Fantasy basketball season has arrived, with the 2023-24 NBA season officially tipping off Tuesday, October 24. There will be plenty of drafts taking place across the country over the next week as leagues begin to gear up for another exciting year. While the format of each draft may be different, the overall strategy for each one is largely the same. Here are the results of one mock draft for a 10-team league.
This draft was for a league with head-to-head scoring matchups based on total points. There are leagues that will do head-to-head categories, where each statistical category is its own matchup. For this league, it’ll just be the total amount of points accumulated over the matchup for whatever statistical contributions the players make. The roster for this draft was a full starting lineup, a guard, a forward, three utility players and then three bench spots.
In this particular draft, I held the seventh pick. Joel Embiid went first overall ahead of Nikola Jokic, but otherwise there wasn’t much to debate. For me, the decision boiled down to Anthony Edwards or Tyrese Haliburton. While I do believe both are players who could truly explode this season, I like the situation Edwards is in a bit better.
I was able to grab Evan Mobley, the versatile Cavaliers big man, in the sixth round. He’s a potential breakout player this year and is currently the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year at DraftKings Sportsbook. Paolo Banchero was the 27th pick for me, which was a little bit of a reach but still decent value. Bam Adebayo went just before Banchero, and that would’ve been a tough choice for me between those two guys. R.J. Barrett with the last pick was another solid selection in my opinion, as the forward is expected to contribute heavily for the Knicks.
There’s some value to be had late in drafts. Ja Morant went in the ninth round and is ranked just inside the top 100 on DK Network. Klay Thompson, who is expected to have a big year based on our rankings, went in the 11th round. Michael Porter Jr. also went in the 11th round. Positional versatility isn’t as important here, because there are three utility spots allowing you to load up on certain positions. If you’re deciding between two players, pick the one you think will have the better season even if the projections say otherwise.
As always, know your league settings. Some leagues take away points for things like shots attempted and turnovers, which hurts volume chuckers and reckless guards. Know whether categories matter as individual matchups or not, since that will require your roster to have a little more balance.
Full mock draft results
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Anthony Edwards (can also play SF)
SF: Zach LaVine (can also play SG)
PF: Paolo Banchero (can also play SF)
C: Evan Mobley (can also play PF)
G: Desmond Bane (can also play SF)
F: P.J. Washington (can also play PF)
Utility: D’Angelo Russell (PG, SG)
Utility: Rudy Gobert (C)
Utility: Jonas Valanciunas (C)
Bench: Jabari Smith (PF, C), R.J. Barrett (SF), Brandon Miller (SG, SF)