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Fantasy Basketball: Mock Drafts, Rookies and Rudy Gay

Phil answers your Fantasy Basketball questions about mock drafts, top rookies, Rudy Gay and much more.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Fantasy Basketball season is fast approaching; live drafts are being held and as always Fantasy Basketball owners are filling up my inbox with questions......so let's get cracking!

Dear Phil,

How much emphasis do you place in mock drafts and are they all that useful?

Thanks for the question.

There was a time when I felt mock drafts were a big waste of time. Then I participated in a couple of them and changed my tune; sort of. The key here is who you are participating with in these drafts. If you are taking part in a public mock draft chances are the participants will lose interest after the 4th or 5th round and you won't learn very much from it or the draft isn't full and you wind up drafting against a bunch of auto picks and you won't learn anything from this either.

The best mock drafts are the ones that you know everyone participating like the one some within the Fantasy Basketball industry participated in. They were each involved from start to finish and the results and some of the rationale behind the selections was also revealed. Chris Paul and John Wall ahead of Damian Lillard interested me as did taking Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe in the second round. So did several other picks but from what they provided we can learn quite a few things to help us prepare better for our drafts.

So to answer your question mock drafts are very useful under the right circumstances. The best ones are the ones that you participate in yourself with other owners who are as diligent as the industry guys were. This will allow you to see trends and help you make better choices when the real thing comes along. If you can't do that use Google and find examples like the one I linked to above in order to get an idea of what to expect when draft day comes along.

Dear Phil,

I have Rudy Gay being drafted in the 3rd round. Is this too high or too low?

Thanks for the question!

Gay has always made a great contribution to Fantasy Basketball rosters. He has terrific numbers in every category but blocks and his shooting percentages are very solid. His duel eligibility (SF, PF) is also a plus as is the fact that George Karl is a terrific coach for Fantasy hoops owners because he usually lets players like Gay do his thing. Gay posted some terrific numbers when Karl became the coach (23.8 PPG, 1.5 3-PPG, 3.2 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 47.4 FG% and 84.3 FT%) and from all we've seen from Gay this preseason it does indeed appear that Gay could be in for an exceptionally good season.

To answer your question Rudy Gay is absolutely a 3rd round Fantasy Basketball selection and after watching him play the other night in a small ball lineup minus Boogie Cousins I'm convinced of this. Currently he's being drafted at #31 and if he posts similar numbers to what he did after Karl took over #31 might be a sleeper as he would certainly exceed his projections.

Dear Phil,

Who are the top rookies you are looking at in this seasons draft?

Thanks for the question.

For me the one I'm probably highest on in terms of Fantasy Basketball value is the Denver Nuggets Emmanuel Mudiay. The Nuggets traded Ty Lawson away so Mudiay can do his thing and this preseason he's averaging 28 minutes per game and is scoring straight across the board. His free throw percentage is a LOT less than to be desired and he turns the ball over too much so if you are in a league that counts turnovers Mudiay might not be your best option. He's currently being drafted about ninth round or so and at this point I think that's about right.

I like the Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns a LOT and what's not to like? People are already comparing him to Anthony Davis and maybe they are correct but currently he's being drafted around #40. When Davis came into the league he was getting drafted at about #60 so just based on that I think his current #40 is way too high. The other problem I have with his #40 is how much is he going to play considering he has Gorgui Dieng, Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic in getting paid big bucks in front of him. This preseason Towns is averaging 23 minutes per night with Dieng averaging about 25.5 minutes. Towns preseason numbers are encouraging and I think he will be a tremendous asset long term I wouldn't take him before the 7th round.

If you need blocks and are fumbling around searching for a late round flyer I like the Indiana Pacers power forward Myles Turner a LOT. I don't usually put much stock in Summer League numbers it was hard not to notice nearly 19 points, 4.5 blocks and just over 8 boards a game. He's followed that up this preseason with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots in just under 17 minutes a game. He probably won't make a major impact this season but he would be a good deep league option and maybe help you win your blocks and rebounding categories every week. Currently Turner is getting drafted at about 116 which is just about right I think.

Kristaps Porzingis is another intriguing rookie. He blocks shots (1.5 per game this preseason) and he hits from three (1.5 per game) with 6 rebounds playing 20 minutes per game. If he starts and gets at least 25 minutes per night he will more than  likely outdo his current draft average of 116. If he doesn't then you haven't lost much taking a late round flyer on him have you?

I didn't forget about the Lakers D'Angelo Russell, the 76ers Jahlil Okafor or Orlando's Mario Hezonja as I'll be talking more about them next week.

On this week's Phil's Fantasy Sports Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker and Phil discuss Fantasy Football Waiver Wire options plus picks for both FanDuel and Draft Kings. Rotowire NBA writer Alex Rikleen and Phil discuss several Fantasy Basketball small forward sleepers and Fantasy Bully Busters co-founder Joe Gibbons and Phil discuss several Fantasy Hockey overrated and underrated players and off tips for those of you playing DFS Fantasy Hockey. You can download the show from my site or listen at the link below.