Jordan Clarkson drops 33 points as Lakers “Breakaway” from the Pacers on Friday night. Clarkson, “Because of You” Lakers were able to win a game while shooting 14.3% from the free throw line; an NBA record for lowest FT% in a win.  Clarkson was the only Laker to actually make any free throws (2-for-3), while the rest of the team went 0-for-11.  Despite this weird anomaly, the Lakers were able to “Walk Away” with a a victory against a pretty good Pacers team. The Pacers were coming off a back-to-back, but the Lakers have now won five of their last seven after a really rough stretch.

Anyway, here’s what else happened on Friday in Fantasy Hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Somehow, we’re already halfway through the NBA season. You know your team(s). The only major unknowns left are who else will get hurt, who will get shut down, and who will get a big value increase due to those injuries and the shutting down of said teammates. Aside from trying to grab some young guys that might get some extra run down the stretch, what else can you do to increase your odds of winning at this point? Well, staying active and streaming hot players will work wonders. But beyond that, I suggest checking out your team’s standing in each of what I’ll call the forgotten stats. Even the most astute fantasy player is going to be drawn to points, rebounds, assists, and threes out of habit and because of the way that we’re most often presented with stats.

I’m going to update you on the leaders in the boring and unsexy categories of field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals, and blocks (in addition to FG% + FT% and steals + blocks). I’m sure some of you might be much more focused on the % categories than I just mentioned, but I think most players treat them as an afterthought. So, since others are more likely to ignore these forgotten stats, take advantage of that and focus on them if you can stand to gain points there. I think you’ll find that these categories are often led by some lesser names that can be had more cheaply than the points/rebounds/assists stars. Many are even available in most leagues.

Here are your most effective players in order of Basketball Monster’s per-game values (percentages are weighted) by category or combined categories through 1/9.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Kris Dunn- 4-32-2-9-4-0-4. Four steals last night and is second in the league in steals per game behind Paul George. If it wasn’t for his poor FT%, he’d be a top 40 player in fantasy. That being said, the Bulls have been way ahead of schedule, especially since Mirotic has returned. I doubt they’ll make any noise in the East this year, but they have some young pieces in place to do so in the near future.  Zach LaVine’s imminent return may put a damper on Dunn’s numbers, but you have to think he’ll maintain a decent role through the end of the season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy hoops last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Remember Carlos Boozer? He of the lead feet on defense, yelling “HEY!” every time he missed a shot in hopes of getting a foul call? At least that’s my recollection of him during his Bulls years. He actually did play decent enough team defense to not hurt the team much while putting up 15 and 10 many nights with his no-jump fade-away rainbows. Anyway, sometime around the end of his Bulls tenure, I remember finding out that this old man on the decline was younger than me. So, I guess I couldn’t really call these NBA players that were considering retirement “old” any longer. Over the years, I’ve even embraced these guys and found that veteran players can be fantasy steals because of our ageist tendencies. And if you play in a dynasty league, they come even cheaper, of course.

Of course it’s fun to pick, trade for, and add young players right before they break out. We all want upside. But I think a lot of us don’t realize that older, boring players do have upside because of their depressed draft values. Let’s see how the NBA’s advanced age players are doing on the ESPN Player Rater compared to their Average Draft Position. I do this to hopefully show that you can win with old reliable dudes, even if they’re on the decline. You can even take this information to help you figure out who to target in trades for young, upsidey players.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Player Rater is a tool to evaluate the performance of a player with only one number. This is not a perfect tool and will not guarantee victory in fantasy, but this is useful to help improve and evaluate your team.

In each category of scoring, a number is calculated to represent the average total in that category. If a player has the average, his rating in that category is 0.00. The numbers represent how much a player is above or below the average.

If the rating is positive, that player is an above-average fantasy player in that category. If the rating is negative that player is below-average. The sum of all ratings in each category gives us a number (the PR), and then we rank the players accordingly.

I have not included turnovers, as the evaluation in PR is very controversial in my opinion, so if you’re in a league with turnovers, you must keep in mind this.

If you have any question let me know.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Caring is a good thing, right? It allows us to coexist with each other and live emotionally rich and fulfilling lives. I care about my family, so I will venture from my bubble to make sure all is good. I care about this post, so I try my best to deliver content that you enjoy reading. But, sometimes caring too much is a bad thing. If I miss 10 shots in a row, it is counter productive to think about it. The only action is to channel my inner JR Smith or Michael Beasley. I used to care so much about what other people thought, that I ended up living my life for “them.” Why? What about the flip side to caring? Is that always bad? Well, it’s bad if I DGAF (didn’t give a f**k) about stop signs or signals. It’s bad if I DGAF about another soul on the planet. But, sometimes it’s good to DGAF. Back to our example of missing 10 shots in a row. DGAF. Wave arms in air and demand the ball….because that next one is going in. DGAF what other people think. It’s my life. Which brings me to the new spokesman for DGAF, Enes Kanter. Kanter supports a certain political movement (the Hizmet Movement of Fethullah Gülen) that has the leader of Turkey trying to arrest him and caused his family to disown him. DGAF. You are not here for politics schmolitics, though. You are here for hoops. And Kanter DGAF about defense and he certainly DGAF about Joel Embiid and the 76ers because he did this yesterday:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
31 22 1 0 0 2 0 12/21 7/8

11 offensive boards! Kanter now has 14 double-dubs on the season, 12 behind the leader. He will not rack up defensive stats, but that’s not his game. He’s going to score and rebound, which has translated into being a top 50 player so far this season.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Top o’ the morning, Razzballers. It was a battle of the past versus future down in the Garden last night, with the Knicks besting the Thunder. Unfortunately, Kristaps Porzingis sat with a knee injury. Fortunately, Michael Beasley gifted us all a gem of a game in his place, going for 30/5/4/0/2 on 11-for-18 FG (2-for-2 3P, 6-for-7 FT) and only turning it over twice. Beas has put up some nice fantasy lines when given the minutes, but that doesn’t happen too frequently. Next time Porzingis misses time, keep Beas in mind for the stream. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hi folks. I’m going to keep the chit-chat short this week, as this is just a sequel to last week’s punt rankings. Last week, I provided the top 20 players for punt-FT%/FG%/points and some other players that were heavily impacted by removing each of those categories. I also went over the punt-FT% complement players (rated by 3s+assists+steals+points-only). But, I was thinking about how often it’s beneficial to ignore the other categories when making pickups and proposing trades, too. You might be out of contention in a category, or maybe you’re dominating that category to the point that you don’t even need to think about it in future transactions (aside from trading off your surplus). So, let’s look at what happens to per-games season rankings per Basketball Monster when we punt these categories that aren’t often punted intentionally.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One third of the season has already passed…Let that sink in. How time flies when you are doing something you enjoy. Just compare it with the offseason, when basketball fans even try to analyze meaningless exhibition games to feed thier addiction. Now is a great time to reflect on your team and decide your next steps. Are you in a dynasty league and far from competing? Start thinking about rebuilding and trade your veterans for promising younger players. Are you in a redraft league and falling behind in the standings? Make aggressive trades and pickups. It doesn’t matter if you end up last or 8th, it’s all about the championship baby. Is your team comfortably in the playoffs and looking to stay there? Maybe trade some of your immediate production for an injured player to stash for the last portion of the season. Analyzing your team’s direction and reacting accordingly separates the good from the great team owners.  But why should you listen to any of my advice you ask? Because I self-reflect every week on the calls I made last week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?