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Punt Threes

Punting threes is one of the more straightforward builds. Big men get a boost and most guards and wings are downgraded. Don’t mistake the simplicity for ineffectiveness. Many of the top three-point shooters contribute little outside of points and threes (Klay Thompson, Wes Matthews, Ryan Anderson, etc.) so while your opponents will be spending at least a couple of picks on high-volume three-point shooters, you can take advantage and find value elsewhere. Last season, 1.0 3PG was the average for a rostered player in a standard 12-team league. As with all builds, the categories that you will need to target are the stats that usually come with the punted category. In this case, you will be targeting the guard stats that accompany most three-point shooters (points, FT%, assists, and steals). FT% is the trickiest category in this build as most three-point shooters are very good from the line while the big men who get boosts in this build, are usually not. Blocks also need to be carefully managed as most of the bigs who block a lot of shots are poor from the line. Points needs to be addressed early as most of the first-round targets for this build are not elite scorers.

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, FT%, Assists, Steals, Blocks

Round 1 Targets:  Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, Al Jefferson

R2) DeMarcus Cousins – Cousins is a monster in this build even with his large, negative FT% impact (72.6 FT% on 8.4 FTA). Target him for his scoring (22.7 PPG), blocks (1.3 BPG), and out-of-position steals (1.5 SPG).

R2) Serge Ibaka – Only target Ibaka if Paul or Westbrook was taken in the first. You’ll need to grab one of those two guards to offset the lack of assists (1.0 APG) and steals (0.5 SPG). The blocks are obviously elite (2.7 BPG), but so is the FG% impact (top-12 impact in 2013-2014), and he is solid from the line for a big (78.4 FT%).

R2) Chris Bosh – Hits some threes (0.9 3PG) but not enough for his value to take a hit in this build. Bosh should give you the points (24.0 PPG in his last year in Toronto) as well as the FT% impact (82.0 FT%) that you want from your bigs. Unfortunately, Bosh will do little to solve your block problem (1.0 BPG).

R2) Al Horford – FT% is a huge question mark (it has ranged from 79.8% to 64.4% over the last four years), but Horford gives you everything else that you are looking for in this build (18.6 PPG, 56.7 FG%, 2.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.5 BPG). Horford finished in the top-12 without threes in 2012-2013.

R3) Paul Millsap – Similar to Bosh, he hits some threes (1.0 3PG) but still contributes enough elsewhere to be very valuable in this build (17.9 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.1 BPG). Millsap’s FG% was not ideal last season (46.1 FG%) but that was the first time in his career that his shooting was south of 49%.

R3) Mike Conley – His steals upside (1.5 SPG in 2013-2014 and 2.2 SPG in 2012-2013) is what makes Conley attractive here but he’ll also help your dimes (6.0 APG) and doesn’t turn the ball over often (2.1 TOPG). Despite being a decent three-point shooter (1.4 3PG), Conley finished in the top-35 in this build in 2012-2013.

R3) Ty Lawson – Lawson only provides slightly above-average threes (1.2 3PG) while giving you 17.6 PPG, 8.8 APG, and 1.6 SPG. Expect last season’s FG% (43.0%) to improve as that mark was well below his career average (47.7 FG%).

R4) Rudy Gay – Scores 20 a night (20.0 PPG) without being much of a three-point shooter (0.9 3PG). Gay is a below-average passer (2.9 APG) but does provide you with the defensive stats that you want (1.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG). Gay’s upside is capped by his poor turnovers (3.1 TOPG).

R4) Thaddeus Young – Thad provided top-40 value in this build last season despite hitting 1.1 3PG. He’s a huge boon to your steals (2.1 SPG) and is a solid scorer (17.9 PPG). Thad is held back by his below-average rebounding (6.0 RPG) and shooting (45.4 FG%) for a big.

R4) Tim Duncan – Great target due to his blocks (1.9 BPG) and minimal FT% hit (73.1 FT% on 4.3 FTA). Duncan’s steals are not ideal (0.6 SPG) but the Big Fundamental is a good source of out-of-position assists (3.0 APG).

R4) Brook Lopez – If you feel like gambling, no player available after the first round has a higher upside in this build than Brook. In the 17 game that Brook played last season, he provided top-6 value without threes thanks to his scoring (20.7 PPG), blocks (1.8 BPG), FG% (56.3%) and FT% (81.7%). Like Ibaka, Lopez will be a major drag on your assists (0.9 APG) and steals (0.5 SPG).

R4) Dwyane Wade – This build was Wade’s bread and butter when he could actually stay healthy. If you luck out and he does make it through the year relatively unscathed, he’ll provide good value at this spot. Wade doesn’t hit threes (0.2 3PG) and provides you with very useful scoring (19.0 PPG), assists (4.7 APG), steals (1.5 SPG), and blocks (0.5 BPG) in addition to his elite FG% impact (54.5 FG% on 14.1 FGA).

R4) Marc Gasol – One of the few mid-round bigs who gives you blocks (1.3 BPG) without hurting you at the line (76.8 FT%). Marc is also a good source of out-of-position assists (3.6 APG). Despite having a down year in 2013-2014, Marc finished in the top 30 without threes.

R5) DeMar Derozan – Close to a must-grab for this build. Don’t be afraid to reach for DeRozan in the fourth if you went big early. DeMar will give your points a huge boost (22.7 PPG) while also provide solid assists (4.0 APG), steals (1.1 SPG), and FT% impact (82.4 FT% on 8.0 FTA). DeRozan’s only drawback in this build is his poor shooting from the floor (42.9 FG%).

R5) Jrue Holiday – The only area Jrue hurts you in this build is his turnovers (3.1 TOPG). Besides the ball security issues, Jrue is a good fit for this build due to his below-average threes (0.9 3PG), assists (7.9 APG), and steals (1.6 SPG).

R5) Ricky Rubio – Rubio comes with pretty serious points (9.5 PPG) and FG% (38.1%) hits, but despite those two numbers, he was able to post top-45 value in this build last season. Only Chris Paul will give you more combined assists (8.6 APG) and steals (2.3 SPG). Rubio is a tricky player to build around, but those assists and steals can make him an awesome weapon with the right supporting cast.

R5) Tony Parker – Mediocre, even in this build, last season (92nd-overall without threes). However, Parker is one of the best sources of percentages impact at this point in the draft (49.9 FG%, 81.1 FT%). Only an OK target in this build due to lack of swipes (0.5 SPG).

R5) Monta Ellis – Monta brings a lot of good things to the table in this build. He gets you the points you need (19.0 PPG) as well as the assists (5.7 APG) and steals (1.7 SPG). Those flashy counting numbers come at a cost. Last season, Ellis averaged 3.2 TOPG.

R6) Jeff Teague – Teague will score (16.5 PPG), pass (6.7 APG), and steal (1.1 SPG), but don’t overlook his very strong FT% impact. In 2013-2014, Teague went to the line 4.8 times a night and hit 84.6% of his freebies.

R6) David West – West’s scoring should increase (14.0 PPG) as he projects to be the first-option on the Pacers. West will give you a block a night (0.9 BPG) and help you at the line (78.9 FT%).

R6) Pau Gasol – Like his brother, Pau provided close to top-30 value without threes in 2013-2014. How many minutes he plays remains to be seen, but Pau should continue to be a solid source of points (17.4 PPG), rebounds (9.7 RPG), and blocks (1.5 BPG) that comes with a minimal FT% hit (73.6 FT% on 4.2 FTA).

R7) Robin Lopez – Like Pau, Robin’s line has some similarities to his brother’s. Lopez does pass (0.9 APG) or steal the ball (0.3 SPG). What he does do though is provide a lot of blocks (1.7 SPG) while boosting both your FG% (55.1%) and FT% (81.8%).

R8) Darren Collison – Collison provided top-65 value in this build in 2012-2013 in his only year as a starter. That season Collison averaged 0.6 3PG, 5.1 APG, and 1.2 SPG. Collison is an attractive pick in the eighth round not only due to his point guard stats, but also due to his very good percentages (46.7 FG%, 85.7 FT%).

R8) Tyreke Evans – I’m not a fan of Evans in general but he fits well here. Evans doesn’t hit threes (0.3 3PG) but provides solid assists (5.0 APG) and steals (1.2 APG). He could provide very good value in this build if either Holiday or Gordon was to go down. Evans finished in the top 55 in this build in 2012-2013.

R9) Roy Hibbert – If you missed out on blocks earlier, Hibbert is your best late bet. Hibbert will get you the blocks you are looking for (2.2 BPG) while not hurting you from the line (77.0 FT%). If he can get his head on straight there’s big upside here due to his increased role and past usefulness in this build. Hibbert provided top-45 value without threes in 2012-2013.

R10) Anderson Varejao – Not much of a shot-blocker (0.6 BPG) but few big men provide the out-of-position steals that Varejao does (1.1 SPG in 2013-2014 and 1.5 SPG in 2012-2013). Varejao only played 25 games in 2012-2013, but went he was on the court, he provided first-round value in this build. He won’t reach those heights this season, and will be a huge injury risk, but at this point in the draft, why not take a shot on a player with serious upside.

R10) Jeremy Lin – I’m recommending Lin in almost every build due to his late draft position (current ADP of 112.5 on Yahoo) and the fact that Steve Nash is already experience nerve issues. Lin is only a decent three-point shooter (1.1 3PG in 2012-2013) and like most point guards, is a good source of assists (6.1 APG in 2012-2013) and steals (1.6 SPG in 2012-2013).

R11) Amir Johnson – A great bargain this late in the draft due to his FG% impact (56.2 FG% on 7.9 FGA) and blocks (1.1 BPG). His FT% wasn’t pretty last season (63.6 FT%), but he rarely gets there (1.9 FTA) and was much better from the line in 2012-2013 (72.7 FT%). In 2012-2013, Amir finished 34th-overall without threes.

R12) Taj Gibson – Taj is a good late source of blocks (1.4 BPG) with the potential to be much more with the very injury prone Pau Gasol now in front of him. Noah is an injury risk as well, so while Gibson may start off slow, he’s a good stash if you can afford to hold him. Taj is a good fit for this build as those blocks don’t come with a FT% hit (75.1 FT%).

R12) Reggie Jackson – You should be targeting Jackson in most builds due to his increased role with Durant out and his already very useful 13.1 PPG, 4.1 APG, and 1.1 SPG. Jackson is also an excellent free-throw shooter (89.3 FT%) and that allows him to be a sneaky source of FT% impact despite his low attempts (2.2 FTA).

R13) Rodney Stuckey – Stuckey may end up leading the Pacers in scoring, and if he does, it won’t be due to his three-ball (0.3 3PG). Stuckey will give your FT% a nice late boost. Despite only playing 26.7 MPG last season, Stuckey got to the line 4.0 times a night and hit 83.6% of his attempts.

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

 

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