Steps to Navigate the Second Round

We've made it past the first round, and now it's on to the second round. Second round strategy is all about identifying which two series you feel the most confident in and picking on those series early and often. This allows you to buy some precious time needed to get a glimpse into the series you are less sure about.

This season, the two series we can feel the most confident in are from the west. Golden State and Houston are the best two teams in the NBA and seem like a lock to meet each other in the conference finals. So it's simple, pick from Utah and New Orleans early and often and wait out the others.

....... Not so fast! The NBA has thrown you a curveball. Let's look at the schedule:


That's correct, from game 3 onwards, the western series always play on the same day, while the eastern series always play on the same day.

Let's look at the options from Utah and New Orleans we have to pick from:

Donovan Mitchell 28PRA
Rudy Gobert 26PRA
Ricky Rubio 23PRA (If healthy)
Derrick Favors 21PRA
Joe Ingles 20PRA
Jae Crowder 17PRA

New Orleans
Anthony Davis 42PRA
Jrue Holiday 30PRA
Nikola Mirotic 23PRA
Rajon Rondo 20PRA
E'twaun Moore 18PRA

That's 11 solid options to pick from in at most 7 remaining opportunities. If you haven't picked a single member of Utah or New Orleans, you will not have enough time to pick them all. In fact, if both series sweep then you will for sure lose somebody good, because that would mean you can only pick 4 of the 11.

Are you regretting picking from a Game 7 on Saturday and Sunday instead of getting started on these series?

I'm very happy I saw this in the morning and swiftly ensured that I picked Donovan Mitchell today.

Let's look at some of the options in the east:

DeMar DeRozan 32PRA
Kyle Lowry 29PRA
Jonas Valunciunas 23PRA
Serge Ibaka 20 PRA

LeBron James 46PRA
Kevin Love 28PRA

Al Horford 25PRA
Jayson Tatum 21PRA
Jaylen Brown 21PRA (if healthy)
Marcus Morris 20PRA
Terry Rozier 19PRA (Higher now due to Kyrie's injury)

Joel Embiid 37PRA
Ben Simmons 32PRA
Dario Saric 24PRA
JJ Reddick 22PRA
Robert Covington 19PRA

We are going to need to pick from the east, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. The east has four teams that are very closely matched. Cleveland is probably the worst team in the bunch but they have LeBron so that makes them a contender for the east crown just because, you know, it's LeBron.

Cleveland only have two good picks. I would avoid picking from Cleveland until they have lost at least two games. If you have already picked LeBron, then you need to wait on Love until a possible elimination game.

On the contrary, the Raptors have a better number of solid options to chose from. Pick the right bench mob guy on the right night and it can work out well. You can afford to make one mistake with the Raptors. If you are forced to pick this series quickly, pick a Raptor, even if they are up in the series.

Philadelphia and Boston is going to be an interesting series. Both teams boast loads of solid options and are very closely matched. One strategy is to pick a few from each and hedge your bets. I don't recommend that. I think the winner of DTTF this year will be the person who gets this series right, picks from it early and often, and pulls it off. I'm considering going all in on Philadelphia myself and trusting the process. That's why I'm picking Jayson Tatum on Monday.

This is quite possibly going to be the most challenging second round we've seen. Buckle up!


  1. Now that LeBron is back on track, err... Raptors. Ain’t easy this year for the King

    1. Yeah, it's a tough road. We will see what happens. I like the Raptors as a team much better, but LeBron is the east until proven otherwise. Game 1 will be very telling.

  2. I am also trusting the process, though I will feel more confident if the Sixers win at Boston. Winning at the Garden is such a difficult task. Also picking Tatum. Let's go Jason! and Jayson xD

    For tomorrow it's obvious that we must wait on the Raptors and Cavs and pick from the western series as soon as possible. On game1 most disappointing Pelican was Jrue Holiday, expecting a bounce back for game2. I also prefer to wait to pick Anthony Davis and Donovan Mitchell in a home game, as they should have closer games and play more minutes.

  3. Back online now. What did I miss? Boston and Cleveland won their g7 on the home floor, as was to be expected. My picks got bad very fast, I didn´t even wait for the second round to beginn to screw everything up. My last 6 picks netted me a whopping 135 points, 67 by Westbrook and 68 by the other 5 guys. Yeesh.

    And now off to the second round, that´s where i usually start screwing up royally. Now we have to pick either from a west series or an east series. Strange schedule this year from the NBA.

    In the west I already picked Rubio before he got hurt, and so I could be fine. I will start with Playoff-Rondo. I hope he fares better than Playoff-George did when I picked him.

  4. After 16 days round 1 is complete and miraculously I did not pick 1 player from an advancing team! In round 2 it looks like the NBA found out about us despite the original game being discontinued and decided to have same conference series on the same days starting with game 3, that's not so bad in the East where we start with game 2s as there are only 2 desirable picks on the losing team in the Cavs Raps series (along with 3 or 4 from the 76ers or Celtics which should both go 6 games) but in the West with 2 potential sweeps we have a combined 8 or 9 desirable picks with only 7 being made of either series goes to 7 (which I doubt) and 4 if both series are sweeps. The biggest competition is almost certainly between Anthony Davis and Donovan Mitchell on Friday's Game 3s unless one of their teams shocks the World in G2.

  5. Alright time for my round 1 recap!
    Date -- Google drive pick (PRA) ---- Fantasy postseason (PRABS+bonuses-TOs)
    4/14 -- Bradley Beal (25) ---- John Wall (45) Pretty certain on who would win this series so no shame in popping out the Wiz especially after Wall's long absence in the regular season.
    4/15 -- Jimmy Butler (21) ---- Karl Anthony Towns (21) I thought they'd do better but there are worse things that have happened and I also knew who'd win this series from the start.
    4/16 -- Kelly Olynyk (22) ---- Kelly Olynyk (21) Based on being the only Heat player to show up in G1 and only 2 games I took him in both contests, I was worried when the Heat won this game (2) but the 76ers took control thereafter.
    4/17 -- Jusuf Nurkic (16) ---- CJ McCollum (31) I wanted to save Aldridge for a home game so I took 2 players from the Trailblazers who had dropped G1 at home, Nurkic was disapointing but McCollum wasn't and they lost at home again (en route to being swept) so not the worst thing possible (I didn't know Aldridge wouldn't wait for home court to go off with 49 dam!).
    4/18 -- Andrew Wiggins (24) ---- Jimmy Butler (14) Looks like picking Timberwolves players in Houston was too early but in round 1 as there is a surplus of options with 3 and 4 game days so I chose from the one team that day I'd know would lose (Pacers were up 1-0, Jazz were down 0-1).
    4/19 -- Damian Lillard (25) ----LaMarcus Aldridge (33) These may not be the best scores but they were still ok and from players on losing teams.
    4/20 -- John Wall (48) ---- Bradley Beal (38) Beat performances from Wall and Beal in the series! Right players right time!
    4/21 -- CJ McCollum (43) ---- Damian Lillard (31) Took McCollum at the right time and Lillard still had close to his best score!
    4/22 -- LaMarcus Aldridge (32) ---- Khris Middleton (33) Both went off earlier in their series but still not bad showings and from the series losing teams.
    4/23 -- Karl Anthony Towns (39) ---- Andrew Wiggins (17) This is the KAT I expected to see, a little disappointed with Wiggins but on the series losing team so still alright.
    4/24 -- Goran Dragic (21) ---- Goran Dragic (16) For the 2nd time I took the same player in both contests on the same day and was a little disappointed especially for FP but at least he wasn't as brutal as Whiteside!
    4/25 -- Russell Westbrook (67) ---- Russell Westbrook (70) Definitely the pick of the round and the Thunder forced a G6 to enable me to play George, however........
    4/26 -- Giannis Antetokounmpo (49) ---- Giannis Antetokounmpo (57) No losing Greak Freak on a contest this year and Back to back GREEN/Bullzye days in BOTH contests on players from the eventual series losing teams! Let's have a beer or two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    4/27 -- Paul George (16) ---- Paul George (11) .........After spending two days on cloud nine Paul George entered Brick city going just 2/16 including 0/6 at 3s maybe he was the one who drank two beers (BEFORE the game)......however
    4/28 -- Khris Middleton (37) ---- Eric Bledsoe (25) Strong games in a losing effort!
    4/29 -- Victor Oladipo (48) ---- Victor Oladipo (57) .......... the Thunder forcing G6 enabled me to save Oladipo for a G7 and the stars aligned, the Thunder lost G6, the Pacers won G6 and VA had a great game in a G7 loss! Although LeBron James score was 13 higher on GD and 4 better on FP Oladipo was the winning pick based on who advanced. Sorry for bragging here but this was my best round ever a HUGE turnaround from last year at this time!


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