As promised, I held four fantasy drafts for Raptors Republic readers last night. Somehow, even as the annual tradition has grown from one league to three and now to four (with the number of teams maxed out), there are still people who end up left out. I apologize for that, but if Monday taught me anything, it’s that four leagues where 300 players get drafted is the absolute maximum that I can handle.
It made for an interesting night, to be sure. I’m not going to go too deep since most people have probably drafted already and because nobody cares about anybody else’s fantasy team. What I am going to do is conduct a quick run-down of how Toronto Raptors were drafted in the four RR drafts relative to their consensus ranking (via Fantasy Pros), their Rotoworld Draft Guide ranking (shouts to Michael Gallagher), and their Average Draft Position (“ADP“).
This should give us a decent handle on how the fantasy market sees each individual and how willing Raptors fans were to reach for players from their team (which I’ve always maintained, even when writing fantasy was a major part of my job, is entirely justifiable since fantasy is an entertainment product first).
Note: The leagues were standard 9-cat, head-to-head, PG SG G SF PF F C C Util Util 5xBN IR, and 20 teams, except the Patreon league which had 16. There’s also nothing on the line in any league but the Patreon league, so keep that in mind (interestingly, the Patreon league had the most extreme Raptors reaches despite an actual prize on the line).
Owned in all formats
RR Drafts: 22, 22, 24, 25
Not much to say here. Lowry’s a known commodity who is better than 22-25 on a per-game basis but carries some risk for sitting out games late or even missing time. As steady as it goes when he’s out there, from a fantasy perspective, and one of the elite 3FGM contributors, especially if he sees more time off-ball this year.
RR Drafts: 33, 33, 34, 36
Remarkable consistency here, too. DeRozan’s a known fantasy commodity, too, capable of chipping in with rebounds and assists to supplement one of the higher scoring lines in the league. I’m not sure his raw FG% will match last year’s, but an extra assist or so per-game could make him a cheap source of 25-5-5 where he’s going.
RR Drafts: 44, 50, 59, 61
I’d guess a lot of the variance in Ibaka’s market has to do with risk preferences. Ibaka is safe in that the line he’ll put up is mostly known – a few threes from a big-man spot, center eligibility, and the hope of better block numbers if he sees more than spot minutes at the five. But there’s also not a ton of upside here, and some people don’t want to use a top-50 selection on a floor play, even if he’s a safe bet to return something close to the investment.
RR Drafts: 36, 61, 66, 80
Volatility in terms of a Valanciunas projection makes sense. It looks like he’ll be involved in different ways this year, but it’s not immediately clear how that may change his final stat line. He looks better defensively, but that may not mean he closes out games. And so on. Valanciunas is a sure thing for rebounds and is the type of big who will help, not harm, your FT%, so there’s a good floor here. No. 36 feels just as insane as No. 104, though.
ADP outside top 150
RR Drafts: 97, 117, 123, 136
I was pretty surprised to see our readership draft Miles ahead of Powell a couple of times. One of the big talking points I had with people during the preseason was how the starter/bench trade-off would impact Powell’s fantasy value. His usage when playing with Lowry and DeRozan was around 17-18 percent last year and around 30 percent without them. It was also sky-high in the preseason coming off the bench. As a starter, he’s probably slightly less of a fantasy asset for volume scoring, with the trade-off being that he should score a bit more efficiently and maybe contribute some extra defensive juice.
RR Drafts: 101, 102, 125, 153
I’ll have to check with my people at Rotoworld and ask what Miles did to them to deserve this. I get it: He’s 30, he doesn’t contribute anything but points, threes, and low-end rebounds, and a lot of leagues don’t count 3FG% as a category. He’s also a lock to average 11-14 points and hit 2.2-2.8 threes per-game, which should be worthy of a roster spot at least in semi-deep formats. Shortly after 100 is probably a bit high given he’s a scoring-cat guy only. Shortly after 300 is just mean.
RR Drafts: 186, 203, 209, 218
This feels about right – undrafted in shallower formats and a bench guard in deeper ones. If Wright were showing consistency on his 3-point shot, it would help, because he has most of the other categories checked off: Assists and steals are obvious, he’s a good bet for some sneaky blocks, and he’s a savvy offensive rebounder (this format didn’t count O-Rebs separately, but some do).
RR Drafts: 223, 243, 260, N/A
If I were detached from the actual team and looking at a scenario where two centers were still in competition for backup minutes, I’d prefer Nogueira’s profile to Poeltl’s. There’s just more upside, from a fantasy perspective, with a strong rim protector who can also chip in assists and even the occasional three (maybe?). Neither will make or break a team, I’m just a ceiling player late in drafts.
Not ranked in consensus top-300
RR Drafts: 233, 233, 250, N/A
Minutes at the center position are hard to come by, and he has the inside track on 12-16. He’s not a particularly sexy pick given he was the least passed-to player in the NBA last year, but the touches come with a high FG%, rebounds, and maybe blocks. Probably won’t shoot enough FTs to hurt the FT% much, either.
RR Drafts: 232, 235, 254, N/A
It’s certainly tantalizing to dream on his multi-cat potential after his two preseason showings. Steals will probably be his biggest asset, he’ll get some blocks, and playing up a position might boost the rebound numbers, though he wasn’t exceptional there in college. The real question is whether the threes and assists have any potential to stick around. Young Fantasy James Johnson deep off the bench?
RR Drafts: 256, 272, 273, N/A
The role might not be consistent, but it’s a reasonable flier for threes and assists so late until we see how the rotation looks coming out of the gate.
RR Drafts: 14, 220, 282, N/A
I am currently in the process of trying to develop a G-League fantasy league format, so the jokes in the draft chat would land better.
RR Drafts: 242, N/A, N/A, N/A
I really wonder if Siakam would have been selected in all four drafts had Anunoby not had the two preseason games he just had. They figure to be fighting for the same minutes, capable of contributing some blocks, steals, rebounds, and maybe a fourth category (assists for Anunoby, threes for Siakam) in low-volume if the role was steady. As it is, they’ll probably cannibalize each other’s value.
RR Drafts: 293, N/A, N/A, N/A
It’s the 293rd pick. I took Joffrey Lauvergne in one league and own two shares of Tyler Ennis. Do whatever you want here.
RR Drafts: N/A, N/A, N/A, N/A
Poor guy was the only Raptor not to get picked in at least one RR draft. That’s fair. If he somehow stumbles into playing time and you need blocks on a Sunday, though.