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Advanced Stats Analysis: Channing Frye's Value with the Magic

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".

Channing Frye has agreed to terms on a four-year, $32 million deal with the Magic according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. He missed the entire 2012-2013 season due to an enlarged heart but bounced back nicely last season, starting in all 82 games for the Suns and nearly finishing in the fantasy top 100.

2013-2014 Stats

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Channing Frye

28.2

12.1

43%

1.5

82%

2.0

5.1

1.2

0.7

0.8

11.1

$1

108


The majority of Frye's fantasy value last season came from three-pointers (2.0 3PM), but he was also above replacement level in rebounds (5.1 rpg) and blocks (0.8 bpg).

Targeting big men who can shoot seems to be an early trend in free agency this offseason. Frye is the third shooting big man to sign a multi-year contract in the past few days (in to addition Josh McRoberts, Spencer Hawes). Let's take a look at how this move to the Magic will affect Frye's fantasy value next season.

Pace Impact

Last season, Frye and the Suns, under first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek, ranked eighth in the league in pace, averaging 95.8 possessions per game, above the league average of 93.9. Under second-year head coach Jacque Vaughn the Magic finished just below league average with a pace of 93.6 (per basketball-reference).

For a player like Frye, who averaged 28.2 minutes per game last season, the difference between a pace of 95.8 and 93.6 is about 1.3 possessions per game. This difference is significant enough to change Frye's fantasy rank from 108th to 119th.

Playing Time Impact

RotoWire's depth chart projects Frye as the starting power forward in the Magic, although how Vaughn plans to distribute minutes between Frye, Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless, Kyle O'Quinn, and Andrew Nicholson is unclear to me. My guess is that the Magic wouldn't have targeted Fyre, and that Fyre wouldn't have signed so quickly if there wasn't an understanding that he would get significant minutes and likely start for the Magic.

Last season, Fyre was the starting power forward for the Suns, and he averaged 28.2 minutes per game. At this point, I think that's a reasonable expectation for Fyre's minutes going forward.

Projection For Next Season

If we combine Frye's previous seasons in Phoenix on a per-100-possessions basis to develop his projected stats and then adjust that projection for Orlando's pace and an average playing time of 28 minutes per game (a method I explain in detail here), we get the following projection for Frye next season:

2014-15 Projection

MIN

FGA

FG%

FTA

FT%

3PM

REB

AST

STL

BLK

PTS

Auction Value

Fantasy Rank

Channing Frye

28.0

9.3

43%

1.3

83%

1.9

5.4

1.2

0.7

0.9

11.0

$1

105


Frye's production through four seasons with the Suns on a per-possession basis were quite consistent, so it's no surprise that my projection for him would rank so similarly to his actual rank last season (projected rank: 105 vs. actual rank:108). If the Magic decide to play Frye additional minutes, he could rank even higher. At 30 minutes per game, his projected fantasy rank would improve to 84th overall in standard rotisserie leagues, and at an average of 32 minutes per game, his projected rank would improve to 67th overall. Considering his upside, I would recommend targeting Frye in the ninth or 10th round of fantasy drafts next season.

Do you have an opinion about Frye that you'd like to share? Would you like to know how he would rank at a different level of playing time? Leave a comment below, or contact me on twitter @MarcFRoberts. I'll also be posting the impact of free agent signing for players outside the top 130 on my Twitter feed for those interested in deeper leagues (for example: Danny Granger, Aaron Gray, and Jordan Farmar).

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