It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that life is just one big competition.  Like when JB thought he would oppose me for class president back in our days at Fantasy U.  I took pride in wearing the crown for FU and it was well known that I would even acknowledge the little people whilst being carried on the backs of peasants towards my concubines.  But for our senior year my court jester, JB the ‘Dang that dude’s tall’, threw off his now infamous pink spandex jump suit and opposed me with a platform of categorical equality and unbiased views of all things not from the Isle of Duke.  I accepted the competition from this usurper and attacked his ideology with every bit of fuzzy math I could muster.  To this day I still don’t understand why he was chosen to be our ruler or whatever he calls it.  Oh that’s right, he calls it ‘editor’.  Whatever that is, does it come with a gold crown and scepter?  I didn’t think so.

As I sit here now in my old wooden rocking chair, puffing on my meerschaum, and reminiscing with you of a time nearly forgotten I feel the desire, nay the obligation to oppose our master’s completely reasonable views.  I hereby vow to you that I will NOT go into any of these posts with an open mind.  I will be blindly biased and I will always know the outcome before I write a single word.  For you, this I can promise.

First on the docket is DeMar DeRozan vs Gordan Hayward. For this comparison I would like to consider it in a league of 12 teams, 9-Cat, and H2H.  They are both young wings and universally considered top 75 fantasy players after breakout seasons.  Enough already, get to it.  What?  Who said that?  OK Mr. disembodied voice, here it is.  DeRozan vs Hayward by category and quit pushing me with your disembodied hand it’s freaking me out, but I kind of like it.  OK, Don’t stop.


For their careers, both DeRozan and Hayward’s FG% have steadily been on the decline. With DeRozan bottoming out at 42.9% on 17.8 shots per game and Hayward at 41.3% on 13.4 ShPG. Since DeRozan nearly doubled his 3s attempted the decline was predictable but unpredictably DeRozan also saw a decline in 2-pt% in a year he set a career high in scoring. Hayward on the other hand saw a sharp 2nd half increase from 40% in the first half to 43.3% in the second half which is nearly identical to his previous years average.

As I try to predict next years outcome as everything stands today I would pencil down both to have a FG% right at 43%. However I would then give the slight edge to Hayward in this match-up due to less FG% killing attempts which is significant at about 4.5 per game.


They both shoot about 82%, the difference is that DeRozan set a career high with 8.0 FT attempts per game versus Haywards career high 4.9. In an average week that comes to about an extra 9-for-11 from the stripe for a team with DeRozan on it vs a team with Hayward on it if everything else is even.

They should do about the same next year right? Sure, and the edge goes the DeRozan for his extra attempts. I would however argue that I believe this has less of an impact on winning, or losing, the category than the difference in FG% does.


Hayward had a massive decline in 3pt% compared to his career average and at 30.5% was nearly identical to DeRozans career high. The difference turned out to be only 0.3 made per game, or about 1 per week in Hayward’s favor.

Even at a now career 3pt% at the NBA norm of 36% I would figure Hayward for 1.5 3PTM with an extra 0.5 an attempt per game due to renewed confidence from last years career low percent. In the second half of the year DeRozan regressed in 3pt% to 26.8%, around his career average. In doing so he took less and made only 0.5 per game, unfortunately it didn’t come with an increase in FG%. This is where I would predict DeRozan for next year and at nearly a full 3PTM per game Hayward takes this category handily.


DeRozan at 22.7 vs Hayward at 16.2 is a big difference. That’s 6.5 PPG if you’re counting with me at home.

I can’t imagine DeRozan can increase his opportunities as the younger players continue to improve. Hayward could see a small increase with a return to his more efficient ways and I would feel comfortable predicting his points to be around 18 per game. Obviously DeRozan wins easily.


Career highs for both with DeRozan at 4.3 per game and Hayward at 5.1.

I don’t see either improving on this next year and there’s no reason to believe either declines. The difference between the two favors Hayward by about a board per game and that barely makes it a blip on my radar.


Career highs again for both with DeRozan at 4.0 and Hayward at a near point guard level 5.2 per game. Did Trey Burke’s return hurt Hayward? Hayward put up 0.5 an assist more in the 2nd half of the year, so not at all.

Both should be able to repeat these assist numbers next year. Obviously this one goes to Hayward and one of my favorite things about his game is all these out of position assists. And while it looks about the same difference as the rebounds I put much more value on assists since they are more difficult to come by.


Career highs is the name of the game again. 1.1 per game from DeRozan and a surprising 1.4 from Hayward. In the second half Hayward maintained his 1.4 steals per game while DeRozan fell back to his career average 0.9.

Predicting a 10th point of a steal isn’t exactly an exact science but I feel pretty comfortable with predicting 0.9 for DeRozan and 1.4 for Hayward. This 0.5 a steal difference to me is a big one. One of the most important aspects of a wing player for our fantasy team is steals and this 0.5 a difference for me is equal to the difference in points between these two.


Do you really care? Hayward at 0.5 which is on par for his career and 0.4 for DeRozan which is also about his career average.

Hayward is a tick better. Always has been and probably will be again next year.


Career highs for both. It goes without saying though with the increased role for both. DeRozan with 2.2 per game, Hayward with 2.8. Since Hayward has the extra 1.2 assists it makes sense he would have an extra 0.6 turnovers.

I would think each should see incremental improvement. 2.0 for DeRozan, 2.6 for Hayward. DeRozan takes turnovers! Spread the word! I guess it is meaningful though, about 2 per week.

In Conclusion

So a very early side-by-side prediction would look something like this:

Hayward .430/.820/1.5/18.0/5.0/5.0/1.4/0.5/2.6

DeRozan .430/.820/0.5/23.0/4.0/4.0/0.9/0.4/2.0

FG% and FT% I will concede to be a collective push but still I think it slightly favors Hayward.

DeRozan takes Points and Turnovers.

Hayward takes 3PTM, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks.

It’s the 5th round of the draft in our fake 12er, H2H, 9-cat. I’m forced to make a decision, do I take Gordon Hayward or DeMar DeRozan? Is there going to be a scenario in which I say to my self, “self, do you need those points so bad that you’ll take it at the cost of every other category but a couple of turnovers?” No, it won’t. If I’m left with the choice between these 2 then 10 times out of 10 I’m taking Hayward.

  1. J-MoneyIV says:

    Nice write up Slim. I hope this is the start of series you guys will be doing this off season. I am a fan of player comparison pieces.

    Also want to take the time to thank you guys for your work on the basketball side of Razzball. Helped me win my first championship this year.

    • Slim

      Slim says:

      @J-MoneyIV: This one just kind of fell into my lap but I like the player vs player comparisons too. Choosing between two “similar” players is what the draft is all about. I’m not sure who’s going to be next. I’m always open to ideas though.

      I’m glad I could help, championships are what we play for after all. I think JB is getting tired of hearing about my REL win, but I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy my 4-5 months as champion and he’s going to know it!

  2. A Hill O' Beans says:

    “I hereby vow to you that I will NOT go into any of these posts with an open mind. I will be blindly biased and I will always know the outcome before I write a single word. For you, this I can promise.”

    Love it Slim, ha!

    Solid post. Of course I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I’m sure that’s not a surprise. I’ll save you the same argument we’ve already had a couple of times. And, I’ll second the “I’d like to see more of these player comparisons” comment.

    • Slim

      Slim says:

      @A Hill O’ Beans: I had a lot of fun with this one. But you know… I think I thrive off people not agreeing with me. If you hadn’t disagreed then this post probably never would have happened. And of course there’s no scientific method for predicting this kind of stuff, I just cherry pick a few stats, throw a few darts at the wall, and hope it turns out close. OK, maybe not quite that simple but still, it’s far from “scientific”.

      I have a few more ideas for players to compare. Anyone outside the top 100 will be impossible to predict this early but all the top 50 guys should be more or less established. Oh and like I said to the guy above, I’m always open to ideas if there’s a couple of guys you have in mind.

      • Tim says:

        @Slim: @Slim: I would like to see see comparison between Chandler Parsons, Kawhi Leonard and thaddeus young. I imagine thaddeus will go higher than he should, based on his scoring numbers and Kawhi will go lower for the same reason. As always, entertaining and informative post. It’s been fun to watch your prose develop over the year and your number crunching has always been on point (except for PBev).

        • Slim

          Slim says:

          @Tim: A 3-way comparison? Sounds difficult. Fortunately though I already know who’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I’ll give you a little spoiler… I don’t think Thaddeus should be in the same conversation as the other 2, and I very much expect a decline from last years numbers as the 76ers get a huge boost in talent with a high draft pick, the return of Noel, and the maturation of MCW. Then there’s the very real chance that he gets traded to a contender and really takes a hit. I like Thaddeus but I can’t imagine he will fall to where I think he deserves to be drafted.

          Why you gotta hate on PBev? So maybe I got a little googly-eyed with the 3/steal/block potential but he still finished ranked 69 by Yahoo in per game averages, and that was with performing poorly. Sigh… I know I’m going to like him again next year.

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