23/24 Fast Starts Guides – Part 1
If you are short on time this draft season, this is the guide for you. Below are 36 five-man combinations that will send you into the sixth round in good shape. I wouldn’t recommend taking this approach, but if you did no other draft preparation and simply copied one of the below combinations, you would likely finish your draft in a very good spot. The five-man combinations are broken down by first-round pick and punting build. This guide provides combinations for teams led by Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Part 2 and Part 3 of this guide will focus on building teams around the rest of the first-round options. When putting together these teams, I wasn’t trying to make the team as strong as possible after round five. That wouldn’t make sense. Our drafts are not five rounds long. I put these teams together with the goal of helping you finish your draft in the strongest position possible. That means that in most cases, I focused heavily on category scarcity. You’ll notice that a bunch of these combinations are a little light on bigs. That’s intentional since the guard categories dry up much quicker than the big man categories. We can make a comeback late in blocks and FG%, but we can’t make a comeback late in assists and FT%. I tried to be as realistic as possible when coming up with these recommendations. I tried to avoid making too many reaches. That means you may be able to do better than a lot of these combinations, especially if you play on ESPN or in a league with an auction draft. If you play on ESPN or in an auction draft league, use these combinations as starting points. Study them and then see if you can tweak them to make them even stronger.
*All five-man combinations were created using Yahoo’s rankings and with 12-team H2H leagues in mind
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Pick 2-6)
Gilgeous-Alexander/Butler/Adebayo/DeRozan/Barnes – It’s very hard to do better than this in punt threes unless you are lucky enough to start your draft with Nikola Jokic. This group’s only weakness is Jimmy’s annoying habit of missing 20 games per year. This combination is elite in steals, both percentages, and turnovers. It is also strong in points and assists. Both rebounds and blocks are a touch low, but that’s not an issue. In fact, that is usually a good thing because that means we focused on the categories that dry up the quickest during the first five rounds. Rebounds and blocks are fairly easy to find late, especially in punt threes. Points, assists, steals, and FT% are not.
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