Fantasy Draft Value Picks – Playoffs – 2014-2015
The leaders have emerged in the playoffs. Those teams with strong leadership like the Warriors and the Cavaliers are thriving while those with under-performing captains (Rockets) or lack of a discernable leader (Hawks) are feeling the pressure. However, what always seems to be the theme in Fantasy cash draft contests, is that actual game performance does not always align with Fantasy Value.
Lets look at Lebron James for instance. While he has been able to deliver consistent Fantasy Value in one day cash drafts, his salary has begun to reflect his outstanding performance in these playoffs. His salary even exceeds the MVP Stephen Curry’s salary in most Cash draft contests. Therefore, as a fantasy draft manager, you need him to score a triple double just to hit his value. However, this is a pretty safe bet as Lebron has been the most consistent star in these playoffs and with the continued absence of Irving and Love, he will need to continue to dominate. As far as the high priced players go, James would still be my pick for any NBA cash draft.
The other two top tier guys to look at are Curry and Harden. Curry is a great pick but where he seems to lack in compared to Lebron is in Rebounds. Lebron brings such great Fantasy Value since he can hit big numbers in rebounds, assists, and points. Curry gets assists, but is more limited to points and assists. He comes at a slightly cheaper price though, so on the right night, he be the value pick if he can exceed his price more than Lebron can.
Harden is the clear dog out of these three. While he does have big games where he can meet his numbers, he is too inconsistent of a draft pick. With a price on par with Curry and James, I would pass on Harden.
Now we can move down to mid-tier guys. This tier is dominated by Hawks players: Horford, Teague, and Millsap. Horford scored modestly this weekend after being ejected and only playing 19 minutes. Even in a full game, I am hesitant with Horford. He doesn’t get the rebounds you should expect from a center for his price but he supplements his value with points scored. If you catch him on a night where another Hawk’s player takes a larger portion of points, Horford’s fantasy value could suffer. Similar things can be seen with Teague and Millsap. In game-play it is a positive team attribute to have a deep lineups of players who can all contribute but in Fantasy draft contests, that only leads to water down the value of your draft picks.
Dwight Howard is still listed as questionable but after playing 33 minutes last game, I think he is a safe pick. When Howard is hot, he can greatly exceed his price. Although he is inconsistent due to injuries and foul trouble, I think he is the best value pick at center in any NBA cash draft.
Draymond Green, Tristan Thompson, and Trevor Ariza are also players to keep on the radar as solid draft picks. All three have been somewhat inconsistent in these playoffs but certainly have solid upside potential.
While great game players, Smith and Shumpert of the Cavaliers are poor fantasy draft picks as they are point dominant players. With Lebron taking the role of point man, they have little opportunity to reach the level of assists you usually see from a guard in their role. Remember, as a fantasy draft manager you need to view players from their fantasy value and keep out any bias about actual game performance: they may line up, but often they do not.