Fantasy Basketball: The Goran Dragic, Luol Deng and Jordan Hill Road Blues

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Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng

Nov 25, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) drives while defended by Utah Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson (24) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 89-83 in overtime. Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Blues legend Robert Johnson had his “Cross Road Blues,” Dylan has the “Dirt Road Blues,” and, for the most part, NBA players have some version or other of the road blues. Road crowds show no love and a road team’s stats usually show it.

But Goran Dragic, Luol Deng and Jordan Hill aren’t your regular road blues recipients. At least for this year, they’re been really crumming it up when away from home.

In deep fantasy basketball leagues their reduction in production during road games might not be something you can strategize around but, as you’ll see below, it’s worth the occasional sitting in shallow leagues if your stats need the cushion.

(This generally applies more to 8-cat, no turnover leagues but other than for Deng, their turnover numbers are worse on the road too).

Goran Dragic

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Home

47.3

80.6

1.5

0.3

0.8

2.8

7.0

20.7

Road

47.1

73.9

0.7

0.0

0.8

3.3

6.8

14.2

With Eric Bledsoe not crowding the backcourt, Dragic has been sensational for the Suns. He’s posted 31 points twice in the past five games. Yep, you guessed it, the two times came in Phoenix.  The Suns haven’t been a good road team, losing four of six, but Dragic also drops in contributions across all categories except rebounds (probably from cleaning up all of his teammates’ misses). If this road blues trend continues, think about benching him for stints when playing against top-seeded road teams with pristine home records.

Luol Deng

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Home

51.7

90.0

0.6

0.4

1.6

6.8

4.2

18.4

Road

39.9

81.8

0.4

0.1

1.1

7.7

3.0

17.1

Now that Derrick Rose is out for the season, Deng will be the Bulls’ No. 1 option on certain nights. But as his numbers reveal, his shooting, defense, and assists take a tumble when playing in opposing arenas. If you’re duking it out with a matchup in field-goal percentage on a given night, maybe do without Deng when he isn’t in Chitown.

Jordan Hill

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Home

60.5

75.0

0.0

0.9

0.4

9.0

1.4

11.9

Road

44.7

50.0

0.0

1.1

0.3

8.9

0.9

7.1

Though inconsistent, Jordan Hill is capable of stuffing the statsheet. All in all, he’s been one of the better fantasy surprises of the year. But his off nights tend to come along a lot more often when not representing the Staples Center at home.

On the road, he’s shooting a whole 15.8% worse from the field and and is hitting only half of his free throws. His rebound numbers will be nice on any given night but you’ll have to decide if they’re worth such a drop-off in shooting percentages.

All Stats Come Courtesy Of NBA.com

Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles
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