• When I first realized I could punt free throw percentage in my roto league, I thought I was so cool. It was like I had stumbled upon the cheat code and no one else knew it. I believe I started a draft with Shaq, Dwight Howard, and Ben Wallace once year. And I could make a one-for-one trade, sending away a player for one that was significantly better for my team seemingly anytime I wanted. By sacrificing a few points in that one category, I could add five or ten points overall. Fun stuff.

    Fast forward a few decades, and now anyone involved with fantasy sports has immediate access to every piece of news and strategic thought ever. A basic punt strategy isn’t so exotic anymore. If you choose to punt a category or two, you may be competing with two or three other teams with the same, or similar, strategy.

    But I’m not here to talk about how to draft a punt team. We’re nearing mid-season, and it’s time to reassess our squads. No doubt injuries and roster turnover have your team(s) looking significantly different than they did on draft day. But you’re not punting, you say? Maybe you should be. There’s a good chance that your team is near the bottom of at least one roto category or that you haven’t won a specific head-to-head category more than a time or two in months.

    This week, I’ll take a look at some trade targets for punt scenarios in each category. And while the concept of punting isn’t likely to be new to anyone reading this, I think a brief reminder at how much value there is to gain by punting could benefit us all.

    Now, if you find yourself competing in just about every category and still within striking distance in a weak category where you just need a small boost, I’ll have something for you next week as we check in on category specialists that might have more value to your team than to their current team.

    I’m not going to give full stat lines today. I think rankings will tell the story better, so I’ll just provide Basketball Monster’s 9-category per-game rankings (through 1/14) for each pairing. The first player in each example will have the higher overall ranking, so consider them this week’s name brand players. The second player will have a higher ranking after punting a category (today’s off-brand guys). The thought here is that if you have the first player, or someone similar, you could swap them for the guy with the better punt ranking and maybe even an upgrade in another area. We begin with my old favorite.

    Free Throw Percentage

    Field Goal Percentage

    Turnovers

    Points

    Rebounds

    Assists

    Steals

    Blocks

    Threes

    Use this guide responsibly. Trading Giannis or LeBron, for example, for a worse overall player that’s better for your punt scenario isn’t always wise. Some players are so strong in multiple categories, that you might accidentally hurt your team if you’re not careful. The goal should be to make sure you’re not losing much at other categories that matter to you in this process. And remember to note that in many of these pairings, since you’d be dealing a significantly better player overall, you should be trying to upgrade at another position at the same time in something like a 2-for-2 deal. Maybe even focus on teams that are lacking in the stat that you’re planning to punt. It’s time to load up for the stretch run. So, check those trade deadline dates, and get active. I’ll catch you next week for some specialist talk.

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