Let me start by saying this: do not go into a draft planning on building a punt FT (or punt anything for that matter) team. Never. Don’t. You aren’t being smarter than everybody else. You’re playing yourself. Unless you’re a late draft pick in a 36-team league, it’s probably not gonna work for you.
Also, never decide to build a punt FT team just because a punt FT guy falls a bit. I made this mistake last year and took Drummond in one of my leagues, after having Davis and Porzingis already on my roster. My thought process was, “I can definitely make some trades to make this work.” I did get Gobert, which helped, but throwing away a category to get better at stats your fantasy team already generates is, not only inefficient, it’s frustrating.
On top of this, do not draft guys when building a punt FT team just because they’re bad at free throws. I can not stress this enough. The point of drafting is to build a team that can win as many categories for you as possible, not to see how bad you can lose one. It’s comical how often people (myself included) try to see how bad they can get their FT percentage, thinking that they’re outplaying everyone else. You guys think this article is for you, it’s actually for me. I’m just trying to hold myself accountable when I’m drafting.
So when do you build a punt FT team? The simple answer is: when it helps you. What I’m hoping this article does is give you some scenarios when building a punt FT team makes sense. If you’re stubborn and are gonna go ahead and build one anyway, I’ll also give some advice on how to round out your team.
Wait, I forgot the most important piece of information you’ll see in this article. How the hell are there NBA players shooting less than 50% from the FT line? Seriously. I can’t wrap my head around it. That’s like an illiterate writer. That’s like a runner that can’t walk. That’s like the restaurant I used to work at who’s name was Burger’s etc. and stopped selling burgers. So many confused customers, just like there must be so many confused NBA fans.
On Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, the New York Knicks agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The assets that New York received were Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick (via the Chicago Bulls). On July 6th, 2017, the Indiana Pacers agreed to trade Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis. So, the Thunder acquired 10-time All-Star Melo and four-time All-Star PG13 for Kanter, McBuckets, Oladipo, Sabonis, and a second-round pick. Holla Holla.
Sam Hinkie receives much adulation for his Manifesto and #TTP, but General Manager Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder needs to be shown the same amount of love. How many GMs would’ve crumbled after losing a Kevin Durant? Granted, he traded away James Harden back in the day, but you can’t win them all. Presti is the guy at the poker table that is the aggressive maniac. He doesn’t sit at the table meekly waiting for a good hand. He’s betting and folding, but never checking. Will the moves work? No idea, but here’s the thing…at least he’s giving his team a chance. And….he’s all-in baby for 2017. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Presti Manifesti.
This is the best time of the year. Baseball is going to get real soon, pigskins are being thrown around, it’s the eye of the WNBA season, and my rankings start flowing out. I also forgot that my kids go back to school soon. I love my kids and all, but they need to start getting edumacated again. You scoff at the WNBA mention? I admit, I was not a fan in the early days, but those ladies got skills. In addition, they play beautiful basketball and the offensive sets that they run are poetry.
Since August 1st happened to be on a Tuesday, I’ll release rankings every Tuesday from here on out. Can one be semi-OCD? That’s an oxymoron right? Maybe I’m just a moron. Anyways, I get a little particular about things, like it would’ve bothered me if I started this whole endeavor on Monday the 31st. I know. I know. I’ve got issues, but lucky for you, the subscription is free!
Ok, before I begin, shit happens. As a result, I’ll put out a Top 200 list in early October that will highlight any player movement that happens over the next few months.
A big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and his thoughts and opinions on many players.
Whoa, how weird is that?! “2017-18 Fantasy Basketball”?!?! Already?! Well, as what typically happens with postseason fantasy hoops disappointments for me, I’m ready to again turn the page. Gonna get nothing but titles next year, wooooo! I’m gonna be like UCLA in the 60s-70s. Plenty of white players on those teams, right LaVar Ball!? Oh shizz, yeah let’s get straight to the inappropriate right off the bat for 2017-18!
As tradition, we’re kicking off our Way Too Early Ranks for 17-18 on the last day of the 16-17 season, passing the torch to next year on a hot handoff, but not hot enough to knock the baton out of someone’s hands. Ish ain’t allowed! Also, I should be disallowed from ranking Chandler Parsons, amiright?! Thanks again to everyone reading through the season, and let’s get some early rankings on! Here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:
Razzball Nation! For most of us H2Hers the season is over, but we’ve still got Roto wrapping up and some ill-conceived H2H finals pressing through, so I wanted to take a quick look at some Daily Notes over the last stretch of action. Really the only reason it would be fun to still have games matter is if you own superstars on teams vying for the 7th or 8th seed. Enter Omen, stage left!
Damian Lillard showed Utah why he really hates jazz music, going 59/6/5/1/0, and somehow dropping that kind of line without a TO. Hit 9 triples and 14-16 FT, on his way to a career and franchise high… It’s a horror film watching him slice up oppo D’s! Career-highs in FG%, FT%, scoring, and he’s dropped his TO rate from 3.2 last year back down to 2.6. Funny how no one complains about his sub-1.0 STL rate though, unlike Dennis Schroder! But when you’re hitting 3 treys a game at almost 45% from the field, you get a pass! What a year from “Baby”, as he plays his way into a clear early-to-mid second rounder for drafts in 2017-18. Can’t wait to unveil some ranks! Tomorrow we’ll have the Razzies Presentation (if you haven’t voted yet – vote now!), then Wednesday my 2017-18 Top 10. Fantasy never sleeps over here on hoops! Here’s what else went down over the past week in fantasy basketball action:
The H2H season is in the books! Well, at least if you did a standard format, ain’t no reason to play out games the final week-and-a-half! People getting sat with hangnails! Even James Harden missed a game… Say it ain’t so!
Quick scheduling note for this week. Tomorrow we’ll announce the RCL winner, then Wednesday unveil the REL champ with their gold jersey. We’ll catch up with the Pod either Wednesday or Thursday and some daily notes by the end of the week for you Roto-ers still trucking through to the finish line, and then start up the Way Too Early Ranks for 2017-18! That’s what I’m excited about. Mostly just to never see Chandler Parsons in my ranks ever again…
So who were some unlikely heroes over the championship week? How about stupid, no good, can’t-take-a-shower-without-breaking-his-wrist Rajon Rondo just running game, and knocking me out of my one title-contending RCL. What a joke…. 10/9/9/3/0 last night against the Pels, giving him a 42/29/30/8/1 line over the Thur/Sat/Sun 3-games-in-4 nights stream if you used him in the Finals. Who woulda thought my death knell would’ve been made by Rondo… Eh well, baseball is here at least! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
It’s been a while since the East has boasted a better division than the West, but even when you spot a lowly East team a big lead on a West team, nothing is safe! Russell Westbrook just went insane (I would too if the Magic were beating my playoff bound team!) in the OKC comeback charge, turning around a 21-point deficit during the second half on his way to a 57/13/11/3/0 line. He shot 21-40 from the field with 6 treys, just willing OKC to the W after this dramatic 3 to get it into OT.
Good thing Nikola Vucevic can’t hit his FT! Westbrook took the missed freebie board, and no Magic was gonna stop him… Take that, Voldemort! It’s come to pass as just the norm, but at 31.8/10.6/10.4, it looks like Westbrook is going to easily average the tripdub, something I really didn’t think we’d ever see again. Hopefully you built your team around his deficiencies fairly well, because man he’s tough to beat if you can slaughter the right cats. Westy is your besty! What an unbelievable season, Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Your left eyebrow is connected to the… right eyebrow!
Damn, teams who took the plunge and drafted Anthony Davis are getting rewarded for their brazenness, that’s for sure! My only RCL team left standing is my Brow squad, and I actually somehow think it’s the first time I’ve ever owned Brow… Maybe I had a share or two his rookie year, but despite always championing him, never got him anywhere with early picks. Anywho, monster 36/17/3/3/3 line for a 1.5 rainbow, giving him 3 straight 30/15 games. Who wants a unibrow ride?! They should totally make a “Unibrow Ride, $0.25” shirt. Screw that, I’m gonna! Razzball store, it’s time for me to make some new products!
Who’s with me and wants to buy those?! Let’s launch a kickstrarter! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
So this is going to be the lamest open ever, but I sustained a blogging injury! Wife wanted me to make this crockpot chicken marsala recipe, which as you guessed, calls for marsala wine. She buys this cheap bottle at the grocery store, and it’s such a shitty product, the lid of the bottle won’t separate from that little connector part at the bottom. Obviously I’m a straight MacGyver with these things, so my first thought is to get a small kitchen knife to try and pry the main part of the bottle top off. I even said to myself, “this is probably going to end badly…” And aha! The knife shoots into my finger and I bleed everywhere like a moron. But the good news is a pair of pliers finally got the job done! Little bitch, you bottle of chicken marsala wine, you…
And you probably felt the same way as me hovering over a cheap bottle of wine with a knife if you started Nikola Mirotic last night. “I think I’ve made a huge mistake!” However, with Robin Lopez suspended and Cristiano Felicio out with a sore back-io, the Bulls were down a few on their front line (mainly calling for Bobby Portis to play C), so Miro was sure to get some run even if he was playing like a zero (no Gilbert Arenas – 0 is the number of guns you should have in your locker!). But eureka!
28/5/2/3/1 for Miro last night, on 12-15 shooting with 4 treys. I also wanna mention that Googling “Youtube Mirotic” had me find some sort of Kpop album, which has me think a future nickname or Podcast sounder has to come from this… Anyway, the top 7 in the Bulls rotation actually looked really, really good despite no Wade and no big men, while Tom Petty croons about the Pistons… Free fallin’! Miro has been one of the most inconsistent players in fantasy this year, so with Rolo due back Friday, I still wouldn’t go too nuts to add Miro. Tomorrow against the Sixers still might be worth the upside ThrAGNOF stream though, even if it feels as risky as jabbing plastic with a kitchen knife… Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:
What a way to kick off the week! Well, that is, if you own Rudy Gobert! Monsieur Elbow says “No!” And “Oui, I own l’paint!” Absolutely monstrous 16/14/3/0/8 last night against the Pacers, hitting 7-12 from the field with only 1 TO.
So much swattage! His 13 blocks the last 2 games now gives him a 13.2/12.8/1.2/0.7/2.6 slash on the year, hitting 65% from the field. Oddly 65.5% from the stripe too! Which isn’t good, but not a punt either. BB Monster has him 20th overall in per game stats, and 12th in total. Absolutely insane draft day value, but it really grinds my gears he’s doing this this year, and not in 2015-16! Had him 11th and well above consensus, just one year too early – stupid FIBA wore him down. Focus on the NBA, you Frenchy! Oh shit, now he’s gonna hunt me with one of those elbows, NOOOOOO!!! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action: