Updated: Jan 23
Fantasy Dynasty Basketball Week 3 is complete. It's time to talk about notable player's shot attempts per game. Last year, I wrote an article highlighting the Usage Rate of players. This year, I would like to focus more on shot attempts. Below are some key components that can help gauge the positives and negatives.
Usg% - Usage Percentage (available since the 1977-78 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * ((FGA + 0.44 * FTA + TOV) * (Tm MP / 5)) / (MP * (Tm FGA + 0.44 * Tm FTA + Tm TOV)). Usage percentage is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor (per Basketball Reference).
We'll have a Dynasty Basketball outlook on these players that we're going to cover and see if they can sustain this pace. Tatum, SGA, and Nunn are the players we're going to highlight on in this article. We could have used different players in this aspect, but we wanted to use a few surprising names here. Different Environments can help change a player's shot attempts. One of these players could be an outlier, but needless to say, it's worth using under this formula.
Keys to Pumping Up the Volume
Shot attempts help indicate a player's skill potential. Coaching is a Key Component. Coaching helps build the confidence of a player to look for more shot attempts through play-sets. Because of their unique skillset, the player has to score more for the team. Although a player may shoot a lot, that doesn't make them a great player. We'll talk about the downfall of it momentarily.
The More shot attempts you take, the more you have a chance to score. Points scored by a player in the 2018-2019 average were around 15.5 Points per game in 9-Cat Leagues. This means that anything less than 15.5 Points would start damaging point category value. If you are looking for Points, then pumping up the volume makes sense here. Points can come from 2pt, 3pt, and FT attempts.
3-Point Shots Made Have Increased
The 3-point shot has transcended the NBA. Likewise, 1.4 3-Point Shots made is the 9-Cat average from 2018-2019. The 2014-2015 NBA season Average was 1.0 3-point Shots made. This means that anything less than 1.4 3-point shots per game becomes a negative in category leagues due to most Players taking more 3-point attempts. Can we expect more 3-pointers made in the future?
Foul Totals Have Increased
The season is still early, but there has been a lot of fouls called over the last few years. This increases the chance to get to the foul line for more shot attempts. Forgive me for putting Phoenix out there, but check this stat line out: Phoenix Team fouls have increased each year from 2017 (22), 2018 (23.6), to this year where they are averaging 29.4 fouls per game. I chose this team because they have been one of the worst teams to shell out fouls. The majority of the league fouls have increased over the past three years. The foul increase has helped players to get to the line more.
Negative Effects of Pumping Up the Volume
High shot attempts can damage a player's Field Goal and Free Throw %. Jayson Tatum comes to mind here. Tatum's Field Goal Percentage has regressed each year. Not all players that take a lot of attempts shoot worse but they can regress. Most players take a dip in that department because defenses focus more on that player. Also, it's safe to say that the player has to exert more energy to create shots for himself.
Progression Chart Tatum, SGA, and Nunn
Why the Volume Working for these Players
Number 1 Option Soon
The opening of the season for Tatum has been a treat. There were indications that he would improve because of Kyrie, Horford, and Rozier leaving. It seems like only those players would help boost Tatum's value. In contrast, Kemba Walker's usage rate is currently higher than Kyrie's 29.6 last year. This means that the assumption of Irving leaving town was going to be the main beneficiary of Tatum's improvement this year was a bit of an outlier.
Horford and Rozier's usage did help allocate shot attempts to Tatum in Boston. Another player that took some of the usage and minutes was Marcus Morris. Morris was an under-the-radar guy that we overlooked due to the well-known players in Boston. We talk about the small resurgence of Morris on Take A Ride Podcast episode 117. Kanter hasn't played much this season, but we can assume that he'll take some minutes and attempts away.
Brad Steven Minute Distribution
I think the interesting thing that Boston is doing this year is that they are running a tighter rotation compared to last year. Tatum and Kyrie were the only Celtics to receive 30+ Mins per game last season. This season Tatum, Smart, Kemba, and Hayward are averaging 30+ Mins a game. The extra minutes given to Tatum has opened up more shot attempts. Above all, Tatum has cemented himself as a legitimate top-end Dynasty Player.
Notable Mention -
Gordon Hayward was a bounce-back candidate I had coming into this year. He averaged 25.9 Mins last year and is currently hovering around 34+ mins per game. Stevens could potentially reduce his minutes this season so selling high could make sense if you get a solidified top 50 player or better in return. It's great to see G-Hay turning back the clock and playing like the Prime G-Hay we saw back in Utah.
Article Edit- Unfortunately If you weren't able to catch this article early sooner you may have not been able to cash in on a sell high moment.
High Dynasty Ceiling
Change of scenery clearly Stands out here for SGA. OKC opened up a massive opportunity for shot attempts. Russell Westbrook and Paul George are gone. The only other talent remaining is CP3, Gallo, and Steven Adams. SGA flashed some of his talents in L.A. but had players ahead of him for shot attempts last year. A massive increase in shot attempts has boosted his value this year in fantasy. Currently, SGA is attempting about 2x's the amount of shot attempts this year than last year. The clear path for shot attempts this year has made it easier to assume a quicker breakout.
O.P.E.R.A System Potential through the offseason
The Hot start is starting to fade away, but the potential Top 80-130 Range is a fair assessment for Nunn this year. The high shot volume opportunity he was receiving was sitting at around 17 attempts a game. Jimmy Butler came back from personal time off and took attempts away. It made sense that his volume would decrease and potentially his starting job. The good news is that he's keeping his starting job for now.
It's anyone's guess how long Nunn can sustain this early season success. The hope is that he continues to get the minutes similar to what he was getting in the Summer League, Preseason, and the first few games of the Regular Season. Nunn has the talent, and he deserves all of the opportunity he's currently receiving.
Miami Heat has a lot of good ball handlers, so this situation will be fun to watch all season. In conclusion, Nunn has been a breath of fresh air in fantasy. Keep in mind this could just phase out like Linsanity years ago.
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