16-Team Leagues

James Harden

Harden/Siakam (Punt FG% or Punt Blocks) – Rebounds low but dominant in points, threes, steals, and FT%.

Harden/VanVleet (Punt FG%) – Bad rebounds and blocks start but dominant in all the guard categories.

Harden/Vucevic (Punt FG% or Punt Blocks) – Above average everywhere but assists and turnovers where the pair is average.

Harden/Nurkic (Punt FG%) – Nurkic doesn’t lose too much value in punt FG%, average or strong start everywhere but turnovers.

 

Anthony Davis

Davis/Vucevic  (Punt Assists, Punt Threes, or Punt Points) – Elite start in rebounds, blocks, FT%, and turnovers. Good steals start for a big/big group. FG% not great for a big/big start.

Davis/Nurkic (Punt Assists, Punt Threes, or Punt Points) – A little risky from a health standpoint, but locks in all of the big-man categories and FT% is great for a big/big start. An elite steals start too.

Davis/Siakam (Punt Assists or Punt Threes) – Everything is above average except assists and threes.

Davis/Collins (Punt Assists, Punt Threes, or Punt Points) – Outstanding percentages start, but not as strong as some of the other pairings in the counting categories.

Davis/Paul (Punt Threes or Punt Points) – Better in punt points than threes. Great start in the percentages, defensive categories, and turnovers.

Davis/VanVleet (Punt Points) – FG% low, but VanVleet fixes Davis’ issue with threes.

*Note: In 16-team leagues, there are not many good guard options for Davis-led teams in punt assists around the 2/3 turn.

 

Stephen Curry

Curry/Vucevic (Punt Anything Besides Threes) – A very balanced start. Gives you lots of options going into the middle rounds. Only blocks are low.

Curry/Gobert (Punt FT%) – Fixes punt FT%’s issue with threes but points and assists still need work.

Curry/Nurkic (Punt Points or Punt Assists) – Provides you with lots of flexibility as this pairing has no real weaknesses coming out of two.

Curry/Simmons (Punt FT%) – May be there for those that get Curry around the sixth pick. Blocks and turnovers are issues. FG%, steals, and assists are elite.

Curry/Gilgeous-Alexander (Punt Points, Punt Blocks, or Punt FG%) – Big-man categories are all low, but all the guard categories are in great shape and turnovers are solid.

Curry/Siakam (Punt Assists, Punt Blocks, or Punt FG%) – Big-man categories need work but an awesome start in points, threes, and FT%.

 

Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns/Vucevic (Punt Points, Punt Assists, or Punt Steals) – Elite threes and FT% start for a big/big team. Rebounds and blocks are very strong. FG% is only average.

Towns/Gilgeous-Alexander  (Punt Points, Punt Assists, or Punt FG%) – Great turnovers start. Threes, rebounds, and blocks are strong despite SGA. Points, assists, and FG% are low but not in terrible shape.

Towns/Siakam (Punt Assists. Punt Steals, or Punt FG%) – Strong start in points, threes, and FT% despite going big/big. Very safe.

Towns/Simmons (Punt FT%) – Monster start in rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and FG%. Turnovers high. Points and threes are low but salvageable.

Towns/Nurkic (Punt Points or Punt Assists) – Smokes the big-man categories and FT% is strong for a big/big start. All other guard categories are low.

Towns/Paul (Punt Points or Punt Blocks) – Very strong start in punt points. No per-game weaknesses there. Points will be an issue in punt blocks.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Antetokounmpo/Gobert (Punt FT% or Punt FT%/Threes) – Points are low but not too bad. Threes are a huge issue. Allows you to go small (and you must) for the next three or four rounds.

Antetokounmpo/Simmons (Punt FT% or Punt FT%/Threes) – Points are average. Threes are horrendous and turnovers are high. Elite start everywhere else.

Antetokounmpo/Gilgeous-Alexander (Punt FT%) – Threes are low. Everything else average or better.

Antetokounmpo/Paul (Punt FT%) – Points and Threes are low but salvageable. Blocks are low as Giannis is so-so there. Very strong everywhere else.

 

Luka Doncic

Doncic/Gobert (Punt FT%) – Don’t like it in shallower leagues, but in deep leagues it’s fine. Points and threes will be an issue as they will be for any punt FT% team. Steals are a big problem here. Monster start in the big-man categories and solid in assists and turnovers.

Doncic/Vucevic (Punt FG%) – Good start in points, threes, rebounds, assists, and turnovers. Weak everywhere else.

Doncic/Simmons (Punt FT%) – Much better in eight-category leagues as this leads to a double-punt. Blocks are an issue but can be fixed given the build. Elite in rebounds, assists, steals, and FG%. Threes low and will be very low after you take a big.

Doncic/Mitchell (Punt FG% or Punt Blocks) – Both FG% and blocks are very low. Turnovers are high but not dead. Nasty start in the scoring categories and assists.

Doncic/Nurkic (Punt FT%) – Not as strong in blocks or FG% as the Gobert pairing but doesn’t kill you in steals like that duo does.

Doncic/Irving (Punt FG% or Punt Blocks) – Could be there if you don’t reach for Luka early. Elite points, threes, and assists start. FT% is very strong despite Doncic. A nice auction pairing.

 

Damian Lillard

Lillard/Westbrook (Punt FG%) – Blocks are low. Rebounds are fine for a small/small start. Outstanding in all of the guard categories.

Lillard/Irving (Punt FG%, Punt Steals, or Punt Blocks) – Outstanding start in all of the guard categories and excellent in turnovers for a guard/guard start.

Lillard/Ayton (Punt Assists) – A stretch to be there but possible. Assists and steals are low. Everything else is good to great.

Lillard/Gilgeous-Alexander (Punt FG%) – A great way to win turnovers while punting FG%. Big-man categories are low. Threes, assists, and FT% are great.

 

Nikola Jokic

Jokic/Butler (Punt Points, Punt Blocks, or Punt Threes) – Jimmy drops a lot due to rest concerns, so this will be doable in a lot of leagues. A reasonable 12-team start and very strong here. Great rebounds, assists, steals, FT%, and turnovers start. FG% is solid as well.

Jokic/Irving (Punt Points, Punt Blocks, or Punt Threes) – Jokic is very durable which makes him a good partner for Irving. Excellent percentages start. Only blocks is very low, so you have a lot of flexibility coming out of two.

Jokic/Gilgeous-Alexander (Punt Points, Punt Blocks, or Punt Threes) – Strong rebounds, assists, steals, FT%, and turnovers start. Threes are the main issue here.

Jokic/Vucevic (Punt Points, Punt Blocks, or Punt Threes) – Strong assists and FT% start for a big/big pairing. Above average in swats but that will change once you take your first guard. Points and threes are low even in a deep league.

Jokic/Collins (Punt Points, Punt Steals, or Punt Threes) – Dream percentages start. Great in all the big-man categories. Assists need work despite Jokic. Points, threes, and steals are all low.

 

Trae Young

Young/Westbrook (Punt FG% and Turnovers) – Could be there now that Westbrook is sitting in back-to-backs. Incredible start in points, assists, and steals. Above average in FT% despite Westbrook. Blocks are exceptionally low.

Young/Irving (Punt FG%) – Irving in two keeps turnovers alive. Monster start in all the guard categories. Beyond elite in FT%, which puts Capela, Whiteside, etc. on the table later.

Young/Vucevic (Punt FG%) – A very strong start in deep leagues. Turnovers are close to average despite Young and only blocks is in a bad place.

Young/Mitchell (Punt FG%) – Huge start in all of the guard categories except steals where this is about average. Blocks are exceptionally low.

Young/Gilgeous-Alexander (Punt FG%) – Keeps turnovers alive and puts you in an above-average spot in all of the guard categories.

 

Jayson Tatum

Tatum/Ayton (Punt Assists) – Will be there in a lot of deep leagues, although it shouldn’t. Steals are low. No serious issues otherwise. Big start in the big-man categories, FT%, and turnovers.

Tatum/Irving (Punt Assists or Punt FG%) – Tatum is safe and therefore a good partner for Kyrie. No real weaknesses. Low in the big-man categories but those issues will be fixed after the first big. Points, Threes, FT%, and turnovers are elite.

Tatum/Collins (Punt Assists, or Punt Steals) – Very rough assists and steals start. Punting both works though. Points are a touch low. Everything else is average to outstanding.

Tatum/Vucevic (Punt Assists or Punt FG%) – FG% and dimes are rough. Steals and points are low too but in slightly better shape. Everything else is top-notch.

Tatum/Westbrook (Punt FG%) – A bad start in FT% and turnovers due to Westbrook but both categories are alive. A very nice start in points, threes, rebounds, assists, and steals.

 

LeBron James

James/Gobert (Punt FT%) – Don’t like it in shallow leagues, but it’s fine in deep. Brutal start in threes which is a huge problem for the build. Dream big-man categories start. Assists are above average and turnovers are in good shape.

James/Simmons (Punt FT%) – Nice for those willing to punt multiple categories. A very weak start in threes and turnovers. Threes will be a huge issue after you take the first big, and points will be too. Dominant in points, assists, steals, and FG%.

James/Westbrook (Punt FT% and Turnovers) – Threes will be an issue but a huge start in points, assists, and steals.

James/Butler (Punt Blocks or Punt Threes) – Jimmy is falling in a lot of drafts, so this is possible. Not safe from a games-played standpoint. You still have work to do in FT% after this, but you are alive in the category. If punting blocks, watch threes as the category is in very rough shape. Points need work. Elite in assists and swipes.

James/Irving (Punt Blocks) – Not safe, but a great way to compete with the managers with the truly elite fantasy options on their teams. FT% will still need work. Big-man categories are low, but all are still winnable. A very balanced start.

 

Kawhi Leonard

Leonard/Beal (Punt Assists) – A bit of a stretch, but will be there in some leagues. A nasty start in all of the guard categories. Blocks are the biggest issue.

Leonard/Ayton (Punt Assists or Punt Threes) – A monster start in punt assists or punt threes. Besides those two categories, everything else is in great shape. Take it if it is there.

Leonard/Vucevic (Punt Assists or Punt Threes) – A well-balanced duo, both from a per-game standpoint and a games-played standpoint. Assists and FG% are a little low. Rebounds, steals, FT%, and turnovers are excellent.

Leonard/Collins (Punt Assists or Punt Threes) – Dream percentages start. Strong in rebounds and blocks. Impossible to lose turnovers after this start, so ignore the category for the rest of the draft and don’t be afraid to grab high-turnover players.

Leonard/Adebayo (Punt Threes) – Points are low, but no other weaknesses in punt threes. Assists will be fine once you take your first point guard. Very strong in the big-man categories, steals, and turnovers. Average in FT%.

 

Kevin Durant

Durant/Ayton (Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt Threes) – Elite start in rebounds, blocks, FG%, FT%, and turnovers. Points OK. Low everywhere else.

Durant/Beal (Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt Blocks) – A balanced start, but only points, threes, and FT% are in a very good spot. Steals could be a problem for teams not punting the category.

Durant/George (Punt Assists or Punt Blocks) – George offsets Durant’s low steals. FG% low. No other red flags. Very strong in threes and FT%.

Durant/Adebayo (Punt Points or Punt Threes) – Very strong in the big-man categories. If Adebayo improves at all from the line, FT% will be solid.

 

Joel Embiid

Embiid/George (Punt Assists or Punt FG%) – Monster per-game start. Great in all of the big-man categories and not bad in turnovers. Assists and FG% are both rough. Worth the gamble in deep leagues.

Embiid/Ayton (Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt Threes) – There are not a lot of big men available in the third, so starting big/big makes some sense. A nice FT% and points start for a big-big duo. Guard categories are obviously very weak.

Embiid/Beal (Punt Assists or Punt FG%) – No major red flags going into three. Turnovers are not too bad for an Embiid team. Points, threes, rebounds, blocks, and FT% are in good shape.

Embiid/Simmons (Punt FT%) – Good chance they’re not on the same team when the fantasy playoffs roll around, so I wouldn’t be worried about a double-sit. Threes are an issue, but points are OK given that you’ve taken a big. Turnovers are rough. Everything else is elite.

Embiid/Vucevic (Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt FG%) – Vucevic is a safe partner for Embiid. Big-man categories are locked up and FT% is going to be great. Turnovers should end up in a good spot too.

 

Devin Booker

Booker/Ayton (Punt Threes or Punt Steals) – Outstanding percentages start. Steals are very low and may be harder to bring back than threes. Minimal risk as the Suns won’t be good enough to rest players late.

Booker/Butler (Punt Threes) – Punt Threes usually struggles with FT% and this start allows you to take some hits later when you are scooping up the big men who gain a significant amount of value in the build. Blocks are the big issue here, but they can be fixed by the mid-round bigs.

Booker/Beal (Punt Blocks) – Upside isn’t that high in nine-category leagues, but it’s a safe duo. Rebounds and FG% will be the issues here. Steals are low. The other guard categories are looking good.

Booker/George (Punt Blocks) – FG% is an issue despite Booker. Nothing else is too worrisome in punt blocks. All the guard categories besides assists are very strong. Dimes are average.

Booker/Irving (Punt Blocks) – All of the guard categories besides steals are excellent. FG% is very good for a guard/guard start. Rebounds are very weak.

 

Bradley Beal

Beal/Leonard (Punt Assists) – A bit of a stretch, but will be there in some leagues. A nasty start in all of the guard categories. Blocks are the biggest issue.

Beal/Embiid (Punt Assists or Punt FG%) – No major red flags going into three. Turnovers are not bad for an Embiid team. Points, threes, rebounds, blocks, and FT% are in good shape.

Beal/Booker (Punt Blocks) – Upside isn’t that high in nine-category leagues, but it’s a safe duo. Rebounds and FG% will be the issues here. Steals are low. The other guard categories are looking good.

Beal/Durant (Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt Blocks) – A balanced start, but only points, threes, and FT% are in a very good spot. Steals could be a problem for teams not punting the category.

Beal/Ayton (Punt Points, Punt Assists, Punt Steals, or Punt Threes) – Safe and gives you a lot of flexibility. Assists will be the easiest punt to pull off with this start.

Beal/George (Punt FG%) – Rough blocks start, but I’d lean punt FG% because FG% is going to harder to come back in. Blocks can be fixed by one player. Good start in the guard categories besides dimes.

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