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Punt FT%

Punt FT% is probably the most popular punt strategy and for good reason. Punt FT% allows you to chase those rare blocks and grab elite FG% impact without having to close your eyes every time your big man goes to the line. The best anchor for this strategy is not Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, or Andre Drummond. It is, and has always been, LeBron James. Punt FT% can be summed up as bigs plus point guards. LeBron gives you all the point guard stats as well as elite points, arguably the category that is most difficult to excel in when punting FT%. Despite being excellent free-throw shooters, James Harden, Chris Paul, and especially Steph Curry are also strong fits for this build due to the point guard stats that they provide. If you grab Steph in the first and Andre Drummond is at the end of the second, you’re coming out of the first two rounds in excellent shape in every category except FT%. Points are important to the Punt FT% build but can very difficult to find since most of the big man targets, and late-round targets, do not score much. Punting both points and FT% at the same can also be a very effective strategy, but if you decide to punt both categories, make sure your turnovers remain under control. Turnovers can also be tricky to contain in this build as two of the elite big man targets turn the ball over a lot (Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin) and most of your mid-round picks will be point guards. Punt FT% can be a very effective strategy but it demands flexibility during the draft due to the issues with points and turnovers. Mock a lot if you plan to use this build and find the strategy within the Punt FT% strategy that works best for you.

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, Assists, Steals, TOs

Round 1 Targets: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, James Harden, Chris Paul, Al Jefferson

R2) Andre Drummond – Not the anchor that LeBron or Steph is, but brings more to the table than Dwight at this point (13.2 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.6 BPG and 1.3 TOPG). If Drummond is your first or second round pick, points has to be a huge focus throughout the rest of the draft (especially since DeAndre Jordan is the ideal third-round pick in this build).

R2) John Wall – Good fit for this build due to his points (19.3 PPG), assists (8.8 APG), steals (1.8 SPG), and newfound three-ball (1.3 3PG). Pretty big FG% hit right off the bat though (43.3 FG%), and DeAndre could be gone by the time the end of the third swings around. It’s safer to start with two bigs if you’re picking at the end of the first. Plenty of point guards will be available in the middle rounds.

R2) Blake Griffin – Gives you the points you need (24.1 PPG) as well as out-of-position assists (3.9 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG). Grabbing Griffin in the second, especially when paired with LeBron or Steph, makes the Jordan points hit that (hopefully) comes next much more manageable. Griffin isn’t without his faults as he doesn’t block shots (0.6 BPG) and turns the ball over a ton for a big (2.8 TOPG).

R2) Dwight Howard – No longer the dominant punt FT% force that he was due to his steal rate dropping off (0.8 SPG) and his scoring decreasing due to the presence of Harden (18.3 PPG). Turns the ball over more than you’d like to see for this build (3.2 TOPG) but still provides elite rebounding (12.2 RPG) and FG% impact (top-5 impact in 2013-2014) to go along with close to two blocks a night (1.8 BPG).

R3) DeAndre Jordan – DeAndre is your number one target in the third. DJ is an absolute no-brainer if he’s there at your pick. He’s a lock for first-round value in this build due to his dominant big man stats (13.6 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 67.6 FG%). Jordan provided top-5 value in this build last season. He also gives you a steal a night (1.0 SPG) and doesn’t turn the ball over (1.5 TOPG). If you grab DeAndre, points needs to be a focus of your next few picks.

R3) Ty Lawson – Expected to shoot more this year so an even better fit than normal. Even without any improvement, Lawson is a great fit for this build due to his points (17.6 PPG), threes (1.2 3PG), assists (8.8 APG), and steals (1.6 SPG). Expect his FG% (43.1%) to improve as he shot well below his career average of 47.4% last season.

R3) Mike Conley – An all-around stud who’s recent increase in scoring (17.2 PPG) makes him a very good fit for this build. The steals should be around two a night and he’s averaged at least six dimes per game four seasons in a row. Conley also takes good care of the ball (2.1 TOPG).

R3) Goran Dragic – As long as Bledsoe is healthy he won’t be the early-round player he was last season. However, Dragic gives you everything you could ask for in a FT% punt point guard (20.3 PPG, 1.6 3PG, 5.9 APG, and 1.4 SPG) and is great from the field (50.5 FG%).

R4) Dwyane Wade – Who knows how many games he’ll play but he gives you everything you need for this build besides threes (0.2 3PG). Wade, when healthy, should be a great source of points (19.0 PPG) and steals (1.5 SPG). Expect his assists to be close to five a night with LeBron in Cleveland.

R4) Eric Bledsoe – Big time upside in all the required guard stats (17.7 PPG, 1.2 3PG, 5.5 APG, and 1.6 SPG). Unlike most of the guards you will be targeting in the middle rounds, he won’t hurt you from the field (47.7 FG%).

R4) Thaddeus Young – Scoring should remain high (17.9 PPG) in Minnesota as he’s taking over Love’s role. Hits a bit from deep these days (1.1 3PG) and provides elite out-of-position steals (2.1 SPG). Top 30 in this build last season.

R5) Chandler Parsons – Poor free-throw shooter for a wing (74.2 FT%) and is a natural fit due to his threes (1.8 3PG), steals (1.2 SPG), and solid out-of-position assists (4.0 APG).

R5) Trevor Ariza – The points aren’t ideal (14.4 PPG) but gives you the threes (2.3 3PG) and steals (1.6 SPG) you’re looking for. FG% was much improved in 2013-2014 (45.6 FG%).

R5) Derrick Favors – Favors finished in the top-35 in this build last season and has top-20 potential this year. Favors should average close to a double-double and could flirt with 2.0 BPG. Favors averaged 1.7 BPG over the last two months of the season despite only playing 29.7 MPG.

R5) Monta Ellis – If you’ve fallen behind in points, Monta can help you make up ground (19.0 PPG). Monta also provides above average dimes from the SG spot (5.7 APG) and a high amount of swipes (1.7 SPG). However, he doesn’t do much from deep (0.8 3PG) and turns the ball over a ton (3.2 TOPG).

R5) Jrue Holiday – Points have taken a dip since move to New Orleans (14.4 PPG) but the assists (7.9 APG) and steals haven’t (1.6 SPG). Mediocre option due to low threes (0.9 3PG) and high turnovers (3.1 TOPG).

R5) Jeff Teague – Teague is actually very good from the line (84.6 FT%) but is still useful in this build due to the assists (6.7 APG). Not your first target, but you could do worse.

R6) Josh Smith – Awful year last year but still managed to post top-45 value in this build due to his defensive stats (1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG). Also gives you nice out-of-position assists (3.3 APG). If you’re targeting Smoove make sure you already have a couple FG% anchors on the team as his FG% was horrendous in 2013-2014 (41.9 FG%). Keep your eye on him during preseason. His value goes up if he’s playing primarily at the four.

R6) Terrence Jones – Buried in the Yahoo rankings (147th overall) but don’t wait too long to grab he’ll be on most managers’ sleepers list. Jones provides very good big man stats (6.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 54.2 FG%) and has the potential to join the one three, one steal, and one block club.

R6) Kenneth Faried – Top-50 without FT% last season and as always, will be a very good source of rebounds (8.6 RPG) and FG% impact (54.5 FG% on 10.3 FGA). Not a ton of upside here though due to his low defensive stats and lack of assists. I’d rather grab Jones in the sixth if he’s still available.

R6) Marcin Gortat – Good source of big man stats (9.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 54.2 FG%) if you went guard heavy early. Posted top-40 value in this build in 2013-2014.

R7) Larry Sanders – If you missed out on Jordan in third, Sanders is your next elite blocks target (2.8 BPG in 2012-2013). Despite everything going wrong last season, Sanders still managed to post top-85 value without FT% due to his blocks, rebounds (7.2 RPG), and microscopic 1.1 TOPG. Obviously there’s downside here, but no one available this late has his upside either.

R7) George Hill – Hill’s 2012-2013 stats give you an idea of what he’s capable of with Stephenson in Charlotte and Paul George out for the year. In 2012-2013 Hill averaged a very useful 14.2 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 4.7 APG, and 1.1 SPG. Hill is also one of the best point guards at taking care of the rock (1.5 TOPG in 2012-2013).

R7) Michael Carter-Williams – Punt FT% allows you to get MCW’s awesome counting stats while only being hurt in two spots (FG%, TOs) instead of three. MCW is a pretty good source of points (16.7 PPG) from the lead guard spot and his assist (6.3 APG) and steals (1.9 SPG) should remain very solid. I don’t expect much improvement from deep (0.8 3PG) and the floor (40.5 FG%) as MCW has been sidelined almost the entire offseason with a shoulder injury.

R8) Mario Chalmers – Camp battle with Norris Cole is concerning, but assuming he wins the starting spot, Chalmers should see his averages shoot up almost across the board. Produced decent assist numbers despite playing beside LeBron (4.9 APG) and is a good source of threes (1.2 3PG) and steals (1.6 SPG). Even with a bump in usage, don’t expect much more than 12 PPG.

R8) Andre Iguodala – Doesn’t score anymore (9.3 PPG) but still useful in this build due to his steals (1.5 SPG) and out-of-position assists (4.2 APG). Bright side of his lower usage is that his turnovers have really come down (1.6 TOPG).

R9) Greg Monroe – With points being such an issue in this build, Monroe is a pretty nice mid-to-late-round pick (15.4 PPG). Top 60 in this build last season and gives you decent steals from the PF/C spots (1.1 SPG) to go alongside his 9.3 RPG.

R10) DeMarre Carroll – Points will be an issue (his 11.1 PPG should come down with the return of Horford) but the steals (1.5 SPG) and threes (1.3 3PG) that helped Carroll post top-55 value in this build last season should still be there.

R10) Jordan Hill – Could return serious value this late if he stays healthy. Hill was top-40 without FT% over the last two months of the season. Over that time frame, Hill averaged 12.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 1.3 BPG despite only playing 24.3 MPG.

R11) JR Smith – Grab late if you’ve fallen behind in points (14.5 PPG) and threes (2.6 3PG). Good bet for top-80 value in this build but his FG% (41.5%) can give away your early FG% advantage.

R11) Amir Johnson – Solid value this late in any build, but gets an extra bump here (top-50 in Punt FT% over the last two months of the year). Very good source of FG% impact (56.2 FG% on 7.9 FGA) if you still need it due to going guard and wing heavy early on.

R12) Matt Barnes – No competitoin for minutes and gives you solid across the board production including 1.4 3PG. Top-85 value in this build in 2013-2104.

R12) Gorgui Dieng – My favourite sleeper sees his upside boosted even further in this build (63.4 FT%). Posted top-40 value without FT% over the last month of the season with averages that included 11.4 RPG, 1.0 SPG, and 1.3 BPG.

R12) JaVale Mcgee – At this point in the draft, why not roll the dice. Provided top-25 value in this build in 2011-2012. Even if he busts, FG% impact and blocks should be useful.

R13) Omer Asik – Asik is nothing more than a last-round pick even when punting FT%. Really only contributes rebounds (11.7 RPG in 2012-2013) and you should have plenty of boards by this point of the draft.

R13) Mason Plumlee – Per minute monster should give you all the required big man stats and some steals upside (1.4 SPG per 36 minutes).

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



  1. Mike

    Hey mate,

    – love the article. thank you.

    I really need any help I can get, as I’m new to this.

    I have 2nd pick, and will probably land Curry, however my league is 10 man, without Turnovers…

    what adjustments, off the top of your head, would you make if turnovers were not an issue?


    the 12 man rankings I can work around.

    with love from Australia,

  2. Kevin

    Excellent article – this is a strategy I partially employed last year and am looking deeper at because of a sense that Monroe, Drummond and Jordan will all give top 1 or 2 round value excluding FT% and my question is (should you ever read this) – Do you think that those three at the top of your draft could be the basis for a winning team in Head to Head 12 team leagues?

  3. Adam Stock

    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for reading. I like Drummond and Jordan a lot early with this build. Monroe not as much. I liked him last year in this build but that was mostly due to the price. I don’t hate him but with where he’s likely to go (R4-R5) I prefer other guys in that range. With AD/DJ early I think Monroe in 4/5 is overkill. Also, he’s improved his FT% and doesn’t get much of a bump in this build if that improvement is for real. If I’m using a third early pick on a big in this build I would prefer to grab one who blocks shots and has a bigger FG% impact. If you do grab Drummond and Jordan early, I would focus on guards with your other early picks and then start looking for your third big around round 6-7.

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