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Fantasy Basketball: Draft Strategy and Streaming?

Phil answers a readers question regarding their late pick draft status and discusses the positive side of a strategy called "streaming" and much more,

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of the year again: Fantasy Basketball owners are scurrying around looking for any kind of advice and information that they can get their hands on and today I'll be answering some of your Fantasy Basketball questions.

Dear Phil,

I will draft as 13th pick in our 14 man highly competitive H2H fantasy league. I plan to do a Paul George plus Melo (Carmelo Anthony) combo. What do you think about this? Or a Paul George + Rudy Gobert/Kyle Lowry?

Thanks for the question.

Being 13th in a 14 team Draft is a tough spot to be in. I don't envy you. I think the most important thing here is to get 2 high quality players that will fill up every scoring category and then work from there.

Kyle Lowry is a nice player for sure but is he a better choice than let's say Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook or Steph Curry? Those three names might be gone by the time you make your first or second pick but maybe someone like Damian Lillard, John Wall or even Ty Lawson will be there and I guess my question would then be is Lowry going to win more categories than any of those other point guards? I could be wrong here but I don't think Lowry is worthy of a second round pick in any format. If it's a point guard you are considering with one of your two early picks and unless there is a run on point guards surely there is going to be someone more suitable than Lowry.

We talked about Rudy Gobert on this week's Phil's Fantasy Sports so you can tune in to that discussion at the bottom of this posting but I wouldn't draft Rudy Gobert in the second round of any league. Outside of blocks I can use the waiver wire and run a stream and get what he gives me on a nightly basis. That doesn't mean I wouldn't draft him because I would but I wouldn't want to use a 1st or 2nd round pick on him.

Most pre-season draft rankings I've read like this one have Anthony in your target range so if Carmelo Anthony is still around at pick 13 then by all means go for it. As long as he's healthy he won't hurt you in any category and he's most definitely a player you can build a championship Fantasy Basketball team around. If someone grabs him before the 13th pick and you still want to build your roster around a small forward/power forward who also shoots threes then maybe if Kawhi Leonard is available you choose him and a point guard?

At the end of the day there is going to be someone at either the 13th or 16th pick that is going to help you win every category. Serge Ibaka will contribute in every category but assists but the big question about him is health. Kevin Love is another one flying under the radar; the biggest question for me is how they are going to use him offensively. I'm sure with Kyrie Irving out until at least January he's going to be a big part of the offense but when Irving returns? That's still unclear and maybe Love isn't worth a second round pick to you.

Where you will either win or lose your draft is at your third (41st) and fourth round (44th) picks. Depending on how your draft is going you should have plenty of solid four category options such as guards Isaiah ThomasJeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Reggie Jackson and Mike Conley and forwards like Al Horford, Al Jefferson, Derek Favors and Andrew Wiggins to choose from. Depending on how your draft is taking shape there quite possibly be better options than those to choose from so draft wisely and find players who will win as many categories as possible and use the rest of your draft to fill in the low spots and you should be all set!

Dear Phil,

I stream starting pitchers during the Fantasy Baseball season but have never done so for basketball. Do you think this is a good idea?

Thanks for the question!

I'm a fellow streamer and to simply answer your question depending on the size of your league and of course your league rules involving player and acquisition limits I think it's a great idea!

For those unaware of a Fantasy Sports strategy called streaming; streaming is a concept where you draft with the idea of leaving an open spot on your roster and using the waiver wire to fill it daily with someone who you think will help you win a category (s) that you are having difficulties with. This strategy does involve a bit of work and should be used in leagues where there aren't any position game limits or weekly acquisition limitations of less than 7 per week and in leagues of 12 or less teams.

If you don't have any game limits or acquisition restrictions and have an extra 20-30 minutes per day than by all means give streaming a try. The best way to do this is to target a couple of teams that you think aren't going to do so well and use their best players. Last season I targeted the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks and used players like Robert Covington, Tony Wroten and Langston Galloway and won my league.

This season In leagues of 12 teams or less this season I would look to target the Portland Trail Blazers and players like C.J. McCollum and Ed Davis as they will more than likely be easily attainable. You might even watch a player like Ed Davis as he might not get drafted in a 10 team league. Another team that you can probably target is the Detroit Pistons; pay careful attention to Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris and maybe even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as they will be playing key roles and might not get drafted.

If you would like to have your Fantasy Sports question answered in this column or participate in a Sonics Rising Fantasy Basketball league please email me at

On this edition of Phil's Fantasy Sports Phil is giving away a 25 dollar pre-paid Visa card to one lucky listener per week for signing up at his new Daily Fantasy Sports site Draft Dragons. Rotowire NHL writer Brian Rutherford and Phil discuss Fantasy Hockey mid-tier forwards, Fake Teams Ray Guilfoyle joins Phil and the guys try and figure out who will be the #1 Fantasy Baseball player taken in next seasons draft as well as several Cubs players and pitchers and their possible 2016 values. Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker joins Phil and the guys share their FanDuel and Draft Kings Fantasy Football picks and Rotowire NBA writer Alex Rikleen and Phil discuss Fantasy Basketball sleepers and busts at the Center position. You can download the show from my site or listen below.