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The Numbers Game

Per-30-Minute Fantasy Rankings

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Fantasy values hinge largely on opportunity. How often do we see a player blossom in a new situation, whether due to expanded playmaking duties or unfettered playing time? This year there are numerous examples. Victor Oladipo vying for Most Improved Player honors as the go-to guy for the No. 5 seed Pacers. Kris Dunn shrugging off a dismal rookie year to emerge as the PG of the future in Chicago. Josh Richardson stuffing the stat sheet for top-50 value in 34.1 minutes per game.

 

The list goes on and on...Tyreke Evans was a thrill to own for most fantasy owners (before the All-Star break, at least), and he's on pace for career-high usage (28.4%), True Shooting (56.1%) and Player Efficiency Rating (21.4...his previous best was 18.4). Taj Gibson is another example of a veteran maximizing his role -- coach Tom Thibodeau is playing Taj 33.5 minutes per night, and he's parlayed that into mid-round roto value.

 

At this stage of the season, though, fantasy owners are locked in on young players with upside...guys like Skal Labissiere, John Collins, David Nwaba, Jakob Poeltl and Trey Burke. To identify players with the potential to shine in expanded roles down the stretch, we'll be looking at fantasy values on a per-30-minute basis in today's column. Using per-minute numbers also makes it easier to compare apples to apples, when thinking about individual fantasy potential. What if Bobby Portis (21.3 minutes per game) played as much as Blake Griffin (34.3 minutes)?

 

 

A few caveats should be mentioned before we examine the results. Most importantly, this is a thought experiment to quantify fantasy potential...it's not a projection of future values. Additionally, even if a player's minutes double in the coming weeks, that's no guarantee their fantasy value will follow suit. Someone who has been uber-efficient vs. backup centers could find themselves struggling against starting-caliber opponents. Increased minutes and usage could lead to fatigue, hurting player's efficiency. When thinking about young big men, there are plenty who couldn't stay out of foul trouble even if they were given unlimited run -- guys like Julius Randle, John Collins, Marquese Chriss and Jarell Martin spring to mind.

 

The final note is that I've imposed cutoffs for this list. To qualify for season-long, players must have appeared in 15+ games and averaged 15.0+ minutes. We bid farewell to guys like Jordan Bell, Cristiano Felicio and Luke Babbitt. For the past month, the cutoff is five games/15 minutes, and for the past two months it's 10 games/15 minutes. Let's see the results:

 

 8-cat fantasy ranks (2017-18), based on per-30-minute values

 

 

Season-to-Date

Dec. 25 - Feb. 25

Jan. 25 - Feb. 25

James Harden

1

1

1

Stephen Curry

2

2

8

Kevin Durant

3

4

4

Anthony Davis

4

3

2

Chris Paul

5

5

13

DeMarcus Cousins

6

6

 

LeBron James

7

17

19

Joel Embiid

8

15

9

Karl-Anthony Towns

9

8

7

Victor Oladipo

10

9

6

Nikola Jokic

11

11

3

Damian Lillard

12

7

5

Giannis Antetokounmpo

13

22

24

Kyrie Irving

14

18

14

Nikola Vucevic

15

 

 

Russell Westbrook

16

14

16

Lou Williams

17

10

40

Jimmy Butler

18

12

33

Paul George

19

19

17

Kevin Love

20

64

 

Kristaps Porzingis

21

28

27

Andre Drummond

22

13

10

Draymond Green

23

29

55

Hassan Whiteside

24

27

90

Devin Booker

25

24

72

Kemba Walker

26

16

11

Kyle Lowry

27

26

18

Clint Capela

28

53

39

Eric Bledsoe

29

20

12

Enes Kanter

30

33

31

Marc Gasol

31

31

48

Nikola Mirotic

32

30

67

LaMarcus Aldridge

33

34

21

DeMar DeRozan

34

36

42

Tyreke Evans

35

50

 

Myles Turner

36

62

35

Jonas Valanciunas

37

37

74

Otto Porter

38

45

28

Jrue Holiday

39

32

47

Bradley Beal

40

23

22

Darren Collison

41

25

 

Kent Bazemore

42

69

71

Donovan Mitchell

43

43

57

Al Horford

44

46

63

Kris Dunn

45

41

138

Rudy Gobert

46

51

61

John Wall

47

21

 

Khris Middleton

48

54

69

Gary Harris

49

42

93

Klay Thompson

50

65

91

Blake Griffin

51

56

99

Ben Simmons

52

35

41

Jamal Murray

53

49

58

Robert Covington

54

125

165

Kyle O'Quinn

55

77

125

John Collins

56

85

134

Dennis Schroder

57

60

81

Jeff Teague

58

59

38

Elfrid Payton

59

44

49

Larry Nance Jr.

60

74

53

Paul Millsap

61

 

 

Evan Fournier

62

90

89

Pau Gasol

63

126

78

Ricky Rubio

64

48

30

Will Barton

65

58

25

Delon Wright

66

87

103

C.J. McCollum

67

67

118

Serge Ibaka

68

80

68

Dario Saric

69

40

77

DeAndre Jordan

70

57

45

Josh Richardson

71

47

32

Dewayne Dedmon

72

96

79

Dirk Nowitzki

73

63

29

Zach Randolph

74

116

66

Jeremy Lamb

75

94

75

Spencer Dinwiddie

76

78

65

Aaron Gordon

77

170

 

Bobby Portis

78

97

97

Kyle Anderson

79

71

139

Joe Ingles

80

52

34

Tobias Harris

81

82

60

Jayson Tatum

82

158

124

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

83

169

 

Lonzo Ball

84

 

 

J.J. Redick

85

73

113

Kelly Olynyk

86

120

168

T.J. McConnell

87

92

131

Steven Adams

88

113

148

Julius Randle

89

55

84

Lauri Markkanen

90

76

 

Danilo Gallinari

91

128

59

Jusuf Nurkic

92

39

51

Buddy Hield

93

109

87

Danny Green

94

86

26

Thabo Sefolosha

95

 

 

Michael Beasley

96

61

141

Shabazz Napier

97

129

 

Brook Lopez

98

177

156

Markieff Morris

99

68

46

J.J. Barea

100

133

56

Reggie Jackson

101

 

 

Zach LaVine

102

103

70

Rajon Rondo

103

148

100

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

104

84

64

Malcolm Brogdon

105

99

 

Bogdan Bogdanovic

106

88

80

Rodney Hood

107

143

110

Trevor Ariza

108

105

 

Jarrett Allen

109

89

36

Thaddeus Young

110

132

153

Rudy Gay

111

 

 

Fred VanVleet

112

38

52

Ersan Ilyasova

113

127

102

Nicolas Batum

114

79

44

Domantas Sabonis

115

130

171

Derrick Favors

116

104

150

James Johnson

117

165

122

Eric Gordon

118

139

 

Goran Dragic

119

83

76

Tim Hardaway Jr.

120

124

 

T.J. Warren

121

98

158

Taurean Prince

122

161

163

Greg Monroe

123

167

197

Taj Gibson

124

111

111

D'Angelo Russell

125

168

98

Jakob Poeltl

126

151

43

Trey Lyles

127

112

133

Courtney Lee

128

163

 

Mario Hezonja

129

70

20

Isaiah Thomas

130

138

88

Dwyane Wade

131

162

174

Isaiah Canaan

132

 

 

Jordan Clarkson

133

117

105

Alex Len

134

 

192

Harrison Barnes

135

93

166

Wesley Matthews

136

81

54

Marvin Williams

137

108

160

Kelly Oubre Jr.

138

146

176

Tyler Johnson

139

107

137

DeMarre Carroll

140

106

119

D.J. Augustin

141

137

92

John Henson

142

122

155

Terry Rozier

143

100

85

Wesley Johnson

144

134

 

Al-Farouq Aminu

145

121

140

Montrezl Harrell

146

153

37

Trey Burke

147

179

164

Justin Holiday

148

152

 

Caris LeVert

149

182

115

Marco Belinelli

150

 

162

Dwight Powell

151

123

73

Willie Cauley-Stein

152

144

149

Kyle Kuzma

153

188

184

Mike Muscala

154

191

130

Milos Teodosic

155

110

144

Gerald Green

156

155

 

C.J. Miles

157

198

86

Allen Crabbe

158

115

129

Brandon Ingram

159

101

62

Jeff Green

160

184

 

Carmelo Anthony

161

147

 

Dejounte Murray

162

66

82

Denzel Valentine

163

114

173

George Hill

164

160

 

Kyle Korver

165

 

112

Bojan Bogdanovic

166

131

83

Dwight Howard

167

75

94

JaMychal Green

168

102

121

Marcus Smart

169

91

 

Mario Chalmers

170

166

 

Manu Ginobili

171

156

 

Tomas Satoransky

172

72

23

Jonathon Simmons

173

142

104

E'Twaun Moore

174

 

 

Marcus Morris

175

157

 

Austin Rivers

176

 

 

Terrence Ross

177

 

 

Marcin Gortat

178

187

136

Bam Adebayo

179

193

194

Patty Mills

180

190

181

Tyus Jones

181

195

 

Ed Davis

182

140

107

Joe Harris

183

135

146

Robin Lopez

184

178

 

Gorgui Dieng

185

196

 

Ish Smith

186

118

108

Reggie Bullock

187

154

157

Wayne Ellington

188

174

 

Jerian Grant

189

 

142

Dennis Smith Jr.

190

145

 

Pascal Siakam

191

176

116

Bismack Biyombo

192

95

 

Andrew Harrison

193

164

106

Devin Harris

194

 

 

Tyrone Wallace

195

 

 

Ryan Anderson

196

 

186

Lance Stephenson

197

172

109

Chandler Parsons

198

 

 

Vince Carter

199

119

177

Luc Mbah a Moute

200

 

 

James Ennis

201

181

189

Al Jefferson

 

 

167

Andrew Wiggins

 

159

 

Anthony Tolliver

 

 

159

Channing Frye

 

 

123

Cheick Diallo

 

 

190

Dante Cunningham

 

 

188

Darrell Arthur

 

 

180

David West

 

 

15

Davis Bertans

 

192

 

De'Aaron Fox

 

136

154

Deyonta Davis

 

199

96

Dragan Bender

 

 

170

Dwight Buycks

 

 

191

Emeka Okafor

 

 

147

Emmanuel Mudiay

 

 

193

Garrett Temple

 

 

179

Ian Mahinmi

 

 

169

J.R. Smith

 

 

175

Jabari Parker

 

 

132

Jahlil Okafor

 

 

196

JaKarr Sampson

 

 

195

Jarrett Jack

 

173

 

JaVale McGee

 

 

117

Josh Hart

 

 

95

Josh Jackson

 

175

126

Justise Winslow

 

 

187

Kosta Koufos

 

186

183

Malcolm Delaney

 

 

185

Marreese Speights

 

 

50

Mason Plumlee

 

150

 

Michael Carter-Williams

 

197

143

Moe Harkless

 

200

120

Nemanja Bjelica

 

 

135

Quincy Acy

 

 

152

Raymond Felton

 

171

161

Richaun Holmes

 

 

151

Royce O'Neale

 

189

128

Salah Mejri

 

 

145

Shelvin Mack

 

141

101

Skal Labissiere

 

185

 

Stanley Johnson

 

 

182

Sterling Brown

 

194

178

Tim Frazier

 

 

172

Wilson Chandler

 

183

127

Yogi Ferrell

 

180

 

Zaza Pachulia

 

149

114

 

 

Toward the top of this table, among the elite players, the blank spaces are almost universally due to injuries. As mentioned above, players needed to hit certain games-played thresholds to make the cut. As we move down the list, however, the blank spots increasingly refer to poor play -- those guys just didn't produce top-200 value (on a per-30-minute basis) in that timeframe.

 

I expected the most recent month (Jan. 25 - Feb. 25) to have the most volatility because it's a smaller sample size. The All-Star break made that month even shorter, resulting in roughly 8-12 games for most players. That means that a handful of very efficient performances can vault a player onto the list, as we see with David West, Marreese Speights and other waiver-wire staples. That's not to dismiss those players entirely -- West, for example, is playing just 15.1 minutes this month, yet is quietly averaging 7.7 points on stellar shooting (68.2% FGs, 90.0% FTs), 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals. The obvious asterisk here is that West's 15-minute role isn't going to increase, let alone double, so he'd need to remain impossibly efficient to help 12-team owners.

 

There are a lot of interesting takeaways here. Let's start with the bad. For instance, look at how Dennis Smith Jr. vanishes from the top-200 over the past month...and this is for 8-cat value, where his huge turnover totals don't even count against him. Nevertheless, on a per-30-minute basis, he's just not in the mix due largely to awful percentages (33.9% FGs, 66.7% FTs) in the Mavs' past dozen games.

 

Carmelo Anthony has been playing right around 30 minutes per game the past month anyway, yet the veteran has been nowhere near the top-200 in that span. As Melo's fantasy owners can attest, his actual averages in 30.7 minutes have been awful -- 14.1 points on 36.1% FGs and 69.2% FTs, 2.0 triples, 5.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.4 steals. The triples are solid and the blocks are a rare bonus from Melo, but still...he's been hurting more owners than he's helping in recent weeks.

 

Lousy percentages are a frequent culprit for high-profile players struggling to make the cut. I don't own Lauri Markkanen in any leagues, so I wasn't quite prepared for him to miss the cut over the past month. After looking at his numbers in that span, it made sense. He's playing 31.5 minutes per game, yet averaging just 11.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 0.8 threes, 0.8 blocks, 0.6 steals and 0.4 assists, all while taking FG% with 39.0% shooting on 12.5 attempts. Even his excellent FT shooting hasn't made an impact since he's getting to the line just 1.6 times per game.

 

Skal Labissiere dropped out of the top-200 over the past month, although he would have made it in a 9-cat list -- he's committed zero turnovers in four games (108 minutes) since returning from injury. Owners can't complain about his playing time, which hasn't dropped below 25 minutes this month, but he's just not making good use of his time on the court. With 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.3 steals in that span, it's getting harder to justify holding him. I still have some faith, though, and am giving him another week in most situations. If your fantasy playoffs are imminent, you're better off with a hot free agent.

 

Hassan Whiteside's value has dipped not just in cumulative terms, but also per-minute -- his blocks have fallen to just 1.5 per game over the past 12 games, and his FT shooting is as bad as ever (54.3% on 4.2 attempts). Kris Dunn has yet to reclaim his early-season form, but I'm not too worried there. His shot has been off but he's still racking up defensive stats and was among the top-50 both season-long and since Dec. 25. It shouldn't take long for him to reclaim that level of per-minute efficiency.

 

This list also highlights players who don't need a ton of minutes to produce. Myles Turner, Jonas Valanciunas and Kent Bazemore are all in the top-50, season-long. Behind them, but still within the top-100, we find guys like Kyle O'Quinn, John Collins, Larry Nance Jr., Pau Gasol, Will Barton, Delon Wright, Dewayne Dedmon, Jeremy Lamb, Bobby Portis, Kyle Anderson, Zach Randolph, Buddy Hield, Danny Green...and to my surprise, Michael Beasley. Other sneaky players producing well at a per-minute level are Jarrett Allen, Fred VanVleet, Markieff Morris and Jakob Poeltl. Allen should already be owned everywhere, and don't sleep on the other players. 

 

The table above crystallizes Tomas Satoransky's rise to fantasy prominence without John Wall...he's not only playing more minutes, he's making the absolute most of them (top-25 per-minute value over the past month). Brandon Ingram and Dwight Powell have increased their per-minute efficiency lately, as have Dejounte Murray, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jonathon Simmons, Terry Rozier, and Wesley Matthews. That last one caught me by surprise, but Wes has steady averages of 15.0 points, 2.8 threes, 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.4 blocks since Christmas Day. He's just 42.9% from the field in that span, but balances things out a bit with 83.3% shooting from the line. If you held him despite his early-season woes, it's paying off nicely.

 

That’s all the time I have for today’s column, but explore the list at your own pace, and let me know if you have any insights or questions…either via email or by sending me a message on Twitter. Good luck this week!

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.