• Below is a list of the top 24 players ranked in order of 2016-2017 season 9-category cumulative value, according to Basketball Monster.  The first parentheses represents the average draft position (ADP) of the player in Yahoo leagues.  The second parentheses represents the difference between ’16-’17 value and ADP this season.  Negative numbers in second parenthesis mean the player is being drafted below his finish last year, while a positive number indicates the opposite.

    1. Stephen Curry (4) (-3)
    2. Anthony Davis (7) (-5)
    3. Karl-Anthony Towns (6) (-3)
    4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (5) (-1)
    5. James Harden (3) (+2)
    6. Russell Westbrook (2) (+4)
    7. Kawhi Leonard (9) (-2)
    8. Kevin Durant (1) (+7)
    9. Jimmy Butler (17) (-8)
    10. Isaiah Thomas
    11. Rudy Gobert (15) (-4)
    12. Paul George (18) (-6)
    13. John Wall (10) (-3)
    14. LeBron James (8) (+6)
    15. Otto Porter (42) (-27)
    16. Myles Turner (24) (-8)
    17. Damian Lillard (16) (1)
    18. DeMarcus Cousins (14) (4)
    19. Draymond Green (22) (-3)
    20. CJ McCollum (25) (-5)
    21. Hassan Whiteside (19) (-2)
    22. Kyrie Irving (12) (+10)
    23. Kemba Walker (21) (+2)
    24. Nikola Jokic (11) (+13)

    I didn’t have to bold Otto Porter for you to realize there is something strange going on with his ADP relative to his final ranking from last season.  In fact, if we take a closer look at the other players who possess a large differential, Porter’s situation becomes even more curious.

    The largest non-Otto discrepancies are Jokic (+13), Irving (+10), Turner (-8), Butler (-8) and Durant (+7).   Most of these differentials are easy to explain and understand.  Jokic’s season long value was suppressed by his slow start when he was playing backup minutes for Denver.  If you calculate season long value after that first month, Jokic’s number 12 overall finish last year almost mirrors his number 11 ADP.  Irving, of course, has left his role as Cleveland’s number two option and is now the unquestioned focal point of the Celtics offense.  Unsurprisingly, this led fantasy owners to expect him to improve his production from last year.  Turner’s discrepancy will provide more fuel for the gist of this piece, and I will get back to him, but if any readers out there have a different opinion please share below!  Butler is essentially pulling a reverse Kyrie by going from the unquestioned number one offensive option to a team where he becomes the second option in an offense with three potent weapons.  Continuing his reverse Kyrie trend, Butler’s ADP is eight spots below his finish from last season.  Writing about Durant is almost a waste of space, but his season long rank is depressed by the missed games from his late season injury.  He was the top player on a per game basis last year, and clearly, fantasy owners expect that trend to continue.

    Going back to Porter, we ask:

    Do any of these factors apply to him?  No.
    Is Porter on a new team? No.
    Did the Wizards add new players to cut into his role?  No.
    New coaching staff? No.
    Does Porter have a disconcerting injury history? No.
    Did Porter come from nowhere to post massive value (think Whiteside circa 2015)? No.

    There are undoubtedly many reasons why Porter was so undervalued entering the season, but probably the single biggest factor is that Porter’s “best category” is turnovers.  Year after year, turnovers continues to be the most underrated category in 9-cat fantasy basketball.  Fantasy owners tend to dismiss turnovers “the worst teams are the best in turnovers” or “I can be good in turnovers and suck at everything else, or be good at everything and suck at turnovers.”  Even those that understand the concept of efficient players, like a certain Editor-In-Chief, still scoff at the notion that turnovers should be a category – “why punish the best players for handling the ball?”  These are two distinctly different emotions, one is ignorance while the other is disdain.  However, either one of these mentalities could lead a fantasy owner to undervalue the turnover category when assembling a team.

    In addition to these internal factors that make turnovers the most undervalued category, there is also an external factor at play.  Many fantasy basketball rankings are not written for 9-cat.  In fact, if you are drafting in a 9-cat Yahoo league, what ranking is likely to be used the most when drafting other than the Yahoo preset? the ESPN 8-cat ranking!  How many times have you been in a Yahoo draft, and someone justifies a pick with “ESPN had him 30 spots higher!”?  In addition to the ESPN ranking, there are many other rankings that are not created based on a 9-cat format and as a result many fantasy owners are looking at rankings that don’t factor turnovers at all.

    Let’s get back to the list at the top, and Myles Turner specifically.  Turner was drafted an average of 8 spots lower than his finish last year.  This is striking enough on its own given that Turner is an ascending player entering his third year in the Association.  However, it is even more notable when considering the former number one offensive option of his team was traded in the offseason.   There may be a few reasons why Turner was drafted well below his ’16-17 season finish, but consider that from the top-24 above Turner finished second only to Porter in turnover value.

    For a different perspective on the same issue, look at the two players with the most turnovers; Harden and Westbrook.  They are both being drafted above their finish from last year, and while there isn’t much room to be overdrafted from a top six finish, they were taken, respectively, at an average of second and third overall.  Considering that both players are likely to produce less compared to last season due to offseason player acquisitions, it is especially notable that these two players’ ADPs remained as high as they did.

    The turnover category counts for just as many points in a 9-cat league as any other category.  If others are ignoring it, use the opportunity to snatch an easy category win.

    As for Porter, we will further examine other causes for his ADP next week.

Fantasy News

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse said Kyle Lowry is playing through a lot of pain in his left thumb.

    "Kyle's hand is not great," Nurse said, "it's hurt and it's sore and it causes him a lot of pain." Lowry hurt the thumb in the series against Philadelphia and has been wearing a protective mitt on it since. He's not on the injury report and is in no danger of missing games, which speaks to his toughness.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on ESPN

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Dan Gilbert said he thinks the Cavaliers "killed it" in the Kyrie Irving trade.

    Gilbert preceded that statement with, "I don't know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston. We could have ended up with nothing." Gilbert is thinking very results based instead of what went into the process of the trade. While Irving may leave Boston, he's a phenomenal player. The Cavs traded him while they still had LeBron James and received a good draft pick and a ball dominant, but injured Isaiah Thomas. It looks good now to have Collin Sexton instead of nothing, but when you have LeBron James on your team and are automatically in title contention, it's almost impossible to "kill it" by trading away a superstar.

    Source: Terry Pluto on Cleveland.com

  • Kiki VanDeWeghe - Team - Brooklyn Nets

    The NBA has cancelled the 2019 NBA Global Camp due to "logistical issues" but they plan to have it return in the future.

    The NBA Global Camp is essentially a draft combine for international players. There originally was the Adidias EuroCamp that ran from 2003-2017, but was stopped after the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption. The NBA picked it up and had success in it's first year last year. Unfortunately, it appears the venue in Monaco was double-booked due to AS Monaco turning their season around and needing the facility for TV production and practice for their playoffs. Many international draft prospects entered the draft early with the hopes of getting to workout and interview with teams at the Global Camp.

    Source: Jonathan Givony on ESPN

  • Myles Turner - F/C - Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner tweeted that it is a "Blatant Disrespect" he did not make an All-Defensive team.

    While Turner had a phenomenal defensive season, there are only two spots overall for centers, so someone was going to be left off. Rudy Gobert was the center on the first team and is a finalist for DPOY, while Joel Embiid was the center on the second team and had a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Sixers. Turner had a marvelous season defensively and there is an argument to be made for him over Embiid, but the nature of positions on the All-Defensive teams means someone was getting left off.

    Source: Myles Turner on Twitter

  • Richaun Holmes - F/C - Phoenix Suns

    Richaun Holmes was arrested on Wednesday night for a misdemeanor marijuana charge in Miami-Dade.

    It's the second time a Suns player has been arrested in Miami-Dade, the southeastern-most county in Florida, this month – Josh Jackson was arrested at Rolling Loud, a music festival. Holmes was ironically booked as "Richard" Holmes, which we would certainly spin as an ode to how underrated he is. James Webb, who last played for the Nets in 2017-18, was also arrested. They were charged with possession of cannabis and spent a few hours in jail before posting bond. We'll see if this has any affect on Holmes' upcoming free agency.

    Source: David Ovalle on Miami Herald

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet credited the birth of his son, Fred Jr., on Monday night for his turnaround in Game 4.

    FVV said regarding his shooting woes, "Obviously it's been rough shooting the ball. I had a pretty bad stretch, so it was good to see one go in." It would make sense that he could relax mentally now that his son, his second child, was born. A big congrats to the VanVleet family on the birth of their second child; we'll see if FVV can keep the strong play going in a pivotal Game 5 in Milwaukee.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Miles Bridges - F - Charlotte Hornets

    Miles Bridges tweeted on Tuesday that he was not snubbed from the All-Rookie teams.

    "I didn't get snubbed. I played like ass all year. I don't deserve to be on any team. Next year will be different," was Bridges' full tweet. He had an alright rookie season, especially when given the opportunity. All 25 of his games played after the All-Star break were starts and he averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.1 threes on 49.0%/35.1%/83.3% shooting splits in 26.2 minutes per game. There's a lot of athleticism and untapped potential that could bear fruit in year two, especially if Kemba Walker is not with the team and there's a lot more usage to go around.

    Source: Miles Bridges on Twitter

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Knicks president Steve Mills claimed that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe had the Knicks not completed a trade elsewhere according to Kurt Heln of NBC Sports

    The tense history between Porzingis and the Knicks front office has been well documented, which makes a startling headline like this one not all that surprising. It's safe to assume that Dallas' front office will not be hearing such requests, as they represent an opportunity for optimism for both Porzingis and their franchise as a whole.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Tacko Fall - C - College

    Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.

    All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.

    Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.

    Source: NBA Injury Report