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Punt Blocks

If you come out of the first round with Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, James Harden, Paul George or Chris Paul, punting blocks is the punting strategy that makes the most sense. Elite levels of blocks tend to be concentrated amongst only a few players. Last season only 8 players averaged at least 2 BPG. In 2011-2012, only 6 players reached that mark. Because of the scarcity of blocks, it makes some sense to ignore them all together. Many of the elite blockers provide little value outside of blocks and hurt your ability to win other categories. Ignoring blocks allows you to focus on obtaining more rounded players that can contribute across the board. With this strategy, guards and small forwards get a bump. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore big men. With this build, you still want to attempt to win FG% and rebounds. Don’t forget about FT% while you draft as most of the big men who are targets for this build are mediocre FT shooters. Matching the bigs mentioned below with guards who are strong from the line should be your focus.

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) Dirk Nowitzki (22) – FG% was low for the second consecutive season (47%) but still an elite FT% anchor (86%). Solid contributions across the board except in steals (.7) and blocks (.7).

R3) Mike Conley (27) – Finished 13th last season when ignoring blocks. Elite steals (2.2), solid assists (6.1), and very good FT% impact (83% which was actually down from 86% in 2011-2012).

R3) Tony Parker (34) – Posted first round value last season without blocks. Elite percentage anchor (52% FG% and 84% FT%). Blocks are low even for a PG (0.1).

R3) Kawhi Leonard (23) – Counting stats should go up across the board this year. Despite his defensive prowess, not much of a blocker (0.6).

R3) Paul Millsap (36) – Last time he was above 32 MPG he finished 7th overall and 6th overall without blocks. Should pass that threshold now that he’s in Atlanta.

R4) David Lee (48) – An obvious target for this build. A double-double machine, nice percentages, and no blocks (0.3). Also a sneaky source of assists (3.5).

R4) Ersan Ilyasova (45) – Huge potential for across the board production but it’s not tied to blocks (0.5).

R4) Thaddeus Young (54) – FT% (57% last season) is an issue but a career 70% FT shooter so expect a bounce back. Great steals (1.8) and FG (53%) but only 0.7 BPG. That number should go down further as he’s expected to see more time at SF this season.

R5) David West (50) – Put up 17.7 points and 7.7 rebounds on 50% shooting last season. Hasn’t averaged a block a game since 2006-2007.

R5) Ryan Anderson (58) – Role should increase a bit with Lopez in Portland. 2.6 threes, 6.4 rebounds, and only 0.4 blocks in 2012-2013.

R5) Jeff Teague (55) – Top 20 positive FT% impact last season (88% on 2.8 FTA) to go with 7.2 APG.

R6) Enes Kanter (69) – 0.5 blocks in 15 MPG is solid but shouldn’t break 1.0 BPG this season even with the increased minutes. Expect a double-double, solid FG% (54% last season) and FT% (79%).

R7) Greg Monroe (71) – Played poorly last season, but TOs (2.9) should go down with more scoring threats in the lineup. Still averaged 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and a very solid 3.5 assists last season to go with his 0.7 BPG.

R8) Carlos Boozer (90) – Still a good bet for a daily double-double (16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds). Still doesn’t block shots (0.4). Finished 43rd overall without blocks the last time Rose was on the floor. FG% (48% last season) should be closer to 2011-2012 level (53%) now that Rose is back.

R8) Zach Randolph (82) – A bit of a risk since it looks like he’s declined physically but still averaged 15.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 0.4 blocks last season.

R9) Kyle Korver (108) – His lack of defensive stats hurts less in this build (0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks). The threes (2.6) and non-existent TOs (0.9) means he’ll return great value at this spot.

R10) Tiago Splitter (109) – One of the few players available this late who can have a major impact on FG% (56% on 7 FGA) and only 0.8 BPG.

R10) Shawn Marion (127) – Still produces across the board (12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals on 51% shooting) but doesn’t block shots like he used to (0.7 BPG last season).

R10) Anderson Varejao (119) – Won’t stay healthy but had first-round value last year and it wasn’t due to blocks (0.6). Averaged 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists. and 1.5 steals in the 25 games that he did play.

R12) J.J. Hickson (170) – Averaged a double-double last season on 56% shooting. Only 0.6 BPG. Apparently starting PF job is up for competition.

R13) Jared Sullinger (288) – Should be a good source of rebounds late (10.7 rebounds PER 36 last season) and wasn’t much of shot blocker in college (1.1).


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