Finding Value: NBA 12/30 (Early Only) 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
Target DvP: BKN
Stay Away DvP: NONE
In this article I will be going through the plays for the early slate, then another article for the main. John Wall is going to be tough to get around for the early slate. He comes in at the top projection, highest usage, most points per minute, and the best price. Only way you are fading him is if you are in a tournament and believe the game will turn into a blowout. Next two on the charts are Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson. Goran has a much higher usage, more minutes, and a higher rating overall, but with his back issues he may not play. If he doesn’t play you can pencil Tyler in as one of the best value plays on the slate. Last, Rajan Rondo comes in as a solid play against the Pacers. The Pacers have been consistently below average at defending opposing guards and Rondo could take advantage of this one. One nice thing about Rondo is that he gets his points in a ton of different ways and always has a chance to grab multiple defensive statistics.
Top projections on the night are John Wall, Isaiah Thomas, Goran Dragic, and Jeff Teague.
Target DvP: BKN
Stay Away DvP: CHI, BOS
There is going to be a reoccurring theme for the early slate, target Brooklyn. If you are looking to get around that then be my guest, but a couple spots are going to be harder than others. Bradley Beal comes in as the best play for shooting guards. Beal has played well over the last 10 games and has a solid points per minute and GPP rating. My issue with Beal is that if his shot isn’t going down he will not be able to make up for it in different ways; therefore, you may want to pivot to Dwayne Wade against the Pacers. The Pacers are about average at defending the position so we should see Wade easily hit his implied total. Wade has been really solid over the last ten games and has the highest usage rating for shooting guards on the early slate. Another solid option is Avery Bradley against the Heat. The Heat are decent against opposing shooting guards, but if Dragic goes out they may have some issues with guys shifting around guard spots. Bradley is involved enough in the Celtics offense to be able to put down a high volume of shots. For the money, Bradley is the second best GPP play on the slate based on my model. Take a look at Josh Richardson, especially if Dragic is out, because he is really looking good as of late. The Celtics have been fantastic at guarding opposing shooting guards, but Richardson has seemed to play well in any situation.
Top projections on the night are Bradley Beal, Dwayne Wade, Avery Bradley, and Sean Kilpatrick.
Target DvP: CHI, BKN
Stay Away DvP: MIA
I mean if you didn’t realize that Otto Porter would be the top of the value charts here, I don’t think you are understanding the theme of the early slate. Porter has been OKAY in points per minute over the last 10 games, but his minutes are high enough to hit value. Porter always has the opportunity to hit a high number and is a solid pick in GPP or Cash games. Justice Winslow isn’t in the best spot against the Celtics, but he has played well over the last 10 games and his usage rating has seen a huge bump. Winslow is a nice pick in any format, but there are some nights he will struggle to hit value before 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Last, Paul George is in a great spot against the Bulls. The Bulls have been poor at defending opposing small forwards over the last 10 games and George is one of the premier forwards in the league. Aside from Jimmy Butler, George has the highest usage and GPP rating on the slate. I like George in both formats.
Top projections on the night are Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Otto Porter, and Justice Winslow.
Target DvP: NONE
Stay Away DvP: NONE
This may be the worst selection of power forwards we have had all year. In my opinion you are looking for guys that are going to provide you solid minutes to get some stats because the highest usage rating of the bunch is only at 11.97. Markieff Morris seems to be the best play based on my model. Morris has played an average of 31 minutes per game over the last 10 and has a decent points per minute at 0.84. Power Forward has been where the Nets have given up the least amount of fantasy points, but it’s easy to just stack the starting lineups for the Wizards and fill in the rest. Taj Gibson comes in at second on the value charts. The Pacers have been solid at defending opposing power forwards, but we do not have many options here tonight. If you are going for the most minutes, Thaddeus Young has been averaging 32 minutes a game over the last 10, but is not very involved on either end of the court. However, he has a high GPP rating and could easily be justified in cash.
Top projections on the night are Markieff Morris, Trevor Booker, Thaddeus Young, and Taj Gibson.
Target DvP: BKN
Stay Away DvP: IND
Center seems to be a spot where you can separate yourself in the early slate because of all the solid options. Honestly, I am looking at 6 solid options here. Marcin Gortat comes in as the best play because he is playing a terrible Nets defense, but also because he has been playing well over the last 10 games. Gortat does a great job on the glass and plays a high enough volume of minutes to put him in either cash or GPP. If you are trying to stay away from the Wizards, Myles Turner is a solid play against the Bulls. Turner has been playing well over the last ten games and can get it done on both ends of the court. The only downside to Turner is that occasionally he can be a bust and only get 15-20 points. If you are looking to spend a huge salary, Brook Lopez appears to be the best play for high priced centers. The Wizards have been average at defending opposing center, but Lopez has the highest points per minute over the last 10 games and plays enough minutes to have a huge pay day if you select him. He is a solid play in both cash and GPP.
Top projections on the night are Hassan Whiteside, Brook Lopez, Al Horford, and Marcin Gortat.
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.