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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 weren’t 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.

Punting assists works well in combination with a number of first round picks. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, and Al Horford all should produce first round value in this build. All but Horford and Love (who would have cracked the first round if he was healthy) finished in the top 12 last season without assists. Paul George loses some value when punting assists (4.2 APG last season) but he’s also a solid candidate for this build as his threes and steals fit perfectly with what we are trying to do. The categories that you need to monitor are steals, FT%, points, and threes as those are the categories that you are missing out on by passing up point guards.

Note: Yahoo Fantasy Basketball’s ranking is in parentheses. The round that I have listed each player in is the round that I would target them in.

R2) Serge Ibaka (17) – Allows you to ignore blocks for most of the draft (3.0), helps with FG% (5th largest positive impact on FG% last season), and FT% has improved (75%). Close to zero assists (0.5). A lock for top 10 value in this build.

R2) Dirk Nowitzki (22) – Good source of points (17.3), threes (1.2), and FT% (86%).

R2) Nicolas Batum (18) – Drops some dimes (4.9) but provides threes (2.2), steals (1.2), FT% (85%), and blocks (1.1). FG% (43%) should go up this season as his wrist has healed.

R3) Kawhi Leonard (23) – Low points (11.9) but his role should increase and he finished in the top 15 without assists last season. Averaged 1.1 threes and 1.7 steals in 2012-2013.

R3) Paul Millsap (36) – Counting stats should go up now that he’s in Atlanta. Last time he played over 32 MPG (2011-2012) he finished 7th without assists. He could see 32-35 MPG this season.

R3) Chris Bosh (31) – Great FT% for a big man (80%) and solid blocks (1.4). Finished 11th without assists last year. Points are solid (16.6) and should rise as Wade continues to age.

R3) Rudy Gay (26) – Perfect fit besides FG% (42%) for this build. FG% should be closer to career average of 45% this season. After the move to Toronto he averaged 19.5 points, 1.3 threes, and 1.7 steals.

R3) Brook Lopez (32) – Good FT% for a big (80%) and those blocks (2.1) are needed if you passed on Ibaka in the second round.

R4) DeMarcus Cousins (42) – His high turnovers (3.0) don’t matter in this build and he should be close to 20 PPG. Great steals for a big as well (1.4).

R4) Thaddeus Young (54) – His FT% is a huge question mark. A career 70% FT shooter but dropped to 57% last season. Shot 77% from the line in 2011-2012. Great FG% (53%), great steals (1.8), and his points (14.8) should go up with the Sixers lacking scoring options.

R5) Jonas Valanciunas (73) – Points should be in the 13-15 range. Should be close to 2.0 blocks and that FT% (80%) should actually go up. Not much of a passer (1.1 assists per 36 minutes).

R5) Ryan Anderson (58) – Great way to make up threes (2.6) if you are behind the ball early. Very good from the line (84%) but doesn’t get swipes (0.6).

R6) Bradley Beal (66) – Should push 2.0 3PG and he looked really good before he went went down in early March. PPG should be in the 16-18 range.

R6) Jeff Green (64) – Contributes everywhere but assists (2.7 APG after the All-Star break). Just need to offset his potentially poor FG% with other picks.

R6) Wes Matthews (67) – Threes (2.4) and steals (1.3) should be similar this season. Decent scorer (14.8 PPG).

R6) Amir Johnson (74) – A good source of FG% (55%) and blocks (1.4). Solid steals for a big (1.0) and low assists (1.5).

R7) Greg Monroe (71) – The lack of blocks (0.7) and FT% (69%) isn’t ideal but a good source of points (16.0) and steals (1.3).

R8) Kevin Martin (84) – A good target if you missed out on points earlier. His role was limited in OKC but FGA should go up in Minnesota. Scoring and threes should be closer to his 2011-2012 numbers (17.1 PPG, 2.0 3PG).

R8) Danny Green (97) – Low points (10.5) but solid in everything else that you need. Averaged 2.2 3PG, 1.2 SPG, and a handy 0.7 BPG last season.

R8) Wilson Chandler (105) – Finished 33rd overall without assists the last time he was healthy (2010-2011). Over the final month of the 2012-2013 season, in only 29.6 MPG, he averaged 15.8 PPG, 1.6 3PG, 1.1 SPG, and only 2.3 APG.

R9) Kyle Korver (108) – Yahoo’s rankings are solid this year but they whiffed on Korver. Great value here in any team build. Good fit for punt assists as he’s a monster from deep (2.6 3PG) who doesn’t pass much (2.0 APG)

R10) Robin Lopez (115) – Good source of blocks late (1.6) and impossibly low assists (0.7 per 36 over his career).

R10) Marcus Thornton (103) – Another points (12.7 last season but 18.7 in 2011-2012) and threes (2.0) source late. Role is still up in the air so pay attention to reports out of Sacramento.

R10) Shawn Marion (127) – Another guy who is ranked poorly by Yahoo. Guaranteed to return value at this spot and only 2.4 APG last season.

R11) Mario Chalmers (140) – Don’t forget to fill that PG spot. Low points (9.3) but really nice steals (1.5) and threes (1.8). Doesn’t do much facilitating in that Miami offense (3.6 APG).

R12) Brandan Wright (197) – Dependent on whether or not he is healthy to start the year. 1.9 BPG and 0.5 APG in only 23 MPG over the last month of the season.

R13) Channing Frye (179) – Looks like he’s way ahead of schedule. Minutes may be low to start the season but that threes/rebounds/blocks combo is hard to pass up this late. Only 1.4 APG in 2011-2012.

R13) Thabo Sefolosha (163) – Again watch out for the low points (7.6) but good threes (1.3) and steals (1.3) at a super cheap price.

 

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

13 comments

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  1. Josh D.

    Good guide, but you should have included some PG targets considering you will need 2-3 of them to fill out a roster. My top targets would be George Hill, Nate Robinson, and possibly Kyrie Irving if you can get him.

  2. Adam Stock

    Thanks Josh. I disagree on Kyrie. His dimes aren’t great for a PG but they’re still a big part of his value. Without assists he drops to 3rd round value. I want my first round pick to be a lock for first round value in any punting scenario. The threes and steals are nice for sure, but I’d rather get them later and not spend a first round pick on them.

    Nate’s a good choice I agree. I have no issue grabbing him in the last round. Chalmers is still my ideal target but if you want two PGs (don’t think you need three) then you could do worse than Nate.

    I actually almost put Hill in the guide. The low assists, threes and steals works well. I just prefer to wait until super late to fill the PG spot and get as much value as I can everywhere else.

  3. Johnnie

    I am punting AST this year and may I ask your opinion on how you would rank the following swingmen for the 7th-8th rds?
    (Hayward, Mayo, Oladipo, Matthews, J.Butler, W.Chandler, D.Greenm, K.Korver) I’m targetting 2 out of these for the 7th-8th turn. I’m high on Oladipo this year but I’m thinking he might produce more than 3TO per game which is bad for this strategy.
    Btw, here’s my lineup so far (Davis,AlJef,Millsap,Kawhi,BrookLopez,Ilyasova)
    Thanks

    1. Adam Stock

      For punt assists I’d rank them:

      Korver
      Matthews
      Hayward
      Green
      W Chandler (I worry about injuries though)
      Oladipo (really a steals specialist in this build)
      Mayo

      They’re all pretty close though. With your team I like Korver the most by a fair amount since you need the threes.

  4. What about Victor Oladipo for this build?

  5. Adam Stock

    @Johnnie
    For punt assists I’d rank them:

    Korver
    Matthews
    Hayward
    Green
    W Chandler (I worry about injuries though)
    Oladipo (really a steals specialist in this build)
    Mayo

    They’re all pretty close though. With your team I like Korver the most by a fair amount since you need the threes.

  6. Adam Stock

    @demandred72

    I don’t mind Oladipo went punting assists but I’d prefer the other options in his range as they hit more threes. His steals should be in the 1.8 range but he’s a mediocre FT shooter and I’m not sure if he’ll score much once Orlando has everyone back in their lineup (Tobias, Davis, Nelson).

  7. Johnnie

    How about Jimmy Butler? He can be elite in stls and good boards from the position. A couple of 3s maybe and low TO. Where would you rank him among Korver and W.Chandler?

  8. Adam Stock

    Above Chandler (I think Chandler is better on a per game basis but the hammy acting up already is real bad news) but below Korver. I like Butler but he’s still going to be the 5th option in an offense that projects to be about average.

  9. Thanks for this Adam! Just a few inquiries.
    Who else do you have as late round PG options and how would you rank them? Assuming Chalmers is your 1st PG, who else can you take as your 2nd PG late in drafts? Was thinking of Foye / Beverley / R. Jackson off the top of my head. Do you have other options that fits this strategy? Another question is if Nate Robinson’s a better value than Foye?

    1. Adam Stock

      With the news that Beverley is starting I’d rank them Beverley -> Chalmers -> Jackson. Foye looks like no more than a three-point specialist. I’d rather have Nate Rob for the upside.

  10. sean james

    Question for you Adam.. Would Farmer or G Hill work as ur pg for this build? Also, do I need two PG or just one for this build?

    1. Adam Stock

      Hey Sean, G Hill’s a real nice fit. Solid steals and threes, mediocre assists, and a perfect playoff schedule. He’s been playing a lot better lately too.

      Farmer I’m not crazy over because he doesn’t get steals but threes are nice and he should be starter until Blake is back. It looks like a lost season for Nash. Not sure if he’s available but Beverley’s a very good fit for this build as well.

      I like to have two PG eligible guys for this build because with just one there may be nights where you’re overloaded but can’t start anyone in the PG spot.

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