NBA Market Share Report: Is Otto Porter Ascending?
We’re back with another weekly edition of the NBA Market Share Report. If you didn’t catch last week’s installment, be sure to check it out and see which hoops nuggets are still hot on the stove one week later, including DeMar DeRozan, T.J. Warren, and #TheProcess.
As for this week, with excitement pertaining to the start of the new year firmly transitioning into natural hoops veg out, we’re sifting through the endless storylines and tidbits of the young NBA season and talking about how a handful of them may or may not impact the fantasy marketplace and your FanDuel lineups.
The Best Team You Haven’t Paid Attention To
Despite seemingly not much interest surrounding Charlotte Hornets basketball leading up to season tip off, the Hornets are off to a quietly awesome 6-1 start, and it’s about time we take notice.
The best thing about this Hornets team is 1) unless you’re a Charlotte fan, you didn’t expect it, and 2) they’re taking care of business on both ends of the floor. Defensively, Charlotte ranks second in the league in both defensive rating (95.4) and points allowed off turnovers (11.7), trailing only the Los Angeles Clippers in both categories. Their defensive rebounding percentage peaks above 80 percent, which then limits their opponents to just 13 second-chance points per game, and they’re not shying away from being aggressive, as they’re averaging 8 steals and 5 blocks per game.
On offense, the Hornets tote an offensive rating of 105.1, giving them a net rating of 9.6, which is good for third in the league and ranking above teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors. Oh, and remember those fewer than 12 points allowed per game off turnovers? That’s because they lead the league in protecting the ball, turning it over just 11 times per game.
Stingy possession like that leads to nearly 27 percent of the Hornets’ 105 points per game coming from beyond the arc and another 20 percent by way of getting to the line and making over 77 percent of their 27 free throw attempts per game.
Certainly the meat and potatoes of your daily fantasy lineup consists of individual players, but consider this your heads-up to earmark the Charlotte Hornets and their presently-efficient brand of basketball: the one you didn’t see coming and probably the one you still hadn’t heard about.
We Otto Talk About Porter
If you haven’t had a chance to take in the Washington Wizards so far this season -- congrats. You’re doing great. Things are going about as well as expected in D.C. following the front office putting all their eggs in one basket last summer, then being completely shutout by the target market of said basket, and then following it all up with boneheaded roster construction.
But of the limited bright spots surrounding Washington basketball -- right up there with John Wall everything, Marcin Gortat on the glass, and Tomas Satoransky -- it’s the play of Otto Porter that may be shining brightest.
Admittedly so, this is coming somewhat on the heels of a career performance from Porter on Wednesday night against a banged up Boston Celtics team. But even so, there’s some volume numbers worth mentioning.
For starters, Porter is logging 35 minutes per game, which says a lot considering we’re seven games into the season and new head coach Scott Brooks is still throwing rotations at the wall to see what sticks. Despite his minutes on the floor, however, Porter isn’t jacking up an insane number of shots, but he is connecting on 61 percent of them, which ranks first amongst players averaging at least 30 minutes.
His deep shooting is lacking at the moment -- just 32 percent -- but we can anticipate improvement if/when the Wizards (hopefully) begin to find some rhythm.
He’s also contributing and providing value by way of a respectable eight rebounds and a little more than a steal per game, as well as a recent flurry of blocks in his last couple outings. His top-10 nERD, fourth-most distance traveled per game, and other hustle work may not necessarily score us any fantasy points, but it does assure us the minutes and resulting opportunity.
The sample size is probably too small at this point, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Porter become a strong value play -- perhaps with some upside -- on a nightly basis. More minutes leads to more confidence, which leads to more productivity.
Kickin’ It With Andrew Wiggins
We mentioned him briefly in last week’s article when talking about DeMar DeRozan (who’s still not done being possessed, by the way), but it’s only fair Andrew Wiggins receive his own tip of the hat, too.
Playing close to 35 minutes per night, Wiggins helps the Minnesota Timberwolves play faster and score more points while he’s in the game. He leads the league in both points per touch and three-point shooting (63.6 percent) amongst those with at least 25 minutes a night, and he’s getting to the line almost eight times a game.
While he’ll also give you a few rebounds and a couple of dimes a night, Wiggins is in your lineups for his 29-percent usage rate with lots of minutes, his 24 points per game, and his recent trend of meeting at least four times value (four fantasy points per $1,000 in salary) in five of seven games, including an average of more than seven times value over his last two.
It’d be nice to get more contribution in other areas, but for right now, Wiggins has a thrifty shooting hand we can depend on until proven otherwise.
A Quick Trim of the Beard
Not to bore you with words and phrases about how insane James Harden is, but can we take a second to at least appreciate his league-leading 13 assists per game?
We had every right to be excited about Harden playing in Mike D’Antoni’s offense leading up to the season, but now that he’s in it and we’re seeing it and things are entirely too entertaining not to watch -- holy smokes. And as FanDuel players, we all know how valuable those assists can be.
Add that aspect of Harden’s game to a 34-percent usage rate, 8 three-point attempts per game (at nearly 40 percent made), and double-double stat lines occurring more often than not, and you have yourself one helluva beard coming in.
Sergio Making Us Smile
Speaking of beards, how great is it to have Sergio Rodriguez back in the league?
I wanted to talk about Rodriguez last week, but I couldn’t decide if that stemmed from a fantasy perspective or just because I like watching him play. And to be honest, I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I can hardly contain my excitement anymore.
Truth is, though, thanks to FanDuel’s scoring platform (perhaps there’s some sort of correlation here between good beards, assist numbers, and resulting fantasy value), Rodriguez is fantasy relevant. He’s playing 30 minutes per night and stinking it up from a scoring standpoint with fewer than 10 points per game on 35-percent shooting, but he makes up for it with his 7 assists, 4 boards, and 1 steal per game.
In no way is Sergio Rodriguez a must-play in your lineups, but on those nights where you’re looking for value and who to plug in, he provides a comfortable floor (four times value in four of seven games so far) with good run and a shooting stroke we can only assume improves as the season progresses.
Remember to use your turn signals. See ya next week.