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I’ve put together a preview of what to expect from EFB this year for those looking to get a better understanding of what they will be paying for. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of the type of content that is behind the paywall. For a full list of all the content that has been put out so far, you can click here. If you like what you see and want to sign-up for access to all of EFB’s content, click here:

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Punt Steals (Yahoo)

Punt Steals (ESPN)

21/22 Fantasy Basketball Playoff Schedules and Analysis

21/22 Schedule Grid

 

Pairing Guides Preview

Stephen Curry (Pick 1-4)

Punt Assists:

Stephen Curry/Zach LaVine

Above average in Points, Threes, FG%, FT%

Average in Steals

Below average in Rebounds, Blocks, Turnovers

  • Category scarcity is the name of the game here. When punting assists, we have to hit points and FT% early and often, and there are not many better points and FT% starts than this one. This is also a very strong FG% start. The numbers will say that it’s about average, but given that you haven’t picked up a big yet, it is a start that is guaranteed to land you in a very strong position in the category after you pick up your first couple of big men. This is obviously an unbelievable start in threes, which is part of the reason why we shouldn’t worry about not getting many rebounds and blocks early. You will have no issue taking on low-3PG bigs who dominate both categories later in the draft if this is how you begin your draft. Turnovers are the only real concern here, which is going to be the case with any LaVine pairing. In eight-category leagues, this is a nearly flawless duo.

 

Punt Threes:

James Harden/Jimmy Butler

Above average in Rebounds, Assists, Steals, FT%

Average in Turnovers

Below average in Points, Blocks, FG%

  • Butler and Harden do not compliment each other as well as Butler and Nikola Jokic do, but this is still a very strong pairing. Buckets was the second-ranked player in nine-category punt threes and Harden was the seventh-ranked player. This is an extremely strong start in boards for a small-small start, and a dominant one in assists, steals, and FT%. Butler can also offset Harden’s massive turnovers hit by himself, so this works well in both nine-category and eight-category leagues. You will enter the third in rough shape in points, blocks, and FG%. Make points the priority over the next few rounds. Points dry up much faster, and there is plenty of FG% impact and swats available late. Some of that FG% impact and blocks will come with a FT% hit, but that is not a big deal, as this pairing guarantees a strong finish in the category.

 

Damian Lillard (Pick 4-8)

Punt FG%:

Damian Lillard/Nikola Vucevic

Above average in Threes, Rebounds, FT%, Turnovers

Average in Points

Below average in Assists, Steals, Blocks

  • There are higher-upside pairings than this, but few of those pairings come with a higher floor. Lillard is one of the safest first-round picks, and while Vucevic will lose some value this year, the team that he is on makes him fairly safe. There will be no rest days for the star big man now that he’s on a borderline playoff team. Steals are your main issue here. Vucevic’s steal rate is fine for a big, but Lillard’s is poor for a guard. You will also go into round three in very poor shape in blocks. That’s a bit of a problem because this duo is only average in points and most of the shot blockers who allow you to make up serious ground in swats are not higher scorers. This tricky situation makes Kristaps Porzingis and Jaren Jackson Jr. very strong targets in the middle rounds.

 

Fast Starts Guides Preview

Nikola Jokic (Pick 1-2)

Punt Threes

Jokic/Butler/Ball/Collins/DeRozan – A great start in assists and FT%, which are two categories that dry up quickly. This group is also elite in steals and turnovers and strong in FG% and on the boards. Points are slightly low. Blocks are weak, but that’s not a major issue as swats are the easiest category to find during the second half of the draft.

 

James Harden (Pick 3-6)

Punt FG%

Harden/Butler/Mitchell/Porzingis/Jackson Jr. – This is the start for those who want to throw caution to the wind and go all-in on upside. If you do decide to roll with this group, make sure that your next few picks are safe. This group is below average in boards and above average everywhere else. It is dominant in points, blocks, and FT% and puts you in a nice spot in turnovers as well.

 

Damian Lillard (Pick 4-8)

Punt FG%

Lillard/Vucevic/Mitchell/Holiday/Nurkic – This is a start without any significant holes. Rebounds and blocks are a touch low, but that is normal in punt FG% and can be fixed with one big. This group is elite in threes, assists, and FT% and above average in turnovers.

 

Paul George (Pick 10-12)

Punt FG%

George/Davis/Ingram/Holiday/White – This squad is very weak in rebounds but is in great shape everywhere else. You may not be able to get back to average in boards by the end of the draft with this start, and that is OK. We don’t have to build the perfect team on draft day. Just one that has a very strong core. This group comes in as above average in every other category and is especially strong in the defensive categories, FT%, and turnovers.

 

Projections Preview (Projections are updated DAILY and are adjustable for league size and budget)

Nine-Category Top 5:

Eight-Category Top 5:

Yahoo Points Leagues Top 5:

ESPN Points Leagues Top 5

Nine-Category Punt Steals Top 5:

 

Top-150 Preview

1) Nikola Jokic (PF/C) – Usually there are two or three viable options for those lucky enough to have the first pick. This year there is only one in both eight- and nine-category leagues. When a player is coming off of one of the best fantasy seasons of all time and is one of the most durable players in the league, you take him at one every time. Jokic was so dominant last season that he finished as the top overall player in the punt assists build. If the Nuggets were fully healthy, I would expect some regression due to Michael Porter Jr.’s development, but since we probably won’t see Jamal Murray until after the All-Star break this year, the MVP should be able to approach last season’s numbers. Due to his all-around excellence, Jokic is a strong fit for almost every punting strategy, but he does make more sense in the punt points, punt threes, and punt blocks setups. He gains value in punt threes and punt blocks and provides elite numbers in the categories that all three builds tend to struggle with. Of those three punting strategies, I lean towards punt threes as being the best option for a Jokic-led team. The big man gains a fair amount of value in that setup (1.3 3PG) and punt threes tends to be a little easier to pull off than punt blocks and especially punt points. However, when it comes to deciding between those three strategies, I recommend mocking and using EFB’s Team Building Tool to figure out which build allows you to create the strongest team. If you think you can build a better Jokic-centric team by punting points or blocks, then go for it.

Best Builds: Punt Points, Punt Threes, Punt Blocks

24) Trae Young (PG) – This ranking assumes that you are sliding Young into a friendly build, ideally punting FG%, because he’s unlikely to finish this high outside of friendly builds. The Hawks’ improved depth did lead to a drop in shots and value last season, but that wasn’t the only reason why Young ended up busting in nine-category leagues. His shot distribution also changed, and it led to a further drop in value. After putting up 9.5 three-point attempts a night in 2019-2020, Young only attempted 6.3 per game in 2020-2021. Unless that dip reverses itself, I can’t see Young bouncing back in a significant way. We also have to worry about the new foul-baiting rules. Young was arguably the worst offender in the league last year when it came to creating contact with defenders. If he loses an attempt or two a night, it’s going to have a significant impact on his value since he derives so much value from FT% (88.6 FT% on 8.7 FTA). I know this has been a very negative breakdown, but that doesn’t mean that Young can’t be very valuable in the right setup. We just want to make sure that we don’t move too early on the All-Star. Trae was still a top-25 nine-category punt FG% weapon last year and cracked the top-15 in eight-category leagues (4.1 TOPG) thanks to his elite FT% impact and dimes (9.4 APG), excellent points (25.3 PPG), and useful threes (2.2 3PG). Keep an eye on your swipes if you draft Young. He produces well below average numbers for a guard in the category (0.8 SPG).

Best Builds: Punt Steals, Punt FG%

122) Andre Drummond (C) – If you play fantasy football, you know what you have to do with Drummond. If you grab Joel Embiid in the first, you have to grab Drummond late. If you don’t have Embiid on your squad, then Drummond is still a reasonable pick because the second Embiid misses his first game – likely at some point during the first two weeks of the season – the Embiid owner will come calling. Handcuffing is rarely a thing in fantasy basketball, but this is one of the rare situations where it makes sense. When (not if) Embiid goes down, Drummond could turn into an early-round option. When Embiid is healthy, Drummond will be just a low-end asset, but likely a somewhat useful one. Even in an 18 MPG role, Drummond should be a very strong source of rebounds (16.0 RP36) and a consistent help on the defensive end (1.9 SP36, 1.4 BP36). He should also be a decent source of FG% impact. The former All-Star only shot 49.3 percent from the floor last year, but that was partially due to a lack of effort during his Cleveland days. After the move to the Lakers, he shot a much more respectable 53.1 percent from the floor.

Best Builds: Punt FT%

 

Team Building Tool

So how does this work and what is it useful for?

  • This tool is meant to make it easier for you to test different player combinations. Mock drafts are extremely time-consuming, and instead of spending over an hour seeing if a Nikola Jokic/LaMelo Ball/Michael Porter Jr. start works better than a Nikola Jokic/Zach LaVine/Donovan Mitchell start, you can use this tool to compare the two scenarios in seconds.
  • This tool should also be useful in real drafts. You can use it to test different combinations on the fly and to keep track of your squad’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The tool is customizable for leagues size (8-to-20 team leagues), type of data (EFB’s projections vs. 20/21 numbers), and host (Yahoo, ESPN, or Fantrax).
  • The tool is very easy to use. Just click on a player’s name and the tool will populate with that player’s numbers.
  • You can see how your team is doing after every round compared to the averages of the players taken up to that point.

 

Matchup Analyzer Tool

  • This tool tracks how your matchup is progressing and will make it easier for you to make the right adjustments mid-week.

 

Player Comparison Tool

– The tool shown below is for nine-category leagues. There is also an eight-category version of the tool.

 

Trade Analysis Tool

– The tool shown below is for nine-category leagues. There is also an eight-category version of the tool.

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