Dr Pickem

James Harden 2019-2020 Outlook

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40 minutes ago, hipriest69 said:

 

This is very true and brings us back to a fundamental question / strategy - should you punt or not punt?  Of course a case can be made for each.  In roto Curry wouldn't destroy your FG and TO.  In H2H you are more likely to punt.  Because if you do punt FG / TO then Harden's value last year jumps to 2.11, which eclipse's Curry's value (barely) in his best year (2015) when punting Curry's worst two stats - blocks and TO...and it eclipses Curry's value last year which was 1.23 when punting.  It seems unlikely that either get back to their "best", because Curry would have to up his steals closer to 2, where we often see decline in that cat as players age.  Harden posted 2 steals which is probably the highest he will get, but I'd bet Harden likely ends up with more steals.  Basically if you punt FG/TO then no one is close to Harden even with regression.  Take out Harden's historic year last year and go back to the year before, on a punt FG / TO no one's even close.  The year before that he was just slightly behind Westbrook, but still easily #2 by a wide margin.  

 

So the dilemma remains, do you take AD or Curry in H2H and not punt (or at least not initially punting pending the next few picks)?  With Harden's team you're auto-punting but also stacking the draft board in your favor.  There's going to be a lot better punt FG/TO littles at the turn coming back this year than there are standard non-punt littles.     

  

Then assuming both teams meet in the playoffs...If Harden's team is punting they'll likely win FT, Points, assists, 3's, steals...and win 5-4.  If you have Curry or Davis or whoever you're probably trying to either stack 3's, assists, or steals to steal that category and win 5-4 (along with spending resources on blocks, FG, Reb, etc to balance your team if you're not punting, all cats that Harden's owner doesn't care about...and in the playoffs will just be streaming more steals, 3's, and assists making it harder for you to catch them).  

Now if we're talking about constructing a championship team like you mentioned then I can admit you made solid points but you're ignoring a couple. We both agree that drafting Harden is basically a guaranteed FG/TO punt so I will argue that it doesn't stack the draft board in your favour. If you draft Curry you wait til the 2nd/3rd turn and can draft BPA, which could easily create a better team than being handcuffed to a specific punt. For example say Gobert falls to you at the end of the 2nd, if you're a Harden owner punting FG/TO you're probably better served taking Kemba, Trae or another little. If I own Curry, I take Gobert and continue to draft BPA until an obvious punting strategy presents itself. Maybe Gobert and Drummond fell to me at the turn, now I have Curry, Gobert, and Drummond, if I owned Harden you would probably end up passing on at least one of them to follow your punt strategy and avoid a triple punt. 

IMO a guaranteed punt after the 1st round stacks the draft board against you because now you're either drafting the best player available or subscribed to a punt and drafting guys who specifically fit your build. Obviously theres cases where BPA fits your build perfectly but in the case of Harden vs Curry theres way more players who fit Curry's build which gives you more options. You draft Harden and you have already subscribed to punting two specific categories before you even pick another player. If you draft Curry, you can decide between 3-4 categories that you would like to punt as the draft progresses and your team takes form. Obviously this is hypothetical but in an even world you should always pursue the option that offers the most flexibility.

Now I can argue why I believe punting 2 of 3 efficiency categories is a bad idea in H2H especially with the Rest/Injury risk increasing every year. If you punt FG/TO you better make sure you draft the players with least injury risk because you will need as much volume as possible to win 3 straight weeks. The efficiency cats, mainly FG/FT are not predicated on volume and are the biggest defence against late season injury/rest risk in H2H playoffs. Picture a scenario where you are outplayed 10-15 games in fantasy playoffs (entirely possible in today's unpredictable H2H playoffs) and you still lose turnovers, along with FG%. It's next to impossible to win after being heavily outplayed if you lose 2 cats that ignore volume. If you are strong in the efficiency cats you will be much better off in a situation where your team is injured, or just heavily outplayed. Being elite in those cats decreases the significance of injury which is a random and sometimes unpredictable variable. The lower it's significance the better your chance of winning a championship

Obviously the Harden thread is the worst place to mention this and I will probably annoy the guys who won a ship with him but it gets harder and harder to ignore as H2H playoffs becomes a bigger sh*t show each. Even with that said I believe Harden is an elite top 3 fantasy asset and his consistency is amazing in the era of load management. You're much better off punting FG/TO with him on your roster than most 1st rounders. Just wanted to offer up a perspective and strategy that makes sense in theory when speaking on the AD/Curry/Harden debate.

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Except for the fact that Harden shoots 44%, which isn't bad for a guard, it's just the volume that is damning.  Even so, pairing Harden with someone like Stifle (unlikely at 24, so is Drummond btw so it's sort of a weird example to use) or Capela alone rocket your FG% back over 50%.  No, you aren't obligated to make a poor choice merely because you have Harden.  Now punting FG/TO does unlock his potential so maybe if the correct player makes it back, e.g. Trae or Kemba then you decide to punt FG/TO.  IMO it's more about whomever makes it back then it is about Harden.  Harden, even without punting, was the #2 best player per game.  Technically, he was #1, but I'm throwing out AD's 20MPG games late in the season.  But with punt FG/TO he becomes the best player in a decade.  Most people are already punting TO in H2H so don't act as if that is a big cost.  It's mostly his FG%, which as I stated, isn't insurmountable.  

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1 hour ago, FantasyBallFan said:

Now if we're talking about constructing a championship team like you mentioned then I can admit you made solid points but you're ignoring a couple. We both agree that drafting Harden is basically a guaranteed FG/TO punt so I will argue that it doesn't stack the draft board in your favour. If you draft Curry you wait til the 2nd/3rd turn and can draft BPA, which could easily create a better team than being handcuffed to a specific punt. For example say Gobert falls to you at the end of the 2nd, if you're a Harden owner punting FG/TO you're probably better served taking Kemba, Trae or another little. If I own Curry, I take Gobert and continue to draft BPA until an obvious punting strategy presents itself. Maybe Gobert and Drummond fell to me at the turn, now I have Curry, Gobert, and Drummond, if I owned Harden you would probably end up passing on at least one of them to follow your punt strategy and avoid a triple punt. 

IMO a guaranteed punt after the 1st round stacks the draft board against you because now you're either drafting the best player available or subscribed to a punt and drafting guys who specifically fit your build. Obviously theres cases where BPA fits your build perfectly but in the case of Harden vs Curry theres way more players who fit Curry's build which gives you more options. You draft Harden and you have already subscribed to punting two specific categories before you even pick another player. If you draft Curry, you can decide between 3-4 categories that you would like to punt as the draft progresses and your team takes form. Obviously this is hypothetical but in an even world you should always pursue the option that offers the most flexibility.

Now I can argue why I believe punting 2 of 3 efficiency categories is a bad idea in H2H especially with the Rest/Injury risk increasing every year. If you punt FG/TO you better make sure you draft the players with least injury risk because you will need as much volume as possible to win 3 straight weeks. The efficiency cats, mainly FG/FT are not predicated on volume and are the biggest defence against late season injury/rest risk in H2H playoffs. Picture a scenario where you are outplayed 10-15 games in fantasy playoffs (entirely possible in today's unpredictable H2H playoffs) and you still lose turnovers, along with FG%. It's next to impossible to win after being heavily outplayed if you lose 2 cats that ignore volume. If you are strong in the efficiency cats you will be much better off in a situation where your team is injured, or just heavily outplayed. Being elite in those cats decreases the significance of injury which is a random and sometimes unpredictable variable. The lower it's significance the better your chance of winning a championship

Obviously the Harden thread is the worst place to mention this and I will probably annoy the guys who won a ship with him but it gets harder and harder to ignore as H2H playoffs becomes a bigger sh*t show each. Even with that said I believe Harden is an elite top 3 fantasy asset and his consistency is amazing in the era of load management. You're much better off punting FG/TO with him on your roster than most 1st rounders. Just wanted to offer up a perspective and strategy that makes sense in theory when speaking on the AD/Curry/Harden debate.

 

 

34 minutes ago, StifleTower2 said:

Except for the fact that Harden shoots 44%, which isn't bad for a guard, it's just the volume that is damning.  Even so, pairing Harden with someone like Stifle (unlikely at 24, so is Drummond btw so it's sort of a weird example to use) or Capela alone rocket your FG% back over 50%.  No, you aren't obligated to make a poor choice merely because you have Harden.  Now punting FG/TO does unlock his potential so maybe if the correct player makes it back, e.g. Trae or Kemba then you decide to punt FG/TO.  IMO it's more about whomever makes it back then it is about Harden.  Harden, even without punting, was the #2 best player per game.  Technically, he was #1, but I'm throwing out AD's 20MPG games late in the season.  But with punt FG/TO he becomes the best player in a decade.  Most people are already punting TO in H2H so don't act as if that is a big cost.  It's mostly his FG%, which as I stated, isn't insurmountable.  

 

 

Nice points guys, this is really quality stuff.  The FG becomes even more variable in a short playoff week sample size of 3-4 games.  If Harden goes off he can shoot over 50% and could even help win you FG...but you know almost without a doubt he's winning you FT.  I had Harden + Kemba last year and won FT against a team with Lillard and Curry, even though I also had Harrell and Capela negatively dragging down FT.  

 

I usually prefer non-punt teams because I feel I can rack up a better regular season record and not worry about making the playoffs as much, whereas a few bad weeks from a punt team makes it shaky and you're probably middle of the pack fighting for a spot.  

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7 hours ago, StifleTower2 said:

Except for the fact that Harden shoots 44%, which isn't bad for a guard, it's just the volume that is damning.  Even so, pairing Harden with someone like Stifle (unlikely at 24, so is Drummond btw so it's sort of a weird example to use) or Capela alone rocket your FG% back over 50%.  No, you aren't obligated to make a poor choice merely because you have Harden.  Now punting FG/TO does unlock his potential so maybe if the correct player makes it back, e.g. Trae or Kemba then you decide to punt FG/TO.  IMO it's more about whomever makes it back then it is about Harden.  Harden, even without punting, was the #2 best player per game.  Technically, he was #1, but I'm throwing out AD's 20MPG games late in the season.  But with punt FG/TO he becomes the best player in a decade.  Most people are already punting TO in H2H so don't act as if that is a big cost.  It's mostly his FG%, which as I stated, isn't insurmountable.  

It’s not possible for “most” people to punt a category.  When discussing a punt on these forums we hardly mention absolute numbers, or some benchmark number that is considered as a punt. Yes you can draft ignoring turnovers but punting is relative, majority of the league cannot punt the same cat. 

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1 hour ago, FantasyBallFan said:

It’s not possible for “most” people to punt a category.  When discussing a punt on these forums we hardly mention absolute numbers, or some benchmark number that is considered as a punt. Yes you can draft ignoring turnovers but punting is relative, majority of the league cannot punt the same cat. 

Actually everyone can punt the same cat, particularly if it’s one of the efficiency ones.  Punting is subjective, meaning a manager doesn’t pay attention to that cat.  It doesn’t mean do deliberately poor at it to no advantage.  When I play H2H almost no one cares about TO.  If you want to distinguish between “soft punt” and “hard punt” then most people are soft punting TO.  But almost no one considers it a cat to deliberately attempt to win. 

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11 hours ago, StifleTower2 said:

Actually everyone can punt the same cat, particularly if it’s one of the efficiency ones.  Punting is subjective, meaning a manager doesn’t pay attention to that cat.  It doesn’t mean do deliberately poor at it to no advantage.  When I play H2H almost no one cares about TO.  If you want to distinguish between “soft punt” and “hard punt” then most people are soft punting TO.  But almost no one considers it a cat to deliberately attempt to win. 

I can agree with you that most people do think that way about Turnovers, but again I believe that is wrong. I have seen you present the idea of punting points for with a similar theory. Most people overvalue points and put a premium on it, just like most people undervalue turnovers and discount it. Not paying attention to an extremely overvalued cat can be just as valuable as paying attention to an extremely undervalued category.

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1 hour ago, FantasyBallFan said:

I can agree with you that most people do think that way about Turnovers, but again I believe that is wrong. I have seen you present the idea of punting points for with a similar theory. Most people overvalue points and put a premium on it, just like most people undervalue turnovers and discount it. Not paying attention to an extremely overvalued cat can be just as valuable as paying attention to an extremely undervalued category.

I agree.  In a 12 team draft, generally only two or three people care about turnovers, and I’m one of them!  But this thread isn’t about my approach. It’s about Harden, where to draft him, and how to maximize his value.  I’m guessing the majority of people would be better served by drafting Harden first and punting FG/To.  Whether I would do personally is irrelevant. 

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The 9 categories are balanced so the majority of players are drafted right where they should be as far as real talent goes. Sure Harden hurts you in FG and TO. But he can dominate in others.....But you still need a "team". So just draft 3 really good players and...This is where most drafts are won....4th thru 8th rounds in my opinion. Who cares if you get Harden or not. I don't think you win a league in the top 3 rounds.....Its the sum of the whole.......Just know the 31-100 ranked players. Everyone knows the top 30.....Just give me any pick from 1-12 or however many teams. I will basically draft BPA and make the PlayOffs....You guys think too much.

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With the unfortunate injury to Cousins I think AD swings back to #1.  The Lakers will have to run Green, AD, McGee if they want to keep AD happy and away from the 5.  But even so Kuzma will play 3/4 off the bench forcing AD to play 5.  AD will have to start at 4 but play 5 with the bench unit because they don’t have the depth anymore.  I think they will rest him but when he plays he will have to play 36+.  The playoff schedule didn’t resolve anything as they both have average schedules.   But I think AD could just blast off and have a career year, while Harden might be capped by Westbrook.  Considering AD was historically much better than Harden in per game I think he becomes clear #1.

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2 hours ago, StifleTower2 said:

With the unfortunate injury to Cousins I think AD swings back to #1.  The Lakers will have to run Green, AD, McGee if they want to keep AD happy and away from the 5.  But even so Kuzma will play 3/4 off the bench forcing AD to play 5.  AD will have to start at 4 but play 5 with the bench unit because they don’t have the depth anymore.  I think they will rest him but when he plays he will have to play 36+.  The playoff schedule didn’t resolve anything as they both have average schedules.   But I think AD could just blast off and have a career year, while Harden might be capped by Westbrook.  Considering AD was historically much better than Harden in per game I think he becomes clear #1.

Yeah, AD is gonna have to play the 5 this year. He doesn't like to, I get it, but he is better there clearly and with DMC gone he might not have much of a choice if he is serious about winning. Sacrifices need to be made to win, this will be one. He doesn't like banging with 5s, but he'll have to. An AD/McGee frontcourt wouldn't be too great lol. From a fantasy standpoint, he is obviously better at the 5 but he is more likely to get hurt.

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I don't know what they can do salary wise but I would bet they bring in a big...early guess is Noah available?  

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so where does he go in a Points league ?

In my league last season, he had the 2nd highest average, ironically just slightly behind Russ. You'd have to think he (well, both of them) takes somewhat of a hit..... but how much?

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Apparently he's added a one legged step back now? Got a feeling the refs will call him for traveling a lot more to start of the season just to set a precedent. He'll find a way to circumnavigate (no pun intended) the rules again though as he is a genius on the court. 

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That's kinda weird, when I think of Magellan, I don't think of him being on a little trip.

"Watcha doing for the next few years, Ferdy?"

"Oh, you know, just traveling around.  Not exploring or discovering, just a little vacay."

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he will be great again, probably best bet for h2h redraft leagues...

Edited by Pumbaa
redraft

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Harden preseason

44 pts, 7 ast, 5 reb, 5 stl, (34 mins)

40 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, (34 mins)

37 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl (28 mins)

34 pts, 7 ast, 2 reb, 1 stl (27 mins)

22 pts, 9 ast, 3 reb, 3 stl (27 mins)

10 pts, 17 ast, 12 reb 2 blk (21 mins)

 

I don't know why D'Antoni lets his MVP play so many minutes in these meaningless game

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12 hours ago, kane said:

Harden preseason

44 pts, 7 ast, 5 reb, 5 stl, (34 mins)

40 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, (34 mins)

37 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl (28 mins)

34 pts, 7 ast, 2 reb, 1 stl (27 mins)

22 pts, 9 ast, 3 reb, 3 stl (27 mins)

10 pts, 17 ast, 12 reb 2 blk (21 mins)

 

I don't know why D'Antoni lets his MVP play so many minutes in these meaningless game

 

what the hell is wrong with him?  

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36 minutes ago, hipriest69 said:

 

what the hell is wrong with him?  

Looks like harden genuinely loves playing ball and dominating

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18 hours ago, kane said:

Harden preseason

44 pts, 7 ast, 5 reb, 5 stl, (34 mins)

40 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, (34 mins)

37 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl (28 mins)

34 pts, 7 ast, 2 reb, 1 stl (27 mins)

22 pts, 9 ast, 3 reb, 3 stl (27 mins)

10 pts, 17 ast, 12 reb 2 blk (21 mins)

 

I don't know why D'Antoni lets his MVP play so many minutes in these meaningless game

 

Yeah this is like Fizdale level stupidness. But the great thing about Harden is that he's so durable - doesn't rely on explosiveness, athleticism and breakneck speed. Just a crafty, shifty guy who can get to the basket with deception and can score from 30 ft out with ease. His game is not so conducive to any real wear and tear. Dude is like the Neo of basketball.. defenders coming at him in slow motion while he scores 40 pts without breaking a sweat.

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21 hours ago, kane said:

Harden preseason

44 pts, 7 ast, 5 reb, 5 stl, (34 mins)

40 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, (34 mins)

37 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl (28 mins)

34 pts, 7 ast, 2 reb, 1 stl (27 mins)

22 pts, 9 ast, 3 reb, 3 stl (27 mins)

10 pts, 17 ast, 12 reb 2 blk (21 mins)

 

I don't know why D'Antoni lets his MVP play so many minutes in these meaningless game

 

He wants that preseason mvp

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