Finding Value in NBA Slate for 4/1/2016
All writing is based on Draft Kings pricing, but can be applied to Fan Duel in most situations.
If you have never read my article before, here is a little background on what I am trying to accomplish. I normalize the defenses using a Poisson Distribution model. If you are unfamiliar with math, it basically means if the defense is averaging a 1, they are a typical defense. If the defense has a number lower than 1, they are a better defense than average. If the defense has a number higher than 1, they are a worse defense than average. From those numbers I multiply them to a formula I came up with for how I expect a player to do based on recent and long term trends. That gives me the projection for the day. I then find something I call $PP (Dollars Per Point) for each player, which is based on a score of 250 points. If a player has a $PP less than 200 he’s undervalued and over 200 he would be overvalued. The farther away from 200 the more over or under valued a player is for the given night.
*Note*: These are not meant for you to look at and take every player I have mentioned on this list. This list is simply players that are undervalued and in good positions. You need to look at the data and situations and make your own decisions on who you believe to be in the best position for the night. Also, some players may be ruled out that are in the data set, make sure to follow some sort of injury app like Basketball Monster or Fantasy Labs NBA to get the most up to data information on Twitter. We also have a link on the front of our webpage.
Target DvP: MIN, PHI, DET
Stay Away DvP: UTA, ORL
Donald Sloan, Jerryd Bayless, and Shelvin Mack all are at the top of the value list for April Fool’s Day. I really like the spot that Mack is in against the Timberwolves. They are one of the worst defenses on the year for the point guard and have not been handling point guards well over the last few weeks. Shelvin also has been averaging 32 minutes and 1 fantasy point a minute over the last three weeks. If you are looking to move in a different direction you have value with Reggie Jackson and Deron Williams (questionable). For top level options, John Wall and Steph Curry top the list with Wall being in a better statistical spot than Curry, but I think the only chance Wall has of outscoring Curry is if he plays more minutes. If you are looking for a second tier pricing guy, Thomas, Lowry, and Walker are all priced between 7.8k and 8.0k on Draft Kings. Kemba is in by far the best position statistically of those three.
Target DvP: PHI, DAL, BKN
Stay Away DvP: UTA, MIA, DET
Aaron Afflalo is at the top of the chart tonight against the Nets. My problem with Afflalo is he only averages .54 points per minute, but plays 30 minute a game meaning he can hit value but it is going to be a sweat to watch happen. Next few names that come up are Fournier, Galloway, Bradley, and Beal. Out of that list Fournier and Beal are you two safest options, with Beal being slightly safer because his coach is not named Scott Skiles. The only player from those four that would be a stretch would be Galloway because of the lack of minutes he gets each night. Moving to the top end players, DeRozen, Batum, Oladipo, Wade, and Thompson are all on the list from 6.7k to 7.7k as we don’t have a shooting guard who costs more than 7.7k tonight. Statistically speaking, Batum is in the best situation to succeed going against a poor 76ers shooting guard defense and his ability to pick up stats in more ways than just knocking down shots. All five of those guys have solid points per minute and it’s basically a grab bag on who will perform well tonight as none are in statically good or bad situations (other than Batum).
Target DvP: BKN, BOS
Stay Away DvP: UTA, SAC, CHA
Harrison Barnes, to me, is a lot like taking Afflalo but not as much of a struggle. He has been logging a ton of minutes and is underpriced for his fantasy output, but I understand why he is at this low price. If he only logs 25 minutes he is going to have a snowflake next to his name. Mirza Teletovic and Otto Porter are the next two value plays on the list with Mirza always being a solid GPP option and Porter being slightly more consistent, but still a GPP play. Carmelo Anthony seems to be a undervalued guy each night as he comes into the mix at the top of the value chart. He is going against a bad small forward Nets defense and has been putting up great numbers recently, my only question is will he play a full allotment of minutes with the Knicks being out of the playoff race. LeBron James and Giannis are your two top level options with LeBron being in playoff Lebron mode, which is always nice to see, and Giannis being a roller coaster. Robert Covington is someone to look at, especially if a lot of the 76ers are ruled out for tonight’s game and he has to log a high volume of minutes.
Target DvP: MEM
Stay Away DvP: UTA, MIA
Tonight, we have three different types of players at the top of the value chart for Draft Kings. Kristaps Porzingis, Jim sorry I mean John Henson (Muppets what a good crew), and Draymond Green are at three completely different price points, but all great options for tonight. The only issue with any of these players is that John Henson may not log enough minutes to hit value, he is averaging 19 minutes a game with 1.17 points per minute but to hit value he only need to get to 19. For Kristaps you really need to monitor if he will play or not, while Draymond should be playing a full allotment of minutes for the Warriors. Andrew Nicholson, similar to John Henson, is another interesting name as he has been out of this world on points per minute over the last few weeks the only question on him is the minutes. If you are looking for a top level guy (not Dray) Paul Millsap, Dirk, and Zach Randolph are all decent options. None of those three are in the best positions, but are good enough players to have a nice night even with a stingy defense.
Target DvP: SAC, GSW, CHA, WAS
Stay Away DvP: TOR, DAL
In the middle of the year it was clear that there were two centers that knew how to play basketball in limited minutes: Boban and Salah Mejri. They both seem to make the most of limited playing time and can be a nice addition to your fantasy roster, if you think they will get more minutes than 15-20. Salah has been only averaging 17 minutes a game over the last three weeks and you will really need to do some research to see if he would get a better allotment of minutes tonight, but if he does he is always a nice pickup. If you are staying away from that situation then Sullinger and Olynyk are in a good spot against the Warriors tonight. Sullinger has been playing much better than Olynyk, but its possible that the Celtics try and rest some of their starters after a long game last night. Away from the Celtic situation, the Hornets centers of Zeller and Jefferson have a good opportunity to succeed tonight against the 76ers. Both are averaging the same amount of minutes, but Jefferson is doing a little better in points per minute over the last 3 weeks. Top level options include Whiteside, Towns, and Drummond with Whiteside being in the best statistical spot and Drummond being in the worst.
Thanks for reading and good luck tonight! If you have any lineup questions feel free to ask me on twitter, but I don’t much care just telling someone to play a certain player because in projections there is never a sure thing.
Chris Hollander (@UndoneRSG)