Ryan Knaus

The Numbers Game

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Rankings in Review

Monday, May 19, 2014


The inaugural edition of my summer column, ‘The Numbers Game’, features detailed fantasy-value rankings for nine-cat and eight-cat leagues, followed by a look at the Western Conference finals between the Spurs and Thunder. Steve Alexander already broke down both of this year’s Conference finals in his terrific Playoff Preview, and my primary goal is to set the table for future columns, so we’ll begin with a look at this year’s fantasy rankings.

 

After obtaining every NBA player’s per game stats for the 2013-14 regular season, I tossed out players who didn’t appear in at least 30 games (e.g. Brook Lopez, Ryan Anderson, Larry Sanders and Al Horford), as well as players who didn’t average at least 20 minutes per game. After culling these two groups I was left with 216 players (enough for a 15-team league with 14-player rosters). I then calculated standard deviations and assigned z-scores to each player across the nine primary fantasy categories (PTS, 3PT, REB, AST, STL, BLK, FG%, FT% and TOS). If you’re interested in reading more about my approach, here are links to six columns which have informed my methodology: The Numbers Game, The Numbers Game Pt. 2, Top-180 Rankings, Points League Primer, Matchups by the Numbers, and The Numbers Game Pt. 3.

 

What follows is a retrospective ranking for nine-cat fantasy values during the 2013-14 season, on a per-game basis. My spreadsheet is available on Google Drive and there’s a separate column for eight-cat values, but you can manipulate the numbers to include only those categories which interest you. It is merely the first step in my summer-long exploration of last season’s stats, which will (hopefully) culminate in a stats-driven projection for next year’s values.

 

 NameTOTAL 9-cat valueTotal 8-cat value
1 Kevin Durant 12.12 14.55
2 Anthony Davis 9.78 9.62
3 Chris Paul 9.10 9.91
4 Stephen Curry 8.33 11.11
5 Kevin Love 8.22 9.32
6 LeBron James 8.03 10.45
7 James Harden 7.64 10.23
8 Carmelo Anthony 7.51 8.64
9 Dirk Nowitzki 6.75 6.36
10 Paul George 5.69 7.13
11 Serge Ibaka 5.67 5.36
12 LaMarcus Aldridge 5.01 5.06
13 Kyle Lowry 4.67 5.65
14 Kawhi Leonard 4.64 3.90
15 Al Jefferson 4.51 4.45
16 Russell Westbrook 4.11 6.99
17 Joakim Noah 4.07 5.01
18 Paul Millsap 4.07 5.10
19 DeMarcus Cousins 4.03 6.48
20 Kyrie Irving 4.02 5.30
21 Chris Bosh 3.68 3.46
22 John Wall 3.66 6.20
23 Damian Lillard 3.65 4.48
24 Blake Griffin 3.60 5.05
25 Trevor Ariza 3.54 3.50
26 Goran Dragic 3.42 4.87
27 Isaiah Thomas 3.25 4.92
28 Thaddeus Young 2.94 3.41
29 Mike Conley 2.90 3.32
30 Nicolas Batum 2.77 3.85
31 Chandler Parsons 2.73 3.01
32 Kyle Korver 2.69 2.27
33 Tim Duncan 2.67 3.23
34 Andre Drummond 2.60 2.05
35 Nikola Vucevic 2.52 2.83
36 Robin Lopez 2.49 1.50
37 Ty Lawson 2.43 4.46
38 DeAndre Jordan 2.41 2.07
39 Jodie Meeks 2.37 1.95
40 Dwyane Wade 2.28 3.97
41 Marc Gasol 2.23 2.42
42 Rudy Gay 2.21 4.03
43 Wesley Matthews 2.15 1.60
44 Klay Thompson 2.12 2.01
45 Spencer Hawes 2.08 2.65
46 DeMar DeRozan 2.07 2.73
47 Pau Gasol 2.04 2.87
48 Marcin Gortat 2.03 1.77
49 Eric Bledsoe 1.98 4.15
50 Deron Williams 1.84 2.51
51 Jrue Holiday 1.83 3.67
52 Andrew Bogut 1.80 1.39
53 DeMarre Carroll 1.77 0.86
54 Kemba Walker 1.77 2.55
55 Ricky Rubio 1.71 3.01
56 Kevin Martin 1.68 1.42
57 David Lee 1.58 2.22
58 Derrick Favors 1.57 1.60
59 Gordon Hayward 1.53 2.91
60 Monta Ellis 1.53 3.55
61 J.J. Redick 1.48 0.73
62 Gerald Green 1.48 1.51
63 Jimmy Butler 1.44 1.14
64 Jamal Crawford 1.32 1.61
65 Terrence Jones 1.24 0.12
66 Jose Calderon 1.12 0.47
67 David West 1.08 0.96
68 Nikola Pekovic 1.04 0.78
69 Paul Pierce 1.00 1.40
70 Shawn Marion 0.86 0.18
71 Patrick Beverley 0.84 0.06
72 Channing Frye 0.76 -0.15
73 Jeff Teague 0.67 2.29
74 Randy Foye 0.64 0.70
75 Danny Green 0.57 -0.29
76 Corey Brewer 0.55 -0.07
77 Manu Ginobili 0.49 0.90
78 Anderson Varejao 0.49 -0.38
79 Wes Johnson 0.41 -0.42
80 Andre Iguodala 0.40 0.18
81 Bradley Beal 0.35 0.36
82 Nick Young 0.35 -0.01
83 Josh McRoberts 0.35 -0.59
84 Joe Johnson 0.31 0.00
85 Kenneth Faried 0.25 0.17
86 Tyson Chandler 0.22 -0.41
87 Tobias Harris 0.22 -0.43
88 Arron Afflalo 0.21 0.55
89 Amir Johnson 0.18 -0.02
90 Mike Dunleavy 0.14 -0.44
91 P.J. Tucker 0.13 -0.54
92 Markieff Morris 0.11 0.21
93 George Hill 0.10 -0.63
94 Michael Carter-Williams 0.08 2.53
95 J.R. Smith 0.03 -0.37
96 Brandon Knight 0.01 1.19
97 Mario Chalmers 0.00 0.65
98 Darren Collison -0.04 -0.17
99 Greg Monroe -0.12 0.28
100 Reggie Jackson -0.13 0.35
101 Roy Hibbert -0.18 -0.07
102 Luol Deng -0.19 -0.10
103 D.J. Augustin -0.24 -0.22
104 Khris Middleton -0.27 -0.60
105 Wilson Chandler -0.30 -0.95
106 Eric Gordon -0.37 0.11
107 Vince Carter -0.39 -0.95
108 Andrea Bargnani -0.41 -0.91
109 Zach Randolph -0.44 0.34
110 Brandon Jennings -0.47 0.82
111 Lance Stephenson -0.50 0.80
112 Tony Parker -0.52 0.13
113 Marvin Williams -0.52 -1.82
114 Jameer Nelson -0.54 0.42
115 John Henson -0.56 -0.72
116 Taj Gibson -0.62 -0.50
117 Matt Barnes -0.65 -1.19
118 Brandon Bass -0.66 -1.35
119 Marco Belinelli -0.67 -1.43
120 Jeff Green -0.68 -0.31
121 Victor Oladipo -0.77 1.22
122 Jonas Valanciunas -0.81 -0.90
123 Avery Bradley -0.85 -1.05
124 Jared Sullinger -0.85 -1.04
125 Jeremy Lin -0.87 0.13
126 Tyreke Evans -0.88 0.06
127 Terrence Ross -0.91 -1.82
128 Shaun Livingston -0.94 -1.44
129 Josh Smith -0.97 0.19
130 Draymond Green -0.97 -1.84
131 Jordan Hill -1.02 -1.99
132 Courtney Lee -1.08 -2.21
133 Patrick Patterson -1.08 -2.11
134 Samuel Dalembert -1.10 -1.95
135 Caron Butler -1.10 -2.03
136 Kyle Singler -1.14 -2.21
137 Ray Allen -1.16 -1.97
138 Rajon Rondo -1.16 0.97
139 Dwight Howard -1.19 0.84
140 Andray Blatche -1.24 -1.57
141 Martell Webster -1.36 -2.74
142 James Anderson -1.38 -1.96
143 Timofey Mozgov -1.41 -1.76
144 Raymond Felton -1.44 -1.11
145 Ryan Kelly -1.53 -2.83
146 Trey Burke -1.65 -1.47
147 Ersan Ilyasova -1.67 -2.54
148 Miles Plumlee -1.71 -2.21
149 Thabo Sefolosha -1.72 -2.88
150 Jason Smith -1.77 -2.92
151 Boris Diaw -1.79 -2.09
152 Kirk Hinrich -1.82 -1.96
153 Marcus Morris -1.88 -2.68
154 Tony Allen -1.88 -2.03
155 Jordan Farmar -1.88 -1.10
156 Al-Farouq Aminu -1.89 -2.77
157 Steve Blake -1.91 -1.76
158 Carlos Boozer -1.93 -1.55
159 Kevin Garnett -1.96 -2.61
160 Gerald Henderson -2.00 -2.38
161 Lou Williams -2.03 -2.33
162 Nene -2.04 -1.41
163 Tristan Thompson -2.15 -2.73
164 Amar'e Stoudemire -2.16 -2.64
165 Iman Shumpert -2.17 -3.10
166 Maurice Harkless -2.18 -3.10
167 Richard Jefferson -2.21 -3.03
168 Kendall Marshall -2.21 -0.80
169 Evan Turner -2.27 -1.46
170 Alec Burks -2.27 -2.05
171 Trevor Booker -2.33 -3.62
172 Zaza Pachulia -2.44 -2.45
173 Brian Roberts -2.46 -3.07
174 Tim Hardaway Jr. -2.48 -4.08
175 Enes Kanter -2.49 -2.41
176 Marcus Thornton -2.51 -3.63
177 Jarrett Jack -2.51 -2.63
178 Dion Waiters -2.56 -1.94
179 Dante Cunningham -2.71 -4.40
180 Glen Davis -2.73 -3.59
181 Jordan Crawford -2.75 -2.87
182 Mo Williams -2.76 -2.39
183 Ramon Sessions -2.76 -2.71
184 Greivis Vasquez -2.77 -2.94
185 Aaron Brooks -2.78 -2.95
186 Rodney Stuckey -2.81 -2.85
187 Tiago Splitter -2.82 -3.44
188 Jermaine O'Neal -2.82 -3.59
189 Chris Douglas-Roberts -2.83 -4.22
190 O.J. Mayo -2.84 -2.73
191 Jerryd Bayless -2.87 -3.71
192 Anthony Tolliver -3.05 -4.97
193 Shelvin Mack -3.06 -3.76
194 Harrison Barnes -3.14 -4.06
195 Shane Battier -3.22 -5.22
196 Giannis Antetokounmpo -3.29 -3.51
197 Mike Miller -3.33 -4.44
198 Hollis Thompson -3.37 -4.70
199 Devin Harris -3.40 -3.78
200 J.J. Hickson -3.52 -3.37
201 Danny Granger -3.54 -4.40
202 Gary Neal -3.66 -4.36
203 Jason Thompson -3.73 -4.54
204 Jared Dudley -3.76 -5.12
205 Omer Asik -3.84 -4.55
206 Alan Anderson -3.85 -5.15
207 Norris Cole -3.89 -4.16
208 Nate Wolters -3.93 -4.98
209 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -3.96 -5.02
210 Ben McLemore -4.16 -4.95
211 Gerald Wallace -4.26 -4.36
212 John Salmons -4.28 -5.73
213 Derrick Williams -4.35 -5.41
214 Xavier Henry -4.79 -5.37
215 Tayshaun Prince -4.80 -6.46
216 Tony Wroten -5.41 -3.92

 

The standard deviation for players’ values in nine-cat leagues (2.92) is lower than it is for eight-cat leagues (3.55), which suggests that turnovers are a more tumultuous category prone to boom-or-bust value in an individual player – someone either turns the ball over frequently or sparingly, with most of the league skewing one way or the other. The players who lose the most value shifting from 9-cat to 8-cat leagues are the league leaders in that dubious category – Russell Westbrook (3.8), followed by Stephen Curry, James Harden and John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Carter-Williams, Kevin Durant and LeBron James (3.5).

 

The players who gain the most value are more interesting, as they represent possibly undervalued options later in fantasy drafts. Shane Battier led everyone who averaged at least 20 minutes during the regular season, adding 2.0 to his cumulative z-score according to my home-brewed numbers (theoretically a few dozen players who averaged 0.0 turnovers will have thrived by this metric, but I’m only considering the top 216 players). Battier is followed by Anthony Tolliver, Dante Cunningham, Tayshaun Prince, Tim Hardaway Jr. and John Salmons. It’s worth remembering that the streak of low-minute swingmen continues unbroken until Trevor Booker at No. 14, who picks up 1.3 value with turnovers excluded. This suggests that owners drafting in nine-cat leagues can afford to wait a bit later in drafts to target an under-the-radar SF, as opposed to eight-cat leagues where a SF’s low turnovers are irrelevant.

 

In next week’s column I’ll compare these end-of-season ranks with each player’s Average Draft Position (ADP) during fantasy drafts, to determine the biggest values and busts of the 2013-14 season. We’ll cover plenty of statistical ground in the coming months, but for now let’s quickly explore the Western Conference finals matchup between the Spurs and Thunder.

 


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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.
Email :Ryan Knaus



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