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Collin Sexton’s volume makes him a must-add in fantasy basketball

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Sexton is shooting the ball more than Karl-Anthony Towns, yet is owned in less than 40% of leagues.

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Two NBA drafts ago, Collin Sexton was taken 8th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his rookie season, Sexton averaged 16+ points per game on 43% shooting from the floor, taking 3+ 3-point attempts on a 40 3PT%, along with 3 assists and nearly 3 boards (2.9 RPG). Very rookie-esque, especially considering that he played on a terrible team just entering a rebuild after LeBron’s departure for the Lakers.

This year, Sexton is averaging 17+ PPG on 43.9 FG%, with 3.9 3PA per game on 33 3PT%. He’s dishing 2+ APG, and grabbing 3+ RPG, while shooting 80% from the free throw line (83 FT% last year). He still looks like an undersized, 20-year-old playing against enormous men, but he’s better; John Beilein has the Cavs looking like a team that has competent vets (including Kevin Love, who’s been fantastic), and raw-but-learning young gunners in Sexton, rookie Darius Garland, and Kevin Porter, Jr. (who’s looked better recently, since 10/30 he’s shot 44% from the floor after a super rough start to the season, including 0 for 6 in the first game).

The Sex-Land Cavs (Sexton + Garland, the supposed backcourt of the future in Cleveland) are a work in progress, and who knows if anyone in their front court will still be wearing maroon in March. But you can’t ignore the 15.4 FGA on the season for Sexton, the most shots on the Cavs. That’s interesting to me because only 40 players in the NBA are doing that right now, AND because every player who averages 15+ FGA per game (and, isn’t out injured for awhile) is owned in at least 80% of leagues (nearly all of them are 90% owned).

Collin Sexton is 37.9% owned.

Now, some of that low ownership is because A) no one cares about the Cavs and no one knows who Collin Sexton is, B) his ratios seem subpar, and C) he’s young.

However! The fact that no one’s paying attention to Collin Sexton means that HEY, NO ONE’S PAYING ATTENTION TO A GUY WHO SHOOTS A LOT! Sexton’s taken 246 shots this year; that’s more than Terry Rozier (84% owned), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (88% owned), and Karl-Anthony Towns (one jillion percent owned). Players who are getting lots of shots should be lots of owned.

“But, Natty, you gorgeous son of a bitch, look at Sexton’s subpar shooting stats!,” you say.

Fine, let’s look at them. Like I said above, Sexton’s shooting 43.9% from the floor this year, 33% from three, and 80% from the line, while averaging 15+ shots per game. So, is that good or bad? The list of players who are also doing that is 15 players long, and it looks like this:

  1. James Harden (99% owned)
  2. Luka Doncic (99% owned)
  3. Bradley REALLY BIG Beal (99% owned)
  4. Kyrie Irving (99% owned)
  5. Maestro Damian Lillard (99% owned)
  6. Donovan Mitchell (99% owned)
  7. Trae Young (99% owned)
  8. Pascal Siakam (99% owned)
  9. Anthony Davis (99% owned)
  10. Paul George (99% owned)
  11. Devin Booker (99% owned)
  12. Lou Williams (95% owned)
  13. Bojan Bogdanovic (87% owned)
  14. Jamal Murray (96% owned)
  15. Collin Sexton (37.9% owned)

Collin Sexton’s volume makes him ELITE. Collin Sexton’s ratios aren’t actually as bad as you think! He’s shooting 33.3 3PT%; Harden is shooting 33.8 3PT%! And, Sexton averaged 40% from three last year!

Sexton could have some positive regression coming, and he probably has gradual improvement coming just because of his youth and his accumulation of reps. We know that Sexton can shoot better from deep than he has so far this season; only three of the guys from that list above are also shooting 40+ 3PT%: Bojan, Booker, and PG13.

I’ve seen John Beilein coach the HELL out of players (witness the majesty of Moe Wagner in Washington right now), and I have no doubt that he’s a great influence on the Sex-Land backcourt (remember undersized Trey Burke, coached by Beilein, taking the University of Michigan to the NCAA Championship?). If Sexton gets even a little bit better, if his deep shot reverts to his efficiency from last year, if his boards, and dimes and steals go up just a little, then he’ll be fantasy gold. Why?

Forty guys averaged 15+ FGA per game last season. 33 players also shot 43+ FG%. 24 players also shot 33 3PT%. 19 players also shot 80+ FT%. 12 players also averaged 1+ SPG. That’s one hell of a list. Sexton could be on a list like that this year.

Sexton’s talent is less than those players (I mean, I think…), but his volume makes up for it. Minutes, and shots, are like water: they make things grow. If Sexton’s available in your league, you should roster him, if only to see where this goes. How high can his volume take him?

All numbers courtesy of ESPN.com and NBA.com. Thank you!