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Advanced Stats Analysis: Darren Collison's Value with the Kings

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts

Marc F Roberts writes about fantasy basketball for RotoWire. He has won no fantasy awards, but his mom thinks his writing is "fantastic". Hubie Brown is a national treasure.

Darren Collison has agreed to terms with the Sacramento Kings according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Collison provided fantasy owners with significant value last season during Chris Paul's extended absence with a knee injury. Over the course of the entire season, Collison ranked as the 103rd best player in 10-team rotisserie leagues.

Player

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Darren Collison

25.9

8.7

47%

2.8

86%

0.9

2.4

3.7

1.2

0.2

11.4

$1

103


The majority of his value came from steals (1.2 spg) and assists (3.7 apg). Let's take a look at how this move will affect Collison's fantasy value next season.

Pace Impact

Last season, Collison and the Clippers averaged 95.9 possessions per game (per basketball-reference), above the league average of 93.9. The Kings, under first year head coach Mike Malone, were also above the league average in pace at 94.4 possessions per game last season but below the Clippers.

For a player who plays an average of 26 minutes per game, the difference between a pace of 95.9 and 94.4, would equate to a decrease of just less than one possession per game. That may not sound like much, but that decrease alone would drop Collison's rank from 103 to 110 if his level of playing time were exactly the same.

Playing Time Impact

As I hinted at in the previous section, it'ss unlikely that Collison's playing time will remain exactly the same. If we take a look at the RotoWire depth chart for the Kings, they currently only have Collison and Ray McCallum at the point guard position. While it is possible that Isaiah Thomas could return, it seems like a real possibility that Collison will be the starting point guard for the Kings next season.

Last season, Malone played his starting point guard, Thomas, an average of 34.7 minutes per game. Collison started at point guard with Indiana for two seasons and averaged 29.9 mpg and 31.3 mpg respectively. If we split the difference, it seems like a reasonable expectation for Collison to play 33 mpg next season if he is indeed the starter. An adjustment from 26 mpg to 33 mpg would improve Collison's fantasy rank from last season from 110th to 53rd overall.

Projection for Next Season

Despite playing for four different teams in five seasons, Collison's fantasy stats have been fairly consistent on a per-100 possessions basis (per basketball-reference):

Season

MPG

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3P

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

2009-10 (NOH)

27.8

19.4

48%

4.3

85%

1.1

4.7

10.6

1.9

0.1

23.2

2010-11 (IND)

29.9

18.7

46%

5.0

87%

0.9

4.8

8.7

1.9

0.3

22.3

2011-12 (IND)

31.3

14.7

44%

4.3

83%

1.0

5.3

8.1

1.4

0.4

17.5

2012-13 (DAL)

29.3

15.6

47%

5.9

88%

1.0

4.7

8.9

2.2

0.2

20.9

2013-14 (LAC)

25.9

16.8

47%

5.4

86%

1.7

4.5

7.2

2.2

0.4

22.0


Collison converts his shots at a high percentage for a guard and contributes strongly in assists and steals per 100 possessions.

If we combine these previous five seasons on a per-100 possessions basis to develop his projected stats, and then adjust that projection for pace and playing time (a method I explain in detail here), we get the following projection for Collison next season:

2014-15 Projection

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Darren Collison

33.0

10.9

46%

3.3

86%

0.8

3.1

5.4

1.3

0.2

13.7

$10

60


The important caveat with this projection is that it assumes Collison will play an average of 33 minutes per game next season. If he indeed achieves that projection, he should be a valuable fantasy player in all leagues, with strong contributions in assists (5.4 apg) and steals (1.3 spg). This level of production is worth about $10 auction dollars in a rotisserie league (roughly a 6th-7th round pick). I would recommend targeting him in that range.

Do you disagree with my projection for Collison? Would you like to know how he would rank at a different level of playing time or in a different fantasy league? Leave a comment below, or contact me on Twitter @MarcFRoberts.