Real Time Analytics

NBA Daily Fantasy Analytics: March 30th

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You can win big tonight.

I have always loved traditional fantasy sports. In the last few years, I have slowly gravitated more and more toward daily fantasy sports. I started with the NFL and loved it. Last NFL season, I played around with statistically analyzing the Fanduel and DraftKings prices, and had consistent success. 

Now that I have too much time on my hands with football season over, I have experimented further and developed a mathematical formula for comparing the price value of NBA players on Fanudel, DraftKings, Victiv (quality site, highly recommend it), and Draft Day (don’t love the site, but I love the prices). Fanduel and DraftKings are the most popular sites, but playing more sites naturally leads to more variability and more outliers, which is exactly what I am going to help you exploit. 

Before you inspect the results, I must make it clear that these scores are based purely on the relative value of that player’s price on that particular site. My opinion is not factored into these scores at all, not that you would want it anyway. I am by no means a basketball expert. For real basketball knowledge I ask fellow SQ Writer Teddy Chassin (@teddychassin). I only play around with NBA Daily Fantasy to get ready for NFL season. That’s when the big money will come out. 

Without getting deep into the math, I’ll give a quick run through of the scoring system. Positive numbers are good, negative numbers are bad. I highlighted the boxes different colors to make it a little more visually appealing. This is the key:

Blue: 1.65+ - Must-play

Dark Green: 1.00 to 1.64 - Bargain

Light Green: 0.65 to 0.99 - Solid price

White: -0.649 to 0.649 - Neutral. Positive is still better, but don’t put too much stock into scores in this range

Yellow: -0.99 to -0.65 - Too expensive

Red: -1.00+ - Unplayable on that site, if you are playing multiple sites. If you are only playing one site, you are not afforded the luxury of deeming anyone unplayable. Use your best judgement, and don’t leave out someone you love because they have a red score on the site you play.

If you see a player that you already liked has received a positive score on the site you play, pull the trigger. However, don’t draft a player simply because they are a good deal if you don’t have confidence in them. 

Point Guard
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Outliers: Ish Smith is ridiculously cheap on Draft Day ($8,100 out of $100,000 salary cap) and is a must play there. I didn’t list the actual dollar value prices because each site is different and looking at the raw prices means nothing. Also, Rubio is likely not playing tonight, so be careful there. Lin is also not playing, so Clarkson also looks like a good play on Draft Day.

Shooting Guard

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Outliers: James Harden is a must-play on Victiv at only $10,600. I’m only playing him on Victiv, but with few other stud options I wouldn’t immediately rule out Harden on Fanduel. With Lin out Wayne Ellington will be a solid play on Draft Day, as will Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not too much variability on Fanduel or DraftKings. Inconsequential for the most part.

Small Forward

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Outliers: Trevor Ariza is a really good deal on Fanduel for only $6,200. He’s been producing, and Patrick Beverly, Donatas Montiejunas, and Dwight Howard are all out tonight. Jae Crowder is a steal on Draft Day at only $7,850. 

Power Forward

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Outliers: Paul Millsap ($7,300) is a steal on DraftKings. Only concern is will he get enough minutes, but the upside is worth the risk. Ersan Ilyasova is very cheap ($5,900) on Fanduel, though I prefer Josh Smith ($6,000) and Marcus Morris ($5,800) in the same price range. 


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Outliers:  Rudy Gobert is the outlier of the night, at a slim $12,550 on Draft Day. Fanduel, Victiv and DraftKings are all pretty consistent. Al Horford isn’t bad ($6,500) on Victiv. Demarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, and Gorgui Dieng were originally included but they have all been ruled out.

Its smart to use the scores as a tie-breaker if you are evenly split on two players. However, don’t let a small difference in price score let you choose a player you like less over a player you like more. Trust your gut first, use this to help.

More to come in the future. Good luck tonight. 

Edited by Justin Peroff.

Where did James Harden play in college?
Created 3/30/15
  1. Arizona State
  2. Illinois
  3. Georgia
  4. USC

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