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Daily Fantasy Basketball 101: Finding Consistency and Value

Michael Rathburn

Michael Rathburn

Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. He was also nominated by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for Best Baseball Series in 2011.


Last week, I covered home/road splits and how to find value inside the data. This week, I revisit an earlier column in which I wrote about top-tier plays and understanding who and when to play them. The importance of hitting on your "Blue Chip" stocks is the key to winning in daily fantasy basketball. Another factor is identifying the most consistent players on a nightly basis. Expanding on my original research, I dug into when a player presents value either home or road, along with their consistency.

You can see that a player’s respective salary is not going to differ much whether home or road, but I needed to calculate those in order to create the value measurement. This formula takes fantasy points per game/salary*1000. On DraftKings, your value target for top-tier players should be at least 5x. The value report for each player shows each time a player hit value and for how much. This will show who are the most consistent players, but also the players who have the highest ceiling.

Each player will have their salary (home/road), average fantasy points per game (home/road), value (fantasy points per game/salary*1000), value report (how many games they hit for value and at what multiplier), consistency report (percentage of time hitting 5x or greater), and notes.

Here are the top players to consider in daily fantasy basketball on DraftKings.

Kevin Durant

Home Avg Salary $11388; Avg FPPG 56; Value 4.96
Road Avg Salary $11219; Avg FPPG 51; Value 4.56

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(6), 5x(12), 4x(21), 3x(9), 2x(2), 1x(1)

Consistency Report - 20/53 games 5x or greater = 38 percent

-- Because of Durant's high price tag, taking him on the road is almost ruled out. Also because of the double-double bonus on DraftKings, the scoring system lends itself to favor power forwards and centers. (See Kevin Love below)

Kevin Love

Home Avg Salary $10495; Avg FPPG 52; Value 5.03
Road Avg Salary $10711; Avg FPPG 52; Value 4.84

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(5), 5x(18), 4x(16), 3x(8), 2x(1)

Consistency Report - 25/50 games 5x or greater = 50 percent

-- When deciding on playing Love or Durant, the numbers sure speak to Love being the better play value wise.

LeBron James

Home Avg Salary $10858; Avg FPPG 45.69; Value 4.23
Road Avg Salary $10738; Avg FPPG 49.92; Value 4.65

Value Report – 6x(2), 5x(12), 4x(19), 3x(14), 2x(3)

Consistency Report - 14/50 games 5x or greater = 28 percent

-- I really had no idea that LeBron was this bad from a value standpoint. LBJ might be the model of consistency, but you need to pick your spots with him (particularly when Dwyane Wade doesn't play), and he’s a head-to-head or 50/50 play only.

Stephen Curry

Home Avg Salary $9808; Avg FPPG 46.91; Value 4.77
Road Avg Salary $9596; Avg FPPG 48.86; Value 5.12

Value Report – 7x(1), 6x(11), 5x(15), 4x(13), 3x(8), 2x(2), 1x(1)

Consistency Report - 27/51 games 5x or greater = 53 percent

-- Curry gets a huge bump on DraftKings due to his eligibility at shooting guard.

Chris Paul

Home Avg Salary $9668; Avg FPPG 46.8; Value 4.87
Road Avg Salary $9723; Avg FPPG 47.5; Value 4.91

Value Report – 9x(1), 7x(2), 5x(13), 4x(13), 3x(4), 2x(2)

Consistency Report - 16/35 games 5x or greater = 46 percent

-- Sample size on Paul is not huge because of his injury, but there are a lot of games where he gets you to 5x.

DeMarcus Cousins

Home Avg Salary $9291; Avg FPPG 47.79; Value 5.15
Road Avg Salary $9317; Avg FPPG 45.42; Value 4.87

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(10), 5x(13), 4x(10), 3x(6), 2x(2), 1x(2)

Consistency Report - 25/45 games 5x or greater = 55 percent

-- Because of the double-double bonuses and his top ranking on the versatility index, Cousins is always a must play on DK when healthy.

Carmelo Anthony

Home Avg Salary $9939; Avg FPPG 49.5; Value 5.17
Road Avg Salary $9733; Avg FPPG 42.5; Value 4.40

Value Report – 8x(1), 6x(6), 5x(10), 4x(20), 3x(9), 2x(3)

Consistency Report - 17/49 games 5x or greater = 35 percent

-- Melo has put up some monster games at home, so his ceiling grows at MSG.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Home Avg Salary $9384; Avg FPPG 46.7; Value 4.97
Road Avg Salary $9342; Avg FPPG 45.5; Value 4.89

Value Report – 8x(1), 7x(3), 6x(3), 5x(19), 4x(14), 3x(12), 2x(1)

Consistency Report - 26/55 games 5x or greater = 47 percent

-- Have to love LA's consistency; take note of the 26 games of 5x value or greater.

Blake Griffin

Home Avg Salary $9385; Avg FPPG 46.8; Value 5.00
Road Avg Salary $9253; Avg FPPG 42.6; Value 4.61

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(6), 5x(16), 4x(17), 3x(13), 2x(1)

Consistency Report - 24/55 games 5x or greater = 44 percent

-- Great value to play on Griffin at home.

Anthony Davis

Home Avg Salary $9395; Avg FPPG 48.4; Value 5.19
Road Avg Salary $9439; Avg FPPG 40.8; Value 4.36

Value Report – 8x(1), 7x(3), 6x(1), 5x(13), 4x(16), 3x(5), 2x(3), 1x(2)

Consistency Report - 18/44 games 5x or greater = 41 percent

-- Almost a 20-percent bump in value playing Davis at home versus on the road.

John Wall

Home Avg Salary $9273; Avg FPPG 46.5; Value 5.02
Road Avg Salary $9246; Avg FPPG 38.2; Value 4.16

Value Report – 6x(5), 5x(16), 4x(18), 3x(7), 2x(5), 1x(1)

Consistency Report - 16/52 games 5x or greater = 31 percent

-- We talked about Wall at home last week and these numbers support even more playing him at home.