Why I won’t put Dwight Howard in the first round of H2H rankings

  • Objects in mirror are more difficult than they appear: While a word of caution and an explanation regarding Howard’s fantasy value is fine and dandy, it’s usually not as simple as it sounds. Let’s say you draft the big fella in the first round and commit to punting FT%. This would mean that in the second round, your ideal picks would be either Josh Smith (60.6 percent in the past two seasons) or Rajon Rondo (63 percent in his four-year career). But what if those two dudes are taken before you can get them? What if players that would fit into your punting strategy continue to be taken throughout most of the draft, forcing you to either compromise your plan, reach a bit too often for players who should be taken a round or two later, or just completely lose your cool and draft a mediocre team? It can happen. Even if you’re aiming to draft Howard in the first round and endeavor to actually target players with great free-throw percentages to make up for his 59 percent from the line on 10+ attempts per game, the same risk of unfortunate drafting scenarios can easily take place. Punting is a great tactic for Howard owners in a vacuum, but in reality there’s a lot of room for error. (This isn’t even to mention how difficult it could be to transition from drafting with a roto or traditional H2H mindset, which are oftentimes the same for many owners, to a punting/compensating strategy.)

  • The ceiling is sagging: Let’s be brutally honest here: despite the upbeat mentions of how much he has worked on his shooting and offensive arsenal during each offseason, we never see any of that come to fruition once the season starts. Let’s take a look at Howard’s stats for the past three seasons:

Year

G

Min

FGM

FGA

FG%

FTM

FTA

FT%

Reb

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2007-08

82

37:42

7.1

11.9

59.9

6.5

10.9

59.0

14.2

1.3

3.2

0.9

2.2

3.3

20.7

2008-09

79

35:42

7.1

12.4

57.2

6.4

10.8

59.4

13.8

1.4

3.0

1.0

2.9

3.4

20.6

2009-10

82

34:42

6.2

10.2

61.2

5.9

10.0

59.2

13.2

1.8

3.3

0.9

2.8

3.5

18.3

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