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17/18 Punting Guides Part 1: Punt Assists

If you play in H2H leagues, and you’re not punting, you’re not doing it right. Trying to build a team that is competitive in every category might seem like a swell idea on the surface. We all dream about finding that fantasy basketball nirvana. That team that is strong in all nine categories that doesn’t give our opponents an inch. Unfortunately, unless your leaguemates are severely lacking in talent, that’s not a realistic dream. Winning all nine categories isn’t realistic, so why waste our time trying.

The idea behind punting is to sacrifice a category in order to be stronger in the other eight categories than you would have been if you tried to be competitive in all nine categories. The same logic applies to punting multiple categories. If you sacrifice multiple categories and build your team correctly, then you should be stronger in the remaining categories than you would have been if you only punted a single category. The biggest downside to punting more than one category is that it limits your flexibility. Changing strategies mid-season, or close to the fantasy playoffs, is very common and often, the right move. Quality free-agent pickups can change your team’s makeup and sometimes the build that you have chosen doesn’t matchup well with a likely playoff opponent. As a rule, unless I play in a league with more than nine categories, I try not to punt more than two categories at the beginning of the season. That often changes as the fantasy playoffs get closer, but at the beginning of the season, I like to have plenty of flexibility.

One strategy that you should definitely stay away from is punting four categories. I know some are tempted by the thought of locking up five categories every week and squeezing out 5-4 victories all the way through the fantasy playoffs. That strategy is better in theory than it is in reality. You have zero room for error if you try to pull off the quadruple-punt. If you don’t draft properly or an injury puts one of your chosen five categories at risk, you can sink to bottom of the standings fast. Even if you do pull off this strategy relatively well, you can still find yourself in trouble. I played in a league a few years back where a team employing this strategy finished in the top-3 in terms of matchup victories and missed the playoffs. Margin of victory does matter in the regular season, especially if you play in a league where you need to be more than a few games over .500 to make the playoffs.

Let’s start with what I consider the most reliable and simplistic of the punt strategies: Punt Assists. This is a high-floor, high-ceiling strategy that is usually easier to pull off than some of its more famous cousins. If you’re new to punting, this is where you want to start. If you’re a veteran of the art, there’s still a pretty good chance that this is where you’ll end up.

Punting assists is effective for a whole host of reasons. We’ll start with the most obvious. The fantasy basketball community loves point guards. Its obsession with point guards is only surpassed by its obsession with points. Punt assists takes advantage of this love affair. Now don’t get me wrong, point guards are usually very useful fantasy assets. Last season, ten of the top-20 players in fantasy were point guards. If you played in an 8-category league, that number was even higher. But assists is only one category. If we ignore assists, then the value of most point guards drops dramatically. To figure out just how much value they do lose, I took all the point guard eligible players who were ranked within the top-70 last season, as well as the late-round point guards who will be relevant to this year’s drafts, and compared their value with and without assists.

 

Player Ranking with Assists Ranking without Assists Difference Notes
Steph Curry 3 5 -2
Giannis Antetokounmpo 5 6 -1
James Harden 7 24 -17
Russell Westbrook 8 22 -14
Chris Paul 9 15 -6
Isaiah Thomas 11 13 -2
Kyle Lowry 12 17 -5
Damian Lillard 16 20 -4
Kyrie Irving 17 23 -6
John Wall 18 61 -43
Mike Conley 23 33 -10
Kemba Walker 26 38 -12
C.J. McCollum 27 25 2 Punt Assists Target
Eric Bledsoe 38 69 -31
Jeff Teague 44 102 -58
Ricky Rubio 47 132 -85
Jrue Holiday 52 109 -57
Goran Dragic 56 92 -36
Avery Bradley 57 46 11 Punt Assists Target
Patrick Beverley 58 73 -15 Punt Assists Target
George Hill 61 74 -13
Zach LaVine 62 62 0 Punt Assists Target
Lou Williams 71 80 -9 Punt Assists Target
Seth Curry 79 81 -2 Punt Assists Target
Jeremy Lin 80 122 -42
Tyler Johnson 82 91 -9 Punt Assists Target
Victor Oladipo 86 89 -3 Punt Assists Target
Elfrid Payton 95 184 -89
Darren Collison 96 133 -37
D’Angelo Russell 103 150 -47
Dennis Schroder 108 197 -89
Rajon Rondo 127 230 -103
Mean Ranking 50 76 -26

On average, point guards lose about two-and-a-half rounds of value when assists are ignored. This means that if you’re punting assists, and playing against a squad with 3-to-5 point guards on it, you’re playing against a team that has 3-to-5 players who aren’t as effective against your team as their draft position suggests they should be. If you’re not punting assists, then John Wall is an extremely scary player to go up against. If you are punting assists, then Wall is just another mid-round player. Punting assists is a great way to protect yourself against some of your opponents’ best players.

Punt assists is also attractive because it almost always locks up turnovers for its user. Assists are strongly correlated with turnovers so it’s no surprise that this build usually dominates in that category. In fact, managers punting assists will need to be wary of being too strong in turnovers. As is the case with every punting strategy, punting assists is about more than just sorting the rankings without the punted category and picking the players who receive the largest bump. If you just follow the rankings you’ll come away from your draft stronger than you need to be in turnovers and weaker than you should be everywhere else. Don’t be afraid to take a couple of high-turnover players as the rest of your roster will more than make up for their shortcomings.

Another quirk that this build has that separates it from its competition is that it is not naturally weak in a second category. If you punt FG%, you’ll usually struggle with turnovers. If you punt FT%, points are often hard to come by. If you’re punting points, threes can be very tricky to find. Those punting blocks need to watch their rebounds and FG% very close. More than any other build, punt assists makes it possible to strong in the eight non-punted categories.

If you do want to slide punt assists into a double-punt, then it is best matched with the punt FT% build. Ignoring assists and FT% can turn some of the mid-round big men into first-round assets. It’s a great way to lock up FG%, rebounds, and blocks each week. However, bringing the punt FT% big men into the equation does complicate things. Most of these big men struggle in the points and steals columns and don’t hit threes so you’ll need to pay more attention to these categories than you would if you were just punting assists. The double-punt also limits your first-round options. Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant lose a lot of value if you throw out their FT% impact. The double-punt is best paired with Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, or DeMarcus Cousins.

Another reason why the punt assists build can be so deadly is that it is one of the few strategies where it is possible to be very strong in both percentages. Many fantasy players focus on stacking their counting stats at the expense of their team’s percentages. I strongly disagree with this approach. Being strong in the percentages gives your team a higher floor and a higher ceiling. If your team is near the top of the league in both percentages, your team is less likely to struggle during weeks in which the schedule is unfriendly. It also gives your team a higher ceiling because it makes running up the score in weeks where the schedule is in your favor more likely. A team that is strong in counting stats but weak in percentages, won’t benefit as much from a friendly schedule since having more games won’t boost your percentages. Being strong in the percentages in a week in which you have a games advantage is more likely to lead to a blowout win because you’ll be winning the percentages while your slightly weaker counting stats will be receiving a boost from the friendly schedule.

Your first-round targets for this build are familiar ones. Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kawhi Leonard we’re the four most-valuable players in this build last season. DeMarcus Cousins is another option, but he is much trickier to build around. The Pelican comes with absurd counting stats (27.0 PPG, 1.8 3PG, 11.1 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG) that are somewhat offset by his poor percentages (45.2 FG%, 77.2 FT%). Cousins can still work in the build, but you’ll need to focus more on the percentages in the middle rounds than you would if you took one of the other first-round options. He also can put turnovers in play (3.7 TOPG) if you’re not careful.

Don’t completely ignore your point guard spot when punting assists. Make sure that you have at least two point guard eligible players on your team. I used to suggest three, but with the adjustments the NBA has made to their schedule, you can likely get away with only two now. Any less than two and you run the risk of not being able to field a full roster at certain points of the season.

Finally, don’t stress if you are low on threes and steals after the first three or four rounds. That is going to be a pretty common outcome given who the early-round targets are.  The middle rounds are full of 3-and-D players who can bring both categories back in a hurry. It’s better to focus on points and the percentages early as those are harder to find than threes and steals in the middle rounds.

Note: The below list is not meant to be a complete list of all the players who fit into this build. The round that I recommend taking each player in is based off of Yahoo Fantasy Basketball’s rankings and where I think each player will or could be available in a standard 12-team 9-category draft. 

Categories to target: Points, Threes, Steals, FG%, FT%

First-round targets: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins

R2) Paul George – George’s counting stats are a lock to decrease this season now that he’ll be sharing the court, and occasionally the ball, with Russell Westbrook. Don’t fret too much over George’s upcoming drop in usage. He has plenty of room to fall. The move to OKC will only bring George back to the second-round pack. In his final season with the Pacers, the swingman was a top-10 option in the punt assists build. He is easily the best non-big man option in the second round thanks to his scoring ability (23.7 PPG), elite threes (2.6 3PG), very useful boards (6.6 RPG), and well above-average swipes (1.6 SPG). He’s best paired with one of efficient first-round bigs as his FG% does have the potential to get ugly. Last season, he shot a very respectable 46.1% from the floor, but the former Pacer’s career average is only 43.2%. Expect Westbrook’s presence to lead to small dips in his scoring and FT% impact (89.9 FT% on 5.0 FTA).

R2) Rudy Gobert

Gobert is one of the reason why the double punt with FT% is an interesting option. Last season, Gobert was a top-8 player without assists. If you discard FT% as well, the only players more valuable than Gobert were Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant. Getting a potential top-3 player in your build in the second round may be worth jettisoning the second category. He can fit into the regular punt assists build, but you’ll be fighting an uphill battle at the line for rest of the draft. Only four players had a larger negative impact on the category in 2016-2017. Gobert provides elite production in three categories (12.8 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 66.3 FG%) and we should see his scoring (14.0 PPG), as well as his minutes (33.9 MPG), increase now that Gordon Hayward has skipped town. Hayward’s move to the Celtics shouldn’t worry prospective owners. Gobert had both a higher usage rate and a higher FG% when Hayward was off the court in 2016-2017.

R2) Hassan Whiteside – Like Gobert, Whiteside forces you to consider the double-punt. The Heat’s center wasn’t quite as destructive at the line due to his lower attempts, but his overall impact wasn’t far off. If you choose Whiteside, expect your FT% to be average at best by the end of the draft. Fortunately, if you choose Whiteside your rebounds (14.2 RPG), blocks (2.1 BPG), and FG% (55.8 FG%) will likely be much better than average. The big man has also improved enough on the offensive end to keep you competitive in points coming out of the second round (17.0 PPG).

R2) Kristaps Porzingis – The Unicorn, along with Myles Turner, is one of your best bets late in the second round if you started your draft with Kevin Durant. Pairing one of the two with Durant gives you a strong start in every category except steals. As mentioned earlier, don’t worry if you are low on steals coming out of the early rounds. That is going to be common with this strategy. There are plenty of 3-and-D wing options available in the middle rounds who can bring your steals back to life in a hurry. Porzingis brings to the table that rare of combination of threes (1.7 3PG) and blocks (2.0 BPG). He should also continue to improve as a scorer and 20 PPG looks achievable (18.1 PPG). His FG% isn’t ideal for a big man (45.0 FG%), but given how good the first-round options are in that category, it shouldn’t be something that scares you away from Porzingis.

Other Round 2 Options: None, but the players listed in Round 3 are reasonable picks at the end of the second round.

69 comments

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  1. Erick

    Great piece!
    Quick q: Who would you target in the second round if you get KAT? (10 teams)

    1. Adam Stock

      It really depends on where you took KAT. Taking KAT at 3 instead of 7 makes is going to change the board quite a bit. PG is obviously ideal but he’ll be gone a lot of the time if you took KAT early. I like Whiteside too. One the mocks I put up worked out pretty well with him. He should be there late second in 10 teamers. I did a similar thing in my main league last season with AD/Whiteside and it worked well. FT% can be issue though. I don’t mind reaching for Turner either if you took KAT earlier in the draft. He should be phenomenal, the only issue is his PO schedule.

  2. trevor

    I love this strategy and your articles but i cant get how you can be strong in both % without falling in a double or even a triple punt. Its impossible to punt assists and being strong in rebounds,blocks and fg without punting ft. And if we get Myles Turner and Brook, then we would be thin in rebounds. Difficult.

    1. Anonymous

      I think you end up creating capacity for double %s success when you are NOT targeting the assist champs, you use those picks to find the unique guys that deliver big-man stats (REBs, BLKs, FG%) who also have FT% (hello Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony Towns, Embiid, Turner, etc.) and little man/shooter stats (3PT, STL), who also have FG% (Bradley Beal, McColum, Harris, Durant, Porter, Thad Young, etc). Also make sure in early rounds, you’re getting the ones that also have points…

      Some specific players make it possible to both %s

  3. Adam Stock

    I’d just keep mocking and playing around with different combinations. I think it’s pretty doable, especially if you start big-big. The KD/Myles team I put up was top of the league in the both and the KAT team was dominant in the big man stats without punting FT%. Guys like Whiteside make it tricky to be great in FT%, but you can still be passable there. Also, Whiteside is very inconsistent at the line. He’s had some stretches where he’s been 70+% for months so there’s some upside there. To keep FG% up without hurting FT%, you’ll want to target efficient wings like Harris and Warren. If you feel a little too light on boards wings like Covington, Rondae, and Warren can help without hurting you at the line. Hernangomez is cheap and can be a huge boost to your rebs late too. If you find yourself in trouble with FT%, after the early rounds, Lou Will can bring you back pretty fast. Combining Lou Will + Towns + Whiteside will make you average at the line and gets you all the big man stats. AD does almost the same thing when paired with Lou and Whiteside.

  4. gloizides

    So these five are from ESPN Mock’s with all 12 teams present. How likely do you think these drafts are?/Which one would you say is the strongest?

    3- Kevin Durant
    22- Myles Turner
    27- Kristaps Porzingas
    46- Victor Oladipo
    51- Robert Covington
    70- Trevor Ariza
    75- Tobias Harris
    94- Gary Harris
    99- Nerlens Noel
    118- TJ Warren
    123- Derrick Favors
    142- Buddy Hield
    147- Jamal Murray

    dominant- ft, 3, stl, blocks, points
    above avg- fg, rb
    weak- none

    7- Karl Anthony Towns
    18- Paul George
    31- Kristaps Porzingas
    42- Kevin Love
    55- Robert Covington
    66- Victor Oladipo
    79- Marquese Chriss
    90- Gary Harris
    103- Nerlen Noel
    114- Derrick Favors
    127- Aaron Gordon
    138- Nikola Mitotic
    151- Patty Mills

    dominant- 3s, rebounds, steals, blocks, points
    above avg- fg, ft
    weak- none

    7- Anthony Davis
    18- Paul George
    31- Kris Middleton
    42- Kevin Love
    55- Lamarcus Aldridge
    66- Victor Oladipo
    79- Garry Harris
    90- Marquese Chriss
    103- Aaron Gordon
    114- Robin Lopez
    127- Seth Curry
    138- Jamal Murray
    151- Danny Green

    Dominant- ft, 3s, rebounds, steals, blocks, points
    Above avg-0
    Avg- fg
    weak- none

    8- Anthony Davis
    17- Demarcus Cousins (thoughts on picking both davis and cousins?)
    32- Paul Milsap
    41- Kevin Love
    56- Robert Covington
    65- Victor Oladipo
    80- Zach Lavine
    89- Gary Harris
    104- Nerlens Noel
    113- Derrick Favors
    128- Seth Curry
    137- JJ Redick
    152- Allen Crabbe

    dominant- 3pm, reb, stl, blk, pts
    above avg- fg, ft (5th)
    weak- none

    7- Karl-Anthony Towns
    18- Paul George
    31- Myles Turner
    42- Kevin Love
    55- Robert Covington
    66- Victor Oladipo
    79- Zach Lavine
    90- Garry Harris
    103- Nerlens Noel
    114- Derrick Favors
    127- Seth Curry
    138- Nikola Mitotic
    151- Danny Green

    dominant- ft, 3s, reb, stl, blk, pts
    above avg- none
    avg- fg
    weak- none

    1. Adam Stock

      I like all of them, I’m not sure if any will be super realistic in a month. ESPN rankings are weird though and they do effect how people draft. Some guys will slip but you’re getting a ton of value in some spots. 1st one is probably the most realistic. I think I like 2 and 5 the most. Also I have no problem with AD/Cousins. Good PO sched. Not worried about their numbers. Only issue is obviously health.

      1. gloizides

        Ended up with the 2nd pick, any thoughts?
        2- Giannis Antetokounmpo
        23- Myles Turner
        26- CJ McCollum
        47- Robert Covington
        50- Victor Oladipo
        71- Garry Harris
        74- Isaiah thomas
        95- Derrick Favors
        98- TJ warren
        119- Robin lopez
        122- Buddy Hield
        143- RHJ
        146-Mo Harkless

        1. gloizides

          Which team would you prefer?
          Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil SF
          23 Myles Turner, Ind PF
          26 CJ McCollum, Por PG
          47 Robert Covington, Phi PF
          50 Victor Oladipo, Ind SG
          71 Gary Harris, Den SG
          74 Isaiah Thomas*, Cle PG
          95 Derrick Favors, Utah PF
          98 TJ Warren, Pho SF
          119 Robin Lopez, Chi C
          122 Buddy Hield, Sac SG
          143 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Bkn SF
          146 Maurice Harkless, Por SF

          Or

          8 Anthony Davis, Nor PF
          17 Rudy Gobert, Utah C
          32 Klay Thompson, GS SG
          41 Paul Millsap, Den PF
          56 Harrison Barnes, Dal SF
          65 Lou Williams, LAC PG
          80 Avery Bradley, Det SG
          89 Evan Fournier, Orl SG
          104 Pau Gasol, SA PF
          113 Tyler Johnson, Mia SG
          128 Jordan Clarkson, LAL PG
          137 Ersan Ilyasova, Atl PF
          152 Kent Bazemore, Atl SG

  5. Pedro

    Hey, great article, really enjoyed it. I’m in a 12 team Dynasty league, and by reading this I found out I have a strong core for the build (which I was leaning to since mid season. My 12 keepers (and a wild card, just in case) are:

    1)Karl-Anthony Towns
    2)Paul George
    3)Rudy Gobert
    4)Kristaps Porzingis
    5)Draymond Green
    6)Aaron Gordon
    7)Jabari Parker
    8)Buddy Hield
    9)Nerlens Noel
    10)Jeremy Lin
    11)Jaylen Brown
    12)Norman Powell
    WC=Marcus Smart, since I have no more PG.

    As you can see, I kinda lack some depth, and also, my Guards are really weak. I have the 2nd overall draft pick, I’d love to get Markelle Fultz but it seems I’ll have to settle with Lonzo Ball, since he has more value on the market. What would you recommend me to do? What players should I be looking to trade? Thanks for the advice, keep up the geat work!

    1. Adam Stock

      I would aim very high with Lonzo. Like top-40 high. I’d start with guys like McCollum and work my way down. Very unlikely to get a guy at that level, but you never know. Lonzo makes people do dumb things.

  6. OSH72

    Nice and interesting work, as usual!
    I’m waiting for the following posts.
    In the meantime, one question.
    ESPN 10 team league, H2H 9 category.
    I’m the 4th to pick.
    We have max 3 keepers with 2 round less than last year, so I can skip a pick and choose between:
    Myles Turner 44 (I can pick MT with my 5th round)
    Patrick Beverley 104
    Robert Covington 57
    Malcolm Brogdon 97
    According to your description, my first two keepers are screaming for a punt fg.
    Picks 1 and 2 will be Durant and Giannis.
    With the 4 should I go Westbrook?
    I think that Curry can be available, still I should stick to the FG plan in this case?

    Then, any suggestion for the strategy for picks 17 24 37?
    5th and 6th round will be MT and Cov, if I confirm them.
    Then, who do you choose between Brogdon 97 and PBev 104? I think I would prefer the experienced one…

    Many thanks!

    1. Adam Stock

      I’d go Westy with MT. They’re a great fit. Don’t love Steph in FG% although he can fit in there and MT doesn’t really fit Steph’s best builds which are FT% and blocks. 17/24/37 you need at least one more great big. Kristaps if he’s there. If you want to gamble Embiid would fit amazingly well. Bigs plus PGs unless a wing who shouldn’t be there is. I like Bev a little more than Brog. More upside.

      1. OSH72

        Thanks Adam, I agree, also on Embiid, I don’t know if I have the stomach to gamble on him before 37…
        With Westy, Wall or Cousins would be a dream at 17!
        Bigs are not a lot in 2nd – 3rd round. And I like Rubio at 37 (but I don’t think he is happy to partnering RW…).
        I made some simulations comparing my team projected stats vs field average with same rounds.
        I cannot understand why Westy + Wall + Porzingis (+ MT and RoCo) seem not to work so much (only FG and TO lower than field average, but no net advantage for other categories). Here PG if available at 24 can be an assurance, too. But then I’m missing a big.
        Best combo I found seems Curry + Draymond + Walker (Porzingis). TO better than the field, the weakness in points can be targeted with the next pick considering that FG will be an issue in any case. What I like here it is that I’m not punting TO, and normally I’m that kind of owner! 🙂
        With the simulation, I found that the combo KAT Walker (4+24) seems to work good with my keepers. Lowry / Butler at round 2. Sort of anomalous punt assist?!

  7. Lee

    Hi everyone,
    i’m playing in the league with 18 teams and will draft 15# this year. Can anyone suggest me how to punt assist with my position?
    Thanks.

    1. Adam Stock

      Tricky situation. If you do like Punt dimes something like PG plus Myles Turner would work. Whiteside too if he falls. KP and Jimmy also decent options.

  8. oh_lol

    Hope your other punt guides are released soon!

    1. Adam Stock

      Aiming for one every 3 days! These things are beasts to write and research.

  9. Rich

    If you were doing an auction, would you prefer to start with Anthony Davis for $60-65 or a combo of Turner + Porzingis for $70-75?

    What do you think of this build?

    PG: Oladipo ($15-20), Beverley ($3-5)
    SG: Klay/Beal/CJ ($25-30), G Harris ($10-12), Covington/Ariza ($8-10)
    SF; Aaron Gordon ($8-10)
    PF: Love ($22-26), Turner ($33-35)
    C: Porzingis ($40), Noel ($12-15), WCS ($5-8)

    1. Adam Stock

      It’s pretty close but I prefer AD. The top of the draft guys are significantly better than the second round guys. If you go with the two youngsters, I think you have a very, very good plan there. I like every player you listed. Watch out for points though. It’s going to be dicey without a 25+ guy.

  10. tomschlicker

    12 team 8 cat H2H
    Am looking at punting assists. Picking at 8 and most likely will end up with AD/Kawhi/KAT with my first pick.
    Hoping to get PG at 17 but if he’s gone who would be the next best option.
    Also any recommendations on my next 2 picks (32 and 41)

    1. Adam Stock

      I’m fine with starting big/big and then going with CJ or Klay in round two. Whiteside works well because you make up his FT% through your first rounder plus CJ. It’s a bit of a reach for Myles but he works very well there. Same with Kristaps.

  11. Brian

    Hello! Just working in mocking for punt ast. Do you think this is a realistic draft? 12 team 9 cat, did I cover my bases or am I short in some cats.

    Anthony Davis – pick 5
    Porzingis – 20
    CJ McCullom – 29
    Paul Milsap – 44
    V. Oladipo – 53
    R. Covington – 68
    Gary Harris – 77
    M. Brogdon – 92
    M. Chris’s – 101
    Z. Lavine – 116
    T. Warren – 125
    T. Ross- 140
    D. Dedmon – 149

    Am I taking too many guards? Could some of those picks be used for other more valuable targets?

    Thanks!

    1. Adam Stock

      I think the mix is fine. I don’t think you’re taking too many guards. Cov and Warren pretty much function as bigs. That team is great, no real holes. Hard to say if it’s realtistic. Depends on the league. First five are doable. Cov is pushing it I think. He’s usually gone before 68. Harris is unlikely at that spot. Harris is going to get a lot more hype as the season gets closer. I think you’ll have to grab Harris in the 6th (still a great pick there though).The rest looks doable, except maybe Dedmon. He’s the best late late round big and I think he’ll go in the 12th in real drafts.

  12. JMC

    Hello again. I already asked before in your rankings guide. Anyway would like to ask again because after reading this guide i am thinking of doingf this strategy.

    I am in a 3 players to keep keeper league. 14 team 9cat h2h. With no news on Thomas status, i will not include him as one of my keepers this year. If i will do this strategy (punt assists + FT%), i am now aiming to keep Cousins, Drummond then Oladipo. I know its not the greatest keepers but by doing this strategy it boosts the ranks of drummond and oladipo to about 2nd to 3rd rounder.

    Anyway, my problem now is who i am going to get at our 1st round and second round draft? i want primarily to boost my points because we all know it will be harder to chase it going forward. could you recommend players i should aim to get? I really like to get covington but he is a 3 and D guy with low points and FG which isnt fit in my keepers, especially cousins.

    1. Adam Stock

      Who’s going to be available in 1 and 2 and what pick do you have? Can’t really comment without knowing the options.

  13. Bilal

    With the updated Yahoo rankings Noel is going in the 5/6 round. What’s your opinion on taking him there.

    Context. I am drafting 1st and taking KD planning a punt assist build.

    1. Adam Stock

      Still really like him in the 6th. Don’t mind the 5th but depends who is there.

  14. cowabunga

    What will be the best punt strategy for 12team H2H 10 category (pts., fg%, Ft%, 3pts, asst, blks,to, stls, oreb, dreb)?

    1. Adam Stock

      The extra rebounding cats boosts the big heavy builds. It makes punt FG% and punt blocks less attractive and boosts punt FT% and punt assists.

      1. cowabunga

        Hey Adam,

        Went with punt ft% and assists … here’s my team, what do you think? Where can I improve? 10 cat (pts, 3 pts , fg%, ft%, dreb, oreb, blks, asst, st, to)

        Steph Curry
        Middleton
        Kyle Lowry
        Aaron Gordon
        Drummond
        Capela
        Robin Lopez
        Eme’s Kanter
        Gary Harris
        Thad Young
        Marvin Williams
        Mirotic
        MKG

  15. Jimmy

    My 14 teams h2h drafting results. It’s tougher than I thought. I missed out Kristaps Porzingis($45) and Turner ($41), so have to chase more people around $20~$35. Final ranking of 14 teams is 2.
    Btw, we also play DD and 3%. Do you think the following still works? Thanks!

    C Rudy Gobert Uta – C $57
    PG C.J. McCollum Por – PG,SG $35
    PF Paul Millsap Den – PF,C $26
    C Brook Lopez LAL – C $24
    SG Avery Bradley Det – PG,SG $13
    G Patrick Beverley LAC – PG,SG $10
    SF Joe Ingles Uta – SG,SF $7
    F Gorgui Dieng Min – PF,C $6
    Util Marvin Williams Cha – SF,PF $6
    Util Nikola Mirotic Chi – SF,PF $5
    BN T.J. Warren Pho – SF $3
    BN Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cha – SF $3
    BN Terrence Ross Orl – SG,SF $2

    1. Adam Stock

      Definitely still works. Super deep even it’s a little weak at the top. Not too weak though for a 14 teamer. I think you need another big who gets DDs. Outside of Rudy and Millsap, there’s not real DD source on your team. Gorgui won’t score much this year and will be around 7 rebs. Brook doesn’t rebound enough.

  16. Jimmy

    This is my final results of 14 team h2h auction draft. Although I have mocked several times, it’s still harder than I thought. I missed out Kristaps Porzingis ($42) and Turner($41) because much more expensive than expected.
    So I turned to chase more $20~$35 guys. Btw, we also play DD and 3pt%.

    Do you think this roster still work? Thanks!

    C Rudy Gobert Uta – C $57
    PG C.J. McCollum Por – PG,SG $35
    PF Paul Millsap Den – PF,C $26
    C Brook Lopez LAL – C $24
    SG Avery Bradley Det – PG,SG $13
    G Patrick Beverley LAC – PG,SG $10
    SF Joe Ingles Uta – SG,SF $7
    F Gorgui Dieng Min – PF,C $6
    Util Marvin Williams Cha – SF,PF $6
    Util Nikola Mirotic Chi – SF,PF $5
    BN T.J. Warren Pho – SF $3
    BN Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cha – SF $3
    BN Terrence Ross Orl – SG,SF $2

  17. Anonymous

    Hi Adam, what build would you recommend for someone playing in a H2H / 9 category / 10 player league who is picking at either 9 or 10?

    1. Adam Stock

      Kawhi might fall now and if he does him. Otherwise I like LBJ plus a PG and punt FT% the most (go DJ in 3). CP/Rudy and the points/FT% punt build works well too. It’s not great value in 10 team leagues but I’ve been having a lot of success starting DL/DC and punting FG%.

  18. TomSchlicker

    In an 8 cat 12 team league. What are your thoughts on my team. Attempted to punt assists. Anyone I could look at offloading to strengthen other areas?
    B. Lopez
    N. Noel
    K. Porzingis
    S. Ibaka
    T. Ariza
    K. Leonard
    C. McCollum
    G. Harris
    K. Bazemore
    J. Richardson
    Jamychal Green
    T. Prince
    R. Holmes

    1. Adam Stock

      Lots of talent on the team. I think you’re still going to be short a little FG%. Depends what happens with Noel but having most of your bigs be below average in FG% is tough. You did do a good job targeting efficient guards though. Love the CJ and Harris picks. Dominant blocks obviously. Rebs might be so-so. Steals look good. FT% great.

  19. K

    Great article. Punted assists last year and was top until KD, Love and Lowry all went down.

    12 team, 10 Cat weekly H2H (10th Cat is FGM). 6th pick

    R1: 1st target is KAT, backup is AD (because of the random DNPs).
    R2: PG, KP, Whiteside (in that order)
    R3: CJ, Klay, Beal

    How much do KP / PG’s value change with Melo now in OKC?

    1. Adam Stock

      Thanks!

      Targets all look good. Started AD/Whiteside myself last season in punt dimes and it worked real well. KP definitely gets a bump. KP’s usage was 23.8% with Melo on the court last season and 26.7% without him. It’s a hit for PG, but he gets a lot of value from 3s, rebs, and steals and those will all be there. His FT% impact is going to take a hit though. I like him late 2 still. Not interested until at least pick 17-18.

  20. Danny

    Hi, I have the tenth pick in a 12 person league. What players can I take 1st and 2nd round that will fit in w this punt assists strategy? Demarcus cousins or is that too early? Pg in the second or is that also too early?
    Thanks

    1. Adam Stock

      10 is a weird spot for punt AST. Don’t hate Cousins there but don’t love him. Lillard and Kyrie worked well too. They don’t lose that much value without assists and obviously they pair well with the bigs due to their FT% impact. The problem with going DC/PG is that you’re likely looking at a double punt with FG% and you may not be able to bring back TOs. It can work, but you could get yourself in trouble too.

  21. Marco

    Hi, I’m in a 14 person league, h2h. If I have the 14th pick (terrible).. what should my best strategy be? Use Cousins as my first rounder.. but who should i get for the pivotal 2nd round pick? Thanks

    1. Adam Stock

      Tough luck. Cousins/Lillard if it’s there is ideal. Kyrie would work too with Cousins also not as nice. Paul a no-brainer if he falls.

  22. Keith

    I have pick 2 in a draft. I can’t decide whether to go for punt assists and go with KD or punt FG% and go for Harden/Westbrook?

    At the moment I’m thinking punt assists (10 team, 9-cat):

    2 KD
    19 Paul George
    22 Kristaps
    39 ??
    42 Love
    59 Victor Oladipo
    62 Rob Covington

    Am I reaching with a few of those picks? Especially Love?

    Also wanting CJ McCullom or Klay, but not sure they are worth pick 22.
    Any advice for my 4th pick?

    1. Adam Stock

      I’d go KD and assists. Easier to pull off and if you punt FG% you’ll likely be double punting. If you can pull that start off you’re going to win. Fourth pick someone like Sap or Middleton would work great.

  23. AM

    Would you take KAT as the #2 pick if trying to punt assists? I play a 12-team, 9-cat, H2H League. I’m struggling to think who would work best with KAT as my 2nd/3rd choices at picks 23 and 26.. Any suggestions? I’m thinking a pick like Porzi if he falls to me at 23 along with one of McCollum/Kemba to cover my PG position with decent %s, low TOS, and lots of 3s.

    1. Adam Stock

      It’s defensible. I don’t love KAT at two but I get the appeal. Super easy to build around. I just question how high his ceiling actually is due to Jimmy. KP or Turner plus C.J./Kemba sounds great to me.

  24. Fangs

    I stumbled across your site as I was doing a fantasy basketball search and found myself up at 4am reading your post looking for post draft strategy (my draft happened already). The thing is, I was late to the first two rounds of my draft but somehow ended up with Kawhi and Boogie at the 10th and 15th picks. At that point I decided to punt assists because none of the pgs are that good going forward. Eventually I ended up with the following:
    10 – Kawhi
    15 – Boogie
    34 – Otto
    39 – ibaka
    58 – dipo
    63 – Lou
    82 – S Adams
    87 – E Gordon (bad pick I think)
    106 – G Harris (steal)
    111 – J Murray
    130 – thon maker -> Holmes (FA pickup)
    135 – nance -> RHJ (FA)

    Seems like 3s, steals, pts are strong
    Seems like FTs, boards, TOs are ok
    Seems like FGs are not so good

    My question is what is your assessment of my teams strengths and weaknesses; and who could I get off FA to improve curable deficiencies? I guess Holmes and RJH are the droppable candidates to consider along with eric Gordon after reading your post 🙂

    The available players I’m watching are:
    MKG
    JJ reddick (someone dropped him)
    Josh Richardson
    Moe Harkless
    Norman Powell
    Alex Len
    A Barnes (if he starts)
    Thon Maker
    Caleb Swanigan
    Skal Labisserie

    1. Fangs

      Btw, my yahoo league is H2H 9 cat 12 teams

    2. Adam Stock

      I pretty much agree with you cat wise. Great break with the first two rounds and good job recognizign what it meant. I don’t think FG% is that much of an issue. It could be better but it’s fixable. Agree on the Gordon pick. That threw things off.

      I’d swap MKG for RHJ. MKG is a rich man’s version of RHJ. Great boards, good D stats, no points or threes but MKG is solid in the %s while RHJ is bad.I’d also swap E Gordon for Redick (get most of the threes back and Redick will help more elsewhere). I’d try to find a way to get J-Rich on your roster too. Dude looks great.

  25. B

    Just wondering, why not Kemba Walker in this build? He has comparable or better stats to mccollum, is it purely because of his FG?

    I have 1st pick in my yahoo 10 team 9 cat H2h league, not sure if I should go durant or kat as I’m concerned about Durants durability and I love having the C position covered early as there seems to be alot of good sf/pf later in the draft.

    1. Adam Stock

      I like Kemba in it. I just like getting a good amount of FG% early because a lot of the mid-round targets are going to drag down your FG%.

      Don’t have an issue with KAT anywhere. I doubt he finishes #1 but it’s not about rankings it’s about building the best team. If you mock better teams with KAT than KD go KAT.

      1. B

        Thanks! I went with KD as I’ve never tried a punt strat before so trust your advice 🙂 Ended up with the below team:

        PG V. Oladipo Ind – PG,SG
        SG L. Williams LAC – PG,SG
        G P. Beverley LAC – PG,SG
        SF K. Durant GS – SF,PF
        PF P. George OKC – SF,PF
        F M. Turner Ind – PF,C
        C B. Lopez LAL – C
        C G. Dieng Min – PF,C
        Util R. Covington Phi – SF,PF
        Util G. Monroe Mil – PF,C
        BN T. Warren Pho – SF
        BN E. Kanter NY – C
        BN J. Ingles Uta – SG,SF

        Any advice on what to improve?

  26. Anonymous

    I was hoping if you can comment on this too.

    This is now my team and hopefully you can suggest ways to improve it.

    Kevin Durant
    Rudy Gobert
    CJ McCollum
    Khris Middleton
    Robert Covington
    Gary Harris
    Tobias Harris
    Aaron Gordon
    George Hill
    Willy Hernangomez

    1. Adam Stock

      Team looks great. Seems like a league with a lot of good options on the wire. Who’s available?

      1. Anonymous

        Hi!

        Thanks for your reply.

        Current Top Undrafted are

        I. Thomas
        E. Payton
        N. Batum
        D. Smith Jr.
        R. Rondo
        J.Lin
        M. Fultz
        M. Morris – (Punt Assist Recommendation)
        D. Nowitzki – (Punt Assist Recommendation)

        We are a 9Cat 10 players league.

  27. alexs

    Hi Adam

    Great article, really impressed with the strategy for punt assists and i even applied it to my draft. I’m mostly pretty happy with my selections, but i do have some concerns. The centre spot is weak with just two picks for that spot and i won’t be able to fill my roster consistently. Do you have any suggestions and thoughts on team?

    1. Kevin Durant
    2. Kristaps Porzingis
    3. CJ McCollum
    4. Khris Middleton
    5. Victor Oladipo
    6. Trevor Ariza
    7. Gary Harris
    8. Gorgui Dieng
    9. Marquese Chriss (potent to move to centre spot in time?)
    10. Thaddeus Young
    11. TJ Warren
    12. Markieff Morris
    13. Nikola Mirotic

    Thanks

  28. Roei

    Hi,

    Inseveral mock drafts I found myself picking KD at the 1th or 2th pick, and by my second round pick, all the early rnd bigs with blocks are off the board (whiteside, MT, KP..).
    On the other hand, there’s always a great guard availabe (Lowry, Walker..).
    It was difficult going for the punt assists without any of the first/second round bigs, so what would you do? (I tought of going punt blocks with a guard+blake griffin, but seemed a waste of KD blocks…)

    Thanks!

  29. Anonymous

    Hey Adam,

    Great guide – very much appreciate your thorough commentary. Extremely helpful and insightful.
    I notice you mostly work with Yahoo position eligibility and ADPs. On ESPN I find my biggest struggle is with PG eligibility, since neither Oladipo or Avery Bradley or even Seth Curry have PG eligibility. This leaves me in a conundrum around the 2nd/3rd pick (CJ McCollum has a #19 rank on ESPN, so he will most likely be taken in my league). Assuming I can still get Turner/Zingis at the turn, that leaves my third round with Klay/Lowry/Kemba. I love how Klay fits in the build, but if I can’t get CJ and you don’t take a good PG here, you’ll have to fill that #1 PG spot with either a hill/brogdon/lou williams type later on, at the cost of potentially selecting an aaron gordon/nerlens noel/gary harris value in rounds 6-8. There are endless SG options for this build, but very few good PG options, so I’m starting to think of taking Lowry or Kemba instead of Klay in the 3rd round if I can’t get CJ. Thoughts?

  30. R

    Hi. Can you give me some of your thoughts or recommendation regarding my team? I followed your punt assist guide and this was the team that I drafted. I’m playing on a 16 team, 9 cat league and got the 7th pick. Also, I would like to know my team’s weakness, so I can improve it before the season starts.

    1. A. Davis
    2. K. Thompson
    3. P. Millsap
    4. L. Aldridge
    5. L. Williams
    6. J. Johnson
    7. M. Chriss
    8. J. Ingles
    9. Se. Curry
    10. T. Prince
    11. P. Mills
    12. T. Ross
    13. J. Collins

    The one who topped our post draft team analysis got KD, Kemba, Horford, Noel, G. Harris, Favors, KCP, Dedmon, D. Collison, C. Lee, Ja. Green, T. Snell. Do you think I can beat this team?

  31. Ross

    Hi. Can you give me some of your thoughts or recommendation regarding my team? I followed your punt assist guide and this was the team that I drafted. I’m playing on a 16 team, 9 cat league and got the 7th pick. Also, I would like to know my team’s weakness, so I can improve it before the season starts.

    1. A. Davis
    2. K. Thompson
    3. P. Millsap
    4. L. Aldridge
    5. L. Williams
    6. J. Johnson
    7. M. Chriss
    8. J. Ingles
    9. Se. Curry
    10. T. Prince
    11. P. Mills
    12. T. Ross
    13. J. Collins

    The one who topped our post draft team analysis got KD, Kemba, Horford, Noel, G. Harris, Favors, KCP, Dedmon, D. Collison, C. Lee, Ja. Green, T. Snell. Your thoughts on how our team stack against each another?

  32. Dustbin719

    Thank you so much for doing these Adam. I know they’re probably a b*ch to research and write up, but I’ve been a regular follower since the 14/15 season and you’ve helped me win twice so far!

    Yahoo League, 9 CAT, 12 Team

    This was the first time I got stuck with the 11th pick, so I’m not sure if I should’ve gone the punt Assists strategy. Anyways, I stuck with it and quickly got into a double punt AST and FT% strategy. This is what I ended up with:

    PG A. Bradley – PG,SG
    SG T. Ariza – SG, SF
    G P. Beverley – PG,SG
    SF O. Porter – SF
    PF D. Cousins – PF, C
    F P. Millsap – PF,C
    C R. Gobert – C
    C N. Noel – PF,C
    Util M. Chriss – PF
    Util JJ. Redick – SG
    BN A. Crabbe – PG, SG
    BN T. Thompson – PF, C (will probably drop)
    BN Demarre Carroll – SF, PF (hoping for bounceback year, but might drop)

    Seems like FG%, Boards, Blks, TOs are strong
    Seems like Steals, 3pts are ok
    Seems like AST, FT%, PTS are terrible

    Did I just end up with a triple punt? And if Yes, should I just double down on this and shore up my 3s and steals a bit more?

    3 and D players on my WW

    Patty Mills
    Danny Green
    Courtney Lee
    Swaggy P? (LOL)

    Any comments would be really appreciated!

  33. Jota

    Hey Adam,

    Amazing articles. Congrats.

    I tried to follow your guide and punt assists but i had a problem with my computer during the live draft and some auto picks (*) were done. Its a H2H 9 categories 12 teams league. My team looks like this:

    1. Anthony Davis
    2. Hassan Whiteside
    3. CJ McCollum
    4. Otto Porter Jr.
    5. LaMarcus Aldridge
    6. Trevor Ariza
    7. Gary Harris
    8. Greg Monroe (*)
    9. Clint Capela (*)
    10. George Hill (*)
    11. Allen Crabbe
    12. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
    13. Patty Mills

    Whats your overall opinion on my team? I can get Kevin Durant in a trade w/ Anthony Davis.
    And possible can get DeAndre Jordan and think about a double punt with FT% and probably keep C. Capela. Thoughts?

    PS: Terrence Ross, Danny Green, Al-Farouq Amin and Taj Gibson are at the waivers list.

  34. kb24

    Hello Adam,

    Great guide for punting, I appreciate all the time and effort you put out there for us to use. This was my first time punting assist and I followed your guide for it.

    2nd pick/12 team/9CAT

    Durant
    CJ McCollum
    B. Lopez
    Middleton
    Aldridge
    Oladipo
    Noel
    Lou Williams
    Dieng
    Gay
    Seth Curry (in the IR and picked up Harkless)
    Parsons (upside was too good at this point of the draft)
    MKG

    I feel like I am weak in rebounds, maybe points and then solid throughout, what do you think of my draft?

  35. Pacman

    Hi Adam.

    I drafted on sunday and had your punt assists article with me. It was great, thank you! 🙂

    Hoping you can give me advice on my team. Do you see weakness, some aspects I need to look at?

    My Team:

    M. Conley PG
    E. Bledsoe PG

    G. Harris SG
    A. Bradley SG
    V. Oladipo SG

    K. Durant SF
    P. George SF

    K. Porzingis PF
    P. Millsap PF

    N. Jokic PF C

    D. Cousins C
    A. Horford C
    C. Capela C

    I’m having concerns that I’m too top heavy with all those forwards and C’s. Thing is I drafted DeRozan and Ariza but traded them to get Jokic and Harris. And this is the team I have at the moment.

    Should I drop someone, Capela f.ex., and go for someone smaller like Eric Gordon or Tim Hardaway jr.? And just to mention it, N.Noel and M. Chriss are also in the pool

    Cheers, Pacman

  36. Adrian

    Hello guys,

    Seeking your thoughts on my team. I just read this article today and I should have read it before we had our draft last week. 🙁
    I ended up a punt assist team as of now.

    14 Team | 12 Cat | H2H
    Categories: FG%, FTM, FT%, 3PM, 3P%, PTS, OREBS, DREBS, Steals, Assist, Blocks, Turnovers

    (003) Anthony Davis (NO – PF,C)
    (026) Myles Turner (Ind – PF,C)
    (031) C.J. McCollum (Por – PG,SG)
    (054) Dwight Howard (Cha – PF,C)
    (059) Danilo Gallinari (LAC – SF,PF)
    (082) Dennis Smith Jr. (Dal – PG)
    (087) Seth Curry (Dal – PG,SG)
    (110) Darren Collison (Ind – PG,SG)
    (115) Thaddeus Young (Ind – SF,PF)
    (138) Thon Maker (Mil – PF,C)
    (143) C.J. Miles (Tor – SG,SF)

  37. Champ Douglas

    Hey Adam, last night’s auction didn’t go as planned. I need to tweak this punt Assist build. Projected to be 2nd/3rd. But I don’t see it

    AD
    Klay
    PG13
    Middleton
    Demon
    Noel
    Adams
    Marvin Williams
    Brogdon
    Justin Holiday
    Chriss
    Crabbe
    Jaylen Brown
    MKG

  38. DB

    10 Team, 9 CAT, H2H, Snake
    PG – Malcolm Brogdon
    SG – C.J. McCollum
    G – Khris Middleton
    SF – Tobias Harris
    PF – Thaddeus Young
    F – Nikola Vucevic
    C – Anthony Davis
    C – Kristaps Porzingis
    Util – Joe Ingles
    Util – Willie Cauley-Stein
    BN – Gary Harris
    BN – TJ Warren
    BN – Allen Crabbe

    This is my first time doing Fantasy B-ball. What do you think? I definitely will be punting assist. I’m also thinking of dropping Crabbe for Josh Richardson.

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