This season of 50-point games and JaVale McGee relevance is already about 25% complete. How are your teams looking? We should have a pretty good picture of what we can expect from our lineups and most players, so where can we go from here? Let’s get creative. I’ve been talking about how the practice of ignoring categories that aren’t affecting us can give us an advantage (even if we weren’t trying to punt categories), as it presents a market tilted in our favor. Shaking up the values of players and customizing them to our teams is a great way to make some effective trades. Trades that are more likely to get accepted, because they can more easily be win/win deals. Today, I’m going to give a variety of lists of multi-category “punts” to help identify targets that often go undervalued, in addition to those that complement punting teams best.

I’ve gone on and on about how most categories get overlooked. That’s something that can give savvy managers an advantage. The masses, if they aren’t looking closely at player raters and rankings, may essentially be “punting” the ignored categories like steals, for example. As I often mention, I truly think most fantasy managers subconsciously weigh points, rebounds, and assists more heavily than the other stats. It’s understandable, as that’s how most media outlets report stats, but it’s ridiculous to do so in fantasy, as all categories are created equal.

So, first up, here’s a list of some startable players with the biggest jumps in 9-cat per-game value (per Basketball Monster through 11/25) when we ignore Points, Rebounds, and Assists. These 6-category rankings should give us the players that are most undervalued, especially by casual fantasy players. Think of them as the thinking-man’s fantasy all-stars, fittingly led by it’s perpetual mascot.

2 – Robert Covington

5 – JaVale McGee

6 – Justin Holiday

9 – T.J. Warren

10 – Jaren Jackson Jr.

12 – Brook Lopez

16 – Otto Porter

19 – Iman Shumpert

20 – Mitchell Robinson

23 – Wayne Ellington

24 – Danny Green

25 – Jeremy Lamb

So, what do we do with that? These are players that get a ton of their value from categories other than the big three. You can see that there are many specialists in there. Some are blocks guys, some hit lots of threes, and others have a great shooting percentage or two. These players aren’t fits for every team, but I would wager you could get many of them for cheaper than their overall ranking would indicate. See if any of these underappreciated guys would help your team and toss out a low-ball offer or two, especially if you’ve got those other three categories taken care of. Obviously, it’s not wise to focus only on players like this, as you really would be punting points, rebounds, and assists.

 

Next, just a quick exercise exposing some targets if you find yourself low in some of these categories that often get ignored. If you’re below average in both percentages or just want to get sneaky good at them, here are some targets for you. These are the players whose value increases bump them up the most and right to the top when we isolate only Field Goal Percentage and Free Throw Percentage. So, these are 2-category rankings.

3 – Deandre Ayton

5 – Pascal Siakam

6 – Domantas Sabonis

10 – Malcolm Brogdon

13 – Cody Zeller

14 – Jonas Valanciunas

19 – Enes Kanter

21 – Bojan Bogdanovic

Similarly, here are the players that make the biggest jumps to the top when we look at only Steals plus Blocks, which I think would help a lot of teams.

2 – Robert Covington

3 – JaVale McGee

6 – Hassan Whiteside

7 – John Wall

9 – Jaren Jackson Jr.

12 – Montrezl Harrell

15 – Draymond Green

16 – Myles Turner

20 – Mitchell Robinson

(Corey Sipkin/Freelance).

 

Alright, now onto those of you that intentionally punted a percentage. If you punted FT%, you likely have a bunch of behemoths that have you at or near the top in FG%, blocks, and rebounds. I think a lot of people overlook the fact that they should also be focusing on the other five categories with their other players. Forget loading up your entire team with bad FT% players. Here are the high risers in the rankings for Points + Threes + Assists + Steals + Turnovers. Players like these compliment your punt FT% guys and are just as important to your team build as those Dwight Howard types.

6 – Chris Paul

10 – Russell Westbrook

11 – Victor Oladipo

12 – John Wall

13 – Mike Conley

22 – Tim Hardaway Jr.

23 – Donovan Mitchell

26 – D’Angelo Russell

32 – Evan Fournier

33 – Andrew Wiggins

And here’s the same thing for FG% punt teams. You’re likely doing very well in FT%, assists, and steals. So, here are your complimentary players. I give you the leapers in Points + Threes + Rebounds + Blocks + Turnovers.

3 – Hassan Whiteside

4 – Nikola Mirotic

6 – Andre Drummond

14 – Brook Lopez

31 – Myles Turner

 

This week’s classic fantasy line:

I’ve sung the praises of my favorite classic steals & blocks guys many times, so I’ll choose someone that’s not Hakeem Olajuwon, Andrei Kirilenko, Gerald Wallace, or Ben Wallace today. I’ll just go with six-time MVP and all-time scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Check out those big-man steals and league-leading blocks… oh, and league-leading rebounds.

  1. JC says:
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    Great stuff! Trying to get RobCo or Javale for weeks now. No luck. 12 teamer, H2H. With this squad would you punt blocks and try to trade Carter Jr? Or shore up blocks with a guy like Allen? Ideas welcomed! Barton coming off IR so thinking a solid two fer one. My squad:

    Carter, Ibaka, Draymond
    Tobias, OPJ, Siakam, Fournier, Saric (ugh), Mirotic
    Kemba, Harden, Bledsoe, G Harris, Barea
    IR: Barton

    • Tad

      Tad says:
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      @JC: Thanks a lot. Great team! You’re dominant in points, 3s, assists, steals, and ft%. You’re close to even in fg% and rebs with a little room to make up in blocks and TOs, but not so much that you can’t win those a few weeks. 3s and ft% are where you have the biggest surplus (Not even including Barton, who has the same strengths), so guys that are strong in those could be sent out for a big man and that could have you on the path to dominance. I think that’s the way to build a team that should win 7 or 8 categories a week rather than punting.

      • JC says:
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        @Tad:

        Very helpful. Thank you.

        Myles and Millsap are available. Both owners drive hard bargains. Is Bledsoe too much for one of them? Other ideas?

        • Tad

          Tad says:
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          @JC: I’d prefer to keep Bledsoe in that case.

  2. pattymillsismyhomeboy says:
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    Thoughts on targets if I try to sell high on Justin Holiday?

    I don’t think I could get Covington but maybe someone like Hayward or LeVert, Warren, Sexton?

    • Tad

      Tad says:
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      @pattymillsismyhomeboy: Good thinking. It’s time to get what you can for him. I love LeVert, but I don’t think I’d mess with him this year (keeper league? definitely). Those other three, yes. Maybe start with Warren, as in not sure Hayward gets actin better, and sexton could lose a handful of minutes to Hill. But both of them over Holiday, I think, for the rest of the season. Who else might managers be sick of that should bounce back? Otto, Myles Turner? I think you’re in the right track. Good luck.

  3. JC says:
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    My OPJ for his Millsap? My roster is above. Thoughts?

    • Tad

      Tad says:
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      @JC: that might be the way to go. Who knows if Otto will get back to last year’s numbers, and you’d make a little jump in blocks.

      • JC says:
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        @Tad:

        He countered with Millsap and Jaylen for my Draymond. So that is dead.
        Russ owner likes Porter and Kemba. Would you trade those two for Westbrook?

        • Tad

          Tad says:
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          @JC: Russ is tough to stomach with that fg%, ft%, and TO rate. Kemba is the kind of guy you could spare based on your strengths, but if shoot for a big man, since that should help you everywhere you need it.

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