NBA Defense vs. Archetype Overview

You can find this updated each and every day here: Defense vs Archetype

Historically, fantasy players have often used defensive fantasy points allowed to a particular position as a metric to determine how good or bad a matchup is for a certain player.

The issue with this methodology is that in today’s NBA, positions are much more fluid than the traditional Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center designations would suggest. Because of this, we at RotoGrinders have decided to re-think the way we view positions in daily fantasy basketball. We have categorized NBA players into one of eight different archetypes, and created a Defense vs. Archetype page to replace the antiquated Defense vs. Position standard.

For reference, here are the archetypes we now use to classify NBA players by how they truly contribute to their team on the floor:

NBA Player Archetypes

Distributors: This category is heavily focused on ball handlers who facilitate the offense. There are a limited number of players who have some off ball shooting and on-ball shot creating capabilities. Most of them rely on other players to finish based on their ability to set them up. Example Distributors include Chris Paul, Cory Joseph

Combo Guards: Players who may have traits of distributors, shooters, and/or scorers. They may be better described as guards with at least some creator and distributor tendencies. Example combo guards include Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.

Shooting Wings: Players who spend most of their time on the perimeter and off the ball. They tend to take most of their shots as spot up shooters, off-screens, via handoffs, and via other means that don’t require them to handle the ball often. They rarely create their own shot. Examples include Bojan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield.

Scoring Wings: Offensive capable players who spend their time on the perimeter and may even be capable of shooting as well or better than shooting wings. Their primary difference from shooters is their ability to play with the ball and become creators of offense. Examples include Demar Derozan, Khris Middleton.

3 and D Wings: Similar to Shooting Wings but typically bigger and more inclusive of the former SF and PF type players. This is a fairly broad category that may include players for the tendency to shoot the three often on offense and/or play a key role guarding versatile forwards and other shot creators on defense. They aren’t typically shot creators themselves. Examples include Klay Thompson, Royce O’Neale, and Lu Dort.

Versatile Forwards: Along side the elite combo guards, Versatile Forwards include some of the most dangerous offensive players in basketball. They may have traits from every single archetype but for sure have more than a single defining offensive trait. Most commonly, they share traits with shot creators offensively and can operate with and without the ball. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo fall into this group but they are special exceptions to any of the types we have. Better examples include Michael Porter Jr. and Tobias Harris.

Versatile Bigs: Players with great size who also tend to have a strong offensive game that strays from the basket. They have the ability to play either in the post or away from the basket as Bigs on offensive. Examples include Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kristaps Porzingis.

Post Bigs: Players who generally don’t stretch the floor and spend a lot of time near the goal and in the paint on offense. They may have some ability to step back and shoot a jumper but typically don’t look to that first. Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, and Steven Adams are players that fit the description well.

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