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Punt Points

Punting points will get you laughed out of your draft room. I would know. Every time I mock punt points the general reaction is my team is the fantasy equivalent of the 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats. Those laughing could not be more wrong. Punting points can create an absolute monster of a fantasy basketball team. It will be the least flashiest team in the history of your league, but if done properly, it can also be one of the best.

The most important part of the draft when punting points is the first 5-6 rounds. You can say that about any strategy but it is especially true when punting points. Grabbing three point guards (preferably low scoring point guards) in the first six rounds is essential for this build. It’s hard to find assists late, and since we are punting points, there won’t be many players available late who positively impact FT% in a noticeable way. Because of this, Chris Paul is the best fit for this build. It also works with the big men going in the latter part of the first round, but if you pick one of them, make sure you go extremely point guard heavy in the middle rounds.

Punting FT% in addition to punting points is also a feasible strategy. It is not necessary, but it does make it easier to find blocks and FG% as there are a plethora of low-scoring big men with poor FT% available late. Be aware that if you are punting FT% and points you will be competing with the Dwight Howard owner for players. Mock for both punt strategies and find which strategy works best for you.

Punting points changes the rankings far more than any other punting strategy. For example, last season Carmelo Anthony finished 47th overall without points, Damian Lillard finished 91st, Thabo Sefolosha finished 33rd, and Jason Kidd’s corpse finished 28th. When mocking or attempting this strategy in a live draft, I highly recommend going to Basketball Monster and sorting last year’s rankings without points. It makes it much easier to keep track of which available players are the best fit for this build. As was the case when punting assists, this strategy will make you dominant in turnovers so don’t be afraid to grab a player who struggles with them.

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) – Top 5 FG% impact and improved from the line (75%). His blocks (3.0) and lack of assists (0.5) match up well with Paul’s stat line.

R2) Nicolas Batum (18) – A member of the exclusive 1/1/1 (threes, steals, and blocks) club. Solid assists (4.9) and his FG% (42%) should be closer to his career average of 45% this season.

R3) Kawhi Leonard (23) – Only weaknesses are points (11.9) and assists (1.6) so a good fit for this build. Counting numbers should go up across the board this year. Finished 12th last season without points.

R3) Larry Sanders (24) – Finished 11th last season without points. If punting FT% and points pass on Ibaka and grab Sanders in the third. Only finished behind Durant, LeBron, and Paul last season in the double punt build.

R3) Joakim Noah (29) – Solid out of position assists (4.0) but that number should go down slightly with Rose back. Ideal defensive stats (1.2 SPG and 2.1 BPG) and won’t hurt you from the line (75%). A risky pick as his plantar fasciitis seems to pop up every year.

R3) Mike Conley (27) – Like Paul, his line is perfect for this build. Elite steals (2.2), solid dimes (6.1), and good FT% impact (83% on 3.5 FTA).

R4) Eric Bledsoe (46) – Only averaged 14.9 points per 36 minutes last season. The defensive stats will likely be unbelievable and he should be close to 5.0 APG.

R4) Ersan Ilyasova (45) – Out of position threes (1.3) and solid everywhere else. Only scored 13.2 PPG last season.

R4) Roy Hibbert (47) – Ideal target if you missed out on Ibaka and Sanders. Explosion vs. Miami had more to do with the Heat having nothing up front. Has yet to crack 13.0 PPG in his career. Won’t hurt you from the line (74%), but FG% is below average for a big (47% career FG%).

R5) Jose Calderon (56) – Great assists target. Should be over 8 APG this season and his percentages should be great as usual (49% FG% and 90% FT%). Not much of a scorer (11.3).

R5) Jeff Teague (55) – His scoring (14.6) should increase this season but gives you everything you need for this build. Very good assists (7.2), steals (1.5), and FT% (88%). A good target in any build this year.

R5) Amir Johnson (74) – You can probably get him in the 6th but he’ll still provide great value if you reach for him. Finished in the top 25 without points last season. Great FG% (55%) and solid blocks (1.4).

R6) Kyle Lowry (65) – Scoring (11.6) fell off in Toronto but the rest of his line was similar to his Houston days. An injury risk but he still has potential and he’s in a contract year.

R6) George Hill (59) – Assists aren’t great (4.7) but not many PG options after him. Good threes (1.7) but his great turnovers (1.5) aren’t as valuable in this build.

R6) Tyson Chandler (68) – Top 6 FG% impact last season (64% on 6.1 FGA) and finished 15th last season without points.

R7) Andre Iguodala (70) – His high turnovers don’t matter with this build. Only an option for those punting FT%. The assists (5.4) and steals (1.7) are still there but his FT% (57%) is no longer manageable.

R7) Steve Nash (77) – Hasn’t broken 13.0 PPG since 2010-2011 and his assists will come cheap this year. He should get off to a strong start this season with Kobe out and Dwight in Houston.

R7) Kenneth Faried (86) – Another target if punting FT% (61%). A double-double machine and great FG% (55%). Blocks are mediocre (1.1).

R8) Danny Green (97) – Threes specialist finished in the top 50 without points last season. Only 10.5 PPG last season but still managed 2.2 3PG.

R8) Andre Drummond (95) – Decide early whether or not you punting both points and FT% or just points. Treat Drummond like Dwight. Once you pick him FT% is gone. As is the case with a regular FT% punt, Drummond is a must have if punting points and FT%.

R8) JaVale McGee (96) – The last full season he had without George Karl coaching him (2010-2011) he put up top 10 value without points and FT%. He should hover around 2.5 BPG this season.

R9) Kyle Korver (108) – Finished in the top 20 last season without points. His value comes mostly from threes (2.6) but he doesn’t hurt you anywhere else. He could be in for an even larger role this year with Lou Williams still recovering from a torn ACL.

R9) Shawn Marion (127) – Finished in the top 25 last season without points. Doesn’t stand out anywhere but doesn’t hurt you anywhere either.

R10) Tiago Splitter (109) – Doesn’t score much (10.3) but still has a solid impact on FG% (56% on 7.0 FGA). Issue is that he doesn’t block many shots (0.8).

R10) Andrew Bogut (104) – Golden State is already talking to Bogut about an extension which is another sign that he is finally healthy. A better fit for punt FT% and punt points than just punt points (career 57% FT%), but his FTA is slow low (2.3 FTA in 2011-2012) that he can fit into either build.

R10) Robin Lopez (115) – Doesn’t score much (11.3), has solid FG% impact (53% FG% on 8.8 FGA) and blocks shots (1.6).

R10) Victor Oladipo (133) – Has looked really good in preseason. Wasn’t much of a scorer at Indiana (only 13.6 PPG in his final year), and should provide solid steals and FG%.

R11) Anderson Varejao (119) –  A very good fit for the punt FT% and punt points strategy but he’s only played over 54 games in three of his nine seasons. If you pick him and he starts off hot, sell immediately.

R11) Mario Chalmers (140) – He gets a huge bump without points in the picture. Ideal late round pick due to his threes (1.6) and steals (1.5). His assists (3.5) are low but still higher than most available in this range.

R12) Thabo Sefolosha (163) – A stud in this build (33rd overall without points last season). Good steals (1.3) and threes (1.3) to go along with solid percentages (48% FG% and 83% FT%).

R12) Brandan Wright (197) – Dependent on his health but should return mid-round value without FT% and points. Good source of blocks (1.8 BPG over the final month of the season). Replace with Dalembert if it looks like Wright’s shoulder will keep him out an extended period of time.

R12) Terrence Jones (366) – Huge potential on the defensive end. Over the final month of the season, in only 23 MPG, he averaged 1.1 SPG and 1.9 BPG. If he wins and keeps the Rockets’s starting PF job, he should be useful all season.

R13) Elton Brand (158) – Finished 77th without points last season despite only playing 21 MPG. His minutes should be similar in Atlanta. Good source of cheap blocks (1.3).

R13) John Henson (325) – Should see more minutes this season and put up nice per minute block numbers. Poor FT shooter (53%).

R13) Al-Farouq Aminu (169) – Finished 73rd without points last season. Good source of defensive stats (1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG) and a very good rebounder (7.7 RPG).

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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