Fantasy Basketball 2018: Early-Round Rankings and NBA Mock Draft Analysis

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The 2018-19 NBA tips off in less than two weeks, meaning fantasy basketball owners have either finished their drafts or are in the cram-session portion of their preparation process.

If you’re in the latter group, we’re here to help.

The offseason produced a ton of movement that must be sorted out for fantasy purposes. Is LeBron James more or less valuable with the Los Angeles Lakers? Which rookies should be drafted first, and when should they go? How can anyone correctly peg Kawhi Leonard’s value after the last year he’s had?

We’ll find those answers in due time. For now, let’s look at positional rankings for the upcoming campaign and analyze a recent mock draft from a major outlet.

                

Positional Rankings

Point Guard

1. James Harden, HOU

2. Russell Westbrook, OKC

3. Stephen Curry, GS

4. Damian Lillard, POR

5. Ben Simmons, PHI

6. John Wall, WAS

7. Chris Paul, HOU

8. Kyle Lowry, TOR

9. Kyrie Irving, BOS

10. Kemba Walker, CHO

                   

Shooting Guard

1. James Harden, HOU

2. Victor Oladipo, IND

3. DeMar DeRozan, SAS

4. Donovan Mitchell, UTA

5. Jimmy Butler, MIN

6. Jrue Holiday, NOP

7. Bradley Beal, WAS

8. CJ McCollum, POR

9. Devin Booker, PHO

10. Luka Doncic, DAL

                    

Small Forward

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL

2. LeBron James, LAL

3. Kevin Durant, GSW

4. Ben Simmons, PHI

5. Kawhi Leonard, TOR

6. DeMar DeRozan, SAS

7. Jimmy Butler, MIN

8. Paul George, OKC

9. Khris Middleton, MIL

10. Jayson Tatum, BOS

                  

Power Forward

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL

2. Anthony Davis, NOP

3. LeBron James, LAL

4. Kevin Durant, GSW

5. Kevin Love, CLE

6. Draymond Green, GSW

7. LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS

8. Blake Griffin, DET

9. Jayson Tatum, BOS

10. Tobias Harris, LAC

                    

Center

1. Anthony Davis, NOP

2. Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN

3. Nikola Jokic, DEN

4. Joel Embiid, PHI

5. Andre Drummond, DET

6. Kevin Love, CLE

7. Draymond Green, GSW

8. LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS

9. Marc Gasol, MEM

10. DeAndre Jordan, DAL

                      

Mock Draft Analysis

Ten ESPN experts got together for a 13-round mock draft. Using a rotisserie scoring system, the scribes had a lot of obvious picks, a few head-scratchers and some really impressive ones.

Let’s take a look at a few notable selections.

                    

Best Value: Eric Bledsoe at No. 57

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

When Eric Bledsoe is healthy, he helps you across all categories.

The Milwaukee Bucks man was the only player to average at least five assists, two steals and 1.5 threes last season. He rounded out his stat sheet with 17.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and average-to-really good shooting percentages (47.3/34.7/79.5). Altogether, he was the 21st-rated player on FantasyPros.

So, why is h