NBA Fantasy Fun: The First Annual “All Do-Nothing” Fantasy Team

  • In a lot of ways, fantasy basketball is all about bragging: finding the new stud, the beast in waiting, the unicorn. There are countless articles about “who is the next guy” to blow up.

    This is not that kind of article. This article is about the polar opposite: players who are frequently rostered that do very little to help your team win. There are certainly emotional attachments, biases, and cluelessness that anchor these players in place. My hope is to snap you out of it if you habitually roster any of these players.

    To be fair, these are all good players in real life. Most are lockdown defenders often responsible for defending the opposing team’s best offensive option and not much else. That’s nice, don’t care. This is fantasy and fantasy requires production. You’d think as a defense-first player they get at least a couple of stocks, right?

    As a baseline, I looked at data from the past three years (thanks BasketballMonster) and established some cutoffs for the ADN team. The player has to have played in at least 41 games and averaged at least 25 minutes per game. This filters out scrubs. These are all meaningful rotation players. Then I screened out turnovers because this is about production. Then I looked at per 36 stats to create an even playing field. The remaining players were ranked by their overall z-scored value across all categories. For those of you not familiar with the method it adjusts for the relative prevalence of stats for all categories and combines them into one metric. For example, steals and blocks are more valuable than 3s because there are fewer of them, and that affects the overall value score.

    Without further ado, I give you the first annual All-Do-Nothing starting five.

    ADN Starters

    PJ Tucker
    Career Per-36 Averages: 8.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 42.5/36.6/74.9% Shooting Splits

    I don’t get him at all. He’s all reputation at this point. Less than one three-pointer and less than one stock (steals and blocks) per game? If uncalled fouls and flops were a fantasy category then he’d rank a lot higher.

    Isaac Okoro
    Career Per-36 Averages: 10.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 45.9/33/74.9% Shooting Splits

    I’m not ready to call him Jarett Culver yet, but Cleveland finally reduced his minutes last year.

    Reggie Bullock
    Career Per-36 Averages: 11.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 42.5/38.4/82.7% Shooting Splits

    He’s a 3&D wing without the 3. Just 1.9 three-pointers per game last season despite averaging over 30 minutes.

    Dorian Finney-Smith
    Career Per-36 Averages: 10.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 43.7/35.7/72.3% Shooting Splits

    This guy must have incriminating photos of Mark Cuban. Hope he has some of Joe Tsai.

    Ayo Dosunmu
    Career Per-36 Averages: 11.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 50.6/34.4/74.4% Shooting Splits

    This may be a shocker, but what has he done really except for a couple nice runs when he got injury minutes on a bad team? At least he doesn’t shoot 40% like the other guys.

    ADN Second Team

    RJ Barrett – This is widely acknowledged and yet we continue to draft him. Other than points what does he do? When the shots decline he’s toast.
    Cody Martin – We’ll have to make a special exception for the Martins as they are the only twins eligible for the ADN team.
    Caleb Martin – Just shows how ridiculous his 2023 playoffs really were. As a Celtics fan am I petty? Bitter? Sure, what of it?
    Patrick Williams – Time’s up, Pat. I had to make a special exception since he missed games in 2022, but he deserves the nod here.
    Herb Jones – Whaaatttt? Everyone loves Herb. Just shows how little he does outside of steals. The ultimate one-trick pony.

    So there it is. If you roster one of these guys you have no one to blame but yourself for losing. Who else would you put on the ADN team?

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