Ryan Knaus

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: Top-180 Rankings

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday’s three-game slate was a dud, to put it kindly. The Knicks shellacked the Nets in Brooklyn by a final score of 113-83. The Clippers trampled the short-handed Grizzlies 101-81 in Memphis, and the wounded Bulls stunned the visiting Heat 107-87. Thinking of synonyms for ‘blowout’ is the most fun I’ll have talking about these games. But first, rankings!


This Friday’s Dose takes a focused look at fantasy rankings for the top-180 players at this early juncture in the 2013-14 season. The information below stems directly from my two Numbers Game columns a few months ago, so if you haven’t read those you should first check out Part 1 and Part 2.


If you're not interested in how I arrived at these particular rankings, skip ahead a few paragraphs. If you are interested (and you will be once you see LeBron James at No. 5), I chose my initial population of top-180 players with raw weighted averages, but that group was discarded once I gleaned appropriate means and standard deviations (SDs) for each category. Players averaging under 15 minutes per game were excluded from consideration. I then used the admittedly-rough means/SDs to convert each player's averages into ‘standard scores’ or ‘z-scores’ for six categories (Points, 3-pointers, Rebounds, Assists, Steals and Blocks) by subtracting player averages from the mean and dividing the result by the SD for that category. The top-180 players after that examination made the cut. LeBron at No. 5 underscores a vital point: these are eight-cat rankings so they may ‘favor’ PGs and turnover-heavy players, depending upon your format. The rankings deal with per-game values, not cumulative values.


I'm once again providing a spreadsheet with all of the data I used to arrive at these rankings. Click here to view it on Google Drive. You’ll notice that I’m also providing a second set of current-value rankings which are based upon the top-180 Standard Deviations from the 2012-13 season. These SDs (and subsequent fantasy-value rankings) may in fact be more accurate since they account for a much larger sample size. In any case, they do show discrepancies in values due to spreads in SDs between last season and this abbreviated season. Using the 2012-13 means/SDs, for instance, Anthony Davis overtakes Kevin Durant as the No. 1 value this season, but spots 5-12 remain unchanged.


Unlike my Numbers Game columns during the preseason, I've included weighted scores for FG percentage and FT percentage. To account for volume of attempts I used each player's individual z-scores for raw FG or FT percentages, multiplied by FG or FT attempts as a percentage of the mean. As an example, Kevin Durant is shooting 87.8 percent from the FT line this season which puts him far above average with a z-score of 0.97 for FTP. He's also attempting a league-leading 11.1 FTs per game, which is 352 percent (or 3.52 times) the top-180 mean for FT attempts. His value for attempts (3.52) gets multiplied by his FTP z-score (0.97) to give us a quick-and-dirty picture of his relative value in this category: 3.43. The next-highest values in FTP are Kevin Martin (3.11), Chris Paul (2.32), James Harden (2.32), Dirk Nowitzki (2.26) and Damian Lillard (2.03).


I present these rankings to illuminate what might be a murky problem for many owners, and to offer one reasonably thorough statistical approach to gauging values. These are not my ‘personal’ rankings since they don’t reflect any personal biases, they definitely aren't ROS rankings, and they don't account for missed games. Use them as one part of a more holistic approach to gauging values (including schedule breakdowns, injury outlooks, etc.) and you're on your way to a winning season. I realize there are only 179 players on this list…that’s because I initially selected the wrong sample size, like a dolt, and was soon too far along to fix it. The “SD Scores” below should not be compared horizontally across rows, and are only to be read as a descending list in each column.


 Current Values (12/5/2013) using 2013-14 Means & SDs Current Values (12/5/2013) using 2012-13 Means & SDs 
  Name TOTAL StDev Score Name TOTAL StDev Score
1 Durant, Kevin 10.05 Davis, Anthony 10.04
2 Davis, Anthony 8.98 Durant, Kevin 10.01
3 Curry, Stephen 8.78 Paul, Chris 9.97
4 Paul, Chris 8.75 Curry, Stephen 9.76
5 James, LeBron 8.27 James, LeBron 9.29
6 George, Paul 7.48 George, Paul 8.63
7 Harden, James 6.72 Harden, James 7.75
8 Love, Kevin 6.33 Love, Kevin 6.51
9 Wall, John 5.47 Wall, John 6.30
10 Nowitzki, Dirk 4.79 Nowitzki, Dirk 5.63
11 Carter-Williams, Michael 4.78 Carter-Williams, Michael 5.51
12 Anderson, Ryan 4.67 Anderson, Ryan 5.08
13 Hawes, Spencer 4.58 Afflalo, Arron 4.99
14 Afflalo, Arron 4.38 Martin, Kevin 4.77
15 Anthony, Carmelo 4.21 Hawes, Spencer 4.66
16 Martin, Kevin 3.94 Ellis, Monta 4.62
17 Ellis, Monta 3.79 Anthony, Carmelo 4.62
18 Aldridge, LaMarcus 3.66 Wade, Dwyane 4.09
19 Thompson, Klay 3.43 Aldridge, LaMarcus 4.08
20 Wade, Dwyane 3.32 Bledsoe, Eric 3.91
21 Bledsoe, Eric 3.27 Rubio, Ricky 3.87
22 Lillard, Damian 3.20 Conley, Mike 3.87
23 Vucevic, Nikola 3.19 Thompson, Klay 3.87
24 Cousins, DeMarcus 3.18 Lillard, Damian 3.51
25 Conley, Mike 3.13 Vucevic, Nikola 3.50
26 Rubio, Ricky 3.06 Cousins, DeMarcus 3.50
27 Holiday, Jrue 2.93 Lopez, Brook 3.36
28 Parsons, Chandler 2.91 Holiday, Jrue 3.35
29 Batum, Nicolas 2.91 Parsons, Chandler 3.34
30 Lopez, Brook 2.83 Batum, Nicolas 3.19
31 Ibaka, Serge 2.81 Ariza, Trevor 3.09
32 Horford, Al 2.61 Iguodala, Andre 2.95
33 Ariza, Trevor 2.57 Horford, Al 2.89
34 Iguodala, Andre 2.51 Gasol, Marc 2.87
35 Gasol, Marc 2.48 Turner, Evan 2.86
36 Turner, Evan 2.41 Korver, Kyle 2.84
37 Korver, Kyle 2.40 Ibaka, Serge 2.84
38 Griffin, Blake 2.38 Lowry, Kyle 2.70
39 Lowry, Kyle 2.28 Matthews, Wesley 2.56
40 Hibbert, Roy 2.19 Griffin, Blake 2.41
41 Matthews, Wesley 2.13 Deng, Luol 2.40
42 Deng, Luol 2.04 Lin, Jeremy 2.21
43 Millsap, Paul 1.81 Hibbert, Roy 2.12
44 Dragic, Goran 1.77 Dragic, Goran 2.11
45 Lawson, Ty 1.77 Millsap, Paul 2.09
46 Chandler, Tyson 1.73 Lawson, Ty 1.96
47 Lin, Jeremy 1.69 Chandler, Tyson 1.90
48 Drummond, Andre 1.44 Butler, Jimmy 1.67
49 Gay, Rudy 1.44 Thomas, Isaiah 1.62
50 Thomas, Isaiah 1.12 Gay, Rudy 1.61
51 Jennings, Brandon 1.07 Drummond, Andre 1.47
52 Butler, Jimmy 1.05 Jennings, Brandon 1.23
53 Hayward, Gordon 1.00 Hayward, Gordon 1.22
54 Beal, Bradley 0.98 Teague, Jeff 1.17
55 Teague, Jeff 0.86 Leonard, Kawhi 1.13
56 Gortat, Marcin 0.83 Beal, Bradley 1.06
57 Jefferson, Al 0.70 DeRozan, DeMar 0.97
58 DeRozan, DeMar 0.68 Webster, Martell 0.84
59 Webster, Martell 0.64 Bosh, Chris 0.82
60 Westbrook, Russell 0.60 Oladipo, Victor 0.80
61 Leonard, Kawhi 0.57 Gortat, Marcin 0.78
62 Bosh, Chris 0.54 Westbrook, Russell 0.76
63 Irving, Kyrie 0.46 Jefferson, Al 0.66
64 Oladipo, Victor 0.43 Gordon, Eric 0.61
65 Marion, Shawn 0.38 Redick, JJ 0.60
66 Young, Thaddeus 0.31 Allen, Tony 0.58
67 Favors, Derrick 0.25 Marion, Shawn 0.56
68 Smith, Josh 0.20 Irving, Kyrie 0.56
69 Lee, David 0.18 Young, Thaddeus 0.50
70 Redick, JJ 0.17 Crawford, Jordan 0.41
71 Crawford, Jordan 0.14 Favors, Derrick 0.25
72 Gordon, Eric 0.13 Lee, David 0.17
73 Bargnani, Andrea 0.05 Brewer, Corey 0.08
74 Monroe, Greg -0.12 Smith, Josh 0.08
75 Blake, Steve -0.13 Bargnani, Andrea 0.05
76 Allen, Tony -0.15 Chalmers, Mario 0.03
77 Walker, Kemba -0.23 Walker, Kemba -0.08
78 Duncan, Tim -0.24 Monroe, Greg -0.12
79 West, David -0.25 Frye, Channing -0.19
80 Chalmers, Mario -0.29 Blake, Steve -0.21
81 Frye, Channing -0.30 West, David -0.23
82 Calderon, Jose -0.38 Calderon, Jose -0.27
83 Brewer, Corey -0.48 Hill, George -0.46
84 Boozer, Carlos -0.50 Duncan, Tim -0.50
85 Hill, George -0.56 Boozer, Carlos -0.57
86 Randolph, Zach -0.75 Stuckey, Rodney -0.65
87 Varejao, Anderson -0.82 Varejao, Anderson -0.73
88 Parker, Tony -0.83 Randolph, Zach -0.80
89 Hilario, Nene -0.87 Ginobili, Manu -0.83
90 Ginobili, Manu -0.93 Parker, Tony -0.83
91 Henson, John -0.93 Johnson, Wes -0.86
92 Bogut, Andrew -0.95 Hilario, Nene -0.93
93 Johnson, Wes -0.96 Beverley, Patrick -0.99
94 Stuckey, Rodney -1.03 Henson, John -1.06
95 Gasol, Pau -1.06 Felton, Raymond -1.09
96 Stephenson, Lance -1.09 Mayo, OJ -1.09
97 Pekovic, Nikola -1.12 Green, Danny -1.12
98 Felton, Raymond -1.12 Crawford, Jamal -1.18
99 Beverley, Patrick -1.13 Meeks, Jodie -1.19
100 Mayo, OJ -1.16 Pekovic, Nikola -1.22
101 Crawford, Jamal -1.24 Davis, Glen -1.23
102 Johnson, Joe -1.25 Bogut, Andrew -1.25
103 Green, Danny -1.28 Dalembert, Samuel -1.26
104 Dalembert, Samuel -1.30 Johnson, Joe -1.28
105 Sullinger, Jared -1.34 Jackson, Reggie -1.32
106 Meeks, Jodie -1.41 Stephenson, Lance -1.35
107 Jackson, Reggie -1.47 Carroll, DeMarre -1.40
108 Carroll, DeMarre -1.48 Morris, Markieff -1.41
109 Davis, Glen -1.49 Sullinger, Jared -1.52
110 Morris, Markieff -1.55 Gasol, Pau -1.60
111 Nelson, Jameer -1.56 Bass, Brandon -1.65
112 Bass, Brandon -1.63 Green, Gerald -1.66
113 Green, Gerald -1.64 Butler, Caron -1.71
114 Butler, Caron -1.64 Tucker, PJ -1.77
115 Lopez, Robin -1.72 Evans, Jeremy -1.80
116 Jordan, DeAndre -1.82 Nelson, Jameer -1.83
117 Noah, Joakim -1.85 Chandler, Wilson -1.90
118 Williams, Marvin -1.87 Williams, Marvin -1.93
119 Green, Jeff -1.87 Lopez, Robin -1.96
120 Tucker, PJ -1.90 Green, Jeff -2.00
121 Chandler, Wilson -1.95 Middleton, Khris -2.04
122 Evans, Jeremy -1.98 Morris, Marcus -2.09
123 Morris, Marcus -2.12 Noah, Joakim -2.15
124 Middleton, Khris -2.15 Shumpert, Iman -2.17
125 Howard, Dwight -2.16 Allen, Ray -2.19
126 McRoberts, Josh -2.18 Anderson, James -2.28
127 Allen, Ray -2.24 Ilyasova, Ersan -2.35
128 Anderson, James -2.25 Blair, DeJuan -2.37
129 Johnson, Amir -2.26 Johnson, Amir -2.38
130 Shumpert, Iman -2.33 Young, Nick -2.38
131 Pierce, Paul -2.36 Barnes, Harrison -2.39
132 Blair, DeJuan -2.36 Pierce, Paul -2.43
133 Burke, Trey -2.36 McRoberts, Josh -2.44
134 Ilyasova, Ersan -2.41 Hinrich, Kirk -2.52
135 Hill, Jordan -2.42 Burke, Trey -2.52
136 Hinrich, Kirk -2.44 Smith, Jason -2.56
137 Faried, Kenneth -2.44 Jordan, DeAndre -2.60
138 Barnes, Harrison -2.45 Foye, Randy -2.61
139 Smith, Jason -2.46 Casspi, Omri -2.65
140 Jones, Terrence -2.54 Diaw, Boris -2.66
141 Young, Nick -2.55 Belinelli, Marco -2.68
142 Foye, Randy -2.55 Evans, Tyreke -2.74
143 Casspi, Omri -2.60 Faried, Kenneth -2.75
144 Plumlee, Miles -2.62 Hill, Jordan -2.76
145 Diaw, Boris -2.64 Blatche, Andray -2.76
146 Belinelli, Marco -2.67 Jack, Jarrett -2.76
147 Evans, Tyreke -2.70 Henderson, Gerald -2.83
148 Vasquez, Greivis -2.71 Vasquez, Greivis -2.84
149 Farmar, Jordan -2.71 Jones, Terrence -2.86
150 Jack, Jarrett -2.73 Farmar, Jordan -2.89
151 Blatche, Andray -2.74 Waiters, Dion -2.92
152 Henderson, Gerald -2.77 Sefolosha, Thabo -2.99
153 Thompson, Tristan -2.80 Miles, CJ -3.00
154 Gibson, Taj -2.81 Gibson, Taj -3.08
155 Waiters, Dion -2.83 Plumlee, Miles -3.13
156 Valanciunas, Jonas -2.85 Howard, Dwight -3.13
157 Miles, CJ -3.06 Valanciunas, Jonas -3.13
158 Sefolosha, Thabo -3.09 Bradley, Avery -3.19
159 Rose, Derrick -3.14 Thompson, Tristan -3.20
160 Splitter, Tiago -3.19 Pachulia, Zaza -3.27
161 Carter, Vince -3.19 Beasley, Michael -3.30
162 Pachulia, Zaza -3.21 Williams, Mo -3.36
163 Bradley, Avery -3.22 Garcia, Francisco -3.41
164 Williams, Mo -3.23 Splitter, Tiago -3.42
165 Mozgov, Timofey -3.23 Hamilton, Jordan -3.42
166 Beasley, Michael -3.24 Carter, Vince -3.44
167 Garcia, Francisco -3.25 Rose, Derrick -3.50
168 Williams, Deron -3.29 Mozgov, Timofey -3.52
169 Hamilton, Jordan -3.33 Williams, Deron -3.55
170 Garnett, Kevin -3.40 Lamb, Jeremy -3.59
171 Kanter, Enes -3.46 Garnett, Kevin -3.71
172 Lamb, Jeremy -3.56 Kanter, Enes -3.79
173 Nicholson, Andrew -3.65 Nicholson, Andrew -3.83
174 Koufos, Kosta -3.70 Robinson, Nate -3.96
175 Dunleavy, Mike -3.76 Cole, Norris -3.98
176 Cole, Norris -3.84 Dunleavy, Mike -3.99
177 Robinson, Nate -3.85 Green, Draymond -4.02
178 Green, Draymond -3.89 Koufos, Kosta -4.04
179 Kaman, Chris -4.03 Kaman, Chris -4.31

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night's games. It's $10 to join and first prize is $3,000 Starts at 7 pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Personal Note: I never played daily fantasy leagues before this season, but I’m really enjoying FanDuel. I like the fact that it emphasizes matchups, rewarding owners who pay close attention to the schedule. Daily leagues also mean that injuries play an enormous role, for better or worse. I had Zach Randolph in two tournaments last Saturday when he was suddenly ruled out at 6:59pm, leaving me and plenty more owners stuck with a zero in our lineups. But I was also able to capitalize on a big game from fill-in PF Ed Davis this Tuesday, when he blew up for 21 points and 12 rebounds. My recommendation to all fantasy die-hards: do your homework, be prepared for some ‘bad beats’ (to borrow a poker term), and give FanDuel a try tonight.


Knicks at Nets


J.R. Smith (sore knee) came into Thursday’s lopsided victory with a possible minute-limit, but it hardly mattered as he came off the bench for eight points on 3-of-6 shooting with two 3-pointers in 25 minutes. Even Carmelo Anthony only played 31 minutes, but he still scored 19 points with 10 rebounds and one block, while tying his season-high with six assists. Iman Shumpert finished 5-of-7 from downtown for 17 points in the romp, adding six boards and two steals, while rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. pitched in 12 points with a couple 3-pointers off the bench. This game should be totally ignored for fantasy purposes.


Hopefully the Knicks’ bamboozling of the Nets in Brooklyn will stop any speculation about Mike Woodson’s job security. The coach with the velvet beard finished third in Coach of the Year voting last season, and as Jeff Van Gundy said recently, “The last problem the Knicks have, the very last problem, is a coaching issue.” Then again, George Karl won the COY award last May and found himself out of a job a month later.


Brook Lopez played well for the woebegone Nets, scoring 24 points on 9-of-18 FGs and 6-of-7 FTs with nine boards, one steal and one block in 35 minutes of action. The biggest question is why a crucial guy like Brook, fresh off an ankle sprain, checked into this game midway through the fourth quarter with the game beyond reach. Think of any other Brooklyn player who was active (ruling out Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Pierce), and they did terribly.


L.A. Clippers at Memphis


The Grizzlies, meanwhile, were obliterated on their home court despite Zach Randolph’s return from an ingrown toenail. Z-Bo gritted out 12 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes, but added just two assists with seven turnovers. Memphis doesn’t play back-to-back games until mid-December, so presumably Randolph will be good to go. His presence is essential for the Grizzlies with Marc Gasol (knee) out long-term and Ed Davis (ankle) possibly out short-term after hurting himself on Thursday.


A big part of the problem for Memphis was Tony Allen’s absence due to a hip injury. Jerry Bayless filled in at SG which left the starting five without its usual defensive edge, and the bench without its usual offensive punch. Quincy Pondexter returned from yet another DNP-CD to lead the reserves with 15 points, five assists and three steals, but Allen is day-to-day and his return could bump Pondexter straight out of the rotation on Saturday.


I picked up Willie Green in 30-Deep as soon as J.J. Redick was ruled out 6-8 weeks with a fractured hand and torn elbow ligament in his shooting arm. As I wrote in a blurb that day, however, “In 60 starts last season [2012-13] he averaged 6.8 points, 1.0 threes, 0.9 assists and 0.5 steals in 18 minutes per game, and even with more minutes under Doc Rivers he's unlikely to be more than a low-end source of 3-pointers.” He’s proving even worse than I anticipated in three starts at SG, averaging 5.3 points with 0.3 rebounds, 0.3 triples, 0.3 steals and not a single assist to his credit. He’s the definition of a rotational place-holder. To sum up his value…I might drop him in a 30-team league that uses eight active roster spots.


Reggie Bullock scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from downtown off the bench, and he’s one of the Clippers’ reserves, along with Jamal Crawford (15 points) and Darren Collison (15 points), who will pick up most of the slack in Redick’s absence.


Miami at Chicago


The Heat trailed by 26 points after three quarters in Chicago on Wednesday, a deficit I’d wager hasn’t been seen more than a few times during the LeBron era. LBJ led the way with 21 points, five boards and three steals before taking a seat, but Chris Bosh was the only other starter in double-digits with 10 points. Michael Beasley blazed his way to 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks in the losing effort. He only played 23 minutes and this was the second time all season that he’s scored double-digit points in back-to-back games.


The Bulls coasted along behind a huge effort from their frontcourt, which relentlessly exposed the Heat’s interior defense. Carlos Boozer bounced back from three quiet games to score 27 points and grab nine rebounds, Joakim Noah had 17 & 15 with three assists, one steal and zero turnovers, and the bench was led by another big game from Taj Gibson with 19 points, six boards and one block. Gibson made 8-of-12 FGs in just 24 minutes and he’ll cool off in due time, but he belongs in your lineups until that happens.


The rankings took up such a chunk of my time (and yours) this morning that I’m going to wrap up here. Again, check out this link for a full spreadsheet with the ranking data and each player’s z-scores across eight categories. I’m not sure if it will be sortable by column if you’re viewing it on Google. If it isn’t, and you’re interested in knowing more or using the file for your own purposes/rankings, send me a Direct Message on Twitter @Knaus_RW and I’ll see what I can do.

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.
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