Hope everyone’s week is going well.  No grid this week and instead I want to focus on the opposing bench players.


Let’s face it, in a standard league, most of the available players in the FA pool are unlikely to be starters.  For fantasy purposes, that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to categories that your team need to defend or categories that your team can unexpectedly win.


OK, OK it’s still a grid.  Data is from Hoopstats.com and basically it shows how the opposing benches fair against the listed teams across multiple categories.  I’ll jump right into the summary points:

If you watched the movie “The Benchwarmers”, TOR is basically what the sun is for Howie when it comes to opposing bench players.

If you’re looking at bench player towards the end of the week for some help and that player’s team faces TOR at least once, you might be disappointed at the results.  The stats say you should avoid a player whose team plays TOR if you’re looking for some help in PTS, REB, AST and STLs.  The opposing bench does shoot at a decent clip from beyond the arc so if needing some 3s, it’s the not worst team to target.

For PTS:

Opposing teams to target: BKN, IND, GSW, POR, CHI, UTA

Opposing teams to avoid: TOR, ATL, MIA, MIL

For REB:

Opposing teams to target: BKN, IND, GSW, NOR

Opposing teams to avoid: SAS, TOR, LAL, HOU

I was surprised to see HOU on this list with the type of game that team does but I dug a little deeper and it turns out the the HOU bench is shooting 48% from the field, 2nd in the league.

If somehow Greg Monroe or John Henson is floating around the wire and you need REB help, BKN is @MIL on Saturday. P.J. Tucker is another potential target for REBs vs GSW on Saturday as well

For AST:

Opposing teams to target: BKN, CHA, GSW, IND

Opposing teams to avoid: NYK, TOR

For STL:

Opposing teams to target: BKN, IND, HOU, NOR, WAS

Opposing teams to avoid: CHI, CLE, MIA, PHX, TOR, UTA

If you’re looking for an above average STLs total from Thabo Sefalosha, you might want to look for an alternative as ATL will be up against TOR on Saturday.

For BLK:

Opposing teams to target: IND, MEM

Opposing teams to avoid: GSW, DAL

IND plays the LAC on Sunday and while Marreese Speights isn’t known as a blocking big man, he did have a 3 BLK night vs BKN earlier this season.  Since IND is also a team to target for REBs and PTs, Speights could be a nice multi cat stream.

For TOs:

Opposing teams to target: ATL, CLE, MIN, NOR

Opposing teams to avoid: SAC, SAC, UTA, WAS

I wanted to keep some uniformity in the format but in reality, no one targets (or at least no one should) an FA/Waiver wire pickup purely to minimize TO risk.  Basically, this is best used as a filter when choosing between more than 1 player to add and where TO is still up for grabs.

For 3s:

Opposing teams to target: WAS, UTA

Opposing teams to avoid: LAC, SAC, BKN

Ideally, I wanted to see low attempts and low 3PT% for teams to avoid and high attempts and good to high 3PT% for teams to target.  Only LAC and WAS fit that criteria respectively.

WAS plays @SAS on Friday and Patty Mills could have a big night for 3s with or without a Tony Parker DNP.


I’ve said it before but I wanted to mention it again, the sample size is still small.  In addition, there have been numerous key injuries that have affected rotations and in turn will affect the interpretation of the data above.  Lastly, there is always the qualitative aspect of data and statistics.  BKN and IND might be great targets for scoring and rebounds but if the only available players whose team is playing against those are players that play 10 minutes or worse will hurt you in another category or 2, then it doesn’t make sense to add that player despite what that quantitative aspect says.

Good luck to choosing the player you think will be a difference maker for this week’s matchups.  Catch everyone next week!

  1. Dusty says:

    Great article. Never seen stats vs. bench before!

    • JG

      JG says:

      @Dusty: Thanks! Yeah many interesting data tidbits out there.

  2. Lasandro says:

    Awesome stuff man!

    • JG

      JG says:

      @Lasandro: Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Tyler says:

    Hey JG, would love to hear your thoughts man.

    1.) is it time to give up on Mirotic? Do you think he can turn it around? I also have DJA at the end of my bench. Should i just stream both spots?

    2.) also, metrics really love PatPat. You see him keeping it up ROS? 2seasons ago he finished top 90 i believe. Seems like a DannyGreen / PBev metrics player. Have Kaminsky and Jamychal at the end of my bench to swap

    3.) Punt FT 10teamer, should i drop Payton for Markieff, Marcus Morris, AGordon, Smart, Covington, Jr Smith, Kaminsky, Jahlil, Mills, Beverly, PatPat, Jamychal.. Have Lin and Parsons in IR and Warren also inj. I like to keep these 3 as they have higher ceilings.

  4. JG

    JG says:

    1) Depends on how deep your league is. I mean if you’re looking for 3s, there’s likely other options out there. 3s and rebs, there are less but there are still at least 1-2 guys there I think in standard leagues although the upside volume in 3s are likely less (thinking Frye and Leuer). But yeah, Hoiberg’s leash on Mirotic is just way too short.

    2) I was never a PatPat (or 2Pat) fan but if you think JV’s mins continue to stay where they are (I seriously have no clue wrt to Casey’s rotation) then I think he’s viable. ROS, outside of injuries, I’m a cynic. I’d much rather have Tank and Jamychal (at least see what he does when Zbo gets back) ROS.

    3) How will your assists hold up if Payton is let go? If it can hold, either of the Morris twins. For now, Marcus but RJ is playing later I think so maybe see how he affects production of starters not named Drummond for a few games.

    • Tyler says:

      @JG: Thanks JG!
      Would you rather have Mirotic or Danny Green? Haha Tough choice.

      Also, JRich got dropped in one of my 12ers. Should I drop either Kaminsky or Jamychal for more long term outlook, or just stay put?

      Appreciate it.

      • JG

        JG says:

        @Tyler: Gosh, Miro vs Green–can I say pass?Haha
        I’m assuming your looking for some 3s and rebs or defensive cats. I’d rather go with Roberson until he becomes not worth holding assuming your league has wkly moves. He won’t give you the volume potential on the 3s but he’s more steady on the defensive cats I think.

        For the long term outlook, I like Kaminsky a smidge higher than JRich. However, 2 major factors in play that can tilt this easily the other way-Marvin Williams’ play when he gets back and little more less likely but if Riley says, this team ain’t good enough for the playoffs and trade Dragic away. Both factors obviously point to JRich having the edge so weigh the likelihood of each accordingly.

        I’m with JB re JGreen so for ROS, have him at bottom of that group.


        • Tyler says:

          @JG: more so on looking for ros potential re: green and mirotic. Unfortunately roberson is already gone.

          Other avail players:
          Ellington(waivers), rodriguez(waivers), noguiera, dekker, tucker, aminu, toney douglas, rhj, hardaway, courtney lee, joseph, evan turner, meeks, snell

          • Tyler says:

            @Tyler: marvin williams is available as well but already using both IR slots with GHill, Zbo, and Tyreke.

            • Tyler says:

              @Tyler: saric is also on the wire

              • JG

                JG says:

                @Tyler: I like Saric just to see if something comes out of his off the bench role with Sixers wanting to play 2 bigs.

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