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Fantasy Friday – Cannot Spell Unique without DJ

DeAndre Jordan is to fantasy as he is in real-life. He fits only certain systems that exploit his specific strengths.

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve always enjoyed fantasy sports because they offer me two avenues of benefit: keeping up with how other players in the League are doing, and also a chance to do some light numbers crunching and strategizing. While doing some research, it was interesting to find that Fan Duel’s fantasy basketball scoring system is not exactly kind to DeAndre Jordan. While DJ is a great source for blocks and rebounds, Fan Duel’s scoring system does not take into account shooting percentages, whether free throws or field goals. This makes sense, given Fan Duel focuses on daily fantasy competitions.

Heck, it may be nice to shield one’s eyes from DJ’s horrible free throw percentage (he’s shooting 35.3% over the last 2 weeks). Still, it’s the complete reverse for DJ’s field goal percentage. DJ is a unique fantasy player because of how he operates in the Clippers’ offense. He basically never shoots outside of 3 feet and he never shoots outside of 10 feet. From 3 to 10 feet this year, DJ is shooting 10.1%. From point blank to 3 feet this year, DJ is shooting a sexy 89%. In total, he’s an awesome 73.4% this year from the field. He’s ahead of all other fantasy-relevant centers by a country mile and then some.

As such, part of DJ’s value has always come from his ability to help balance out the terrible field goal percentages of other players. There are a fair number of fantasy-relevant players that are ‘chuckers’: they throw up a ton of shots and give you good stats in categories like points and 3 pointers made. Still, their field goal percentage is completely trash. Take for example James Harden. A perennial top 10 fantasy player, Harden is shooting 42% from the field this year. Trevor Ariza, a guy that gives you about 14 points, 6 rebounds , and 2+ assists a game shoots an awful 37.6%. In the end though, when you play a weekly fantasy format that doesn’t focus on percentages, players like Ariza and Harden become more valuable while DJ becomes less valuable.

In the end, it’s still nice to see that DJ has evolved into such an efficient player that knows his role and embraces it so well. Whether in fantasy or real life, DJ is only really meant to be a player on certain kinds of teams. He’s never going to carry a team. He’s going to be a great a role player that matches well with certain kinds of teams building around productive shooters.

As always, head over to FanDuel to register and play their NBA fantasy games.

Disclaimer: Even though this is a sponsored post with affiliate links, all of the opinions in this post are my own. And as an FYI, FanDuel gave me some cash to play its daily fantasy games.