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The Numbers Game

Playoff Points Projections

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

Today's postseason edition of the Numbers Game examines the points-league potential of players competing for a championship, with an emphasis on daily leagues.


I'll eschew the DFS scoring for players thus far in the playoffs, as the minuscule sample-size of games makes it less than ideal -- no team has played more than twice. Instead, I'll provide an 'expected' value by juxtaposing each player's season-long stats with the DFS points allowed by their first-round opponents.


To begin, here are the DFS 'point' totals which the 16 playoff teams allowed during the regular season:


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And here's the table as a series of 'weights' which can be applied to individual player stats, thus creating a matchup-weighted expectation for DFS production:


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To clarify what I'm doing, here's a quick example using DeMar DeRozan's scoring.


DeMar averaged 6.4 made field goals this season (not including 3-pointers), 0.4 threes, and 6.0 free throws. Using FanDuel's DFS scoring formula (here) that amounts to 20.1 fantasy 'points'. We now factor in the impact of DeRozan's matchup vs. the Wizards, who allowed more free throws than the average playoff team (104.8% of the mean) but allowed fewer field goals (95.1%). Do the same calculation for 3-pointers and DeRozan ends up with a projected 19.7 DFS points for scoring. The shift was subtle in this particular instance (I could have found a more glaring example) but across every player and every category there are some substantial matchup-based shifts in value.


Without further ado, then, here is the list of expected values for all key players in the postseason, adjusted for first-round matchups. I excluded anyone projected to get 10.0 or fewer 'points' and eliminated players who are done for the season, though I may have missed a few.


Player DFS Projection
James Harden 47.21
Anthony Davis 47.08
LeBron James 44.90
Chris Paul 40.48
Stephen Curry 40.09
John Wall 39.74
Blake Griffin 39.04
Pau Gasol 38.32
LaMarcus Aldridge 38.18
Marc Gasol 35.56
Jimmy Butler 35.48
DeAndre Jordan 35.13
Paul Millsap 34.91
Kyrie Irving 34.82
Damian Lillard 34.56
Kyle Lowry 33.80
Zach Randolph 33.44
Tyreke Evans 33.17
Kawhi Leonard 32.92
Kevin Love 32.69
Al Horford 32.38
Jeff Teague 32.25
Michael Carter-Williams 31.74
Tim Duncan 31.63
Dwight Howard 31.19
Jrue Holiday 30.95
Klay Thompson 30.87
Draymond Green 30.78
Monta Ellis 30.53
DeMar DeRozan 30.51
Brook Lopez 29.49
Tyson Chandler 28.81
Dirk Nowitzki 28.39
Mike Conley 27.99
Deron Williams 27.81
Jared Sullinger 27.75
Marcin Gortat 27.46
Josh Smith 27.44
Joakim Noah 27.28
Derrick Rose 27.20
Trevor Ariza 27.18
Rajon Rondo 27.16
Giannis Antetokounmpo 26.97
Chandler Parsons 26.62
Joe Johnson 26.19
Bradley Beal 25.87
Isaiah Thomas 25.79
Thaddeus Young 25.72
Terrence Jones 24.75
Evan Turner 24.73
Nicolas Batum 24.36
DeMarre Carroll 24.27
Jonas Valanciunas 24.26
Andrew Bogut 23.85
Kyle Korver 23.53
Khris Middleton 23.48
Tony Parker 23.25
Jeff Green 23.24
Danny Green 23.08
Jarrett Jack 22.39
Timofey Mozgov 22.26
Lou Williams 22.10
Eric Gordon 21.86
Jamal Crawford 21.80
Avery Bradley 21.80
J.R. Smith 21.61
Taj Gibson 21.58
Omer Asik 21.46
Zaza Pachulia 21.41
Ryan Anderson 21.29
Manu Ginobili 21.25
Corey Brewer 21.17
Amar'e Stoudemire 20.91
Tristan Thompson 20.84
Nene 20.68
Robin Lopez 20.67
Larry Sanders 20.58
J.J. Redick 20.53
Kelly Olynyk 20.32
Paul Pierce 20.31
Tony Allen 20.24
Nikola Mirotic 19.78
Amir Johnson 19.70
Tyler Zeller 19.68
Ersan Ilyasova 19.59
Harrison Barnes 19.32
Brandon Bass 19.21
Marcus Smart 19.12
Dennis Schroder 19.04
Mason Plumlee 18.88
O.J. Mayo 18.80
Aaron Brooks 18.77
Patrick Patterson 18.61
Arron Afflalo 18.58
John Henson 18.53
Matt Barnes 18.37
Kris Humphries 18.35
David Lee 18.26
Boris Diaw 18.08
Mike Dunleavy 17.79
Marreese Speights 17.74
Andre Iguodala 17.71
Greivis Vasquez 17.53
Iman Shumpert 17.41
Chris Kaman 17.34
Tiago Splitter 17.27
Devin Harris 17.15
Mirza Teletovic 17.12
Courtney Lee 16.92
James Johnson 16.46
Jerryd Bayless 15.88
Norris Cole 15.81
Terrence Ross 15.63
Al-Farouq Aminu 15.61
Jae Crowder 15.38
Jared Dudley 14.94
Marco Belinelli 14.82
Jose Juan Barea 14.58
Beno Udrih 14.46
Alexis Ajinca 14.26
Shaun Livingston 14.17
Kosta Koufos 13.98
Cory Joseph 13.90
Mike Scott 13.81
Bojan Bogdanovic 13.68
Jason Terry 13.62
Alan Anderson 13.50
Ramon Sessions 13.27
Drew Gooden 13.13
Miles Plumlee 12.97
Dante Cunningham 12.95
Rasual Butler 12.92
Jonas Jerebko 12.91
Austin Rivers 12.81
Spencer Hawes 12.55
Kevin Seraphin 12.52
Quincy Pondexter 12.44
Otto Porter 12.43
Aron Baynes 12.42
Meyers Leonard 12.39
Pablo Prigioni 12.25
Shawn Marion 12.20
Shelvin Mack 12.08
Kirk Hinrich 12.04
Kent Bazemore 11.95
Patty Mills 11.74
Nick Calathes 11.59
Leandro Barbosa 11.59
Matthew Dellavedova 11.46
Kostas Papanikolaou 11.45
Brandon Davies 11.35
Steve Blake 11.29
Kendrick Perkins 11.08
Mike Muscala 11.05
Pero Antic 11.02
Toney Douglas 10.98
Festus Ezeli 10.91
Tony Snell 10.80
Vince Carter 10.67
C.J. McCollum 10.66
Nate Robinson 10.62
Richard Jefferson 10.41
Charlie Villanueva 10.07
Jon Leuer 10.03



Note that a player like C.J. McCollum will leap up the board due to a radical change in his role in the playoffs vs. the regular season -- he should exceed 10.66 fantasy points even if Arron Afflalo (shoulder) returns on Wednesday (though McCollum did get an 11.0 despite starting and playing 37 minutes in Game 1). Richard Jefferson is another prime candidate to exceed his projected value due to Chandler Parsons' knee injury. Opportunistic daily-league owners can exploit these exceptions to great advantage, and combined with the objectivity of the above list it should be easy to build a competitive team even if there are only a few games (as there are on Wednesday).


The data presented here is the final product, cleaned up and simplified to make it easier for owners to target the best players with the most favorable matchups. If you're inclined to peruse the whole data set, or use the numbers in your own spreadsheet, click here to view (or copy) my google drive sheet at your leisure.


Send me a message on Twitter if you have any questions or suggestions for future 'Numbers Game' columns, and enjoy the games!

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 Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.