Finding Value: NBA 12/21 by @
**Please Read – I have changed all my writing to Fan Duel information because it seems that more people play NBA on Fan Duel than Draft Kings.**
*Note* 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. For Draft Kings, If a player has a $PP less than 200 he’s undervalued and over 200 he would be overvalued. For Fan Duel, if a player has a $PP less than 230 he’s undervalued and over 230 he would be overvalued. The farther away from 200/230 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.
Link to spreadsheet: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oo9xknom3i627mp/Fan%20Duel%20New.xlsx?dl=0
Password is DRS
Target DvP: ATL, NOP, CHI
Stay Away DvP: DAL, HOU
Two times in a row that Russell Westbrook has been playing, he has been the top projections and most valued player on the charts. He is in another great spot tonight against the Pelicans, who have been one of the worst teams at defending opposing point guards over the last 10 games. Westbrook has my top cash and gpp rating on the entire slate. If you are looking to go a different direction I have three options and all are at different price points. Matthew Dellavedova is playing the Cavs again tonight on a back to back. Last night, he needed overtime to perform well; however, at the low price point he just needs to be moderately involved in the offense to be able to hit value. Delly is a solid pick to get you 15-20 points, he has to get hot from three to be of huge value. If you are looking for someone in a great spot at a midrange price level, Ricky Rubio is that guy. The Hawks are the worst team on giving up fantasy points to point guards and Rubio always has the ability to have a huge night cause of assists. If you are looking at a high priced player to pivot from Russell, John Wall is the option based on my model. Wall is playing the Bulls and has a decent price tag. I think Wall will end up getting a few more defensive stats than normal against the Bulls. Top projections on the night are Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Damian Lillard, and Eric Bledsoe.
Target DvP: MIN, ATL, CLE
Stay Away DvP: MEM, UTA
The more minutes a guy plays, the more chance he has of being valuable in basketball. Tonight the top four guys all have that quality; however, they are all on the tail end of a back to back. Zach LaVine is at the top of the charts against a struggling Hawks guard defense. He almost plays 40 minutes a game and is pretty safe to hit value at some point during the night. If you don’t like his matchup then an easy pivot is either Dwayne Wade or CJ McCollum. Both are in pretty poor positions tonight, playing solid guard defenses. However, both are at a price point where we can be fairly confident that they should come close to hitting value. I honestly think LaVine is the play over both. If you want a top level guy then Giannis Antetokounmpo is the guy. It took him a half to get going last night, but he ended up hitting value in the late stages of the game. Look for him to have another solid night. Top projections on the night are James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, and Dwayne Wade.
Target DvP: POR
Stay Away DvP: CLE, ATL
LeBron James, coming off a huge night, looks to do it again. He is the most valued small forward on the slate and is in a solid position against the Bucks. If you think this may turn into a blowout or that the Cavs will rest guys more, Otto Porter has a nice matchup against the Bulls. Porter is a hit or miss guy, but should easily be able to hit value tonight. The Bulls struggle on stopping opposing small forwards and Porter does a lot more than just score to fill up the stat sheet (which I always enjoy). Harrison Barnes is in the best spot statistically vs. the Portland Trail Blazers. He is a little pricy, but should end up having a lot more opportunity to score tonight. Top projections on the night are LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Harrison Barnes, and Gordon Hayward.
Target DvP: POR
Stay Away DvP: NONE
Honestly, there is not much value here tonight. There are three guys that could be considered valuable: Dwight Powell, Anthony Davis, and Enes Kanter. Therefore, find the value somewhere else and go top level guys at PF. However, if you are dead set on getting your value here, I really like Anthony Davis against the Thunder. Now, there is always concern for his precious little body and getting hurt, but I think he should be fine and play a ton of minutes trying to keep up with Westbrook. Dwight Powell being at the top of the charts really shocks me, but he has really made the most of his 22 minutes a game with a 0.88 points per minute over the last 10 games. On the flip side, Enes Kanter is at 1.18 points per minute and is a little more solid of a value pick you need someone at the 5k and less range. Top projections on the night are Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, Paul Millsap, and Jabari Parker.
Target DvP: NOP, POR, HOU
Stay Away DvP: UTA, MEM, DET, MIL, MIN
John Henson is high on the charts tonight because of his ability to block shots and be involved. I’ve never been high on Henson, but he has his uses and can easily hit value if he starts protecting the rim. If you are looking for someone a little more solid offensively, Marcin Gortat is in one of the better positions tonight against the Bulls. Gortat is one of the most underrated fantasy players in the league, and can easily destroy games with solid rebounding and timely scoring. Mason Plumlee is in a nice spot against the mavericks, but I will never tell anyone to play Plum in cash because of how often he fouls. If he stays out of foul trouble he could be in for a solid night. Top projections on the night are DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Marc Gasol.
Thanks a lot for reading! If you have any questions feel free to contact me on twitter.
Chris Hollander (@UndoneRSG)
About the Author:
“CH” aka @UndoneRSG, has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. He made the transition from season long to daily fantasy sports in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. In college, Chris wrote his thesis on “Beating PECOTA ranking system” and came out with a ranking system that was equivalent with PECOTA. He has been obsessed with using statistics in fantasy ever since. Current math teacher, he is working on a ranking system for PGA and NBA that should be out shortly.