Finding Value: NBA 12/25 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.**
Key: When looking at Target DvP it is figured based on 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 for that position. 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. For the Target DvP they have a rating of 1.10 or higher. Stay away DvP they have a rating of .90 or lower. The Target/Stay away are based on a ten game trend.
*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/786byo1vt8zr3su/Fan%20Duel%20Final%20NBA.xlsx?dl=0
First off let me start by saying Merry Christmas. I hope this article helps you find some value on Christmas Day. Enjoy some NBA and enjoy spending time with your family, now on to the value plays.
Target DvP: LAL
Stay Away DvP: GSW, LAC
It is a little bit of a smaller slate than normal, but a lot of nice value at the top of the point guard charts. Two names at the top of the list are Rajan Rondo and Patty Mills. Rajan Rondo has a decent draw; however, over the last 5 games the Spurs have been dreadful at defending opposing point guards. Rondo could be the beneficiary of this trend. On the other side of the court, Patty Mills comes in with a solid price on Christmas Day. The issue with Mills is that the minutes aren’t there to justify rostering him. However, if you are looking for a guy under 4,000, he is by far your best option on the slate. Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, and Isaiah Thomas are all somehow fairly priced for this slate. Chris Paul is the point guard playing the worst defense, the Lakers are terrible against opposing guards but are somehow staying in games. However, can you really justify taking Chris Paul over Russell Westbrook? I have Westbrook projected at a triple double as he has been on an absolute destruction of opposing defenses over the last 10 games. Westbrook is averaging 1.79 Fan Duel points per minute! The other two are in decent spots and could be justified easily. Top projections on the night are Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, and Isaiah Thomas.
Target DvP: MIN
Stay Away DvP: NONE
A couple of shooting guards from the Celtics move to the top of the value charts tonight. Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart are two solid plays for tonight. Bradley is a much more solid pick based on points per minute, minutes played, and usage; however, he does come at a higher price tag than Smart. If you are worried about either of those two players, Lou Williams is in a decent spot against the Clippers. Williams has the top points per minute over the last 10 games for shooting guards, and the Clippers are worse than average at defending the spot. The real question with Williams is: will he get enough minutes? If you like playing solid starters, Dwayne Wade and Klay Thompson are both reasonably priced. Wade has a little bit higher of production and more usage, but he is going against a much tougher opponent than Klay. Klay get the draw of the Cavs who are a little worse than average at defending the position. I do know that typically, James owns Durant in their previous matchups which could free up some shots for Curry/Thompson. Top projections on the night are Avery Bradley, Dwayne Wade, Zach LaVine, and Klay Thompson.
Target DvP: POR, LAL, BKN, CHI, MIL
Stay Away DvP: ATL, CLE, BOS, UTA
Déjà vu? Kawhi Leonard is at the top of the charts again. The Bulls have been one of the worst teams at defending opposing small forwards over the last 10 and 5 games. I am really curious to know what the reason is behind that because on the year they are about average. However, Leonard is the beneficiary of this and has been playing fantastic over the last 10 games. If you are looking to fade LeBron and Durant then Leonard is a solid option. If you are looking for a couple cheaper options, Jae Crowder and Brandon Ingram are under consideration for tonight. Now these two players are quite different, let’s start with Crowder. Crowder has not been stellar in the points per minute category over the last 10 games; however, he tends to play enough minutes to hit value each night. Crowder wouldn’t be a cash game pick for me, but you could justify him in tournaments. If you are looking for the low option then Brandon Ingram is available. Ingram has a fantastic draw against the Clippers who have been bad over the last 10 games at defending the position. The issue is that Ingram isn’t one of the top guys in the league and has one of the worst usage ratings in all of the NBA. If you are going to play him, then buckle in to be pissed off for about 40 minutes of the game; however, I have it projected that he should easily hit value. Top projections on the night are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler.
Target DvP: LAL, NYK, LAC
Stay Away DvP: SAS, BOS
Gorgui Dieng comes in as one of the best plays at PF on the night. Dieng isn’t a guy that’s going to be used a lot offensively, he is probably the 5th option, however he does a good job involving himself in other ways then scoring. He plays a healthy amount of minutes and gets his fantasy points on both ends of the courts as one of the premier shot blockers in the league. If you want a more solid play, Kevin Love is in a decent positions against the Warriors. One interesting observation, the Warriors have been AMAZING at defending opposing PFs over the last 5 games. However, Kevin Love has been a solid player over the past 10 games and could easily overcome this minor detail. If you believe the Lakers/Clippers game will end up in a blowout or not, Marreese Speights needs to get some consideration in both cash and GPPs. Speights has seen a huge uptick in minutes and production with Griffin out. In fact, over the past 10 games his points per minute has jumped to 1.41; however, will he get the minutes? That is for you to decide, but if he does he turns into a must play on Christmas Day. Top projections on the night are Kevin Love, Draymond Green, Kristaps Porzingis, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Target DvP: LAL
Stay Away DvP: LAC, MIN
Al Horford has finally made an appearance at the top of the charts for centers. Interesting fact about the Knicks, over the last 5 games they have been much worse at defending centers then over the last 10 games. However, in either situation they are worse than average at giving up points to opposing centers. Over the past 10 games Horford has been decent at grabbing fantasy points and gets it done on both ends of the court. I like Horford if you are trying to avoid some of the premier games. Second on the list is Joakim Noah, who if you are taking, will only be getting you rebound. I don’t really like taking Noah in any situation, but the model says he is valuable based on his projection. Moving on to guys that matter, DeAndre Jordan, Pau Gasol, and Tristan Thompson are all three at the top of the charts tonight. If you are drafting because of minutes then Jordan should get the highest amount of the three, if you are drafting based on usage then Gasol will get more touches offensively than the other two, or if you are drafting based on play over the last 10 games, Gasol and Jordan are about the same over the last ten games at 1.21 and 1.16 points per minute. The only situation I would take Thompson in is if you are stuck at a price point under 6,000 and have to fill center. Top projections on the night are Karl-Anthony Towns, Al Horford, DeAndre Jordan, and Pau 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.