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.
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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!