Trade Targets Based on Punting Steal’s


Today we are going to look at some potential trade targets for seasonal fantasy standard leagues based around punting a single category. A lot of people will also punt assists along with steals but for the purpose of keeping the list smaller, for now, we will just focus on a single category and as always we ignore turnovers in any type of build.

People are influenced by overall rankings but realistically the difference of overall value between a player ranked 65th vs 80th or 85th vs 105th is so really quite insignificant. It’s all about acquiring the right players to fit your build and improving your weaknesses while being aware of your competition. Example; if you already are winning the steals category convincingly every week, there is no point going out and trying to acquire Marcus Smart whos value is concentrated in steals.

Just like when you draft, if you decide on a punt steal strategy that doesn’t mean you have to get all the players who get the least amount of steals. Otherwise, you will end up with all big men and weak in threes and assist. Same goes for trading, you are focusing on the stats you are looking to acquire based on your current rosters strengths and weaknesses as well as your competitions, while ignoring the steal’s category, doesn’t mean you have to trade for players that give you minimal or zero steal’s. That being said, if a player is a top 80 player but has a big deficiency in one or more categories then he is really strong in others to get him to that ranking position. Thus if you are ignoring that deficient category or categories they tend to offer a lot more value in the other categories than another player ranked in a similar position. If you are losing a specific category a majority of weeks then it doesn’t matter if you lose it by more when acquiring a player who offers nothing in that category, you are still going to lose it.

It’s important to note that your current team and competition should always be reviewed before making any trade. I’ll use Marcus Smart as an example again. As mentioned if you are already miles ahead in the steals category there is less value in acquiring him and you should focus your efforts and resources elsewhere. On the flipside his weakest category is rebound’s so unless you are already punting rebounds or are so strong in that category where it won’t hurt you, then he probably isn’t the player for you.

Another method is attempting to do 2 for 1 trades if you happen to have someone on your roster that you have picked up with solid short term value or upside while another player is injured. Rather than just dropping that player I will attempt to try and trade that player, plus another player for a player of similar value (of the better of the two) for a player that better suits my build. Example right now for punting steals is Kemba Walker or Jayson Tatum and Marc Gasol or Harrison Barnes for Devin Booker.

You’ll notice a majority of players who gain the most value in a punt steals build are bigs, as there value is generally all concentrated in rebounds, blocks and FG%, keep this in the back of your mind when trading so you don’t end up with too many bigs and lack in other categories that are generally tied to guards such as 3s, assists and FT%. If you play on Yahoo they still have two Center position slots so having multiple bigs can lead to an advantage in total games played over the season which helps in a punt steals or assists build.

Let’s get into a few examples of players who’s values increase substantially when punting steals.

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Jonas Valanciunas

Value gained: 20-40 ranking spots

Projected: 65-75 ranked player

Punting steals: 35-45 ranked player

Another hard to find efficient big who is only a slight negative in the FT% category. No other category aside from steals is challenging to come back from with JV. His 2nd worst category is 3s but as we’ve mentioned before, 3s are a lot easier to find than any other category. For a long time people who have drafted JV have wished for 28mpg-30mpg which would push him toward the top 30 but it just never looks like it is going to happen. Being capped out at 26mpg along with the potential of Jaren Jackson Jr and Brandon Clarke getting prioritised as the season moves along, acquiring Jonas has its risks. In a punt steals & assist build he jumps to a top 30 player, even in those limited minutes. I wouldn’t offer anyone inside the top 80 for him.

Thomas Bryant

Value gained: 30-50 ranking spots

Projected: 75-85 ranked player

Punting steals: 35-45 ranked player

Currently injured, Thomas Bryant, is a respectable FT% shooter for a big, just below league average with a Z-score of -0.46 so far this season. Very similar to JV but with a lot more upside. Currently with the injury if you have 2 spare IR spots I’d consider trading for him. Potentially for someone with some short term value like a Jeremy Lamb, although he has dropped off a bit of late. Perhaps a Myles Turner if you have excessive blocks and are comfortably winning that category each week. Or a Montrezz Harrell whos value is all tied up in FG% especially if you’re not punting FT% which you probably should be if you have him on your roster.

Brandon Ingram

Value gained: 5-25 ranking spots

Projected: 30-40 ranked player

Punting steals: 15-25 ranked player

One of the surprises of the season thus far. However, a few unknowns when obtaining Ingram could make or break you winning your league. We are yet to see him with Zion Williamson and will the Pelicans make any trades? I personally don’t put a lot of stock into potential trades but when coupled with other factors it does build the concerns. While he was never a great 3 point shooter he also wasn’t a terrible one. 3P% generally correlates to FT% and I am also a believer in that FT% is influenced by state of mind and happiness. As a result, BI has been jumping up the rankings with the rise in his FT%. If you go back and check my twitter you will see multiple tweets of me preaching that Ingrams FT% was real. What was once a punt only category BI’s FT% has gone from a Z-score of -1.73 to 0.71 this season which also contributes to more points, the scarcest category. It may be a touch harder to obtain Ingram than others but if you push the fact of Zion coming back you may just get lucky! I envision Ingram being a top 40 player even with Zion back so I wouldn’t want to offer anyone inside of that. You may need to offer a name player to get him. If you’ve been holding Oladipo I would offer him by playing up his previous seasons rankng and Indiana’s push for the playoffs. Jayson Tatum is also another player somewhat overvalued by name recognition. Maybe a CJ McCollum with his current hot streak or Jamal Murray at a stretch.


Stay tuned for our players to target when punting blocks article.

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