This article is part of our NBA Draft Kit series.
As a fantasy basketball owner, it's easy to enter a draft with an eye on players who are their team's first option offensively. Big scoring, rebounding, and passing numbers tend to pop out in a way that steals and blocks might not. But while at first glance 20-point-per-game scorer might look more appealing than someone who gets 1.5 steals per game, it's important to remember that in categorical formats, everything matters equally.
Oftentimes, grabbing a few defense-first players can be the difference between missing the playoffs and competing for your league's championship.
With that in mind, here are a handful of players worth targeting who can help you lock up those often-overlooked defensive categories:
The EliteGiannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
It should be no surprise to anyone that the Greek Freak, now entering his sixth NBA season, is near the top of most experts' draft rankings. Coming off a season in which he averaged 26.9 points and 10.0 rebounds, the 23-year-old is one of the league's brightest stars. He is also one of the most valuable assets in fantasy basketball, despite not being an elite shooter or six-plus-assists-per-game passer. What puts him alongside the James Harden's and Russell Westbrook's, in terms of fantasy production, are his contributions on the defensive end.
Antetokounmpo uses his length and athleticism to record steals and blocks in bunches, consistently ranking near the top of the league in both categories. Only five active players have had multiple seasons of at least 100