2015-2016 DFS Breakout Ballers: Reggie Jackson
This is the first installment of a 10 part series spotlighting players that will make a significant leap in the 2015-2016 NBA season. Each player featured in this series are prime prospects to target in season long formats, as well as early season DFS lineups before their prices rise. Let’s get into it!
Why We Believe
For NBA enthusiasts, the belief that Reggie Jackson honed the skills to transform into a fantasy stud was not a rarity. Jackson’s ability to get to the rim with ease is what stood out most. Pair that with above average court vision and solid rebounding for his position, and it was apparent that Jackson had fantasy beast written all over him. Much of that potential was showcased in game 5 of the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Jackson exploded for a 32 point, 9 rebound breakout performance in a thrilling overtime victory on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant struggling to make plays, Scott Brooks turned to Jackson to provide a spark, and he delivered. This marked the first time Jackson was given the opportunity to lead the Thunder’s first unit, and he did so in outstanding fashion against a stingy Memphis defense in a hostile environment no less. After proving he had what it took to lead an NBA team, the only question was when he would get the chance. Fast forward to a wild 2015 trade deadline and Jackson believers everywhere celebrated as he was dealt to Detroit. Jackson in a ball dominant role leading a Stan Van Gundy offense was an ideal match, but would he deliver?
What the Numbers Tell Us
Despite only averaging 29 Minutes Per Game (a figure that is sure to rise next season), Jackson was 10th in the league in Total Drives to the basket last season. On those drives, Jackson converted on 50% of his Field Goal Attempts which is a higher than household names such as James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Eric Bledsoe to name a few. Pair that with a Team PPG on Drives of 10.5, Jackson was a top 20 playmaker when looking at the numbers for last season.
Now let’s take a look at why Jackson’s arrival to the Motor City only strengthens our argument on why he is primed for a breakout fantasy season.
Jackson’s Team PPG on Drives rose from a respectable 10.5 to a league leading 15.6 during his 27 games in a Pistons uniform. The next best player in this category is the 2015 League MVP runner-up and top 2 fantasy performer James Harden at 14.3. Once in Detroit, Jackson also averaged 7.3 Points Per Game on drives to the basketball which only trailed Tony Wroten (crazy I know!) and guys named James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook respectively. Take this evidence and add in the fact that Jackson was also second in the league in drives per game after arriving in Detroit and DFS fans can easily see that Jackson is seizing his opportunity of becoming a fantasy stud.
The numbers Jackson posted once he landed in D-Town suggest that he could easily become a top 20 fantasy player in the 2015-2016 season. Driving to the basket and converting those drives into points or assists at a top tier rate are rare skills to possess and Jackson ranked at the top in both categories amongst elite fantasy company (except Wroten, although we do like him as long as Sam Hinkie continues to trot out the C team in Philly). It’s also important to note that SVG will have his first full summer to tinker with the roster and surround Jackson with more capable shooters and assist targets which could raise Jackson’s ceiling even higher. The summer of 2015 also provides Jackson with time to become more acclimated to SVG’s system and his Detroit teammates which should translate to increased efficiency on offense which Jackson struggled with at times last season. More to come on Detroit and Jackson as we progress through the draft and free agency this summer, but one thing is already for sure, Jackson is a player to target next season.
 The number of points a team produces as a result of player drives towards the basket
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