DFS Basketball 101: Taking the Next Step

DFS Basketball 101: Taking the Next Step

This article is part of our DFS Basketball 101 series.

Last week, I wrote about how to get started playing daily fantasy basketball. This week, I delve into some advanced metrics that are keys to winning DFS fantasy basketball contests for both cash and tournament play.

FanDuel scoring and salaries through 12/17/14

Advanced Stats to Consider

- Fantasy Points Per Minute – FanDuel Points/Minutes Played (find the most efficient players)
- Dollars Per Point – Salary/Points Per Game (find the best priced "value" players)
- Multiplier – Points/Salary * 1000 (find the best players overall)

Finding Sleepers

One to find value plays is to identify players who average at least 0.9 fantasy points per minute played. Once they enter a starting lineup and/or get a role with more minutes, you have a great value play that will allow you to take spend extra salary cap on stars in your daily fantasy basketball lineup. I look for guys who are getting around 15-20 minutes per game while averaging at least 0.9 fantasy points per minute.

Sub 20 minutes per game + 0.9 FP/Min
(Average fantasy points per game/Average Salary/Average Minutes/Fantasy Points Per Minute/Dollar Per Point/Multiplier)

1. Bismack Biyombo - 15.2, $3544, 14.8, 1.04, $300, 4.3
2. Alexey Shved - 16.2, $3765, 16.8, 0.94, $359, 4.3
3. Marreese Speights - 20.1, $4564, 17.0, 1.16, $302, 4.4
4. Jose Barea - 16.4, $3908, 17.0, 0.95, $293, 4.2
5. Dennis Schroeder - 16.5, $3833, 17.4, 0.94, $326, 4.3
6. Brandon Davies - 12.8, $4039, 17.7, 1.02, $594, 3.18
7. Mason Plumlee - 17.1, $4183, 17.8, 1.01, $429, 4.0
8. Rudy Gobert - 17.1, $3658, 17.9, 0.96, $268, 4.6
9. Tyler Zeller - 17.3, $4064, 18.2, 0.92, $373, 4.3
10. Brandan Wright - 18.1, $4300, 18.8, 0.97, $288, 4.2
11. Aaron Brooks - 17.0, $4236, 18.9, 0.91, $306, 4.0
12. Kyle O'Quinn - 19.08, $4785, 19.0, 1.03, $334, 4.0
13. Chris Kaman - 19.3, $4788, 19.1, 1.0, $303, 4.0
14. Ersan Ilyasova - 18.0, $4539, 19.4, 0.94, $326, 4.0
15. J.J. Hickson - 19.7, $4838, 19.7, 1.01, $272, 4.1
16. Shabazz Muhammad - 18.9, $4135, 19.7, 0.93, $452, 4.5

Finding the Most Efficient Players

Top 10 Players + 20 Minutes per game (Fantasy Points/Minute)
(Average fantasy points per game/Average Salary/Average Minutes/Fantasy Points Per Minute/Dollar Per Point/Multiplier)

1. Russell Westbrook - 47.23,$9760, 31.9, 1.51, $211, 4.8
2. DeMarcus Cousins - 43.8, $9887, 31.9, 1.38, $238, 4.4
3. Anthony Davis - 46.8. $11383, 35.0, 1.33, $295, 4.1
4. Stephen Curry - 42.4, $9952, 33.9, 1.27, $249, 4.2
5. James Harden - 46.7, $10221, 37.9, 1.23, $233, 4.5
6. Andrew Bogut - 26.6, $6274, 25.0, 1.22, $290, 4.2
7. Tim Duncan - 37.5, $8010, 31.9, 1.2, $227, 4.7
8. LeBron James - 43.9, $10583, 37.7, 1.1, $261, 4.1
9. Dwight Howard - 39.2, $9292, 34.0, 1.1, $258, 4.2
10. Chris Paul - 39.7, $10008, 34.5, 1.1, $267, 3.9

Finding the Top Value Players ($/Point)

1. Russell Westbrook - 47.2 ,$9760, 31.9, 1.51, $211, 4.8
2. Patrick Beverley - 26.0, $5042, 33.1, 0.79, $213, 5.1
3. Jimmy Butler - 34.7, $7371, 39.7, 0.88, $224, 4.7
4. Tim Duncan - 37.5, $8010, 31.9, 1.2, $227, 4.7
5. Luc Mbah a Moute - 19.1, $3930, 27.7, 0.69, $227, 4.9
6. Kawhi Leonard - 32.2, $6748, 32.3, 1.0, $230, 4.7
7. Wilson Chandler - 25.0, $5342, 30.8, 0.8, $231, 4.6
8. James Harden - 46.7, $10221, 37.9, 1.23, $233, 4.5
9. Pau Gasol - 38.5, $8570, 36.1, 1.0, $234, 4.5
10. Draymond Green - 30.3, $6404, 33.3, 0.91, $234, 4.8

Finding the Best Overall Players (Multiplier)

1. Patrick Beverley - 26.0, $5042, 33.1, 0.79, $213, 5.1
2. Danny Green - 23.5, $4752, 30.3, 0.76, $243, 4.9
3. Luc Mbah a Moute - 19.1, $3930, 27.7, 0.69, $227, 4.9
4. Russell Westbrook - 47.2 ,$9760, 31.9, 1.51, $211, 4.8
5. Corey Brewer - 22.7, $4717, 28.4, 0.7, $408, 4.8
6. Draymond Green - 30.3, $6404, 33.3, 0.91, $234, 4.8
7. Jimmy Butler - 34.7, $7371, 39.7, 0.88, $224, 4.7
8. Kawhi Leonard - 32.2, $6748, 32.3, 1.0, $230, 4.7
9. Tim Duncan - 37.5, $8010, 31.9, 1.2, $227, 4.7
10. Wilson Chandler - 25.0, $5342, 30.8, 0.8, $231, 4.6

Using Standard Deviation to Identify Cash and GPP Plays

Even though daily fantasy basketball is easier than other sports due to less variance, you're still able to apply the standard deviation measurement to players for identifying the best plays for your cash contests and tournaments.

Here are some groupings to consider:

Highest Standard Deviation (Best Tournament Plays)

Player (Standard Deviation, Average Fantasy Points Per Game)

Anthony Davis - 14.71, 46.8
Tony Wroten - 13.17, 28.8
Eric Bledsoe - 12.74, 30.7
Kelly Olynyk - 12.51, 23.7
Andre Drummond - 11.94, 32.3
Jeff Teague - 11.72, 31.1
Michael Carter-Williams - 11.6, 33.9
Roy Hibbert - 11.49, 24.7
John Wall - 11.49, 41.3
LeBron James - 11.44, 43.9
Robert Covington - 11.44, 19.6
Brandon Jennings - 11.33, 24.1
Goran Dragic - 11.31, 26.1
Reggie Jackson - 11.26, 29.6
Mario Chalmers - 11.17, 23.5

One of the takeaways here is the lack of shooting guards and the big grouping of point guards. This would lead to take a strategy of paying up at point guard in tournaments, and going the cheaper route on shooting guards.

Lowest Standard Deviation (Cash Game Plays)

Trevor Ariza - 5.76, 26.6
Nick Young - 5.8, 20.4
Nicolas Batum - 6.04, 25.5
Russell Westbrook - 6.24, 47.7
Wes Matthews - 6.31, 24.4
Alec Burks - 6.65, 23.2
Anderson Varejao - 6.73, 21.1
Courtney Lee - 6.76, 20.4
Wilson Chandler - 6.93, 25
Deron Williams - 6.95, 31.4
Steven Adams - 6.97, 22.4
Gorgui Dieng - 6.98, 25.0
Robin Lopez - 7.11, 22.5
Kevin Durant - 7.11, 33.5
Jimmy Butler - 7.16, 34.7

Plenty of shooting guards in this group, which makes it a more of a strategy to find two solid players from this group. Also, a good grouping of middle priced centers here. Top studs in this group are Westbrook, Durant, Williams and Butler.

Not all players are created equal; some of them are more consistent while others have a higher ceiling. You need to identify which players fit into the best contests based on their performance. In these groups, we break down each player based on their standard deviation and identify if they are a cash game player or a GPP/tournament play.

Top 10 Point Guards (Cash or GPP)

Russell Westbrook – 6.24, 47.7 (Cash)
Stephen Curry – 10.02, 42.4 (GPP)
John Wall – 11.49, 41.3 (GPP)
Chris Paul – 8.92, 39.7 (Cash)
Kyle Lowry – 8.72, 37.9 (Cash)
Damian Lillard – 7.51, 36.9 (Cash)
Ty Lawson – 9.30, 35.5 (Cash)
Rajon Rondo – 10.82, 34.1 (GPP)
Michael Carter-Williams – 11.6, 33.9 (GPP)
Kyrie Irving – 9.24, 33.4 (Cash)

Top 10 Shooting Guards

James Harden – 10.29, 46.7 (GPP)
Kobe Bryantn – 9.96, 38.3 (GPP)
Jimmy Butler – 7.16, 34.7 (Cash)
Dwyane Wade – 8.28, 34.4 (Cash)
Klay Thompson – 7.36, 33.7 (Cash)
Tyreke Evans – 9.95, 32.4 (GPP)
Monta Ellis – 8.69, 31.7 (Cash)
Eric Bledsoe – 12.74, 30.7 (GPP)
DeMar DeRozan – 9.45, 29.3 (Cash)
Joe Johnson – 9.71, 28.4 (Cash)

Top 10 Small Forwards

LeBron James – 11.44, 43.9 (GPP)
Rudy Gay – 8.01, 36 (Cash)
Kevin Durant – 7.11, 33.5 (Cash)
Gordon Hayward – 9.27, 32.5 (GPP)
Kawhi Leonard – 9.97, 32.2 (GPP)
Tobias Harris – 8.18, 31.6 (Cash)
Josh Smith – 9.25, 31.5 (GPP)
Draymond Green – 9.74, 30.3 (GPP)
Jeff Green – 8.39, 28.5 (Cash)
Chandler Parsons – 9.01, 28 (GPP)

Top 10 Power Forwards

LaMarcus Aldridge – 8.27, 39.6 (Cash)
Pau Gasol – 7.97, 38.5 (Cash)
Blake Griffin – 10.59, 38.3 (GPP)
Tim Duncan – 9.44, 37.5 (GPP)
Carmelo Anthony – 8.93, 36 (Cash)
Kevin Love – 7.8, 34.3 (Cash)
Paul Millsap – 8.99, 33.7 (Cash)
Zach Randolph – 10.06, 32.5 (GPP)
Dirk Nowitzki – 7.88, 30.1 (Cash)
Derrick Favors – 11.0, 30.1 (GPP)

Top 10 Centers

DeMarcus Cousins – 10.2, 43.8 (GPP)
Dwight Howard – 10.66, 39.2 (GPP)
Marc Gasol – 9.12, 37.6 (Cash)
Chris Bosh – 8.28, 36.1 (Cash)
Nikola Vucevic – 8.25, 36 (Cash)
Al Jefferson – 10.36, 33.9 (GPP)
Andre Drummond – 11.94, 32.3 (GPP)
DeAndre Jordan – 9.47, 31.4 (Cash)
Joakim Noah – 9.39, 30.2 (Cash)
Tyson Chandler – 9.31, 29.3 (Cash)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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