Thursday, December 27, 2012

Well Rounded Fantasy Basketball Stat Stuffers

In fantasy basketball it's extremely important to draft players who are well rounded, so that you give yourself the chance to win as many categories as possible. In reality, very few players actually help your team in all eight categories. In this article, with the help of ESPN's player rater (sorted by 2013 averages), we will look at some of those well rounded stars.

An average player would post the following stats: 7.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.6 3PTs with percentages of 44% FG and 75% FT. This player would not help you in fantasy leagues, but wouldn't hurt you either. To be a well rounded fantasy basketball player, you must perform better than average in each of those eight categories.

Last season, only 6 players accomplished this feat for the whole season: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Rudy Gay, Gerald Wallace, Gordon Hayward, Brandon Rush.

This season, even fewer players have been able to provide a positive impact in all eight categories:

Kevin Durant - I bet every single one of you would have been able to guess that Durant would on this list. He is far and away the best player so far in fantasy basketball; averaging 28.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.6 3PT with percentages of 52.1% and 90% from the field and line. At only 24 years old, he may still be improving (he's averaging career highs in FG %, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) so expect him to remain on this list for years to come.

James Harden - After the trade to Houston, I expected Harden to struggle much more with his shot due to all the defensive pressure. However, Harden has been shooting almost 45% from the field to go along with his elite scoring, and his all-around fantasy game. As a result, he's been the 4th best player in fantasy basketball thus far, and is actually improving as the season goes on.

Kevin Durant and James Harden: Two fantasy basketball players that help owners in all eight categories
Carmelo Anthony - Melo has gotten a reputation for being just a scorer, but aside from his low blocks totals and sometimes questionable FG% he's always been a well-rounded fantasy star. This year, he's shooting 47.3% and considering he shoots more than 20 times per game that makes a big difference in your team's FG%. Since he's shooting 6 3PTs per game, and hitting 43.4% (his highest percentage of his career) expect that his FG% will decline a little. Regardless, Melo's play is MVP caliber and he's extremely valuable in fantasy leagues (when healthy; he's dealing with a knee injury right now).

Near Misses
There are many other players than have been extremely valuable in fantasy leagues because of their well-rounded games but are not yet contributors in all eight categories. Let's look at some of those near misses:

Kyrie Irving (average blocks) - Last year's Rookie of the Year award winner has been even better this season, shooting almost 3.5 more shots per game while still maintaining his good FG%. Most casual fantasy players probably don't realize how good Kyrie has been considering that he missed close to a month of action and therefore, sits only 23rd among PGs for the season. However, when sorted by averages, you can see that when active he's been the 16th best player in fantasy!

Kyrie Irving just needs to add a few more blocks to be able to help you in all eight categories
O.J. Mayo (average blocks) - Mayo was discussed last month as a sell high based on Dirk's impending return and his unsustainable FG%. His FG% dropped by 3% from November to December (49% to 46%) but he's actually been even more well rounded in that span by increasing his rebounding, assists and steals. I expect Dirk's return to mean a further decline in Mayo's scoring, but considering the PG situation in Dallas, Mayo will be continue to be a focal point in the offense and as a result, will be a great help for your fantasy team. 

Jason Kidd (average FG%) - One of the biggest surprises on this list for me was the inclusion of Kidd. At 39 years old, this former fantasy stud was thought to be done but he has evolved his game. He's always been an elite assists/steals guy, and a great rebounder for a PG, but this season he is shooting the second highest FG% of his career (43%, career 40% shooter) and knocking down a career high 2.2 three-pointer per game. Kidd is about to get a lot more valuable, as he will be leading the offense since Raymond Felton was ruled out for the next 4-6 weeks with a fractured pinkie. He's somehow available still in 17% of ESPN leagues; if yours is one of them, stop reading this and pick him up ASAP, he'll be a top 10 PG for as long as Felton is out.

Jason Kidd has been quickly helping fantasy owners in almost every category, and will be a stud with Felton sidelined

Evan Turner (average blocks) - This former 2nd overall pick has taken a major step forward in his third NBA season. He is getting many more minutes this season, but he is also improving; averaging career highs in scoring rate and assist rate. The biggest addition to his game is that he's started hitting threes (0.8 per game after only 0.2 for his first two seasons). He still doesn't get to the line enough or rack up steals and blocks to be a top fantasy option, but at only 24 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him and is a great target in keeper leagues as he will continue to improve.

DeMar DeRozan (average blocks, 3PT) - Let's get something straight, DeRozan is by no means a "well-rounded fantasy basketball player" but the numbers dont lie, he's been slightly above average or average in all 8 categories. Watching DeRozan for years up close in Toronto, I've always been frustrated as to how pathetic he has been in the hustle stats (blocks, steals, rebounds) considering his massive athleticism. However, he has definitely improved this season averaging career highs in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and threes. Regardless, DeRozan is still only the 90th best player in fantasy (sorted by averages), but DeRozan is no longer just a scorer.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed the article!

Some other well rounded players: Paul Pierce, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Jeremy Lin, Tyreke Evans, Andrei Kirilenko, Matt Barnes, Danny Green, Kyle Kover, Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Dunleavy

1 comment:

sojon kumar said...

Really this article contains huge amount of information. I think it would be helpful for all. Thank you for sharing with us.
fantasy basketball leagues.

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