There are many stats that people throw out there to justify picking certain players on certain days.
These can include but are not limited to defense vs position, usage percentage, and projected minutes played. These are all well and good, but what if I told you there were a set of advanced that available on the NBA’s own website that goes heavily underutilized everyday. This is 100% true. On NBA.com, you can find a myriad of stats that can be extremely useful for daily fantasy basketball! So without further ado, let’s start talking about which that you should be looking at on an advanced level when researching for a daily fantasy basketball slate.
Overall Defensive Stats
When I start researching, I always like to start by looking at the simple overall defensive stats on both a team level and higher level. The key stat to look at in this overall category of stats are the individual defensive ratings for the teams and the players that play on those teams. The key thing to remember here is that with basketball defensive ratings, the higher the number, the worse the defender. Many people, understandably so, believe that a higher defensive rating is a good thing. However, when you look at the actual game film and attempt to correlate that with the defensive rating, you will know why the defensive rating system is how it is.
A perfect example at looking at this on the macro level (on a team by team basis) is by analyzing the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2016 – 2017 season so far (as of the time of this writing). They have the highest overall team defensive rating in basketball at 109.7. And when you watch an actual Los Angeles Lakers game, you can see exactly why. A ton of points are always being scored on that on a nightly basis. Which gives huge credence to Ben’s late game strategy in DFS.
(Click on the picture and it will bring you to the table with the DEF Rating already sorted for you)
What I like to do is put an advanced filter to only show players who play at least 10 minutes per game
(Click on the picture and it will bring you to the table that already has the advanced filter on it.)
We can also look at the Los Angeles Lakers as an example of analyzing defensive rating at the micro level (player by player) as well. Every single player on the Los Angeles Lakers has an above average (the higher the number, the worse the defender) defensive rating, which is 100+. Even cornerstone pieces on the team such as D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have some of the worst defensive numbers in the NBA.
Knowing this information and the players that guys with very high defensive ratings will be covering on a nightly basis can help you mightily in figuring out which players are in good matchups end in bad matchups on a nightly basis in DFS basketball. You can then start digging into some of the more in-depth defensive stats that are available on the site. For example help players and teams perform against 2 point shots and 3. shots. As well as shots from certain distances such as 6 feet or less, or 10 to 15 feet, for example.
Play Type Stats
When you’re on the stats page you can change what you’re looking for by filtering by PlayType, then selecting the type of play.
This example is for looking at a player’s stats by the Playtype Isolation.
This is probably one of my favorite category of stats to look at in all of the major daily fantasy sports. The reason I love analyzing play types so much is because not many people are looking at this type of information for daily fantasy basketball. And in Daily fantasy sports, you need to create and edge for yourself. Using Play Type stats can be one of the ways that you can do this. So you are probably now asking yourself, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”. What I am talking about is the different types of plays that teams will run throughout the course of the game. Common play types in basketball would be pick-and-rolls and isolation plays. Although these are only two examples, or two of the most common player run in a typical game of basketball.
The next question that should be asked is how can this help with daily fantasy basketball? The utilization of this information can be used for both an offensive perspective as well as that in perspective. For an offense, on both the team and player level you are able to see the frequency at which a team runs certain place. For this example, I am going to be using Harrison Barnes. He might not be the most flashy player in basketball, but he does lead the league in isolation plays run as an individual, so it’s going to have to work here. Harrison Barnes from the isolation a whopping 26.9% of all plays that he is involved in. For the purposes of a magical hypothetical, let’s assume that the Mavericks are playing the Rockets. In theory, this should be a dream matchup 4 Harrison Barnes. Mainly because against opposing teams running and isolation play, the Houston Rockets allowed 1.04 points per play. This boils down to allowing teams to score 49.3% of the time. As awesome as this day that is, this is only one example. We haven’t even gotten into the great world of daily fantasy basketball correlation plays!
When it comes to daily fantasy basketball correlation place, there are two combinations that come to mind instantly. These are a pairing of Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, as well as a Tim Frazier and Anthony Davis paring. The reason why these two pairs stand out the most to me is because the two combinations run the pick-and-roll offense quite often when the players are on the court together. Also, they are very good at running pick-and-roll plays. This then transitions into my next argument, that there are some basketball correlation plays that do work. Contrary to popular belief.
Many top NBA DFS players will tell you that you should not stack in NBA because the players cannibalize one another performances. While this is true in many cases (look to Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony), there are pairings like the two above that for their own reasons, positively correlate for one another.
Rebound Tracking Stats
You can do a lot with the NBA.com stats and here you can “track” all kinds of stats, here we’re showing rebounding.
While the tracking tab on NBA.com is probably one of the greatest places on the internet, there is one specific area on the tab that one should focus on when researching for daily fantasy basketball speak. And that is the rebound tracking stats. These are set of stats that will tell you a lot more about rebounding then you have ever learned in your life about rebounding (a sentence that I may or may not regret in future readings of this article).
Not only does this area of the website look at contested rebounds and uncontested rebounds, but it also looks at rebounding opportunities. For starters, let’s talk about contested and uncontested rebounds. Contested rebounds are simply one a player has to fight off another player to get a rebound. An uncontested rebound is when a player does not have to fight off another player when attempting to grab a rebound. It’s all just way too simple.
The two stats that I like to really keen in on for rebound tracking is deferred rebound chances and overall rebound chances. When a player defers a rebound, they are simply allowing another player the opportunity to grab the rebound even though they had quite a good chance to get the rebound themselves. While overall rebound chances are simply those that either the player got the rebound or they did not. But were still fight for the chance to grab the rebound regardless. The reason why I like these stats so much is because they are predictors of opportunity for the future. Which is one of the things that DFS players love looking for in other sports. Targets in football for example could be a solid comparison.
These are just a few of the many stats that are available on the start page on the NBA website. And if you ever have the opportunity during your daily fantasy basketball research time, you should really look into the stats mentioned above, as well as the other stats that are on the NBA stat page itself.
About the Author:
I have been playing DFS since April of 2014 with Baseball. My best sport is Basketball. However, I believe that I can succeed at all of the DFS games. My best two DFS days have come from NBA and MLB regarding the highest amount of money won in a night. I was fortunate enough to come in 4th in the slam one night in November. As well as winning the Hot Corner on DK in April of this season. Outside of DFS, I am a full time college student grinding out the time in pursuit of a sports management degree. While also being an avid tennis player. I can’t forget to mention that I am a Phanatic for Philly sports!