Mike Gallagher

Premium Content

Percentage Killers

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It’s almost always costly to neglect anything in your fantasy draft and not paying attention to your team’s shooting percentages is something that owners will want to avoid. Sure, field goal percentage is arguably the biggest hit-or-miss stat on a week-to-week basis, but having it as a strength can go a long way.


The nice thing about percentages is that they’re the least likely to be hurt by the injury bug. Teams that are losing multiple studs will be crippled in multiple categories. In other words, if Chris Paul goes down, the assist totals for a fantasy team will plummet compared to usual. However, if a field goal percentage stud goes down, it’s less likely to impact the bottom line because it’s not a volume stat like dimes, points, boards, blocks, threes and steals -- assuming you have a well-rounded team.


If you’re scoring at home, you want to be shooting for about 45 percent from the field and 76 percent from the line to be average. Those will be interesting numbers to keep in mind as you look at last year’s stats and our projections. Also, the amount of shots a player takes can have a profound impact.


 We touch on this on another article, but I’m not a fan of punting a category. Usually, it’s best to punt a percentage category, but that is really only something you should do in nine-cat leagues. If you’re going to punt in an eight-cat league, you’re really going to have to crush it in basically every other cat. In nine categories or more, it is a little easier. Additionally, if you’re in a 10-plus category league, it makes even more sense to punt free throws. Also, if you’re punting free throws, you better be sure you’re going to be elite in field goal percentage.


One thing to note for style of league is for season-long daily leagues with little restrictions on roster moves. In other words, if you play in a head-to-head league that allows you to make as many moves as you want, drafting percentages is huge. If you are add/dropping every day, chances are you are going to accumulate more accounting stats. I play in a league like this and I focus on percentages more than any others.


Another dangerous part of punting is that you’re kind of making your bed with how you have to approach your season. Meaning you’ll have a target on your back as a potential trade partner because people will know what you want while you have to be picky about who else you can add.


Lastly, while percentages should be a focus in Roto leagues, it’s something that owners should try and address in head-to-head. If your team is consistently winning percentages, you’d only have to win two of the remaining four categories to push and if you can split those, that’s a 6-2 win in eight-cat. 


Free Throw Percentage


The “no doi” group


Some of these guys are really obvious, so there’s really no need to go in depth. Basically, if you ever draft DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond or Dwight Howard, you should punt free throws. Period. I would probably throw Hassan Whiteside in there, too. Even if you draft Russell Westbrook and James Harden in an attempt to offset DJ, you’re still likely going to be in the lower half of the league for FT%. You’re basically throwing away 75 percent of that value for the elite guys. If you draft those bad guys, you should try to draft as many as you can. Ideally, you two of the really bad guys and come in last by like 10 percent.


Hurts, don’t it?


These guys will hurt you, but you could over come it.


Rudy Gobert - He is getting a little better from the line. After the break, Gobert made 63.4 percent from the line, which is impressive considering he made just 41.7 percent after the break in his rookie season. Still, Gobert doesn’t go to the line as much as the other poor shooters. You can overcome his sub-par shooting and I think he can get it to 66 percent this season. His free throw stroke is improving a lot.


LeBron James -  If you draft LeBron in the first, it does make some sense to punt free throws. Due to his volume and his career-low 67.4 percent at 7.2 attempts per game. That value made him one of the worst guys for the category, so that’s important to remember as you move on in your draft. If you can draft LeBron, Drummond and DJ in the first three rounds, you’re in pretty good shape. If you’re considering doing this, you should really be prepared in your draft. In other words, you kind of have to practice this plan and have a short list (you can keep it in your head if you really are a draft expert) with this plan. Plus, you’ll be so strong in FG%, you can afford to take some weaker FG% guys and will still likely be 1-2 in that category. As mentioned above, I would not do this in eight-category leagues.


Other negative guys: Mason Plumlee, Tristan Thompson, Hassan Whiteside and Alan Williams


These guys will hurt, but you could still be elite if you build the rest of the way: Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, Thaddeus Young, Marcin Gortat, Marquese Chriss and Derrick Favors


Watch out for these guys on the perimeter: Andre Roberson, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, Moe Harkless, Elfrid Payton, Austin Rivers 


Field Goal Percentage


If you’ve listened to the pod, you’ve heard me discuss how punting FG% is a viable plan this year. There are a lot of guys who are great, but they will destroy you in FG%. Let’s run ‘em down.


Russell Westbrook - The worst guy for FG% and it wasn’t really close. If you draft him in H2H, I would strongly consider punting FG%.


Devin Booker - He was the fourth-worst guy last year, but I’d expect him to be in the bottom three. He’d be a nice pair with Westbrook on a punt.


Marcus Smart, Robert Covington Nicolas Batum and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - All of these guys should still be pretty bad, so I’d consider them on this plan, as well.


D’Angelo Russell, Marcus Morris, Dario Saric, Wesley Matthews, Jamal Murray - As long as you don’t have the guys above, you should be able to sustain this hit.

Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.
Email :Mike Gallagher