What is Dwight Howard's Value?

Dwight Howard is one of the most difficult players in roto basketball to put a value on, because he traditionally has a lot of huge positives (rebounds, blocks, points, field goal percentage) but on the other hand can lose you free throw percentage by himself and is a bad source of turnovers as well.  Just like in real life, in rotisserie basketball Howard seems to be the heir apparent to Shaq.  His ADP in Yahoo! leagues was 11.3, but I've seen him go as high as early first round in some leagues and as low as third round in others.  When I do my projections for Rotowire, we generally have to really pay attention to where Howard ends up because with his free throw percentage the ranking formula we use is often content to rank him down at the bottom of the league.  And this is assuming that he does dominate in his traditional categories, which seemed life a safe assumption entering the season.

Through the first month, though, that hasn't been the case.  Because while his free throw percentage and turnovers have still been as poor as advertised, all of Howard's usually great  numbers have been down as well.  He is still good for a consistent double-double (17.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg) but those aren't the dominating 23 and 15 we might have expected.  Plus, he has only blocked 1.6 shots per game, a far cry from his league-leading numbers of last season.  Entering Thanksgiving, Howard was ranked 165th according to the Yahoo! player rater. 

On Thursday night Howard exploded for 22 points, 17 boards and four blocked shots...essentially, what we thought would be a relatively average night for him this year.  But he continued to bring the negatives as well, going 4-for-9 from the line with five turnovers.  When I saw his line my first thought was that he might finally be turning things around and earning his value.  But even if he stays at his Turkey Day level...would he be worth it?  Given that the terrible free throw shooting and turnovers are constant, what does Howard have to do in the other categories to make himself worthy of his draft slot?  Obviously 17 and 11 with 2 blocks isn't good enough...would 22 and 13 with 4 blocks be enough?  Does he have to scored 25 and 15?  Higher? 

In other words, what would Dwight Howard have to average over the next four months for him to be worthy of being the best player on YOUR rotisserie team?


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