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Players to Target When Punting FG% in Fantasy Basketball Drafts

By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Aaron Gordon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

When adopting punting strategies, fantasy owners need to remember that the point of punting is to maximize the value of their players, not to explicitly throw away a few categories. Punting FG% could be a widely used strategy this season, as first round staples James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Paul George will shoot under 45%. Owners punting FG% will find that high volume guards will fit their plans, adding FT%, points, threes and assists. However, these guards will only add to the turnover issues that Harden and Westbrook present. If owners want to avoid punting two categories, they need to be careful when loading up on high usage guards.

One player I like for this strategy is Robert Covington, who was discussed in the Undervalued Forwards article last week. His contributions in three pointers (2.5 3PG), reboounds (6.2 RPG) and steals (1.6) will boost his value well above his ADP if his horrid FG% is ignored. Here are three other players that owners should look to draft if punting FG%.

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How to Punt FG% and Still Win Your Drafts

Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

Current ADP: 48

Rubio seems to have been tailor-made for this strategy. If owners are willing to overlook his 38% shooting, Rubio brings elite assist (8.6 APG) and steals (2.1 SPG) while also contributing above average rebounding numbers (4.3 RPG) from the PG position. In addition, his improving turnover numbers won't impact owners too much (2.5 TOPG) compared to some of the other guards used in this strategy.

Owners drafting Rubio need to be mindful of his low point totals (10.1 PPG). However, teams punting FG% will naturally find themselves drafting more scoring minded guards who will help offset Rubio's tendencies.

Currently being drafted in the fourth round of 12 team leagues, Rubio has an excellent chance to surpass that value for owners punting FG%.


Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic

Current ADP: 85

With an increasing role going into his third year, Aaron Gordon will provide owners will across-the-board production. While his FG% was 47.3% in 2015-2016, there's a good chance it will decrease as Gordon receives higher usage in the Magic offense.

Like Rubio, Gordon's scoring woes (9.2 PPG, though that's bound to increase) will need to be addressed elsewhere in the draft. Owners will want to be very careful if they end up with both players, as below average points in a punt FG% team can lead to disaster.

Outside of points, Gordon will contribute consistent production in several categories. With increased minutes, Gordon is likely to push one steal and one block on the defensive end. If his shooting has improved, he is also likely to add one three pointer per-game. Most importantly, Gordon provides excellent rebounding numbers in a team build that may fall short in that area.

Gordon's jack -of-all-trades game plays well in this strategy, but owners in Yahoo! leagues will want to be careful, as his rank of 55 has a lot of his upside already built into the draft price.


Robin Lopez, C, Chicago Bulls

Current ADP: 110

RoLo is being overlooked in many drafts this season, which is perfect for those punting FG%. If you're not looking for positive impacts on your FG% early in your draft, there's a chance you'll be one of the only owners not reaching for a center in the inevitable center run. This particular draft strategy can leave owners short on blocks and rebounds. Those categories can be filled later in drafts but it can come at the price of your FT% (i.e. Clint Capela).

Lopez presents a solid late round option for blocks and rebounds who won't hurt your FT% (79.5%). As the starting center for the Bulls, Lopez is looking at over 30 MPG for only the second time in his career. With the extra playing time, Lopez will match and possibly exceed last season's averages of 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Lopez will hurt your team in assists and steals, but that's not uncommon for late-round centers. In any case, those are two categories that should have been addressed much earlier in punt FG% strategies. Lopez won't blow anyone away with his nightly stat lines, but he will provide consistent big-man stats and few turnovers (1.6 TOPG) for owners who went guard heavy early in their drafts.

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