This article is part of our Numbers Game series.
Fantasy analysts love to talk about pace. The reason is simple – faster play results in more possessions, and more possessions means more opportunities to pad box scores. It's all so logical. What could possibly be wrong?
Winning fantasy sports takes more than just logic. This is a game of numbers, and all the logic in world won't help us win if the underlying math doesn't support our assumptions. This week, therefore, I'm investigating pace – specifically, does an opponent's pace really matter?
Pace and Team Fantasy Points
The first topic we need to approach can be done without looking at any individual players. We need to find out whether extra possessions in a game really does translate into extra box score production, regardless of which players are accumulating the stats. Therefore, to start this investigation, I compared a team's pace to their opponents' average production.
To measure fantasy production, I used an average of DraftKings, Yahoo!, and FanDuel's fantasy scoring system. The three sites use very similar scoring rules, and where they differed, I used the average of the three (ie, Yahoo! and Fanduel both take away one fantasy point for each turnover, while DraftKings takes away half a point, so I took away .83 points per turnover). That means I count points as worth 1 point, rebounds worth 1.22, assists 1.5, steals 2, blocks 2, threes 0.33, and turnovers -0.83. DraftKings awards a bonus for double-doubles and triple-doubles, but I did not include that in my metric. I