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Punt Points and Punt Points/FT%

If you’re interested in punting points, as soon as you’re done reading this guide, start mocking. This one is going to take some practice. The punt points build is, without question, the most difficult strategy to successfully pull off. Fortunately, it also has arguably the highest ceiling of any punting strategy. No punting strategy changes your draft board more than this one. In 2014-2015, Draymond Green was a significantly more valuable asset than Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousins when points are ignored. Gorgui Dieng was more useful than LaMarcus Aldridge. As your draft board will look completely different from your opponents’, it’s usually very easy to grab most of your targets. That is the beauty of punt points.

The biggest issue with punting points is that your percentages are going be very volatile. Since your team’s FGA and FTA are going to be low, a player shooting 3 for 10 from the field or 2 for 5 from the line is going to hurt much more than it usually does. Because of this, it is extremely important to focus on efficient players early in the draft. Finding players who are strong in both FG% and FT% is nearly impossible after the sixth round. Chris Paul is the ideal first-round pick for this build. The Clippers’ point guard helps anchor both your FG% and FT% while providing elite production in the categories that you will be trying to win consistently. One category that you will definitely be winning consistently is turnovers. High points correlates with high turnovers so your punt points team is likely to be dominant in turnovers. You’ll be so dominant that you have to be careful to not overdo it. Don’t be afraid to take a few players who struggle to take care of the ball but provide you with great value elsewhere.

Since it’s so hard to find players who contribute positive value in both efficiency categories, punting FT% along with points is a very viable strategy. It’s a much easier strategy to pull off as it gives you more options and makes ruling the big man categories a piece of cake. DeAndre Jordan is your first-round target in the double-punt. Only Anthony Davis was more valuable in 2014-2015 when both points and FT% are ignored. The strategy for this build is similar to the one I outlined in the punt FT% guide. You will be wanting to target point guards early and often. Many of the late-round targets for the regular punt FT% build get an even bigger boost in the double-punt. Terrence Jones is going to be an early-round asset in the double-punt.

The below guide is for both punt points and punt points/punt FT%. The players in italics are the players that you will only want to target if you are attempting the double-punt. There are a handful of players on the below list who I haven’t identified as punt FT%-only players even though they struggle from the line. If you are only punting points, you won’t want to pick more than one or two of these players as your FT% can become very volatile very quickly.

Note: 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 draft. All punting guides are for standard, 9-category leagues. 

Categories to target: FG%, FT% (if only punting points), Threes, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks

Round 1 Targets: Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard 

R2) Serge Ibaka – Serge is an absolute stud without points and delivered top-10 value in this build last season despite struggling for most of the year. He is a much better fit for this build if he stops shooting his easily replaceable threes and gets back to being the FG% monster that he was in 2013-2014 (53.6 FG%). His blocks (2.4 BPG) and solid shooting from the floor and line (83.6 FT%) fit perfectly with this build and give him a very high floor. Serge was a top-6 asset without points from 2011-2012 to 2013-2014.

R2) DeAndre Jordan – The only player more valuable than Jordan in 2014-2015 in the double-punt was Anthony Davis. DeAndre’s big man stats are as good it gets (15.0 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 71.0 FG%). That FG% is absurd and despite only averaging 6.5 FGA, DJ led the league by a wide margin in FG% impact last season. That nastiness from the floor allows owners to target multiple inefficient guards who bring the threes, assists, and steals that this build will be looking to win every week. DJ and the double-punt is an outstanding option for anyone who isn’t fortunate enough to land a top-8 pick. 

R2) Andre Drummond – Drummond is another player who posts elite value in the double-punt and can likely be had in the second round or later. In 2014-2015, Drummond finished seventh without points and FT%. In 2013-2014, he was even better, posting top-3 value in the double-punt. The signing of Ersan Ilyasova and the additional operating space that he creates should help Andre score much more efficiently this season (51.4 FG%). Only DeAndre Jordan averaged more rebounds than the Piston in 2014-2015 (13.5 RPG) and Drummond is no slouch on the defensive end (0.9 SPG, 1.9 BPG). 

R2) Rudy Gobert – Gobert is a nice fit for both builds due to his dominance on the boards (13.4 RPG after the Kanter trade), in swats (2.6 BPG after the trade), and from the field (57.6% after the trade). Rudy is poor from the line (62.3%), and while he doesn’t quite necessitate a double-punt, he will make it difficult to consistently win FT%. After the trade, Gobert was a top-8 asset without points and a top-5 asset in the double-punt.

R3) Nerlens Noel – Noel’s free-throw shooting is less of an issue than Gobert’s due to his lower attempts (60.9 FT% on 3.1 FTA). Noel improved from the line as the season went on (66.9% from the line over the last three months of the year), but like Gobert, he makes it very difficult to build a strong FT% team. The FT% hit is difficult to reverse as there are not many players who manage to make a strong impact on FT% without having a large chunk of their value tied up in points. Noel fits beautifully into the double-punt, but should only be considered in the regular punt if Chris Paul and his top-7 FT% impact were taken in the first.

R3) Draymond Green – Dray struggles at line (66.0 FT%), but his lack of attempts (2.5 FTA) limit the damage of his bricks. No player that is currently being taken after the first-round of the draft produced more in 2014-2015 when points are ignored than Green. The Warrior finished 8th in this build thanks to his averages of 1.4 3PG, 8.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.3 BPG.

R3) Marc Gasol – Big men who shoot well from the charity stripe are a huge boon to your chances of pulling off this strategy. Marc is one such big man (79.5 FT%) and is no slouch from the field either (49.4 FG%). Gasol gives you out-of-position assists (3.8 APG) in addition to his very good big man stats (7.8 RPG, 1.6 BPG). Big men who help your percentages as much as Marc does are very rare after this point in the draft, so choose your early-round picks wisely.

R3) Kyle Lowry – The All-Star has looked to score more since becoming the face of the Raptors (17.8 PPG), but his well-rounded production still makes him worth a look at his current third-round price. Lowry’s counting stats are excellent and include 1.9 3PG, 4.7 RPG, 6.8 APG, and 1.6 SPG. Despite being pretty solid at the line (80.8 FT%), I like Kyle more in the double-punt as his terrible FG% (41.2%) is more easily offset.

R3) Eric Bledsoe – Bledsoe’s scoring continues to rise (17.0 PPG), but his contributions in this build’s desired categories makes him worth consideration in the third or fourth round. The Sun provides out-of-position rebounding (5.2 RPG) and blocks (0.6 BPG), as well as the usual goodies that you would expect from an early-round point guard (1.1 3PG, 6.1 APG, 1.6 SPG). He turns the ball over at a high rate (3.4 TOPG), but like punt assists, this build can handle a couple of sloppy ball handlers.

R4) Trevor Ariza – Ariza is an absolutely outstanding source of threes (2.4 3PG) and steals (1.9 SPG) and should see his FG% (40.3%) rise in 2014-2015. Ariza’s awful final FG% is is weighed down by a three-month-long shooting slump that the Rocket suffered through to start the season. Down the stretch, the swingman was much more efficient, hitting 45.2% of his shots over the last two months of the campaign. If his FG% normalizes, Ariza could be a top-25 asset in this build.

R4) Tim Duncan – The best power forward to ever play is an ideal fit for any build as his line lacks any obvious flaws. Timmy provides strong big man stats (9.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG) and underrated assists impact (3.0 APG). His FT% is subject to wild fluctuations (74.0%), but he has shot over 70% from the line in each of the past three seasons. The addition of LaMarcus Aldridge doesn’t change Duncan’s outlook in this build. The Spur doesn’t depend on scoring to boost his value (13.9 PPG).

R4) Jeff Teague – Teague is one of the best point guard targets for those punting points. Everything that you want to focus on when ignoring points is provided by the Hawk. He is an excellent playmaker (7.0 APG) who contributes just as much on the defensive end (1.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG). What makes him even more enticing are his excellent percentages (46.0 FG%, 86.2. FT%). Target Teague aggressively if your first-round pick isn’t named Chris Paul.

R4) Marcin Gortat – Only five players were more valuable over the last two months of the season when points were ignored. Over that stretch, Gortat was more valuable in this build than James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, and DeMarcus Cousins. When I spoke about punting points drastically changing the rankings in the opener, I wasn’t kidding. Over that two month period, The Polish Hammer averaged 9.9 RPG and 1.4 BPG while shooting 61.8% from the field. His FT% is below-average (70.3 FT%), but is not bad enough to have a noticeable impact on the category.

R5) Kyle Korver – The league’s most efficient scorer (69.9 TS%) is finally appropriately ranked. Since joining the Hawks, Korver has never failed to post second-round value without points. The majority of value does come from his threes (2.9 3PG), but the All-Star is also a sneaky source of out-of-position blocks (0.6 BPG), and helps you both at the line (89.8 FT%) and the from the field (48.7 FG%).

R5) Danny Green – Green is arguably the best mid-round target for this build. In 2014-2015, he finished 13th-overall without points and provides the defensive stats (1.2 SPG, 1.1 BPG) and threes (2.4 3PG) that you’ll be looking to win every week. The only downside to picking Green is that he comes with no FT% impact (87.4% but only 1.6 FTA).

R5) Jonas Valanciunas – Big V is a unicorn. You can count the number of big men who are available after the first few rounds that boost both your FG% (57.2%) and FT% (78.6%) on one hand. As long as Dwane Casey continues to limit his touches, Jonas won’t lose much value in this build (12.0 PPG). He’s a very good rebounder (8.7 RPG) and shot blocker (1.2 BPG), but it is those sparkling percentages that make him such a good fit for this strategy. I can’t stress enough how important it is, if you are only punting points, to focus on your percentages early in the draft.

R6) Goran Dragic – Dwyane Wade’s top-3 usage rate destroys Dragic’s upside, but the impact of Wade’s ball dominance is lessened in this build. After the trade to the Heat, Goran averaged 0.9 3PG, 5.3 APG, and 1.1 SPG on 50.2% shooting from the field and 80.8% shooting from the line. That efficiency makes him an outstanding target for those punting points. He should be a top-40 asset anytime Wade is in a suit.

R6) Karl-Anthony Towns – Like Valanciunas, Towns is one the rare middle-round big men who helps both your FG% (56.6%) and FT% (81.3%). As Towns is a rookie, expect the former Wildcat is struggle with foul trouble and start the season slowly. He should be a difference maker as the year goes on and provide owners with above-average boards (6.7 RPG) and blocks (2.3 BPG).

R6) Nicolas Batum – Batum’s current sixth-round ADP is well below his floor in this build. Everything went wrong for Batum in 2014-2015, but the former Blazer still managed to be a top-45 asset to those punting points. He will play a greater role in Charlotte and owners should expect a return to Batum’s 2013-2014 numbers (1.8 3PG, 7.5 RPG, 5.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG. That season, he was a top-30 option without points.

R6) George Hill – I would strongly advise trying to come away with at least one of Teague, Dragic, or Hill in the middle rounds. Point guards who don’t hurt you from the field are invaluable to this build (47.7%). The negative impact of Monta Ellis’ ball-hogging ways are minimized in this build, and Hill should continue to be an above-average source of threes (1.6 3PG), assists  (5.1 APG), and FG% impact.

R6) DeMarre Carroll – Don’t expect a repeat of 2014-2015’s top-35 finish without points, but Carroll should still return value if taken in the sixth or seventh. The Raptors’ prize free-agent signing is an excellent fit for this build as he is great from deep (1.7 3PG) on defense (1.3 SPG), and derives very little of his value from his scoring (12.6 PPG). The move to Toronto means bad things for his stellar FG% (48.7%). The Raptors’ ball moment isn’t in the same stratosphere as the Hawks’.

R6) Khris Middleton – A repeat of last season’s top-45 finish without points is very possible even with the return of Jabari Parker. Middleton should be targeted for his threes (1.4 3PG) and steals (1.5 SPG), but the 3-and-D stud is also excellent at the line (85.9%). His FG% (46.7%) may not jump off the page, but it’s hard to find prolific three-point shooters who don’t hurt you from the field. Despite being a very strong defender, Middleton gives you even less swats than most wings do (0.1 BPG).

R7) Tyson Chandler – The former Maverick was a top-16 asset in this build last season, and while won’t repeat that performance in 2015-2016 due to the presence of Alex Len, he is an absolute steal at his current price. Chandler is one of the league’s best FG% anchors (66.6 FG%) and is a good bet to average over ten rebounds a night (11.5 RPG). His below-average FT% is manageable (72.0 FT%) so don’t be afraid to aggressively chase the 33-year-old.

R7) Ricky Rubio – If Rubio can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, he will be a steal at this price. Last season was a disaster, but Ricky was a top-30 option in this build in 2013-2014. His assists (8.8 APG) are elite and expect him to manage two swipes a night now that he is healthy. While those two categories are by far his strongest, the Spaniard is also a sneaky source of boards (5.7 RPG). He is an even better fit for the double-punt as his FT% impact is minimal (80.3 FT% on 3.2 FTA) and his horrendous FG% (35.6%) is easier to manage when the punt FT% big men are in play.

R8) Terrence Jones – If you’re only punting points and want Jones’ massive upside on your roster, stay away from all the other poor free-shooters on the list. Having more than one bricklayer on your roster in a punt points build makes it tough to be consistently competitive in the category. If you’re using the double-punt strategy, feel free to grab Jones as early as the fifth round. The quality of his big man stats are well-documented (6.7 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 52.8 FG%), but Terrence also blesses owners with useful out-of-position threes (0.4 3PG). Jones will provide top-50 value to those only punting points and has a shot at returning top-25 value to those punting both categories.

R8) Gorgui Dieng – The beauty of the punt points strategy is that you can pick up early-round assets in the second-half of the draft. Dieng was a top-25 player without points in 2014-2015 and is the exact type of player that you need to make this strategy work (50.6 FG%, 78.3 FT%). Big man stats (8.4 RPG, 1.7 BPG) that come with no strings attached make Dieng your number one middle-round target.

R8) Ersan Ilyasova – It won’t be a smooth ride, and there’s no guarantee that it will end well, but if Ersanity is every going to be a thing again, we’ll know by the end of this season. Ilyasova could not be in a better position to succeed. He is playing the same role Ryan Anderson played when he posted first-round in his final year in Orlando. Ersan doesn’t lose any value in this build (11.5 PPG) and will help you from deep (1.3 3PG) and on the boards (7.6 RP36). Don’t fret over his 2014-2015 FT% (64.5%). That can be safely written off as a fluke. Ilyasova is a career 77.6% shooter from the charity stripe.

R9) Robin Lopez – RoLo was a top-25 asset in this build in 2013-2014 and is looking at an expanded offensive role with Knicks. More touches on offense could really boost Lopez’s value as he has always made the most of his opportunities (53.5 FG%, 77.2 FT%). His rebounds (6.7 RPG) and blocks (1.4 BPG) are welcome on any roster, but his terrible steals rate (0.3 SPG) is a tough pill to swallow. He is also one of the worst passing big men in league (0.9 APG) which makes him a peculiar choice for the triangle.

R9) Al-Farouq Aminu – You want to dominate the defensive categories when punting points and no late-round pick gives you a better chance at doing just that than Aminu. The former Blazer projects to be a stocks machine (1.8 SP36, 1.6 BP36) and will also help you on the boards (9.0 RP36). His poor percentages limit his upside (41.2 FG%, 71.2 FT%) but will come on very low volume. Over the last three months of the season, Aminu was a top-20 player on a per minute basis in the double-punt.

R9) Ty Lawson – Playing beside James Harden will cause Lawson’s stellar scoring ability (15.2 PPG) to take a backseat. While this is bad news for his fantasy value, the increase in efficiency that will likely come with the decreased volume could make Lawson more valuable than normal in this build. Expect Ty’s assists to drop sharply (9.6 APG), but his threes (0.9 3PG) and mediocre efficiency (43.6 FG%, 73.0 FT%) could rise significantly.

R10) Meyers Leonard – The young Blazer is a mixed bag. He’ll likely be a very good source of the percentages impact that you are chasing (51.0 FG%, 93.8 FT%). Unfortunately, he provides nothing in two categories that you will be aiming to win every week (0.4 SP36. 0.6 BP36). His out-of-position threes (2.0 3P36) somewhat make up for his lack of defensive stats, but the major holes in his line limit his appeal in this build.

R10) Andrew Bogut – Not many players can shoot 52.4% from the charity stripe and avoid being a punt FT%-only target. Bogut defies the odds due to his 0.6 FTA. He does get a small boost in the double-punt, but last season, the center was a top-30 asset to the punt points build even when FT% was included. He’ll be a frustrating player to own, but Yahoo’s new IL spot makes picking Bogut much easier. In the 60 or so games that he will play this season, the Aussie will be a solid source of rebounds (8.1 RPG), blocks (1.7 BPG), and FG% (56.3%).

R10) Jusuf Nurkic – Nurk is only a recommended target for the double-punt not only because he can’t his hit free-throws (63.6 FT%), but because you need to stay away from big men who shoot poorly from the field (44.6 FG%). That poor efficiency can easily be made up in the double-punt, but could lead to quite a bit of variability in the punt points-only build. You’ll want Jusuf on you roster for his big man stats (12.5 RP36, 2.2 BP36) and for his out-of-position steals (1.7 SP36). 

R10) Patrick Patterson – Patterson is looking like the starter by default with James Johnson currently missing time with an injury and Luis Scola being Luis Scola. PatPat was a top-60 asset in this build in 2014-2015, but don’t reach for the Raptor as his value was heavily inflated by his microscopic turnovers (0.7 TOPG). Ignoring points naturally leads to a dominant turnovers team and overkill in that category can be difficult to avoid. Patterson is also an underwhelming rebounder (5.4 RPG) who doesn’t block shots (0.5 BPG). What makes him valuable and worth a look late are his out-of-position threes (1.3 3PG) and success at the line (78.8 FT%).

R11) Timofey Mozgov – Due to the depth of the Cavaliers, Mozgov will be consistently inconsistent in 2015-2016. David Blatt’s team is not afraid to go small, and even when they do roll out two big men, Mozgov has Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and Anderson Varejao to compete with. That’s not to say you should shy away from Mozgov completely. After moving to Cleveland, the Russian was a top-90 asset in this build. His FG% after joining the Cavaliers was spectacular (59.0%), and his rebounds (6.9 RPG) and blocks (1.2 BPG) were very useful as well. Managers targeting Mozgov need to pay close attention to their dimes and swipes as Timofey is a major drag on both (0.7 APG, 0.4 SPG).

R11) Ed Davis – One of this offseason’s most underrated signings is close to untouchable outside of a punt FT% build (48.7 FT%) and sees his value skyrocket in the double-punt. Despite only playing 22.5 MPG over the last three months of the season, Ed was a top-20 player without points and FT%. Not a top-20 per minute player. A top-20 player period. That is incredible and makes Davis a must-have late in the draft. Ed’s contributions are limited to the big man categories, but they should spike now that he’ll be seeing extended minutes (11.7 RP36, 1.9 BP36, 60.1 FG%). 

R11) P.J. Tucker – Tucker is being pushed by T.J. Warren for the Suns’ starting small forward spot, but for now, it appears he is winning the battle. With Markieff Morris possibly on the move, Tucker could see more time at the four in 2015-2016, and could see his already impressive 6.4 RPG rise. P.J. also gives you the typical wing stats (1.1 3PG, 1.4 SPG) and was a top-60 asset to this build in 2013-2014.

R12) Darren Collison – It’s hard to have any faith in Rajon Rondo at this point. Collison should play major minutes regardless of where he starts the game and is a better fit for this build than most point guards. Darren is a positive from the field (47.3%) and is an 85.0% shooter at the line for his career. No player available this late in the draft has the upside that Collison has (1.5 3PG, 5.6 APG, 1.5 SPG).

R12) Jose Calderon – Before struggling to adapt to the triangle, Calderon was a mainstay in this build due to his pristine efficiency, dimes, and triples. Jose was a borderline top-50 asset without points in 2013-2014, and worth a look late for the off-chance that he has one more useful season left in him. Five assists per night and 1.5 3PG are not unattainable goals for the veteran.

R12) Otto Porter – Porter is unlikely to post standout value in any category, but he will be the type of glue guy that every roster needs. Otto has an outside chance of joining the one three (0.9 3P36), one steal (1.1 SP36), one block (0.8 BPG36) club, should see around 30 MPG, and spend time at both the three and the four. Don’t reach for him as a good portion of his appeal is due to this low turnovers (1.3 TOPG).

R12) Mason Plumlee – Do not draft Plumlee unless you are punting FT% (49.5%). The only three players who had a larger negative impact on the category were DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, and Dwight Howard. Plumlee’s other contributions don’t make up for the horrendous FT%, but fortunately, that FT% doesn’t matter in the double-punt. He is competing with Ed Davis and Meyers Leonard for the Blazers’ two starting frontcourt spots, and at worst, should be able to carve out 25 MPG. If he does, expect useful numbers in rebounds (6.2 RPG), steals (0.8 SPG), blocks (0.8 BPG), and FG% (57.3%). 

R13) Zaza Pachulia – Zaza produces a very unique line that includes decent dimes (2.4 APG), steals (1.1 SPG), and a strong performance at the line (78.8%). He does this while contributing little in two of the traditional big man categories (0.3 BPG, 45.4 FG%). Expect that FG% to climb now that he has joined one of the league’s best offenses. With JaVale McGee as his primary backup, Zaza should have no problem improving on his 2014-2015 23.7 MPG average.

R13) John Henson – It’s hard to imagine Henson not improving his 2014-2015 18.3 MPG average given the lack of frontcourt defenders in the Bucks’ starting lineup. Regardless of whether Henson gets extended run, he should be roster-worthy in the double-punt. Henson was top-70 value last season without both points and FT% and will at least provide excellent swats (2.0 BPG),useful boards (4.7 RPG) ,and very strong FG% impct (56.6 FG%). 

R13) James Johnson – It’s not clear whether Johnson is going to see more than spot minutes this season, but until we know for sure, he’s a decent late-round stash due to his massive upside in this build. Johnson is similar to Aminu in that he is a good rebounder (6.8 RP36) who would be a steals (1.4 SP36) and blocks (1.8 BP36) monster if ever given extended run. What Johnson does bring to the table that Aminu lacks is top-20 FG% impact (58.9 FG%). It will be a crime if Johnson is once again glued to the bench behind the likes of Terrence Ross and the corpse of Luis Scola.

R13) Kyle O’Quinn – O’Quinn should see decent run at both the four and the five and has the type of potential that could make him one of the steals of the draft. O’Quinn gets a boost in this build (12.8 PP36) and would give owners a little bit of everything (0.5 3P36, 8.7 RP36, 1.4 SP36, 1.7 BP36) if Matt Barnes’ least favorite NBA coach gives him the opportunity to. Unlike most late-round big men, O’Quinn won’t drag down the strong FT% (77.2%) that you will be working so hard to maintain throughout the draft.

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