Finding Value in NBA Slate for 4/1/2016
Spreadsheets now include both Draft Kings and Fan Duel. 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, DAL
Stay Away DvP: ORL, UTA, IND
Large slate tonight with the action beginning at 3:30 on Draft Kings. Also, Happy MLB Day! I know a lot of people are excited about the transition. Top of the list today is Devin Harris and Marcus Smart. Devin Harris has been playing backup to another strong pick: J.J. Berea. Honestly, if Deron Williams is ruled out again, either of these guards are a strong pick tonight and you could even stack the two and hope the Mavericks grab a nice lead on the Timberwolves. In my opinion, J.J. is the better pick of the two, but Devin could be a nice filler if Williams is ruled out. Second, Marcus Smart has been getting some quality minutes at the end of games for the Celtics. The game tonight is against the Lakers and could result in a blowout where Smart ends up getting 30+ minutes. However, this game could mean a LOT to Kobe considering the history between the Lakers and Celtics franchises. Patrick Beverly, Shelvin Mack, and Ricky Rubio are all undervalued based on my model with Rubio being in the best statistical position to succeed. Top projections are Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall with Steph Curry being the most undervalued and potentially playing a ton of minutes after losing to the Celtics last game. The Warriors are out to get the record, they will not rest anyone if they still have a chance to be “the greatest team ever” (obviously debatable).
Target DvP: HOU, DAL
Stay Away DvP: UTA, CHI
Fantastic, the Nuggets aren’t playing so my data isn’t skewed by Will Barton being a jerk. However, Zach LaVine and Gerald Henderson continue to be at the top of the value list for shooting guards. Zach LaVine has had a nice price decrease and is back at around 5k, which is great considering he seems to be still playing a heavy load of minutes. Avery Bradley and Evan Fournier are the next two on the list, both are in similar situations with Bradley averaging more points per minute than Fournier. Interestingly enough, James Harden is actually undervalued based on my model tonight. He is going to have his hands full with a prime time game against the Thunder, but it’s his old club and the Rockets MUST win this game to stay in the playoff hunt. He may be a must play in any format given the Thunders poor defense in the second half of the season. Andrew Wiggins could be a sneaky play tonight and deserves some looks going against a poor Mavericks shooting guard defense.
Target DvP: BOS, ORL
Stay Away DvP: UTA
Jae Crowder jumps to the top of the list tonight against the Lakers. I am not sure what the Celtics will do with his minutes because he needs to get into form for the playoffs. He is one of the top defenders in the league and the Celtics have missed his presence at SF (see what Barnes did to them against the Warriors). Both Barnes and Beasley are next on the list with Beasley being a complete animal on points per minute for his salary. The only concern I have about Beasley is that the Thunder are pretty decent at defending the small forward position over the last three weeks and he could run into some problems. Durant, James, and George are your top level projections with Durant being the best value play of those three. However, LeBron has been in tremendous form recently and defensive stats mean nothing with him.
Target DvP: None
Stay Away DvP: OKC, UTA
What has surprised me while writing and gathering data for todays article is the Jazz have been tremendous at defending every position for the last three weeks. It’s very clear they believe defense will be what moves them on in the playoffs if they can make it there. Larry Nance and Bardon Bass have been playing well for the Lakers over the last couple of weeks and look to continue that trend today against the Lakers. Larry Nance sat out a couple of games, so that needs to be monitored, but they seem to have figured out a nice rotation at power forward with those two and Julius Randle. Zach Randolph has been playing well since his return from injury, averaging 1.21 points per minute he looks to continue his dominance tonight against the Magic. The only top level salary player is Draymond Green in a must win against the Trail Blazers. He isn’t in the best or worst positon and is definitely worth a look.
Target DvP: GSW, CHA, WAS
Stay Away DvP: UTA, DAL
Every time I write this article, I am surprised at the fluctuation of center defenses. Tonight, Mason Plumlee is the beneficiary of that while playing the Warriors. He has been good in the second half of the season, and the Warriors have struggled to stop centers from putting up fantasy points. His only drawback is the inability to stay away from foul trouble and if the Warriors are smart they will drive to the hole to put him on the bench. My other concern is that the Warriors have a small lineup, and while Plumlee isn’t your typical center, he may see less minutes with the Trail Blazers trying to match the small lineup. If this is true, the beneficiary of this is Gerald Henderson who is an athletic tall guard/forward combo. Olynyk and Sullinger are back in a great position against the Lakers tonight, with Sullinger being a much better play statistically. Top level projections include Towns, Gasol, and Jordan with all three being slightly overvalued, but Gasol is in a must win game tonight. One name to take a look at is Greg Monroe who seems to be going under the radar with all the hype from Giannis over the last month of the season. He could be the staple of GPP winning tournaments and doesn’t need much to fill for value.
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 (@)