Fantasy NBA mock draft – 10-team, H2H categories

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the tipoff to the 2019-20 fantasy basketball campaign, which means we are entering the heart of draft season.

To get you properly prepared, our experts recently took part in our third mock draft. This one is a 10-team draft for a head-to-head (H2H) categories league.

This is where you compete against a single opponent each week in the usual fantasy categories (points, rebounds, 3s, etc.). Depending on your league format, you will then either pick up a win, loss or tie each week depending on who won more categories, or you will get a win, loss or tie for each category, which are totaled up throughout the regular season.

A wild summer in the NBA will make for an exciting 2019-20 fantasy hoops season. Create or join an ESPN Fantasy Basketball league today! Sign up for free!

Just like our previous mocks — 10-team roto and 10-team H2H points — you can see how player value can change dramatically, depending on the format.

With that in mind, you can check out the results of this 10-team H2H categories mock and read key takeaways from our analysts below.

The participants in order of draft position, were:

Preston Johnson, John Cregan, Jim McCormick, Tom Carpenter, André Snellings, Eric Karabell, Austin Tedesco, Kyle Soppe, Joe Kaiser and Matt Williams.

Preston Johnson: I was pretty happy with how my draft went outside of one team I had targeted going in: the Indiana Pacers. I really wanted to take advantage of their backcourt situation while Victor Oladipo works his way back into playing shape.

I had back-to-back picks in the sixth and seventh rounds, and the time to select Malcolm Brogdon was approaching. I hadn’t rostered a small forward yet, and I needed another big man. I had snatched Devin Booker and Kemba Walker earlier anyway, and so I passed on Brogdon. Cregan took him with the very next pick in the draft.

I convinced myself all would be well if I could scoop Jeremy Lamb in a later round. In round 10, Lamb was sitting atop my queue. I was one pick away with Cregan on the clock again. What could go wrong? Well, Cregan did it again, and I missed out completely on the Pacers backcourt.

John Cregan: After getting Karl-Anthony Towns and Nikola Vucevic with my first two picks — locking down center with a deep reservoir off volume and efficiency — I decided to take big swings in subsequent rounds. I took whichever player I felt like had the biggest upside at any particular point in the draft, rather than going for safer investments.

I really liked the combo of Jaren Jackson Jr. at 39 and Chris Paul at 42. I believe Jackson has more upside than any other mid-round player. Chris Paul at 42 is a risk. But in a H2H scenario, I’m more willing to gamble on players with injury red flags. And if Paul stays in OKC, he’ll outperform that fifth-round valuation.

I spent a lot of time deliberating Thomas Bryant versus Mitchell Robinson at 59. Both players have the opportunity to outperform their ADP by multiple rounds. It comes down to team statistical need. I chose offensive upside over defensive upside. But I love either player in that slot.

Jim McCormick: In a weekly categories format, I’m completely content to punt or actively devalue one or several categories with an eye on becoming elite in several key and repeatable statistics. Most of this is done as a reaction to the value presented to me in the draft. In this case, I loaded up on scorers, shooters and defenders but likely won’t win assists in the many weeks I’ll play foes with multiple true point guards.

I said to the room as the draft began that I was going to try to see how a roster constructed around Anthony Davis would look compared to selecting Stephen Curry. You can’t really go wrong, given both are so entirely dominant building blocks, but it was a fun pivot from most outcomes that would have me build around Curry. I dig this Brow-driven roster, though, and would likely enjoy checking my defensive stats every night.

2 Related

Tom Carpenter: For me, the first purpose of a draft is securing a quality base of talent. The second is having players other managers want, so I can trade them for stats or players I desire more. I typically draft talent and pay little or no attention to positions or even specific categories. I figure I’ll flesh the categories out via trades during the season.

In this case, I was happy to snag Curry at No. 4, since he is my top-rated player in category formats, and another scoring point guard in Irving in Round 2. In Rounds 3 and 4, I ended up securing shot-blockers in Gobert and Porzingis, then tacked on Whiteside in Round 7. Then, I drafted trade-able names in McCollum, LaVine, Ingram and Kuzma. Now I’m in position to trade off some one of my star point guards, one of my block artists and any of the aforementioned tradeable names if/when they get hot to improve my long-term roster.

André Snellings: In this draft, I noticed that I had interest in a couple of injured players just before they were drafted, but I just missed them. I took Terry Rozier with my fourth-round pick. However, immediately after I took him I realized that Kristaps Porzingis was still on the board and, despite his injury risk, I would have seriously considered taking him with that fourth-round pick.

In Round 11, I took Kelly Oubre Jr., but immediately after I took him, I noticed that Oladipo was still there. Stephania Bell and I talked about him in our look at injured players, and I’m not expecting much if anything before the New Year. With that said, a half season of top-50 play from Oladipo is worth serious consideration once we get past the eighth round of most drafts, so I would have taken him had I noticed him with my 11th pick.

Eric Karabell: The centers really slid in this draft, and I kept taking them, feeling pleased about the value, even knowing I might not have enough assists and 3-pointers. In the end, I handled assists fine with Kyle Lowry and Jeff Teague joining first-round selection Nikola Jokic, but I would need to play Eric Gordon to have enough triples, so perhaps next time, I will focus more on team needs than value. Mock drafts continue to be a valuable learning experience.

Kyle Soppe: There’s a top tier of five players in my opinion, so picking later than that is not ideal this season. Understanding that, I opted to put a premium on versatility in the first three rounds. It seems that big men are falling after a certain point, and in knowing that, I was able to build accordingly.

Bryant and Montrezl Harrell are players I want this season, and by banking on getting one of them, I supplemented my “guard” stats in the earlier stages with guys like Eric Bledsoe and Ricky Rubio. We’ve still got time, but I envision this being my strategy entering live drafts this season … a few hand-picked bigs in the mid-to-late rounds with versatile options around them.

Joe Kaiser: With the No. 9 pick, I saw Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on the board, and I had a decision to make. I knew that taking a center in the first round may make things difficult in the following rounds — given the depth at center, it may be better to hold off on that position — but No. 9 felt too high to be taking Simmons, who has been a non-factor from 3-poing range so far in his career.

I ended up taking Embiid. Then, with guys like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George available in the second round, I again passed on point guard and selected Leonard. Problem is, by the time my pick rolled around in round three, all the top-tier point guards were gone. If I had to do it over, I probably would have gone with point guard in Round 1 and held off on taking a center until the middle rounds.

Matt Williams: One of the burning questions coming into the NBA season: Can Simmons develop a jump shot? Maybe the summer workout videos convinced me to select him, but there are certainly reasons to be skeptical. According to Second Spectrum, Simmons had an average field goal attempt distance of just 5.4 feet last season, the lowest among all guards.

Putting that in perspective, DeMar DeRozan had the next shortest average FGA distance among guards to attempt 500 shots in 2018-19 at 11.6 feet, more than double the distance of Simmons!

However, even if his jumper is slow to come this season, Simmons still has a lot of fantasy value. He is one of three players to average seven rebounds and seven assists per game in each of the past two seasons — the others are LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

Round 1PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank11JohnsonGiannis Antetokounmpo, MilPF122CreganKarl-Anthony Towns, MinC133McCormickAnthony Davis, LALPF244CarpenterStephen Curry, GSPG155SnellingsJames Harden, HouSG166KarabellNikola Jokic, DenC277TedescoDamian Lillard, PorPG288SoppeLeBron James, LALSF199KaiserJoel Embiid, PhiC31010WilliamsBradley Beal, WshSG2Round 2PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank111WilliamsBen Simmons, PhiPG3212KaiserKawhi Leonard, LACSF2313SoppeRussell Westbrook, HouPG4414TedescoLuka Doncic, DalSG3515KarabellAndre Drummond, DetC4616SnellingsPaul George, LACSF3717CarpenterKyrie Irving, BknPG5818McCormickJimmy Butler, MiaSG4919CreganNikola Vucevic, OrlC51020JohnsonDevin Booker, PhxSG5Round 3PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank121JohnsonKemba Walker, BosPG6222CreganTrae Young, AtlPG7323McCormickDe’Aaron Fox, SacPG8424CarpenterRudy Gobert, UtahC6525SnellingsPascal Siakam, TorPF3626KarabellJohn Collins, AtlPF4727TedescoLaMarcus Aldridge, SAPF5828SoppeJrue Holiday, NOPG9929KaiserZion Williamson, NOPF61030WilliamsDeandre Ayton, PhxC7Round 4PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank131WilliamsDraymond Green, GSPF7232KaiserD’Angelo Russell, GSPG10333SoppeJulius Randle, NYPF8434TedescoDonovan Mitchell, UtahSG6535KarabellDeMar DeRozan, SASG7636SnellingsTerry Rozier, ChaPG11737CarpenterKristaps Porzingis, DalPF9838McCormickBuddy Hield, SacSG8939CreganJaren Jackson Jr., MemPF101040JohnsonMyles Turner, IndC8Round 5PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank141JohnsonMike Conley, UtahPG12242CreganChris Paul, OKCPG13343McCormickJamal Murray, DenPG14444CarpenterCJ McCollum, PorSG9545SnellingsBlake Griffin, DetPF11646KarabellJayson Tatum, BosSF4747TedescoJonas Valanciunas, MemC9848SoppeClint Capela, HouC10949KaiserLauri Markkanen, ChiPF121050WilliamsLonzo Ball, NOPG15Round 6PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank151WilliamsKevin Love, ClePF13252KaiserKhris Middleton, MilSF5353SoppeEric Bledsoe, MilPG16454TedescoOtto Porter Jr., ChiSF6555KarabellKyle Lowry, TorPG17656SnellingsMarvin Bagley III, SacPF14757CarpenterZach LaVine, ChiSG10858McCormickBrook Lopez, MilC11959CreganThomas Bryant, WshC121060JohnsonMitchell Robinson, NYC13Round 7PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank161JohnsonDanilo Gallinari, OKCSF7262CreganMalcolm Brogdon, IndSG11363McCormickTobias Harris, PhiPF15464CarpenterHassan Whiteside, PorC14565SnellingsJa Morant, MemPG18666KarabellEnes Kanter, BosC15767TedescoAaron Gordon, OrlPF16868SoppeMontrezl Harrell, LACC16969KaiserDeAndre Jordan, BknC171070WilliamsSteven Adams, OKCC18Round 8PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank171WilliamsBojan Bogdanovic, UtahSF8272KaiserMiles Bridges, ChaSF9373SoppeRicky Rubio, PhxPG19474TedescoDejounte Murray, SAPG20575KarabellJeff Teague, MinPG21676SnellingsAl Horford, PhiC19777CarpenterBrandon Ingram, NOSF10878McCormickRobert Covington, MinSF11979CreganShai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKCPG221080JohnsonJosh Richardson, PhiSF12Round 9PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank181JohnsonBam Adebayo, MiaC20282CreganWendell Carter Jr., ChiPF17383McCormickDerrick Favors, NOPF18484CarpenterKyle Kuzma, LALPF19585SnellingsDomantas Sabonis, IndPF20686KarabellJoe Ingles, UtahSF13787TedescoRudy Gay, SASF14888SoppeGordon Hayward, BosSF15989KaiserMarc Gasol, TorC211090WilliamsRJ Barrett, NYSG12Round 10PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank191WilliamsGoran Dragic, MiaPG23292KaiserDennis Smith Jr., NYPG24393SoppeDario Saric, PhxPF21494TedescoTomas Satoransky, ChiSG13595KarabellLou Williams, LACSG14696SnellingsKelly Oubre Jr., PhxSF16797CarpenterAndrew Wiggins, MinSF17898McCormickCaris LeVert, BknSF18999CreganJeremy Lamb, IndSG1510100JohnsonLarry Nance Jr., ClePF22Round 11PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank1101JohnsonMarcus Smart, BosSG162102CreganDerrick White, SAPG253103McCormickVictor Oladipo, IndSG174104CarpenterElfrid Payton, NYPG265105SnellingsDwight Howard, LALC226106KarabellJarrett Allen, BknC237107TedescoTerrence Ross, OrlSG188108SoppeWill Barton, DenSF199109KaiserSerge Ibaka, TorPF2310110WilliamsJJ Redick, NOSG19Round 12PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank1111WilliamsHarrison Barnes, SacSF202112KaiserCollin Sexton, ClePG273113SoppeZach Collins, PorC244114TedescoJaylen Brown, BosSG205115KarabellPaul Millsap, DenPF246116SnellingsJarrett Culver, MinSG217117CarpenterBogdan Bogdanovic, SacSG228118McCormickJonathan Isaac, OrlPF259119CreganDavis Bertans, WshPF2610120JohnsonDelon Wright, DalPG28Round 13PickOverallByPlayerPos Rank1121JohnsonFred VanVleet, TorPG292122CreganKevin Huerter, AtlSG233123McCormickGary Harris, DenSG244124CarpenterWillie Cauley-Stein, GSC255125SnellingsNickeil Alexander-Walker, NOSG256126KarabellEric Gordon, HouSG267127TedescoDe’Andre Hunter, AtlSF218128SoppeEvan Fournier, OrlSG279129KaiserSpencer Dinwiddie, BknPG3010130WilliamsJoe Harris, BknSG28


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