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Punt Assists

Everyone loves point guards and for good reason. Not only is it the position that is the best source of assists, point guards usually have a positive impact on every category but blocks, turnovers, and FG%. I have yet to be part of a draft where point guards were not drafted early and often. While many championship level teams are point guard focused, point guards, and the assists that come with them, can be ignored successfully by a savvy manager. Punting assists is one of my favourite punting strategies. Point guards are usually reached for in drafts allowing a manager who is punting assists to easily scoop up value at other positions. Another advantage of punting assists is that you will likely be dominant in turnovers. In fact, it’s easy to have overkill in turnovers with this build. Because of this, in the guide below, I actually recommend picking a couple of higher turnover players as their turnovers will likely be a non-factor due to the strength of the rest of team in that category.

Note: The round that I recommend taking each player 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 draft. All punting guides are for standard, 9-category leagues. 

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

Round 1 targets: Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson

R2) Serge Ibaka – Top-5 upside in this build (1.0 APG) and allows you to ignore blocks (2.7 BPG) for a few rounds and focus on the needed categories. Ibaka is also an elite FG% anchor (top-12 FG% impact last season and top-3 in 2012-2013) and is very good for a big from the line (78.4 FT%).

R2) Dirk Nowtizki – Top-10 overall last season even with his low assists (2.7 APG). Dirk is a great source of points (21.7 PPG), out-of-position threes (1.5 3PG), and provides top-3 FT% impact (89.9 FT% on 4.7 FTA).

R2) DeMarcus Cousins – Not a perfect fit due to his FT% (72.6%) but I like him in this build since his TOs (3.5 TOPG) won’t hurt you. Provides a ton of scoring (22.7 PPG) and great out-of-position steals (1.5 SPG).

R2) Chris Bosh – Volume should jump now that he’s back to being a first option. Expect 20+ PPG, 8+ RPG, and a three. Already very solid FT% impact (82.0 FT% on 3.4 FTA) should be even greater this season.

R2) Kawhi Leonard – Huge upside. Top-3 in this build post-All-Star break last season. Kawhi likely won’t be fully unleashed because Pop doesn’t play anyone over 30 MPG these days, but the Finals MVP will get you the threes (1.4 3PG post-All-Star Break) and steals (1.8 SPG post-All-Star break) you need. If Kawhi is your second-round pick, make sure you focus on getting points later as he doesn’t score much (12.8 PPG).

R2) Al Horford – A bit of a risk since his chest isn’t fully healed yet but he should post borderline first-round value in this build. Anchors your FG% (56.7 FG%) and will provide decent scoring (18.6 PPG). Watch out for his volatile FT% (FT% has ranged from 64.4% to 79.8% over the last four years).

R3) Thaddeus Young – FT% is an issue (71.2 FT%), but provides elite out-of-position steals (2.1 SPG) and his scoring (17.9 PPG) should remain high now that he’s replacing Kevin Love.

R3) Nikola Vucevic – In addition to his solid big man stats, Vucevic provides decent out-of-position steals (1.1 SPG) and doesn’t hurt you from the line (76.6 FT%).

R3) Nicolas Batum – Drops some dimes (4.9 APG) but is a great source of threes (1.8 3PG) and out-of-position rebounds (7.2 RPG). PPG, SPG, and FT% were all down in 2013-2014, but he did put up 14.3 PPG, 1.2 SPG and shoot 84.8% from the line in 2012-2013.

R3) Rudy Gay – Great fit for this build due to his high points (20.0 PPG), steals (1.3 SPG), and FT% impact (82.2 FT% on 5.3 FTA). FG% bounced back after the trade to Sacramento (46.4 FG% over the last three months of the year). Gay is also a good source of out-of-position blocks (0.8 BPG).

R4) Klay Thompson – If you miss out on threes early, Klay catches you up quickly (2.8 3PG). He won’t give you much besides those threes and points (18.4 PPG).

R5) Trevor Ariza – Could regress as 3P% (40.7%) was well above career average of 34.7% but his minutes should remain huge (35.4 MPG). Only Steph Curry, Chris Paul, and Paul George were a better combined source of threes and steals last season. In 2013-2013 Ariza averaged 2.3 3PG and 1.6 SPG.

R5) Wes Matthews – Steals fell from a very nice 1.3 a night in 2012-2013 to 0.9 SPG last season but everything else you want is there. Scores a bit (16.4 PPG), hits a lot from deep (2.5 3PG), and is above-average from the line (83.7 FT%).

R5) Derrick Favors – Awesome target in most builds due his huge upside. Still hasn’t truly broken out, but still produced top-35 value in this build last season. In addition to his very solid big man stats, he has some steals upside. Favors averaged 1.0 SPG on the year and 1.3 SPG over the last month of the year. Only issue is his FT% (66.9 FT%).

R6) Jimmy Butler – Awful FG% (39.7%) should improve with the return of Rose. Should be among the league leaders in steals (1.9 SPG) and will provide a three a night (1.0 3PG).

R6) Robin Lopez – Provided first-round value over the last two months of the season in this build. Great FG% impact (55.1 FG% on 7.9 FGA) and blocks (1.7 BPG). Doesn’t get swipes (0.3 SPG) but is excellent for a big from the line (81.8 FT%).

R6) David West – He’s the best bet to pick up the slack in Indiana. Provided third-round value in punt assist build in 2012-2013. West is a solid from the line (78.9 FT%) and his scoring should be close to his 2012-2013 output (17.2 PPG).

R6) Kyle Korver – Korver is a very good fit in most builds due to his sneaky all-around production. Finished 31st overall in this build last season, doesn’t hurt you anywhere, and of course, few are better from deep (2.6 3PG).

R7) Kevin Martin – FT% impact returned to elite levels in 2013-2014 (89.1 FT% on 5.0 FTA). With Love in Clevelend, Martin should flirt with 20+ PPG (19.1 PPG in 2013-2014). Also provides very good threes (1.7 3PG) and average steals (1.0 SPG). A bit of an injury risk given his history and with the Wolves rebuilding.

R7) Jonas Valanciunas – Disappointed last year but flashed his upside down the stretch (second-round value in this build over the last month of year). Block upside may be lower than initially thought (0.9 BPG), but Big V will still help your FG% (53.1 FG% on 8.3 FGA) and doesn’t hurt you from the line (76.2 FT%).

R8) Patrick Beverley – Ideal target to fill out that PG spot. Top-75 value in this build and he has some nice upside due to Lin’s move to LA. Expect his great threes (1.6 3PG) and steals (1.4 SPG) to continue and for him to score a little more this season (10.2 PPG).

R8) Roy Hibbert – Provided top-80 value in this build despite the down year. If you missed out on Ibaka early, Hibbert is a great target in the middle rounds (2.2 BPG). Hibbert is also solid from the line (77.0 FT%) and is ssurprisinglydurable for a guy his size (only 6 missed games over the last four years).

R8) Markieff Morris – Top-80 value in this build last season despite only averaging 26.6 MPG and is about to step into a much larger role. Markieff is a legit threat for one three, one steal, and one block a night. He’s another big who doesn’t hurt you at the line (79.2 FT%).

R9) Jamal Crawford – Has PG eligibility and is great, late source of points (18.6 PPG), threes (2.3 3PG), and FT% impact (86.6 FT% on 4.7 FTA). Coming off back-to-back top-75 finishes in this build.

R9) DeMarre Carroll – Role should decrease with return of Horford but has room to fall as he posted top-35 value in this build in 2013-2014. Regardless of his role, he’ll still be a very good source of steals (1.5 3PG) and should hit a trey a game (1.3 3PG).

R10) Anderson Varejao – Injury prone but provided top-70 value in the punt assist build last season including 9.7 RPG and 1.1 SPG. Poor from the line (68.1 FT%), but fortunately, doesn’t get there much (2.1 FTA).

R10) Amir Johnson – Amir is badly underranked on Yahoo (125th overall). Barring injury, if taken anytime after the eighth round, he’ll provide great value to those punting assists. Finished top-75 in this build last season and is a good target for big man stats (56.2 FG%, 1.1 BPG) if you went wing-heavy early on.

R10) Jodie Meeks – Another player who is shocking low in the Yahoo rankings (152nd overall). His 2013-2014 15.7 PPG average should come down with the move to Detroit, but like Carroll, he has some room to fall. Without assists, Meeks finished in the top-30 in 2013-2014 thanks in major part to his 2.1 3PG and 1.4 SPG.

R10) Danilo Gallinari – Tough to know what you’ll get from him this year but there’s a lot of upside here. Gallo finished in the top 45 in this build in 2012-2013 and should be a good late source of points and threes (16.2 PPG and 1.9 3PG in 2012-2013).

R11) Gorgui Dieng – Big time defensive stat upside here (1.0 SPG and 1.3 BPG over the last month of the year). Dieng is expected to see time at the four this season, so he should hold some value even when Pek is healthy. Provided top-30 value without assists over the last month of the year.

R11) Channing Frye – He may drop a bit due to his sprained MCL. Great source of out-of-position threes (2.0 3PG). Finished in the top-60 in this build last season. Will be a risk to lose minutes as the year goes along and the losses start piling up for the Magic.

R11) Danny Green – The lack of points hurts (9.1 PPG) but the threes and defensive stats will be very useful (1.9 3PG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG). Top-60 upside in this build but be prepared for a roller coaster ride.

R12) Jeff Green – Mediocre in this build (117th overall in 2012-2013) but is one of the better late-round point sources (16.9 PPG) and he hits threes (1.6 3PG).

R12) Giannis Antetokounmpo – Only a flier so don’t reach but there’s serious defensive stat potential here. Giannis averaged 1.1 SP36 and 1.2 BP36 in his rookie year. He’s also a good bet for a three a night but his efficiency is likely to be really ugly (41.4 FG% and 68.3 FT%).

R13) Wes Johnson – Was a member of the one three, one steal, and one block club last season. Doesn’t score (9.1 PPG) but finished in the top 70 in this build last season and is a good glue guy at the end of your bench.

R13) Avery Bradley – Backcourt is a little more crowded this year with the return of Rondo and drafting of Smart, but he’ll fill that PG spot and provide decent points (14.9 PPG), threes (1.3 3PG), and steals (1.1 SPG) at the end of your draft.

Follow me on Twitter @EliteFanBBall for the latest fantasy basketball news. I will gladly answer any fantasy basketball related questions that you may have. 

 

3 comments

  1. Fiv

    Hey loving the article, I’ve done a few mocks on this strategy and it’s flexible enough to pull off however the only downfall I see is the lack of point guards to choose from throughout the draft.

    Seems like I have to get Beverley and Crawford.

    In this strategy I’ve added players
    -Chalmers (3s and Steals); Sims (Steal, FT); Tucker (Steal, 3); Teletovic (3, FT); Miles/Lamb (3,Steal).

    What do you think about these additions?

    Are there any other players to come across your mind?

    Thanks Budddy!

    1. Adam Stock

      Yep I like Chalmers, Sims, and Tucker. Teletovic I’m kind of meh on. Miles is Ok. Lamb I wouldn’t touch. I just don’t think he’s very good and his line doesn’t project as being very varied. A guy like Olynyk could be worth a look late as well for his threes plus big man stats.

  2. hiro

    i tried my hand at assts as well

    pgs is really pretty hard, i took jackson and chalmers

    my team is:
    1 5 melo
    2 24 horford
    3 33 thad young
    4 52 matthews
    5 61 korver
    6 80 robin lopez
    7 89 markieff
    8 108 reggie jackson
    9 117 amir johnson
    10 136 chalmers
    11 145 varejao
    12 164 tucker
    13 173 KCP

    have yet to see where exactly i want to improve, tucker and KCP may be 1 or 2 SGs too many. i thought korver was sg/sf as well, espn took out many of those dualpositions (varejao is only a C, thad is not SF/PF any more 🙁 …)

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