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Fantasy Basketball: 12-team ADP mock draft

Auto drafting an entire 12-team draft and seeing what happens.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a useful exercise: do an auto-mock-draft.

By which I mean, do a mock draft by yourself that fills out 12 rosters based on the ADP (Average Draft Position) of the players. This lets you see what a fully automated, non-personal-bias league looks like (well, the bias is spread out and leavened by all the multitude of people doing the drafting, somewhat like swarm theory). You can compare this “objective” draft against your league, or against your draft board, and see where the values differ. Do you agree with those differences? Do you now think that some players are over- or undervalued? Do you notice any trends that you can use to strengthen your own team? Are people obsessed with assists while neglecting rebounds? Are people chasing steals while ignoring free throws?

The purpose of this is to help you get a sense for how the country, and probably your fellow drafters, are feeling about the NBA. Average Draft Position isn’t perfect, of course, but it gives you an idea of “what’s happened,” much like ERA does in baseball. ADP isn’t necessarily predictive, but it is indicative of biases and trends in drafts.

I’m using the ESPN ADP (which changes with updates from constant drafts), and so some of these values may change somewhat, but this is the ADP as of October 2, 2017.

I’m also using base-line rosters: Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, Center, and 3 Utility spots. I haven’t drafted for need (but, I also won’t go crazy), and I’ve kept to the ADP unless it breaks the roster requirements. I’ve also listed the position ranking number for each player, and added the position initials to the UTIL spots. Remember: most fantasy teams after a draft are not what they’ll look like one month into the season. People make trades, people fill out their rosters via waivers, etc. Having assets is what you want when you draft. If you have too many power forwards, try to combo them into a point guard. If you’re guard heavy, try to pick up a big man on the wire for cheap.

A few more points: for some reason, ESPN doesn’t list a player’s primary position. For example: CJ McCollum is a shooting guard who occasionally plays the point, but ESPN has him listed as a Point Guard. Gordon Hayward is a Small Forward and always has been, but ESPN lists him as a shooting guard because he played the 2 for a handful of occasions last season. It’s a stupid way to do things, but hey, that’s budget ESPN for you. But, it’s free, so we can’t complain. Oh, and for some reason a bunch of people at ESPN, and all across the internet, really, think that Gary Harris was a rookie last year. He wasn’t; this will be his 4th year in the league.

The draft is snake since that’s what most folks do in one year leagues.

I’m also not drafting Gorgui Dieng. If that screws up your analysis, then you’re doing it wrong.

Here are the results for each team, in their draft order, with the player’s position rank in the draft (I think that Team 11 is the best; first pick for this team was Kyrie):

Team One: Unicorns & Makes From Klay

PG - Goran Dragic (#13 point guard drafted)
SG - Klay Thompson (#4 shooting guard drafted)
SF - Giannis Antetokounmpo (#1 small forward drafted, #1 overall player drafted)
PF - Kristaps Porzingis (#3 power forward drafted)
C - Willie Cauley-Stein (#22 center drafted)
UTIL - Nicolas Batum (#9 SG)
UTIL - Tobias Harris (#12 PF)
UTIL - Danilo Gallinari (#14 SF)

Team Two: How Can I Assist You?

PG - Russell Westbrook (#1 PG)
SG - Bradley Beal (#5 SG)
SF - James Johnson (#15 SF)
PF - Zach Randolph (#17 PF)
C - Jonas Valanciunas (#17 C)
UTIL - Kemba Walker (#7 PG)
UTIL - Lonzo Ball (#12 PG)
UTIL - Dennis Schroder (#13 PG)

Team Three: Beard and Brawn

PG - Markelle Fultz (#18 PG)
SG - James Harden (#1 SG)
SF - JR Smith (#17 SF)
PF - Draymond Green (#2 PF)
C - Myles Turner (#6 C)
UTIL - Al Horford (#12 C)
UTIL - LaMarcus Aldridge (#8 PF)
UTIL - Julius Randle (#11 PF)

Team Four: Threes and Ds

PG - Kyle Lowry (#8 PG)
SG - Avery Bradley (#12 SG)
SF - Kevin Durant (#2 SF)
PF - Greg Monroe (#16 PF)
C - Brook Lopez (#11 C)
UTIL - Gordon Hayward (#6 SF)
UTIL - D’Angelo Russell (#14 PG)
UTIL - Trevor Ariza (#13 SF)

Team Five: The Best Shooter of All Time, The Chosen One, and DeChozen

PG - Steph Curry (#2 PG)
SG - CJ McCollum (#3 SG)
SF - Dario Saric (#12 SF)
PF - Ben Simmons (#9 PF)
C - Steven Adams (#18 C)
UTIL - DeMar DeRozan (#6 SG)
UTIL - Jeff Teague (#11 PG)
UTIL - Rudy Gay (#16 SF)

Team Six: This Team Will Not Be Friends

PG - Mike Conley (#9 PG)
SG - Tim Hardaway, Jr. (#16 SG)
SF - LeBron James (#3 SF)
PF - Serge Ibaka (#10 PF)
C - Dwight Howard (#16 C)
UTIL - Paul George (#5 SF)
UTIL - Otto Porter, Jr. (#8 SF)
UTIL - Marquese Chriss (#13 PF)

Team Seven: The Brow, The Butler and The Blake

PG - Elfrid Payton (#15 PG)
SG - Jimmy Butler (#2 SG)
SF - Andrew Wiggins (#7 SF)
PF - Anthony Davis (#1 PF)
C - Willy Hernangomez (#21 C)
UTIL - Blake Griffin (#4 PF)
UTIL - Dwyane Wade (#11 SG)
UTIL - Rajon Rondo (#19 PG)

Team Eight: Big, Tall & Here to Ball

PG - Damian Lillard (#6 PG)
SG - Evan Fournier (#13 SG)
SF - Kawhi Leonard (#4 SF)
PF - Markieff Morris (#15 PF)
C - Marc Gasol (#7 C)
UTIL - Jusuf Nurkic (#10 C)
UTIL - Andre Drummond (#13 C)
UTIL - Clint Capela (#15 C)

Team Nine: Do You Need Points? Because We Have Points

PG - Jrue Holiday (#16 PG)
SG - Devin Booker (#8 SG)
SF - Jae Crowder (#11 SF)
PF - Carmelo Anthony (#5 PF)
C - Karl-Anthony Towns (#1 C)
UTIL - Hassan Whiteside (#5 C)
UTIL - Wilson Chandler (#16 SF)
UTIL - Marcin Gortat (#20 C)

Team Ten: Dr. Wall Will See You Now

PG - John Wall (#3 PG)
SG - Khris Middleton (#7 SG)
SF - Harrison Barnes (#10 SF)
PF - Aaron Gordon (#14 PF)
C - DeAndre Jordan (#9 C)
UTIL - Chris Paul (#5 PG)
UTIL - Nikola Vucevic (#14 C)
UTIL - George Hill (#20 PG)

Team Eleven: The Earth is Flat but My Stroke Sure Ain’t

PG - Kyrie Irving (#4 PG)
SG - Victor Oladipo (#10 SG)
SF - Brandon Ingram (#10 SF)
PF - Paul Millsap (#6 PF)
C - DeMarcus Cousins (#4 C)
UTIL - Eric Bledsoe (#10 PG)
UTIL - Ricky Rubio (#17 PG)
UTIL - Zach “The Dentist” LaVine (#14 SG)

Team Twelve: From France with Love

PG - Isaiah Thomas (#18 PG - I.T. won’t play until January, at the earliest, so I have no idea why people are drafting him as high as they are, but hey! maybe they know something that literally no one else in the world knows.)
SG - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (#15 SG)
SF - Robert Covington (#9 SF)
PF - Kevin Love (#7 PF)
C - Rudy Gobert (#2 C)
UTIL - Nikola Jokic (#3 C)
UTIL - Joel Embiid (#8 C)
UTIL - Pau Gasol (#19 C)