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Athlon Fantasy Draft


The staff of Athlon sports recently held their fantasy college basketball draft and asked me to provide a quick recap of the proceedings. The draft took place during the last week of October and first week of November and featured eight Athlon writers and two writers from College Fantasy Hoops Insider (me — Perry Missner, editor and lead writer for the site, and Asa Tysseling, who covers the Big 12 and designed the site we used for the draft — the FBL Zone). The draft was 14 rounds and each team needed to field a starting roster of three guards, three forwards, a swingman (guard or forward) and two centers with five bench slots. The scoring is a point for each point, rebound, assist, steal, and block with a point taken away for each turnover.

Round 1

1 bhochman Kyle Singler, Duke, SR, F
2 asatyss Trey Thompkins, Georgia, JR, F
3 mitchlight Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech, SR, G
4 nathanrush Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, FR, F
5 nathankarp Klay Thompson, Washington State, JR, G
6 michaelmccracken Jacob Pullen, Kansas State, SR, G
7 Snowman Tracy Smith, North Carolina State, SR, C
8 Big Chief John Shurna, Northwestern, JR, F
9 charliemiller Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt, JR, G-F
10 bradengall Talor Battle, Penn State, SR, G

As I’ve written before, fantasy leagues are rarely won in the first round, but they can be lost. If your first-round pick busts, you can be in considerable trouble. None of the first round picks were really outlandish, but you could question Charlie Miller at number nine for his pick of Jeffery Taylor. He’s a fine player, but probably could have had a few rounds later. Kyle Singler has received a lot of press as a potential Player of the Year, but I think Duke has so many offensive options that Singler won’t be a top fantasy producer. His past numbers — 17 points, seven rebounds — are ok, but not outstanding. Snowman was wise to take a center because finding two starting centers in any league will be quite a chore. The league also seemed to shy away from the Big Ten, allowing me to get John Shurna and Braden Gall to select Talor Battle with two of the last three picks of the round.

Round 2

11 bradengall JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, SR, F-C
12 charliemiller Augustus Gilchrist, South Florida, JR, F-C
13 Big Chief Kemba Walker, Connecticut, JR, G
14 Snowman Travis Leslie, Georgia, JR, G
15 michaelmccracken LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor, SR, G
16 nathankarp Demetri McCamey, Illinois, SR, G
17 nathanrush Brandon Knight, Kentucky, FR, G
18 mitchlight Herb Pope, Seton Hall, JR, F
19 asatyss Jordan Williams, Maryland, SO, F-C
20 bhochman Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall, SR, G

Three more centers went in the second round, and all three should be top producers. Gall doubled up on Big Ten picks by taking the conference’s top center to go along with its top guard. Perhaps Gall was showing his Midwestern roots. I was strong proponent of Walker prior to last year and he had a good season. He should continue his ascent as a junior. Snowman’s pick of Leslie may turn out to be a gem if first-round pick Trey Thompkins is out for any length of time and McCracken took a sound flyer on Dunn who will only be out for three games. Herb Pope was a bit of a risk as well, but should be a solid combo for Light with Delaney (who was my top fantasy Tier 1 option prior to the season).

Round 3

21 bhochman Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, FR, F-C
22 asatyss Jimmy Butler, Marquette, SR, G-F
23 mitchlight Marshawn Powell, Arkansas, SO, F
24 nathanrush Isaiah Thomas, Washington, JR, G
25 nathankarp D.J. Kennedy, St. Johns, SR, G-F
26 michaelmccracken Derrick Williams, Arizona, SO, F
27 Snowman Alec Burks, Colorado, SO, G
28 Big Chief Perry Jones, Baylor, FR, F-C
29 charliemiller Enes Kanter, Kentucky, FR, C
30 bradengall Jon Leuer, Wisconsin, SR, F

If I were able to question Hochman’s first pick, he more than made up for it with his back-to-back picks. Hazell’s points will lift him to the top of the league, and Sullinger looks like the beastly center that the Buckeyes lacked last year (for the first time in ages). While Powell had a great freshman season, the fact that he broke his foot in the offseason would have kept me away. I really liked McCracken’s pick of Williams who should progress as a sophomore and be the main man for the Wildcats. Burks should be another excellent sophomore who controls the ball a great deal for the Buffaloes. Snowman’s forecast shouldn’t be too chilly. I needed a center, my name is Perry, and there was Perry Jones. I couldn’t resist. Hopefully, the Baylor freshman has more game than I do. While the Dunn risk will likely work out, Miller’s pick of Kanter will not. I would have been surprised had Kanter been allowed to play, but Miller apparently thought he was worth the flyer. Gall goes 3-for-3 for the Big Ten and it is hard to argue with his Leuer pick.

Round 4

31 bradengall Marcus Morris, Kansas, JR, F
32 charliemiller Cory Higgins, Colorado, SR, G
33 Big Chief Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh, SR, G
34 Snowman Mike Tisdale, Illinois, SR, C
35 michaelmccracken Mike Singletary, Texas Tech, SR, F
36 nathankarp Chandler Parsons, Florida, SR, F
37 nathanrush JaMychal Green, Alabama, JR, F
38 mitchlight Kevin Jones, West Virginia, JR, F
39 asatyss Fabricio Melo, Syracuse, FR, C
40 bhochman William Buford, Ohio State, JR, G

Gall finally left the Big Ten and, again, it is hard to argue with Kansas’ best player. Marcus Morris was often the best player on the court for the Jayhawks even when Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich were there last year. He figures to improve as a junior. If I praised the pick of Burks, I have to do the same with Higgins, who should continue to be a nice value from Colorado. Wanamker had a nice first week that made me feel good about him as my second guard. I really liked the seventh and eighth picks of the Round 4. Green should progress in his junior year at Alabama and gives Rush a solid basis with Barnes, Knight, and Thomas. Light took his third straight forward, and Kevin Jones may be the most consistent of the three (Pope and Powell being the others). Freshmen centers are sometimes fool’s gold, but Melo should progress as the season does.

Round 5

41 bhochman Nolan Smith, Duke, SR, G
42 asatyss Kyrie Irving, Duke, FR, G
43 mitchlight Reggie Jackson, Boston College, JR, G
44 nathanrush Tristan Thompson, Texas, FR, F-C
45 nathankarp Vernon Macklin, Florida, SR, F-C
46 michaelmccracken Maurice Creek, Indiana, SO, G
47 Snowman Tobias Harris, Tennessee, FR, F
48 Big Chief Sam Muldrow, South Carolina, SR, F-C
49 charliemiller John Jenkins, Vanderbilt, SO, G
50 bradengall Kris Joseph, Syracuse, JR, F

The league finally got over its collective Blue Devil dislike in Round 5. Hochman led the round off with Smith, and Tysseling followed up with his backcourt mate, Irving. It will be interesting to see who has more value at year’s end. Jackson could easily have more value than either Dukie because he scores, rebounds, and passes. Nice pick, Mr. Light. We had three centers go in the next five picks. Thompson figures to get a lot of minutes for the Longhorns, Macklin returns to Florida, and I took the Gamecocks’ top option. Creek was a nice pick by McCracken. I boldly predicted Creek would lead the Big Ten in scoring. Miller showed his Commodore roots with a second Vanderbilt player. Any guess in which round he took Festus Ezeli? Actually, someone stole Ezeli away from Miller. Stay tuned. Gall made another nice pick with Joseph who should be the Orange’s leading scorer.