September 8, 2016, 10:31 pm
Ah, numbers. Those pesky integers that cause old schoolers to yell “NERDS” and for nerds to look down at old schoolers.
Fortunately, most of us fall in-between this made for Twitter argument about the eye test versus the spreadsheet.
But numbers do matter in fantasy leagues because duh. So understanding numbers is key to your success, and luckily it’s easier now than ever to get to the bottom of the numbers even if you’re not a numbers person.
Basketball Monster is our favorite place to do exactly that (hey Ken, free advertising!). They take the concepts of standard deviations and how a player’s production across eight or nine (or however many) categories relates to their overall value. In essence, somebody that theoretically scores 100 points per game but is league-worst in the other categories just isn’t good in standard fantasy leagues.
Their website calculates all of that on the spot and spits out a value. There are a few different ways one can evaluate that data, but the numbers are solid. And what they do is give us a context to talk about these players amidst all these different formats and here at Hoop Ball it allows us to be the best at what we do. We’re going to evaluate the stocks down to the penny and give you a professional analysis of what is happening.
Okay, to the terminology.
Top-150 player: A player performing in the top-150 (I know, we’re flying here)
Early-round player: Somebody performing in the top-50 give or take
Mid-round player: Top 50-100
Late-round player: Top 100-150
8- and 9-cat value, respectively: We’re giving you values for both of the two main formats
Must-add player: A player that you need to drop your worst player for. They need to be projected at a top-75 level for this recommendation to be made.
Must-own player: Somebody in the expressed league size should own the player.
Buy low: Reserved for players that have a strong probability of improving. Sell high is the obvious opposite of that.
Stop what you’re doing and run to the wire: Stop what you’re doing, really.
Low-level pickup: Corresponds to late-round value for the most part.
Mid-level pickup: Has a good chance to be a top-100 player. Upside can push a player with a late-round expectation into being a mid-level pickup.
High-level pickup: A shade below being a must-add player, because if they’re a must-add player we’re just going to say so. Think top 75-100 value.
Worth a look: Probably in the top 125-150 or even 175 range for a 12-team league.
Worth a flier: Something like less than 25 percent chance of hitting at a level that justifies the pickup.
Lottery ticket: A 5-10 percent chance of working out.
July 13, 2020, 12:16 amAlize JohnsonPF, Indiana Pacers
Second-year forward Alize Johnson spent most of his time in 2019-20 playing in the G League than with the Pacers, allowing him to finish ranked just inside the top-500.
Johnson was a little bit less than an afterthought in fantasy this season as he simply could not crack the team's rotation. In 13 games played for Indiana, the former second-round pick was able to post averages of 1.4 PPG and 1.4 RPG. He's not in line to see a significant bump in value anytime soon.
July 13, 2020, 12:11 amTJ LeafPF, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Leaf found himself on the outside looking in the Pacers' regular rotation in 2019-20, averaging just 7.7 minutes for 2.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.2 threes per game in 26 games.
The 6-foot-10 power forward is still widely regarded as a "project" for the team. He saw some action in the G League, where he was able to shine 23.3 PPG and 2.3 3PG. Leaf's fantasy value is still close to the bottom of the proverbial barrel, ranked at 421/411 in 8/9-cat per-game value.
July 12, 2020, 11:41 pmJakarr SampsonSF, Indiana Pacers
Jakarr Sampson was underwhelming in 26 games for the Pacers, winding up ranked 382nd in 8-cat per-game value and 359th in 9-cat.
There were enough productive forwards ahead of Sampson on the depth chart that pushed him back. He also dealt with the injury bug, stymying his opportunities to deliver when the Pacers were shorthanded. Sampson was pretty much a non-factor, averaging just 13.1 minutes per game and producing 4.2 PPG and 2.3 RPG. He was actually a bane from the line, shooting at a dismal .550 clip from the stripe.
July 12, 2020, 10:07 pmAnthony DavisPF-C, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis finished as the No. 1/2 player in 8/9-cat formats in per-game value and had a fairly healthy season as well.
Davis came through as the Lakers had hoped when they traded away all of their young core except for Kyle Kuzma to get him. However, nothing is complete until they bring home a championship. He did not see his role change much at all from his transition from the pelicans to the Lakers as his stats are nearly identical to his seasons with the Pelicans. Davis should be all the way at the top of everyone's draft boards heading into next season as the only thing that will ever stand in his way of being a top-3 value is his health.
July 12, 2020, 10:02 pmKyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma regressed significantly in the 2019-20 season as he played just 24.8 minutes per game and only started seven games.
Kuzma was seeing above 30 minutes per game and starting most games for his first two seasons, so this was a completely new role that he had in issue adjusting to. He saw a decrease in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Those decreases led to him finishing as a top-250/280 value in 8/9-cat formats. He could bounce back next season if the Lakers give him more minutes, but we could see the one-dimensionality of his game come back to bite him if he remains a role player.
July 12, 2020, 9:56 pmDwight HowardC, Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard had a fantastic season as a reserve for the Lakers as he averaged 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on 73.2-percent shooting.
Howard saw more minutes per game than the starter, JaVale McGee, but remained on the bench as he was thriving in that role. There were doubts about Howard embracing a bench role and taking it seriously prior to the Lakers signing him, but he came through big time and showed up when the Lakers needed it most. He hovered around top-220 value in 8/9-cat formats and was a solid late-round target for teams that were punting free-throw percentage. He could maintain similar value if the Lakers decide to re-sign him for next season.
July 12, 2020, 9:50 pmJaVale McGeeC, Los Angeles Lakers
JaVale McGee had a much better 2018-19 season than he did 2019-20 season due to the entrance of Dwight Howard, but he still maintained late-round value.
McGee's minutes per game decreased from 22.3 to 16.8, but he was still able to maintain his dominance in blocks and field goal percentage. He averaged 1.5 blocks per game and shot 64-percent from the field. McGee should be a late-round target in fantasy as long as he is seeing above 15 minutes per game with the Lakers.
July 12, 2020, 9:43 pmQuinn CookPG, Los Angeles Lakers
Quinn Cook began the season playing every game at about 15 minutes per game, but his role diminished as the season progressed with the Lakers.
Cook actually saw less minutes this season than he did with the Warriors over the past two seasons, which caused him to have the worst fantasy season of his career. He finished outside the top-400 in per-game value in 8/9-cat formats. Cook thrived as the starter in games that Stephen Curry missed during the 2018-19 season, so it was tough to see his role decrease significantly with the Lakers. He is signed with the Lakers for another season, so fantasy owners should stay away from Cook in next year's draft.
July 12, 2020, 9:36 pmNaz Mitrou-LongSG, Indiana Pacers
Naz Mitrou-Long was unable to make much of a splash in 2019-20, recording averages of 4.7 points, 0.7 threes, 2.3 assists and 0.3 steals in 14.2 minutes per game.
Mitrou-Long only took to the court in three games, limiting his per-game value to the top-350 and his value by totals in the top-450. He was not fantasy-viable asset and will not likely be an impact-player anytime soon.
July 12, 2020, 9:35 pmMarkieff MorrisPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Markieff Morris did not play well in his eight-game stint with Lakers after being bought out by the Pistons.
Morris was a top-220/250 asset in 8/9-cat formats for the season overall. However, in his eight games with the Lakers he averaged 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game on 38.9-percent shooting. He was solid option in 18-plus team formats due to the volume he was getting with the Pistons, but that faded once his time with the Lakers began. His fantasy value will be largely dependent on the role he receives with whatever team signs him for next season. Regardless, it is unlikely that Morris will finish inside the top-150 with any team unless he is seeing solid minutes as a starter.