Have you felt like you missed out in your draft after failing to draft an entire group of talented players? To help you navigate your upcoming H2H category drafts, let's talk tiers.
Tier-based drafting is all about looking for maximum talent/production at the best price. Each position has a different point where there is a considerable drop off in talent and opportunity. This methodology provides you a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of a position. It allows you to make calculated and impactful decisions during the draft, and it helps you avoid erratic ones that can leave you short-handed at a key position.
Here is a basic grid for H2H Categories leagues, along with some analysis to summarize each of the five positions. As a reminder, it's a good best practice to make your own tiers and embrace your opinions. You'll be even more cool, calm and collected during your draft or auction, and come away feeling like you did your due diligence leading up to draft day.
There is no doubt that point guards are crucial players in fantasy basketball, since they can score, dish out, steal, and hit triples. Taking the right player at the right time can be the key to a successful fantasy hoops season.
Fortunately, the first three tiers offer a wide variety of great options. Leaving your draft with at least one point guard from the top three tiers is essential. Two others I'm particularly intrigued by are LaMelo Ball and Cade Cunningham. Ball averaged career highs in most categories last season except field goal percentage. I believe he'll take an additional step forward this season. Cunningham delivered on the hype leading into his rookie season. However, he was particularly great following the All-Star break. Cunningham averaged 21.1 PPG, 6.5 APG and 5.7 RPG. Due to Jerami Grant's departure, Cunningham will be the team's primary playmaker and is capable of exceeding expectations even at his lofty average draft position.
When it comes to shooting guards, you should prioritize players who excel in points, assists, steals, triples, and free throw percentage. You want the shooting guards who act like point guards. A great example of such a player is James Harden. He wasn't at his best last season due to a nagging hamstring injury, but he's still well positioned to contribute in all those areas. There's no way I can resist not mentioning Josh Giddey. A hip injury derailed his rookie season, but he excelled from November to February. He averaged 12.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 6.5 APG and 1.0 BPG during that stretch. Anfernee Simons is also a great draft pick. He'll be inheriting CJ McCollum's former role playing alongside Damian Lillard.
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Multi-category producers are also prioritized at the small forward position. In the first two tiers, all players fit that description. Two players in the later tiers I'm very high on are Herbert Jones and Franz Wagner. Jones is very capable of contributing to multiple categories. He averaged 9.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG and 0.7 triples per game. The great news is that Jones should see 30 or more minutes a night. Meanwhile, Wagner is a future star for the Magic. In 79 starts last season, the then-rookie averaged 15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.0 SPG while shooting 46.8% from the field.
In basketball and on your fantasy team, this is an important position. Power forwards who can score, rebound, and block shots are what you need. The NBA's Unicorn Giannis Antetokounmpo will require a top-three pick if you want to draft him. Anthony Davis provides managers with a fantasy friendly game night after night, despite his durability concerns. He averaged 23.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG and 2.3 BPG. After more than 500 days, I am eager to see what Zion Williamson brings to the Pelicans this season now that he's back on the court and in great shape. He averaged 27 PPG and 7.2 RPG with a 61.1 FG% in 2020-21. Williamson is poised to be a fantasy star this year.
Watching Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid battle for the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award last season was entertaining. Both players are multi-category dynamos in fantasy hoops. It's best to target centers who excel at points, rebounds, blocks and FG%. Due to Rudy Gobert's acquisition, Karl-Anthony Towns could see a drop in blocks and rebound rate. If you are considering drafting Towns, you should consider this. One of my favorite centers in the later tiers is Alperen Sengun. With Christian Wood now with the Mavericks, he is primed for a monster season in season two with the Rockets. A new offensive scheme will be implemented by head coach Stephen Silas to benefit Sengun and rookie Jabari Smith.