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Fantasy Basketball Mock Draft: 12-Team, Category League, Late Pick (2022)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Sep 19, 2022
Anthony Edwards Timberwolves

Breakout year for Anthony Edwards? We’re going to go with yes.

We are so used to the NBA moving at a rapid pace, transitioning from the regular season, to the playoffs, to the NBA Draft Lottery, to the NBA Finals, to the draft, to free agency, that when there is a lull, we find ourselves asking “now what?”

And there’s not just a lull in the real-life NBA. No, not at all. There’s a lull in fantasy as managers are yearning for another season.

We are also seeing a lull in supporting resources around the industry for fantasy hoops, too, as we have early rankings at ESPN for points leagues and early rankings at Yahoo, which are always … interesting.

The initial Yahoo rankings always have people scratching their heads at certain placements, but they course corrected – a bit.

To fill those gaps in the lull that’s happening a tad, we’ll be doing a series of early mock drafts over the next few weeks from different draft spots.

Before we get into the first one, a few notes:

  • We are using Yahoo rankings because, well, that’s what we have right now
  • We are going to do a 8-cat league because, as I’ve been very vocal about in the past, turnovers are the worst fantasy category to exist in any sport
  • It’s going to be a 12-team league
  • I’ll explain each pick and the reasoning behind it, as well as an end-of-draft recap

Let’s conclude this series by picking from the No. 11 spot.

NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer

Round 1:

Kevin Durant (SF, PF – BKN)

I don’t want to be a broken record, but these Yahoo rankings continue to be … interesting. I don’t think you’ll find Durant here at No. 11 overall, but I do have to admit that I did find myself considering taking Trae Young here, given the Brooklyn drama. But I’ll take one of the best players in the league here to build my team foundation.

Round 2:

Anthony Edwards (SG, SF – MIN)

Breakout season for Edwards? Breakout season for Edwards. The new-look Timberwolves are going to be stout defensively inside, and they’ll be counting on Karl-Anthony Towns to space the floor and shoot more threes. The court will open up for Edwards, who will vault into the first round next year.

Round 3:

Chris Paul (PG – PHX)

The wheels have to fall off eventually for Paul, but it won’t be this year. The Suns are somehow overlooked this year all because of the blowout season-ending loss in the playoffs. Paul played 65 games last year and 70 the two prior seasons. If we can get at least 65 from Paul again, we’ll return the value.

Round 4:

Jarrett Allen (C – CLE)

I’ve regretted waiting too long on big men in my last two mocks, so this is as far as I was going to push it to get my first center. Give me Allen, who will help me defensively and on the boards.

Round 5:

Tyrese Maxey (PG, SG – PHI)

Maxey elevated his game last year and didn’t slow down with Harden’s arrival. We are seeing some correction with the rankings with Maxey, as he’s up about two rounds from where he was before. Capitalize on his value here for the third-year guard out of Kentucky.

Round 6:

Brandon Ingram (SF, PF – NOP)

Last mock, it was Zion Williamson that I got in Round 6. This mock, it’s his teammate. Why is Ingram here at No. 69 overall? I have no idea, but it doesn’t make sense as he should be a Round 3 or 4 player. But I’ll “jump” ADP to get him here in the first part of Round 6 instead of him going at the tail end.

Round 7:

Collin Sexton (PG, SG – UTA) 

“This isn’t even fair. Sexton, the focal piece of the Mitchell deal, lost rounds upon rounds of ADP in Yahoo’s latest update. If you can get him in the last round, enjoy the huge W. We are looking around huge volume, huge scoring opportunities, and a player I’d feel good about taking in Round 7.” That’s what I said in the last mock two weeks ago. In the latest upgrade, Sexton is here, in Round 7. I’ll keep my word.

Round 8:

Clint Capela (C – ATL)

Whelp, I hate my second center again. I’m beginning to think it’s a position problem and not a “me” problem. Capela’s game doesn’t play well in this era of the NBA, and the Hawks would be well-served to clear room for Onyeka Okongwu. But until then, I get a big boost in blocks and rebounds.

Round 9:

Brandon Clarke (SF, PF – MEM)

With Kyle Anderson gone and Jaren Jackson Jr. hurt (again), the Grizzlies are going to need Clarke and Zaire Williams to step up in a big way this year. Clarke will provide really good rebounding and defensive stats for you.

Round 10:

R.J. Barrett (SF – NY)

Barrett is staying in New York, as the Knicks missed out on Donovan Mitchell. What’s more, they locked him up to a long-term deal. Look, he might not ever be the 1A guy on your team, but he can be 1B. For fantasy, he’s an underrated scorer that will contribute across the board as the focal point of the offense.

Round 11:

Isaiah Jackson (PF, C – IND)

We saw glimpses of what Jackson could do last year when he got the run we wanted him to have, and while he won’t be starting, we could see him finish. What’s more, with Myles Turner likely to be dealt – we’ve said this so many times before, I know – Jackson could take the starting role and run with it. It’s worth the upside here.

Round 12:

Anfernee Simons (PG, SG – POR)

Simons finished No. 102 last year on the Player Rater, so I like getting him here at this price. I’m expecting a huge year from Damian Lillard, but there will still be enough usage for Simons to put up top-100 numbers.

Round 13:

Ben Simmons (PG – BKN)

Is there risk? Yes. Do we have many updates? Not really, no. But the thing is – if Simmons busts, you’re fine since you’re passing on guys like Bruce Brown and Grant Williams for him. But if he hits, you’re getting a former All-NBA player and fourth- to fifth-round value with your last pick. Take the shot … unlike Simmons.

Final Roster:

PG: Chris Paul

SG: Anthony Edwards

G: Tyrese Maxey

SF: Brandon Ingram

PF: Kevin Durant

F: Brandon Clarke

C: Jarrett Allen

C: Clint Capela

UTIL: Collin Sexton

UTIL: R.J. Barrett

Bench: Isaiah Jackson

Bench: Anfernee Simons

Bench: Ben Simmons

Final Thoughts:

I have to be honest here. I love this team. Of the four I mocked, this stands above the rest for me.

It’s more of a veteran-led, boring team, but boring is good.

The biggest risks I have are Simmons, Paul’s age and health, and Durant’s, well, situation.

I’m definitely hurting in three-point shooting, but I trust my ability to make up for that deficiency with the scoring and defensive depth I have.

In all, I give my team an A.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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