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Punt to Win: Part 1 – Punting Assists

Punt to win is a series of articles dedicated to foregoing a particular category in order to dominate your fantasy basketball league. Today we look at Part 1 — punting assists. Structural drafting became a bit of a hot-button issue in fantasy football this season. Many at RotoViz have gravitated towards “Zero RB” drafting, where you essentially punt the running back position early in drafts, however not all structural draft strategies are that controversial. Late round quarterback is a version of structural drafting, and that has become widely accepted as a smart way to target signal callers in leagues where you only start one. Even something as simple as waiting until the last two rounds to draft your defense and kicker is technically a version of structural drafting. As effective as structural drafting can be in fantasy football, I would argue that it can be even more effective in fantasy basketball. One version of structural drafting has become exceedingly popular in head-to-head categories (and to a lesser extent in rotisserie) leagues: punting a category.

Punting a Category

The premise is simple. Fantasy basketball leagues are typically decided by eight or nine categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, threes, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and occasionally turnovers. By voluntarily forfeiting one of the categories, you can build a team that is dominant in six or seven others. This helps you in multiple ways. First, each category you win in your matchup typically counts as a win in the standings and racking up five to six wins a week should give you more than enough wins to qualify for the playoffs. That’s where this strategy really becomes dominant. If you build a squad that can crush in multiple categories, it’s going to make you extremely difficult to beat in the postseason. Whether you win 5-3, 6-2, or 8-0 doesn’t matter; you’re moving on to the next round.

What Category to Punt?

All of this begs the question – which category should I be punting? The answer depends. I personally like to keep my options open when heading into a draft and look to adjust my strategy as my roster unfolds. After all, punting assists after drafting Russell Westbrook wouldn’t make any sense.1 So let’s run thru a few different punt options, starting today with the assist category. We’ll identify the goals of each specific build, potential downfalls, and some players who stand to benefit the most in each format.

Punting Assists

  1. FYI, Westbrook is the perfect candidate to build a team that punts the FG% category.  (back)

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By Matt LaMarca | @MattLaMarca | Archive

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