Draft Guide Features
The annual SportsEthos Draft Guide is a comprehensive piece that gets readers prepared for the upcoming season, and namely their upcoming drafts. My aim is to provide as much information as humanly possible and give people their money's worth; I intend to cover more players and go more in depth than anyone else in the fantasy basketball space. While the majority of the Guide is made up of team pages and individual player profiles, which you can check out here, each edition includes dozens of articles that cover topics like draft strategy, in-season strategy, roster building, sleepers and busts, potential breakouts for second- and third-year players, players entering contract seasons, players with specialist appeal for certain stats, team-level trends and schedule breakdowns. We also hold drafts with readers and write those up for review in addition to providing statistical tools like projections and rankings for category scoring, salary cap leagues and points formats. Below are some highlights over the years, showing a small slice of the work I deliver over a few weeks each summer.
2022 Draft Guide: 12-Team, 8-Cat H2H Mock Draft Review
2022 Draft Guide: Sleepers
Sleepers are the most fun thing to think about as we barrel towards opening night. Being able to get it right with sleepers is the proving ground — anyone can tell you that Nikola Jokic will be good, but not everyone gets a chance to draft him. When you pick the right sleepers, they’ll take you on to victory and give you the right to smack talk your entire league for letting such a valuable player fall in your lap.
2022 Draft Guide: Busts
2021 Draft Guide: Sleepers
2020 Draft Guide: Shutdown/Rest Risks
We’re here to focus on the things we can control; if not control, at least be aware of. Players sit out games. Sometimes they’re injured, sometimes they’re hurt, sometimes they’re getting a breather in a busy part of the schedule. Whatever the case, you’re going to want to know who’s at risk of those extra DNPs.
2019 Draft Guide: Contract Year UFAs
The thought is that players find that extra gear when the next check is on the way — that one big season can set them up in the long-term and they’re going to empty the tank to get there. It’s not something that can really be definitively proven but money is a great motivator and we have seen a number of players post big numbers that just so happen to coincide with hitting the open market. If you believe in it, this one’s for you. If not, here’s a list of guys who will/could be free agents next summer.
2019 Draft Guide: Deep-League Cash Counter Specialists
Everyone knows that the guys at the top of fantasy drafts can give you steals, blocks and threes, but it can be difficult to make up ground if the top of your roster lags behind for one reason or another. That’s where we come in.
The following is a list of players who can help you compete in the all-important cash counter categories. A lot of players can bring in points and rebounds, but rounding out a line with the scarcer stats is the best way to bring home the money.
2019 Draft Guide: Out-of-Position Stats for Forwards/Centers
Alas, our lineups are still constrained by the traditional positions, even as the game itself becomes increasingly seamless. As such, oftentimes fantasy managers will need stats from positions where they aren’t typically abundant. Let’s bounce around the league to see where you can make up the difference if your wings are poor shooters or your point guards aren’t near the top of the assist leaderboards.
2019 Draft Guide: Pace Report
Our work needs to be done in determining which teams are primed for big relative jumps in an ecosystem where a rising tide is floating everyone’s boat. The fine folks at NBA.com have cooked up plenty of fun stats to look at that can help us suss out who is driving the bus and which players are just tagging along for a leisurely stroll. Let’s dive in.
2019 Draft Guide: Schedule Analysis
Over the last few seasons we’ve seen a major cutdown on many of the schedule elements that fantasy owners target (back-to-backs, five-game weeks, etc.). Back-to-backs are down and four-in-fives are just about extinct at this point. While the extra onus on putting out the best possible product has cut down on some opportunity, fantasy owners still have some schedule wrinkles to exploit this year.
2018 Draft Guide: Busts
Last season there was no bigger bust than Kawhi Leonard, but who could’ve predicted just nine games and a ton of off-court drama? We’re not trying to pay nostradamus and pick out the guys who’ll get hurt and leave owners in the lurch, but rather the players who are looking likely to disappoint their owners given expectations and draft position. Some of the busts here can still be effective fantasy contributors, but you’ll need to re-evaluate the risk/reward equation rather than jump in blindly.
2017 Draft Guide: Percentage Pariahs
Nearly every player has a fantasy blemish, but percentages stand out as the categories where players can be actively harmful. A player might record zero rebounds, but it’s not like he’s producing negative output. The same can’t be said for the players below, who can undo the good work done by the rest of your roster with their woeful shooting.
We’ve taken a look at some of the most harmful shooters in the game, as well as some names you might not have expected to ding you and guys who could do some damage if their volume increases. Pretty much everyone here has another area they excel at, but whether the juice is worth the squeeze is going to be up to you and your roster build.
2016 Draft Guide: High Mileage Report
In many ways, it’s hard to blame someone who takes a guy like that. They’re a known entity with a track record of success. Father time is undefeated, but maybe this guy is the one who can put up a good fight. He’s been so good for so long, why not take one more shot at it?