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Punt FG%

Small ball teams can be deadly if set up properly. Punting FG% allows you to easily horde two of the rarest stats (assists and steals) while being strong from the line, from deep, and often in points. That’s five categories already. However, you want your team to be above-average in more than five categories. That’s where this build can get tricky. Most of the better rebound and block sources are also excellent from the field. While most big men are downgraded in this build, you still need to pick enough of them so that you are competitive in boards and blocks. Blocks are especially hard to find and that’s why Serge Ibaka is one of my recommend second-round picks despite his high, positive FG% impact. The obvious first round targets for this build are the first-round guards. However, LaMarcus Aldridge (45.8 FG%) is also a very good starting point as he provides the big man stats that you need (11.1 RPG, 1.0 BPG) while not hurting you from the line (82.2 FT%). Turnovers must also be monitored throughout the draft as you’ll be targeting quite a few ball-dominant players.

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: Rebounds, Blocks, TOs

Round 1 Targets: Steph Curry, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge

R2) John Wall – Punt FG% and Punt TOs builds are the only time I’m considering John Wall in the first. Turnovers becomes his only weakness in this build. Wall obviously gives you all the guard stats that you could ask for, but as a bonus, he helps you out in the big man categories that you will be chasing. Wall is a good rebounder for his position (4.1 RPG) and is decent source of out-of-position blocks (0.5 BPG). Grabbing Aldridge and Wall around the turn gives you great coverage across the board.

R2) Serge Ibaka – Seems like a weird fit due to his elite FG% impact, but grabbing Serge early allows you to forget about blocks (2.7 BPG) for a few rounds whiling giving you solid rebounding (8.8 BPG) and above-average free-throw shooting for a big (78.4 FT%). Remember, punting is not just about grabbing players who get boosts due to the punted category. You still have to win five categories every week so it’s ok, and often necessary, to grab a player who isn’t a natural fit for the build if you need help in a certain category.

R2) Kyle Lowry – Lowry provides you with excellent guard stats (2.4 3PG, 7.4 APG, 1.5 SPG) and does it while turning the ball over a relatively low amount (2.5 TOPG). Lowry is an even better rebounder than Wall (4.7 RPG) and is coming off of a top-10 punt FG% finish in 2013-2014. In this build, Lowry is a first-round player that you can get at the end of the second, or the beginning of the third.

R2) Damian Lillard – Not as solid of a grab as Wall or Lowry due to his low steals (0.8 SPG), but Lillard should still return second-round value in this build due to his elite shooting from deep (2.7 3PG) and his undderrated FT% impact (87.1 FT% on 5.2 FTA). Similar to Lowry, Lillard takes care of ball pretty well for a point guard (2.4 TOPG).

R2) Kyrie Irving – Kyrie is already dealing with an ankle injury, but you can’t deny the upside that he has in this build. His assists (6.1 APG), scoring (20.8 PPG), and FT% impact (86.1 FG% on 4.8 FTA) should dip with LeBron in town, but his already solid threes (1.7 3PG) should see an uptick. Despite the down year, Kyrie finished as the 13th-overall player in this build in 2013-2014.

R3) Mike Conley – Conley has taken on a larger scoring load since the departure of Rudy Gay (17.2 PPG). Conley’s swipes were only above-average last season (1.5 SPG) but as we saw in 2012-2013 (2.2 SPG), he’s capable of much more. Conley finished in the top 15 without FG% in 2013-2014 and if his steals return, he’ll be right around that range once again.

R3) Paul Millsap – Millsap gives you a three (1.0 3PG), steal (1.7 SPG), and a block a night (1.1 BPG). His scoring (17.9 PPG) should come down a bit with the return of Al Horford but in addition to the threes and defensive stats, he also gives you the rebounding that you need (8.8 RPG). The only downside to picking Milsap in third is his FT% (73.1%).

R3) Nicolas Batum – Outstanding pick in the third due to his all-around production that includes 7.5 RPG and 0.7 BPG. His 13.0 PPG is very low for a player picked in this range, so make you sure you target points in the middle-rounds if you grab Batum in the third.

R4) Marc Gasol – Marc’s 2013-2014 FG% (47.3%) was the lowest of his career. Expect that to bounce back this coming season but he’s still a good fit for this build due to his rebounding (7.2 RPG) and blocks (1.3 BPG). Expect his blocks to rise as well. Before last season, Marc had averaged at least 1.7 BPG three years in a row.

R4) Nikola Vucevic – A good target if you’ve fallen behind in rebounds (11.0 RPG). The blocks aren’t ideal (0.8 BPG) but he does get you over a steal a night (1.1 SPG). Vuc hits over half his shots (50.7 FG%) but he doesn’t lose much value in this build due to his relatively low volume (12.2 FGA).

R4) Tim Duncan – Timmy’s still got it, but he’s just an above-average scorer these days (15.0 PPG on 49.0 FG%). As always, he’ll be a dicey start during the fantasy playoffs, but no one in this range is a better combined source of rebounds (9.7 RPG) and blocks (1.9 BPG).

R4) Kemba Walker – Kemba receives one of the bigger boosts in this build due to his sub-40% shooting (39.3 FG%). The addition of Lance Stephenson should hurt his dime numbers (6.1 APG) but his steals (1.2 SPG in 2013-2014 and 1.9 SPG in 2012-2013) should remain high and Lance should help his already low 2.3 TOPG. Despite his stature, Kemba is a decent rebounder (4.2 RPG). Without FG%, Kemba finished 22nd-overall in 2013-2014 and 17th overall in 2012-2013.

R5) Ricky Rubio – Rubio is another point guard who receives a sizable bump in this build. You’ll need to grab points later if you pick Rubio (9.5 RPG), but only Chris Paul gives you a greater combined assists (8.6 APG) and steals (2.3 SPG) impact. Rubio has also gotten his turnovers under control. He averaged an acceptable 2.7 TOPG in 2013-2014.

R5) DeMar DeRozan – The three-ball may never come (0.8 3PG) and he’s only an average thief (1.1 SPG), but if you’re looking for points due to picking Batum or Rubio earlier in the draft, look no further (22.7 PPG). In addition to his scoring, DeMar is also a decent source of rebounds (4.3 RPG) and assists (4.0 APG) from the two. DeRozan is also one of the best FT% anchors available after the first few rounds of the draft (top-15 impact last season). DeMar provided top-30 value in this build in 2013-2014.

R5) Gordan Hayward – Hayward’s three-ball fell off a cliff in 2013-2014 (30.4 3P%) which lead to his career low 41.3 FG%. Despite the terrible shooting from deep, Hayward still managed 1.1 3PG. Expect that number to climb as his 3P% normalizes. Hayward’s assists (5.2 APG) and steals (1.4 SPG) are very solid but what makes him a great fit for this build is his rebounding (5.1 RPG) and shot blocking (0.5 BPG).

R6) Jimmy Butler – Butler’s horrific shooting in 2013-2014 (39.7 FG%) forced some owners who weren’t planning on punting FG% to punt the category. He’ll see an uptick in his shooting if Derrick Rose can stay healthy but he’s still a good fit for those punting FG% due to his elite steals (1.9 SPG), rebounding (4.9 RPG), and blocks (0.5 BPG).

R6) Michael Carter-Williams – MCW posted some impressive counting numbers last season that included 6.2 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, and a very useful 0.6 BPG. Despite those numbers, MCW didn’t break the top-50 in this build due to his poor shooting from the line (70.3 FT%) and turnovers (3.5 TOPG). MCW gives you everything you need, but those faults are not likely to disappear this season so draft accordingly.

R6) Trevor Ariza – Ariza returned top-25 value last season without FG% and should be close to that level again this season as the biggest risk associated with Ariza, is his FG% dropping to pre-2013-2014 levels. Ariza is a very good rebounder for his position (6.2 RPG) and is an excellent source of threes (2.3 3PG) and steals (1.6 SPG). If he can maintain his 2013-2014 shooting numbers, there’s serious upside here as Ariza is moving from the 18th-fastest offense in 2013-2104 to the 5th-fastest offense in 2013-2014.

R7) Markieff Morris – One of this year’s better breakout bets is an even better sleeper if you are punting FG% (48.6 FG%). Markieff has said that he plans on shooting more threes this year (0.4 3PG). That may not be a good thing for his value, depending on the FG% hit, but in this build, it’s great news. Now with the Phoenix frontcourt all to himself, Markieff should grab around eight boards a night and average close to a steal and block per game.

R7) Kevin Martin – Another great mid-round target if you missed out on points early on (19.1 PPG). Martin doesn’t give you much on the boards (3.0 RPG) or defensively (1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG), but he’s back to being an elite FT% anchor (only Durant, Harden, and Dwight had a larger positive impact on FT% in 2013-2014).

R8) Brandon Jennings – Thanks to this punt, Jennings goes from potential poison to a pretty safe pick. Despite finishing outside of the top-100 with FG%, Jennings posted top-55 value in this build. Jennings gets a big bump here but he’s not a perfect player even without the FG%. The threes (1.9 3PG), assists (7.6 APG), and steals (1.3 SPG) are a great help but he doesn’t provide much in the way of rebounding (3.1 RPG), gives you zero blocks (0.1 BPG), and is a negative from the line (75.1 FT%).

R8) Jamal Crawford – Crawford is a beast in this build (42nd-overall in 2013-2014 without FG%) and is a great target if you need points (18.6 PPG). Crawford is also a great source of threes (2.3 3PG) and FT% impact (top-12 impact last season) but is a pretty sizable drag on your boards (2.3 RPG).

R8) Tobias Harris – With Fyre possibly out for a month to start the year, Tobias has a chance to hit the ground running. His points (14.6 PPG) and rebounds (7.0 RPG) are very useful, and while his blocks took quite a hit due to his move to SF (0.4 BPG), he flashed potential in this area in 2012-2013 when he averaged 1.2 BP36.

R9) Roy Hibbert – I wouldn’t call Hibbert a must-grab, but when punting FG% but he’s not far off. Hibbert continues to be terrible from the floor (43.9 FG%) and gives you the blocks that you’ll likely struggle to find (2.2 BPG) as well as serviceable rebounding (6.6 RPG).

R9) Danilo Gallinari – He’s a big question mark but Gallo has been amazing in this build in the past. In 2012-2013, Gallo posted top-30 numbers if you discount FG%. He could be a big help for your points (16.2 PPG in 2012-2013), threes (1.9 3PG in 2012-2013), and rebounds (5.2 RPG in 2012-2013) if he can return to his pre-ACL tear form.

R10) Ersan Ilyasova – Jason Kidd’s 10-man rotations are not a good match with Ersan’s widely inconsistent play, but when he’s on, Ersan is a good fit for this build. Ersan provided top-50 value without FG% in 2012-2013. He’s a decent late source of rebounds (6.2 RPG) and should provide some out-of-position threes.

R10) Taj Gibson – Pau has missed a ton of games over the last couple years so he should see plenty of run this coming season. He’ll be a cheap, late source of rebounds (6.8 RPG) and blocks (1.4 BPG). He’s improved his FT% to respectable levels (75.1 FT%), but watch out for his turnovers when he does get extended run. Taj is a bit turnover prone despite his low usage (2.3 TOP36).

R11) Jordan Hill – Similar to Taj in that he’ll give you rebounding (7.4 RPG in only 20.4 MPG) and blocks (0.9 BPG) for cheap. Unlike Taj, he’ll hurt you quite a bit from the line. Hill hasn’t broken 70% from the charity stripe since 2010-2011.

R11) Giannis Antetokounmpo – Big-time defensive stat potential (1.1 SP36, 1.2 BPG) but his minutes will likely be inconsistent and he’ll still hurt your points (10.0 PP36) and your FT% (68.3 FT%).

R11) Trey Burke – Was serviceable without FG% in his rookie year (top-100 in this build), so a top-80 finish is very possible. He’ll hurt your swipes (0.6 SPG) but it’s hard to find his combination of threes (1.6 3PG) and assists (5.7 APG) this late.

R12) Danny Green – Great source of threes (1.9 3PG) and out-of-position blocks (0.9 BPG). However, his lack of scoring (9.1 PPG) hurts a bit.

R12) JR Smith – Huge value this late. JR struggled last season but still managed to crack the top-70 in this build. In 2012-2013 he finished in the top-30 without FG%. He’ll be a cheap source of points (14.5 PPG) and threes (2.6 3PG). JR is also a very solid rebounder for his position (4.0 RPG in 2013-2014 and 5.3 RPG in 2012-2013).

R13) Channing Frye – He’ll likely miss some time to start the year but if your team is strong enough to stash him, he’s a great fit for this build. Frye’s out-of-position threes (2.0 3PG) come with below average, but useful this late in the draft, rebounds (5.1 RPG) and blocks (0.8 BPG).

R13) Draymond Green – He’s an excellent late-round pick in any build, but he’s even better here (40.7 FG%). In only 21.9 MPG last season (that number should increase to at least 26 a night), Green averaged 0.7 3PG, 5.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.9 BPG. If you picked up enough scorers early in the draft, reach for him.

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

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