Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic.
Today’s contributors are ESPN Fantasy’s Joe Kaiser, Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe.
Kyle Soppe: Scoring structure makes a big difference in this spot for me. If we are talking about a points league, where shooting percentage is weighted a bit heavier, give me Capela.
The Rockets play a fun brand of basketball with plenty of viable marksmen and an offensive structure that allows Capela to camp out in the paint and only take the highest percentage of shots (more than 98 percent of his career field goal attempts have come inside of eight feet).
Capela’s lack of offensive versatility plays better into a points league, whereas Turner’s range makes him more appealing in a categories league. There aren’t a ton of bigs capable of averaging a double-double while knocking down a 3-pointer per game, but the 21-year-old Turner can realize that potential sooner than later. I like both players as stable contributors and would be happy to have either on my roster in any format.
Jim McCormick: Capela is currently 10th in the league with 17.5 rebounding chances per game, defined as being within 3.5 feet of an available rebound. Turner, meanwhile, is 32nd with 13.4 per game. Turner’s teammate, Domantas Sabonis, is 19th in the league (15.5) in chances, helping explain Turner’s modest rebounding rate (7.4), which holds him back from being the superior fantasy option to Capela.
These players are similar values, as the Player Rater deftly identifies. Capela has a 32 percent advantage in rebounding, while Turner enjoys a 33 percent margin in blocks. Turner leads the NBA with 6.5 points per game as the roll man in pick-and-roll actions, but Capela isn’t far behind at 5.6. Once again, though, we find Sabonis curbing the enthusiasm for Turner, as he’s fourth in the league with 4.9 points per game as the roll man.
Capela is the premier rim-runner on a team that fields two elite point guards and pushes the pace, adding rebounding volume and influential scoring efficiency to his profile.
Many, including me, assumed Turner would thrive on sheer volume this season in Indiana, but the presence of Sabonis gives Capela the advantage in this comparison.
Joe Kaiser: Turner is out of his early-season funk and averaging 32.8 minutes a game during his past five contests, and while Capela is having quite a breakout season, he is seeing considerably less court time than the Pacers’ big man. In fact, Capela is averaging 22.8 MPG in his last five games, a full 10 minutes less than Turner.
At the end of the day, Turner is going to score more, block more shots and hit more 3-pointers than Capela, while the Rockets’ center is going to get more rebounds and shoot with greater efficiency. Given that Turner also shoots at a high efficiency, and that rebounds can be easily found on the waiver wire, I’m siding with Turner going forward (in both category leagues and points leagues).