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Luka Doncic
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The Numbers Game

Adjusted Fantasy Values

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 23, 2019, 4:09 pm ET

Welcome to the first Numbers Game of the 2019-20 season! This week’s analysis involves a novel way to examine player values, both individually and on a fantasy-team basis. Typically, owners look at raw stats or projections to get a feel for how they’ll fare in each category. For instance, having only one top-tier point guard might leave you weak in assists, unless you also have out-of-position dimes from guys like Nikola Jokic and Joe Ingles. If you’re weak in blocks and 3-pointers, for instance, those deficiencies might be easy to notice but hard to quantify and correct – which is a bigger liability for your team?

 

To address this, I’ve turned my projected statistics for each player into a percentage of the top-150 fantasy player averages. To illustrate this method, here are my projected stats for Luka Doncic this season:

 

 

PTS

3PT

REB

AST

STL

BLK

FG%

FGA

FT%

FTA

TO

Luka Doncic

22.7

2.4

8.1

6.2

1.12

0.42

0.44

17.2

0.75

7

3.56

 

And here are those same stats expressed as a percentage of the top-150 averages:

luka

 

Although he’s a prolific scorer and 3-point shooter, with strong rebound numbers, it’s actually assists that give Doncic the biggest 8-cat and 9-cat boost (at least, based on these projections). I’ve given him nice boosts in percentages compared to his rookie numbers (42.6% FGs, 71.3% FTs), yet he’s still an anchor in those categories, and a huge liability in turnovers. You can get the same rough picture by looking at Doncic’s raw stats, but this method allows for greater specificity – especially when you take groups of players, such as your existing fantasy teams, to figure out just how strong or weak they are across the board.

 

Here's an example using the top-10 players for a team I constructed in an 8-cat league, and discussed on a recent RW podcast (I added turnovers here just for illustration's sake). Note: This team was drafted just prior to Zion’s knee injury, because…of course.

 

top 10 team as %

 

After 10 rounds in this draft, I felt good about where I stood even though you should be above the top-150 averages when only 120 players have been drafted. As drafts get deeper, it’s harder to stay above the break-even point. My team was slightly below the top-150 average in 3-pointers and assists, and above it everywhere else. Note that for FG% and FT%, the values are weighted by volume of attempts. Percentage values also veer into the negative, sometimes drastically, so anything above 0% is good for those two categories – I don't have too many glaring percentage risks, other than Donovan Mitchell (FG%) and Zion Williams (FT%), so I should be set there.

As this draft progressed, I knew I didn't desperately need to improve any categories or risk losing the season before it began. Assists looked like a weakness, so I picked up a pair of cheap PGs in the final rounds with Darius Garland and Dennis Schroder. Not exactly high-assist players, but they were the best available. I also wanted some insurance with big-man stats, so I took Jakob Poeltl – his ceiling isn't very high, but I like him as a steady REB/BLK/FG% guy even if he’s sometimes coming off the bench. The point is that you can quickly see strengths or weaknesses of your club, without relying on a 'gut feeling' strategy.

 

Here’s another example. This is the top 14 players from a recent 9-cat draft conducted with the entire Rotoworld crew – also the subject of a recent podcast, during which I traded my Nikola Vucevic for Matt Stroup’s Andre Drummond. The reasoning will be clear in a moment.

 

punt team

You’ll notice that my team hovers right around 100% for every category except FT% -- this is a glaring punt-FT% build, hence the trade for Drummond. At this point we’re talking about 14 players each for 12 teams, so we’re beyond the top-150 – maintaining category averages around 100%, therefore, should be a winning ticket in most matchups.

 

It's important to also say, this analysis doesn't have to occur in the draft room! You can do a post-mortem on the team you drafted and try to address glaring weaknesses via trade or preseason waiver moves. Here’s a list of 150 players with their stats expressed as percentages – if you prefer to download this table or play around with in Excel, you can do so right here! That link also includes conditional formatting for easier visual identification of high/low numbers.

 

Name

Proj. PTS

Proj. 3PT

Proj. REB

Proj. AST

Proj. STL

Proj. BLK

z-FG%

z-FT%

Proj. TO

James Harden

216%

296%

96%

205%

199%

101%

-71%

426%

247%

Karl-Anthony Towns

154%

131%

203%

100%

87%

217%

79%

141%

165%

Anthony Davis

166%

73%

185%

86%

152%

345%

84%

74%

109%

Stephen Curry

166%

352%

84%

150%

126%

47%

-16%

223%

141%

Damian Lillard

159%

205%

74%

199%

106%

54%

-76%

337%

136%

Giannis Antetokounmpo

170%

50%

199%

171%

121%

199%

197%

-163%

190%

Nikola Jokic

124%

72%

173%

211%

130%

88%

56%

79%

159%

Joel Embiid

170%

93%

221%

109%

95%

247%

10%

117%

181%

Trae Young

148%

168%

77%

275%

96%

20%

-105%

215%

186%

Bradley Beal

155%

174%

78%

156%

141%

89%

-8%

70%

138%

Kyrie Irving

153%

188%

83%

210%

154%

69%

17%

144%

137%

Nikola Vucevic

128%

73%

192%

111%

97%

149%

76%

16%

102%

Devin Booker

165%

148%

67%

198%

92%

33%

-26%

251%

192%

Kawhi Leonard

166%

131%

118%

97%

171%

55%

38%

221%

106%

Jrue Holiday

131%

122%

80%

225%

157%

105%

-14%

-10%

163%

Kemba Walker

153%

214%

68%

166%

115%

53%

-104%

143%

128%

Paul George

159%

242%

119%

110%

195%

53%

-91%

163%

125%

LeBron James

164%

137%

131%

234%

122%

76%

69%

-197%

179%

Pascal Siakam

113%

74%

118%

97%

96%

90%

103%

17%

106%

Luka Doncic

139%

168%

129%

179%

107%

47%

-82%

-63%

182%

Donovan Mitchell

148%

175%

68%

126%

133%

53%

-108%

63%

147%

Jimmy Butler

116%

72%

85%

118%

182%

77%

-27%

175%

76%

D'Angelo Russell

137%

212%

65%

213%

123%

34%

-101%

7%

169%

Tobias Harris

126%

135%

128%

83%

61%

60%

16%

135%

96%

De'Aaron Fox

111%

77%

63%

221%

164%

76%

-34%

-97%

151%

Andre Drummond

106%

4%

248%

41%

165%

229%

82%

-364%

113%

Russell Westbrook

137%

110%

171%

302%

180%

57%

-115%

-268%

221%

Mike Conley

130%

153%

54%

186%

128%

41%

-76%

157%

95%

Zion Williamson

130%

53%

149%

64%

189%

243%

175%

-335%

135%

Khris Middleton

121%

173%

103%

134%

107%

13%

-70%

87%

125%

Ja Morant

110%

104%

71%

205%

152%

81%

-44%

93%

227%

Chris Paul

96%

151%

73%

236%

187%

40%

-85%

117%

133%

Mitchell Robinson

69%

0%

138%

22%

102%

432%

168%

-197%

37%

DeMar DeRozan

129%

6%

94%

176%

105%

60%

3%

123%

130%

Eric Bledsoe

104%

117%

79%

170%

154%

52%

7%

-29%

116%

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

86%

69%

53%

123%

159%

73%

21%

29%

91%

Kelly Oubre Jr.

119%

137%

83%

43%

161%

110%

-15%

-23%

112%

Ben Simmons

111%

7%

141%

224%

136%

101%

125%

-361%

178%

Buddy Hield

124%

235%

80%

73%

68%

51%

-74%

101%

92%

LaMarcus Aldridge

130%

8%

145%

69%

52%

171%

74%

140%

90%

Kyle Lowry

86%

164%

75%

247%

131%

61%

-87%

63%

141%

Jayson Tatum

101%

106%

100%

64%

106%

100%

-46%

91%

83%

Rudy Gobert

98%

0%

205%

58%

78%

301%

193%

-339%

83%

Deandre Ayton

104%

0%

170%

53%

87%

128%

155%

-29%

95%

Jonas Valanciunas

116%

24%

165%

50%

42%

171%

125%

36%

115%

Myles Turner

83%

72%

116%

46%

78%

355%

9%

-39%

70%

Danilo Gallinari

128%

173%

103%

80%

73%

47%

-25%

312%

78%

Zach LaVine

145%

132%

75%

130%

91%

54%

-25%

132%

176%

Jamal Murray

113%

142%

68%

141%

86%

47%

-75%

84%

109%

Robert Covington

81%

166%

87%

38%

202%

169%

-56%

-9%

68%

Blake Griffin

151%

175%

120%

155%

66%

49%

-36%

-59%

173%

Julius Randle

138%

66%

145%

95%

71%

84%

82%

-113%

153%

John Collins

125%

70%

158%

50%

48%

132%

102%

11%

96%

Bam Adebayo

68%

3%

144%

81%

104%

130%

82%

-51%

94%

Jeremy Lamb

97%

104%

91%

65%

110%

55%

-56%

148%

54%

Derrick Favors

89%

19%

144%

42%

86%

223%

124%

-137%

69%

Terry Rozier

102%

149%

68%

166%

118%

47%

-165%

12%

64%

Malcolm Brogdon

107%

126%

80%

104%

77%

27%

41%

155%

82%

Gordon Hayward

98%

91%

88%

121%

97%

51%

-18%

85%

92%

Marcus Smart

58%

117%

50%

124%

183%

49%

-50%

21%

84%

Lauri Markkanen

115%

160%

145%

42%

68%

83%

-86%

140%

85%

Draymond Green

46%

50%

119%

204%

140%

143%

-25%

-44%

134%

Brook Lopez

76%

159%

77%

35%

57%

286%

-29%

42%

52%

Otto Porter

92%

139%

97%

66%

149%

78%

-20%

27%

64%

Delon Wright

73%

63%

77%

131%

153%

71%

-53%

20%

72%

Collin Sexton

127%

168%

45%

93%

56%

13%

-7%

87%

124%

Al Horford

82%

73%

105%

118%

80%

164%

68%

27%

75%

Zach Collins

77%

79%

113%

62%

54%

222%

1%

-27%

72%

Domantas Sabonis

97%

10%

176%

97%

75%

76%

132%

-103%

129%

Kristaps Porzingis

121%

111%

96%

37%

62%

270%

-52%

49%

84%

Clint Capela

102%

0%

201%

41%

62%

200%

211%

-203%

71%

C.J. McCollum

129%

165%

64%

86%

75%

50%

-40%

51%

78%

Joe Ingles

70%

150%

60%

156%

106%

30%

-33%

-36%

113%

Wendell Carter Jr.

83%

12%

142%

64%

67%

232%

26%

26%

91%

Kevin Love

111%

178%

184%

67%

28%

38%

-148%

272%

104%

Dario Saric

83%

129%

115%

58%

68%

23%

-53%

96%

79%

Ricky Rubio

80%

82%

58%

181%

132%

20%

-94%

106%

138%

Dennis Schroder

106%

115%

61%

138%

86%

21%

-95%

55%

117%

Aaron Gordon

98%

107%

117%

107%

70%

93%

-45%

-52%

106%

Thomas Bryant

79%

39%

123%

45%

41%

149%

133%

6%

52%

Victor Oladipo

118%

138%

82%

145%

155%

39%

-53%

9%

113%

Lou Williams

113%

89%

43%

143%

66%

18%

-87%

232%

113%

Bojan Bogdanovic

109%

139%

65%

57%

82%

2%

28%

46%

85%

Brandon Clarke

58%

6%

104%

36%

94%

234%

99%

-78%

63%

Montrezl Harrell

108%

3%

110%

61%

87%

186%

180%

-267%

88%

Jonathan Isaac

64%

86%

95%

34%

82%

183%

-51%

31%

56%

Darius Garland

102%

175%

55%

87%

88%

60%

28%

-31%

147%

Terrence Ross

92%

185%

55%

48%

85%

47%

-73%

68%

56%

Dwight Powell

83%

45%

108%

54%

68%

110%

110%

-3%

56%

Josh Richardson

84%

135%

56%

115%

101%

58%

-63%

81%

77%

Lonzo Ball

66%

117%

101%

214%

148%

76%

-81%

-174%

119%

Mikal Bridges

52%

90%

52%

62%

150%

61%

-39%

17%

44%

Jaren Jackson Jr.

89%

64%

79%

34%

90%

194%

32%

-10%

91%

Tomas Satoransky

56%

57%

57%

149%

102%

24%

4%

35%

79%

Jeff Teague

77%

59%

41%

243%

103%

57%

-65%

43%

122%

Miles Bridges

64%

78%

90%

48%

90%

111%

-15%

-10%

45%

Marc Gasol

70%

73%

107%

108%

85%

121%

-33%

-15%

84%

Andrew Wiggins

118%

112%

77%

73%

93%

86%

-74%

-83%

98%

T.J. Warren

104%

118%

61%

41%

107%

83%

11%

42%

59%

Joe Harris

85%

168%

62%

70%

47%

29%

23%

36%

82%

Steven Adams

85%

0%

151%

45%

142%

125%

134%

-378%

88%

Dewayne Dedmon

66%

89%

119%

40%

102%

146%

13%

27%

67%

Reggie Jackson

95%

147%

42%

122%

63%

14%

-85%

99%

93%

Brandon Ingram

136%

75%

94%

85%

51%

79%

93%

-144%

127%

OG Anunoby

82%

99%

88%

46%

121%

103%

-11%

-131%

81%

Derrick White

65%

53%

62%

121%

102%

97%

0%

-1%

79%

Evan Fournier

93%

131%

50%

105%

85%

19%

-62%

26%

97%

Justise Winslow

79%

110%

85%

115%

133%

52%

-50%

-114%

109%

Caris LeVert

97%

94%

68%

134%

113%

52%

-69%

-78%

100%

Danny Green

63%

170%

63%

45%

86%

86%

-12%

14%

48%

Hassan Whiteside

88%

2%

203%

50%

71%

286%

117%

-484%

79%

RJ Barrett

109%

110%

106%

110%

76%

58%

-47%

-155%

127%

J.J. Redick

99%

195%

35%

70%

36%

25%

-54%

137%

60%

Spencer Dinwiddie

101%

123%

38%

129%

55%

32%

-50%

63%

111%

Rudy Gay

83%

74%

107%

76%

74%

64%

31%

34%

83%

Larry Nance Jr.

54%

32%

122%

86%

133%

73%

31%

-41%

69%

Dejounte Murray

71%

8%

101%

117%

165%

60%

-36%

-53%

112%

Fred VanVleet

72%

128%

44%

146%

90%

41%

-67%

50%

68%

Enes Kanter

86%

11%

160%

51%

47%

54%

84%

15%

92%

JaVale McGee

72%

1%

119%

20%

60%

252%

141%

-108%

73%

Jarrett Allen

63%

5%

125%

37%

48%

183%

85%

-80%

62%

Kelly Olynyk

67%

108%

82%

56%

70%

65%

-14%

46%

80%

Cam Reddish

70%

144%

54%

49%

144%

74%

-107%

-2%

121%

Harrison Barnes

100%

154%

73%

43%

61%

22%

-89%

68%

64%

Marvin Bagley III

103%

38%

136%

33%

57%

140%

37%

-150%

91%

Robert Williams

35%

0%

91%

14%

61%

314%

94%

-70%

36%

Gary Harris

92%

123%

43%

72%

123%

47%

-26%

17%

65%

P.J. Tucker

43%

117%

88%

32%

147%

56%

-58%

-20%

37%

Jae Crowder

81%

166%

85%

53%

85%

56%

-102%

-55%

60%

Cedi Osman

83%

123%

78%

77%

77%

20%

-69%

5%

80%

Taurean Prince

82%

154%

57%

62%

91%

45%

-46%

36%

92%

Jordan Clarkson

98%

116%

50%

66%

62%

21%

-48%

59%

80%

JaMychal Green

68%

90%

119%

26%

77%

81%

4%

13%

81%

Paul Millsap

74%

55%

110%

56%

107%

96%

5%

-61%

67%

Serge Ibaka

81%

40%

114%

34%

33%

159%

60%

-9%

70%

Bogdan Bogdanovic

80%

121%

51%

101%

90%

26%

-79%

43%

78%

Kyle Kuzma

113%

124%

85%

72%

54%

48%

-40%

-29%

95%

DeAndre Jordan

57%

0%

175%

55%

48%

116%

102%

-85%

96%

Rui Hachimura

94%

25%

93%

40%

78%

83%

116%

-58%

75%

Jaylen Brown

90%

100%

75%

44%

101%

63%

-20%

-134%

77%

Josh Okogie

60%

64%

49%

47%

166%

66%

-34%

-49%

45%

Kevin Huerter

62%

131%

54%

86%

88%

45%

-64%

-12%

78%

Will Barton

80%

111%

76%

89%

69%

69%

-55%

6%

80%

Jerami Grant

72%

85%

71%

24%

62%

140%

18%

-57%

37%

Kevon Looney

50%

1%

108%

58%

70%

114%

94%

-100%

42%

De'Andre Hunter

83%

79%

77%

55%

64%

75%

-35%

9%

68%

P.J. Washington

68%

57%

109%

48%

70%

143%

43%

-158%

94%

Cody Zeller

64%

9%

110%

62%

76%

117%

61%

15%

65%

Jakob Poeltl

46%

0%

113%

39%

64%

234%

93%

-227%

29%

Jarrett Culver

63%

65%

80%

80%

105%

62%

-26%

-76%

89%

 

Let me know via Twitter (@Knaus_RW) if you have any questions or insights related to this method of fantasy value evaluation. I’m open to tweaking and fine-tuning the process, and I plan to revisit it later this season. Right now, it’s based only on my own subjective projected stats – in a handful of weeks we’ll have enough league-wide data to use actual stats instead.

 

I’ll conclude this week’s column with some bonus content – a smattering of preseason stats that caught my eye.

 

Points - Coby White averaged 19.2 points per game in the preseason, in 25.8 minutes per game. That was top-10 for the league, and he got huge usage with 15.4 shot attempts per game – fourth in the league behind James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Steph Curry. It still looks like Tomas Satoransky will start at PG, the Bulls haven't clarified what they'll do with Kris Dunn, and White did struggle from the line at 66.7%. But he shot 43.2% from deep and 45.5% from the field overall, and at some point, Chicago is likely to turn him loose. Keep a close eye on him, especially in points leagues.

 

3-pointers - Taurean Prince made 16 threes in four preseason games with Brooklyn. Granted, he shot an unsustainable percentage from deep (69.6%), but the takeaway is that he has the green light and should get plenty of open looks. He's a decent target who can be had for almost nothing in the final rounds.

 

Rebounds - Brandon Clarke hauled in 9.8 boards in just 19.8 minutes per game this preseason, and he's been quietly piling up stats despite the low playing time. He just missed averaging a double-double (9.8 points per game), and even chipped in 1.5 assists with 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks. I expect the defensive numbers to rise and he’s a big man who won’t kill you from the FT line – he was 77.8% in the preseason. Jonas Valanciunas’ return could cap his playing time, at least initially, but Clarke looks capable of hitting fantasy value in just 20-24 minutes per game anyway. Get on board.

 

Assists - With an impressive 7.7 dimes per game, Fred VanVleet trailed only James Harden in the category. The expectation was that he'd take on a bigger role as a potential starter alongside Toronto, and he exceeded his owners’ hopes with a career-high 34 points in the season opener on Tuesday. His final line of 34/7/5 with two steals and five 3-pointers ensures you won’t be getting him cheap in trades (or late drafts). I was a bit skeptical of his ceiling and the Raptors’ ability to stick with such an undersized backcourt, but…I was wrong.

 

FG% - Marquese Chriss, who is getting drafted late in some leagues (including the Rotoworld staff league, where Mike Gallagher took him), played well enough to secure a roster spot in Golden State. The center position will get crowded in a hurry with Kevon Looney healthy and Willie Cauley-Stein potentially back in mid-November, but Chriss is still worth a look if you need a big man flier. His attempts at being a stretch-five didn’t go so well, but as you can see on the shotchart he made a living at the rim with 73.7% shooting. Nearly 2/3 of his attempts were right at the rim, too, which is ideal for both the Warriors and potential fantasy owners.

chriss

FT% - Rui Hachimura had some nice moments in the preseason, but his inefficiency was a bit worrying. In addition to shooting just 40.5% from the field, he went an atrocious 7-of-16 from the line (43.8%), the worst mark of any qualifying player. It's worse than Andre Drummond (45.8%). Efficiency was one of his strong points in college (57.9% FGs, 74.6% FTs), so there's no need to hit the panic button.

 

For more last-minute takeaways from the preseason, check out Tommy Beer’s ‘Rookies on the Rise’ column!

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.