2016 Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: Dynasty mock draft and rankings
Want to know the value of rookies and veterans for your dynasty league? Chris Towers compiles a full draft on his own so you could have the long-term rankings you need to draft wisely.
Youth is always at a premium in Fantasy.
Most NBA players peak in their mid-to-late 20s, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that nearly everyone taken in the first round of most Fantasy leagues is going to be under 30.
Elite Fantasy players like LeBron James and Chris Paul -- who are in their 30s -- are the exception, even in short-term, yearly leagues.
That trend is even more pronounced in dynasty drafts, and you can see this best exemplified in two players: Karl-Anthony Towns and Giannis Antetokounmpo .
While you can make a case for Towns as the No. 1 overall pick in redraft leagues, it isn't a particularly strong case. As good as Towns was as a rookie, he's got some work to do to get to the level of the likes of Russell Westbrook and James Harden . It's going to be tough for him to make that kind of leap this season.
Similarly, Antetokounmpo has borderline first-round appeal in redraft leagues, but that is based almost entirely on a 25-game stretch at the end of last season when he took a huge step forward. Asking him to repeat that or even build on it might be a bit too much to justify a pick in the top 10.
However, in both cases, you can feel a lot better about their prospects the farther you move down the road. Maybe Antetokounmpo or Towns won't quite hit their best-case scenario in 2016-17, but they have shown enough to make betting on them for 2017 and beyond a smart call.
This is why a dynasty draft is always going to look different from a redraft league, and often, very different. You aren't just looking to next April -- you're looking at the next two, three, even five years into the future.
I decided to do an entire mock draft on my own, picking for all 12 teams. This allowed me to essentially rank every player for a dynasty draft, while also seeing how the draft may go from different spots. If you are looking to pick in dynasty, take the draft order as my rankings for the future.
One interesting wrinkle was the ability to try out different strategies. Team 1, for instance, isn't quite as concerned about youth as some others may be. Sure, Towns was the No. 1 overall pick, but this team also features players like Kyle Lowry , Danilo Gallinari and Pau Gasol , who can make a big impact in the next year or two, even without quite as much upside for the next five years.
Gasol, in particular, could prove to be a huge steal. He is nearing the end of his career, sure, but he is also more like a fourth-round pick in re-draft leagues. Getting that kind of player in the ninth round could be a steal for the next year or so.
Another interesting draft was Team 4. Even with James Harden at No. 4 overall, this squad may have some trouble competing in 2016-17. Three of the four picks after Harden enter the season injured, and the fourth -- Joel Embiid -- is arguably the biggest injury risk in the league. There's a chance this team comes in last place this season.
But man, it could be a monster in a few years. Embiid has No. 1 overall pick talent, and we're finally seeing flashes of it this preseason. Ben Simmons could have a Draymond Green-like impact for Fantasy once healthy, and Green has been a first or second-round player in the past. Throw in high-upside young players like Dante Exum and Justise Winslow in the later rounds, and this team has a chance to blow up in the future.
Dynasty and keeper drafts are fun because they allow you to compete on different timelines. You can have teams essentially playing different games at the same time, which just adds to the strategies at play. It involves a bit more commitment, but these can be the most rewarding leagues to play.
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