Welcome to our first SuperDraft piece! Before I dive in, make sure you’ve read the SuperDraft Primer so you understand the site’s nuances. On a side note – what a good day to start this, as I did some tournament entries on Superdraft yesterday with some nice results:
This is why I play on Superdraft – and why you should too – while there wasn’t as much overlay as normal yesterday, there is frequently meaningful overlay, and these contests are pretty soft (look at that ownership on guys like Rozier (5%), Hayward (9%), Brown (2%), Tate (1%), and Portis (15%)!)
For today’s slate, we have a 5-gamer, so one of my immediate takeaways is that a high raw score from a stud (hi, James Harden) is likely to be valuable even without a huge multiplier. Assuming Harden plays (he’s currently listed questionable, but almost never misses games), I’d probably just lock him in every lineup and figure that the strong raw projection, without Kyrie and Durant, in a good matchup is worth banking on.
Past Harden (1x), I’m not sure there are any studs I really love here. Westbrook (1.05x) and Lillard (1.1x) are so-so plays to me here. Both have solid projections, but with low multipliers and expected high ownership, I’m more likely to try to look for outlier performances elsewhere from guys with higher multipliers. The Lakers afford us some opportunities here, as do the Warriors and the Sixers (and the Rockets should Harden happen to miss, as well as, to a lesser extent, the Pelicans if Lonzo Ball (1.55x) sits this one out). If Harden sits, the big decision is going to be with the News – they’ll have a lot of players who project well and have high multipliers, but there’s a realistic chance of Brooklyn just getting dusted. My interest here sans Harden would primarily be in Bruce Brown 1.75x, Tyler Johnson (2x), and Joe Harris (1.7x), i.e. the guys who would take up most of the shooting.
Let’s dig in by position a bit:
Harden’s the cream of the crop here. You can make a game theory case for fading him – he’s probably going to be at least 75% owned in tournaments – but personally, I view him as good chalk and will not be betting against him. Behind him, we have a “safe” tier of guys like Beal (1.15x), Westbrook, and Lillard, studs with low multipliers but strong raw projections – personally I’m likely to be way underweight these guys. Where I’m wanting to go here are the highly volatile guys with bigger multipliers. I want to be overweight on ::
Ball (1.55x) (if he plays, or Alexander-Walker (1.7x) if Ball sits)
All of those guys have a lot of upside…and a lot of downside. My strategy at guard is going to be “Harden plus two higher multiplier guys mixed and matched” in the hopes of landing a few strong rosters.
I’m likely to want every one of my rosters to have at least 1 of Kyle Kuzma (1.5x) and Montrezl Harrell (1.4x) – in a positive matchup, with solid multipliers, and no Lebron James, the odds of them hitting here are just exceptional. The “safe” options are Randle (1.2x), Adebayo (1.3x), and Butler (1.15x) – I probably don’t want Bam and Jimmy in the same lineup, and I think I only want 1 of the 3 of them in most lineups, as I expect them to be some of the highest-owned guys at the position tonight and I want to be able to differentiate. Howard (1.7x), Barrett (1.6x), Wiggins (1.4x), Anthony (1.9x), Covington (1.55x), and D. Green (1.3x) are some higher-ceiling options to mix in. Another guy you could consider if Harden sits is Nicolas Claxton (1.8x) – if Harden is out and the Nets are down big, they could easily give up early in this game and give Claxton 30 minutes, which as a strong per-minute producer in a good matchup and with a 1.8x multiplier would make him an exceptionally strong play.
It’s funny, I wrote the primer talking about how Center is the key position because you only get 1 ….except for tonight, it kind of isn’t. Most of the best center plays also have forward eligibility, so you can use all of them if you want. Most of my center exposure tonight is going to be Randle/Harrell/Adebayo/Howard, who all have forward eligibility as well, so the slate just isn’t as constrained as normal. The only pure center I’m really all that interested in tonight is Enes Kanter (1.4x), who has shown a strong enough ceiling to potentially get there and pay off Steven Adams (1.75x) is one of those “solid floor but not great ceiling” plays who I try to avoid – it’s just hard to see him putting up the kind of score that can bury you if you don’t have him, he would need 40 or so raw points to really hurt you, and it’s exceedingly rare for him to get that high).
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