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The Numbers Game

DFS Value Analysis

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

One of the primary virtues of DFS leagues is that, by their nature, they make it simple to quantify fantasy values. I haven't explicitly written about DFS in a Numbers Game column since December, so we're overdue for an update. Owners in typical points leagues should find everything below to be relevant, and even roto owners should glean useful perspective from the team and player values below.

 

This column consists of three related sections. Section 1 deals with positions and statistical categories, answering such questions as: Which stat category accounts for the most DFS value? How big of a negative impact do turnovers have? Which position is most plentiful among the top-175 players? Which position averages the most FanDuel points?

 

Section 2 looks at team-vs.-position rankings (familiar to Season Pass subscribers) in the explicit context of DFS scoring, using FanDuel's scoring system. I'll be using past-10-game data to keep the analysis fresh and relevant, to find out, for instance, which teams you should avoid when deploying PFs. If you're looking for a scrub PG to fill out your team build, it's helpful to know that Milwaukee has been the second-stingiest team behind only the Spurs, whereas the Suns, Hawks, Nuggets and Nets continue to hemorrhage value to PGs.

 

Section 3 is a straight-forward list of top-175 DFS player values (again, using past-10-game data). I'll explain my approach in greater detail once we get there.

 

If you have any questions or insights regarding today's column, you can always find me on Twitter @Knaus_RW!

 

Section 1: Positions and Statistical Categories

 

 

Every time I've done a similar analysis for the top-175 or top-200 players in 9-cat and 8-cat formats, the picture is different than what we see above. In those roto leagues, PGs and Cs tend to be scarce, whereas PFs and SGs are always plentiful. In the DFS breakdown above, the positions are remarkably balanced except for SGs, who are under-represented in the top-175.

 

Shooting guards fare well in terms of average value, at 28.6 FDP per game, but with under 30 players making the cut they still account for just 16.87% of cumulative value. On the other hand, point guards emerge as a powerhouse in this analysis. They are well represented with 36 players in the top-175. They have the highest average value (30.7), the highest cumulative value (1105), and therefore contribute the largest chunk of total FDP (22.49%).

 

As we'll see below, there are in fact seven point guards in the top-20 for per-game value, led by super-outlier Russell Westbrook. For more information in this vein, and a more nuanced look at where each position gets their value (the 1-50 range, 51-100 range, etc.), check out my 'DFS Deep Dive' column from early December.

 

Editor’s Note: Golf is coming soon to FanDuel! And they’ve created the Tee Off Classic to celebrate, offering you an opportunity to win a VIP trip for 3 to play a round of golf with Jerome Bettis! Play now.

 

Looking at DFS scoring from a different perspective, let's see how each category contributes to overall values.

 

 

As usual, points are king. They dwarf every other category, contributing more toward total FanDuel points than every other positive category combined. You really can't stress scoring enough in DFS leagues. Here's a chart that helps visualize the numbers in the table above.

 

 

DeMar DeRozan is a good case study. He's taken on an even bigger workload with Kyle Lowry (wrist) out of commission, scoring 26.4 points per night. He's contributing precious few supporting stats in his past 10 games, however, with just 0.6 triples, 0.5 steals and 0.2 blocks, while committing 2.8 turnovers. That lack of well-rounded production has pushed down his value in roto leagues, to the 100-range, yet in FanDuel he's been a top-30 player in the same span. His ability to score in bunches is vastly more important than his ability to get defensive stats, or even rebounds or assists, which plays directly to his strengths. With those results in mind, let's proceed to the next section.

 

Section 2: Team Matchups vs. Positions

 

The tables below show how many FanDuel points each team has given up vs. each position over their past 10 games. I won't comment on each chart because they are self-explanatory, but a close examination will yield plenty of interesting details. As one example, the Hawks emerge as the toughest team vs. centers over their past 10 games (just below the Jazz), yet the Hawks have been the most lenient team vs. power forwards during the same span. Take your time perusing the results, and refer back to them if/when you're setting your DFS lineups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue to the next page for Section 3!

 

~

 

Section 3: DFS Player Values

 

Again, this is based upon each player's past 10 games. I started out by eliminating anyone who averaged fewer than 15 minutes during that span, which trimmed the population to 303 players. I then calculated total DFS values based upon FanDuel's scoring system, and eliminated anyone who fell below the top-175. You'll notice that I left injured players on the list, such as Joel Embiid, Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker, Rudy Gay, Justise Winslow, etc. I wanted to get accurate position counts on an overall basis, and figured readers could just mentally skip over these guys in the list below. It also can't hurt to keep their most recent DFS production in mind for next year.

  

Rank

Name

 Per-Game Value (FanDuel, past 10 games)

1

Russell Westbrook

63.11

2

James Harden

51.03

3

LeBron James

50.65

4

Karl-Anthony Towns

48.34

5

Kawhi Leonard

47.7

6

Anthony Davis

47.27

7

John Wall

46.88

8

DeMarcus Cousins

46.07

9

Giannis Antetokounmpo

43.85

10

Kyrie Irving

43.7

11

Nikola Jokic

43.34

12

Damian Lillard

42.39

13

Joel Embiid

42.04

14

Stephen Curry

41.59

15

Blake Griffin

41.46

16

Kemba Walker

40.82

17

Kevin Durant

40.55

18

Jimmy Butler

40.36

19

Eric Bledsoe

40.29

20

Andrew Wiggins

40.07

21

Isaiah Thomas

39.06

22

Kyle Lowry

38.71

23

Mike Conley

38.47

24

Hassan Whiteside

38.12

25

Chris Paul

37.91

26

Carmelo Anthony

36.84

27

Kevin Love

36.78

28

DeMar DeRozan

36.31

29

Rudy Gobert

35.6

30

Marc Gasol

35.37

31

Bradley Beal

35.37

32

Nikola Vucevic

35.17

33

Dario Saric

35.17

34

Dwyane Wade

34.64

35

Andre Drummond

34.46

36

Paul Millsap

34.25

37

Ricky Rubio

34.02

38

Robert Covington

33.07

39

Jabari Parker

32.78

40

Gordon Hayward

32.65

41

Frank Kaminsky

32.6

42

Brook Lopez

32.11

43

Jrue Holiday

32.07

44

Julius Randle

32.06

45

Goran Dragic

31.81

46

Dennis Schroder

31.71

47

Dwight Howard

31.5

48

DeAndre Jordan

31.46

49

LaMarcus Aldridge

31.09

50

C.J. McCollum

31.02

51

Kristaps Porzingis

30.97

52

Paul George

30.77

53

Rudy Gay

30.71

54

Dirk Nowitzki

30.48

55

Nicolas Batum

30.44

56

Draymond Green

30.31

57

Greg Monroe

30.25

58

Klay Thompson

29.94

59

Marcus Morris

29.94

60

Wilson Chandler

29.78

61

Seth Curry

29.37

62

Derrick Rose

29.37

63

Danilo Gallinari

29.2

64

Serge Ibaka

29.08

65

James Johnson

28.81

66

Patrick Beverley

28.79

67

D'Angelo Russell

28.66

68

Tyler Johnson

28.49

69

Jeff Teague

28.44

70

Myles Turner

28.16

71

Markieff Morris

28.13

72

Dion Waiters

27.92

73

George Hill

27.55

74

Jameer Nelson

27.28

75

Darren Collison

27.24

76

Nerlens Noel

26.92

77

Alan Williams

26.84

78

Victor Oladipo

26.72

79

Harrison Barnes

26.66

80

Marcus Smart

26.58

81

Jusuf Nurkic

26.58

82

Terrence Jones

26.57

83

Al-Farouq Aminu

26.43

84

Zach Randolph

26.32

85

Clint Capela

26.28

86

Ty Warren

26.14

87

Tim Hardaway Jr.

26.07

88

Devin Booker

25.86

89

Ty McConnell

25.78

90

Evan Fournier

25.75

91

Pau Gasol

25.63

92

Tristan Thompson

25.48

93

Tobias Harris

25.46

94

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

25.38

95

Aaron Gordon

25.35

96

Khris Middleton

25.2

97

Elfrid Payton

25.19

98

Moe Harkless

25.05

99

Will Barton

24.98

100

Lou Williams

24.93

101

Ish Smith

24.92

102

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

24.81

103

Gorgui Dieng

24.71

104

Ty Lawson

24.55

105

Otto Porter

24.55

106

Courtney Lee

24.54

107

Jae Crowder

24.35

108

Gary Harris

24.17

109

Willy Hernangomez

24.17

110

Avery Bradley

24.1

111

Wesley Matthews

23.85

112

Al Horford

23.8

113

Rajon Rondo

23.5

114

Cody Zeller

23.45

115

Andre Iguodala

23.36

116

Matt Barnes

23.26

117

Justise Winslow

23.25

118

Trevor Ariza

23.25

119

Enes Kanter

23.19

120

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

23.13

121

Zach LaVine

22.99

122

Trevor Booker

22.81

123

Willie Cauley-Stein

22.75

124

Mason Plumlee

22.74

125

Kenneth Faried

22.7

126

Malcolm Brogdon

22.55

127

Marvin Williams

22.5

128

Jordan Clarkson

22.44

129

Reggie Jackson

22.39

130

Marcin Gortat

22.19

131

Derrick Favors

22.18

132

Steven Adams

21.89

133

Eric Gordon

21.87

134

Jeremy Lin

21.82

135

Terrence Ross

21.69

136

Yogi Ferrell

21.67

137

Robin Lopez

21.36

138

Evan Turner

21.26

139

Tyson Chandler

21.23

140

Bojan Bogdanovic

21.06

141

Kyle O'Quinn

21.02

142

Marquese Chriss

21

143

Tyreke Evans

20.54

144

Jonas Valanciunas

20.51

145

Monta Ellis

20.05

146

Michael Beasley

20

147

Spencer Dinwiddie

20

148

Nene Hilario

19.94

149

Emmanuel Mudiay

19.87

150

Zaza Pachulia

19.84

151

Jahlil Okafor

19.84

152

Tony Allen

19.83

153

Bobby Portis

19.7

154

Cory Joseph

19.63

155

Kent Bazemore

19.61

156

Rodney Hood

19.56

157

Richaun Holmes

19.56

158

Jaylen Brown

19.45

159

Ryan Anderson

19.44

160

Dewayne Dedmon

19.31

161

Austin Rivers

19.21

162

Jon Leuer

19.03

163

DeMarre Carroll

19.02

164

Kyle Korver

19

165

Amir Johnson

18.86

166

Alex Len

18.85

167

Sean Kilpatrick

18.79

168

Tony Parker

18.74

169

Nikola Mirotic

18.73

170

Bismack Biyombo

18.7

171

Thaddeus Young

18.66

172

C.J. Miles

18.58

173

Michael Carter-Williams

18.54

174

Garrett Temple

18.48

175

John Henson

18.42

 

Phew...that will do it for today's DFS analysis! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with any questions or insights, and good luck this week!

Ryan Knaus

Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for NBC Sports Edge since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.