Below is a quick guide on how best to leverage the NBA Cheat Sheet here on FakeTeams. It has multiple use cases and can help identify the best value plays on a given slate, and who to stay away from. The goal is to turn the data over to our readers to help them make the best decision possible. Daily Fantasy is not nearly as fun to just make the plays various experts are touting. Making your own call and seeing it payoff is one of the best parts of playing. This Cheat Sheet will help you make educated calls and help you build a winning lineup.
The Cheat Sheet is divided into three separate sections:
1. Player’s Stats
All columns are sortable by hovering over the column header and clicking the ‘ascending’ or ‘descending’ icon that appears. Column headers for the first section are as follows:
Name - Player Name
Salary - DraftKings price
Position - DraftKings position eligibility
# of Games - Number of games the player has played in, given the date filter in the top of the dashboard
Avg. Value - Given tonight’s salary, the return the player has averaged across the dates selected above. For those not familiar, Value = [DK Points Score]/([Salary]/1000). NBA should be aiming for 5x value or better
Std. Dev. Of Value - Standard deviation of value across the dates selected. This gives an indicate of whether the player is consistently achieving value, or if his average is skewed by one or two exceptional performances. A low value here typically indicates a strong cash play.
MPG - Average number of minutes played
Std Dev of MP - Standard deviation of minutes played. A high standard deviation means the player could be benefitting from a recent injury to a starter. I would want to double check all high value players to make sure I understand the team’s health status.
Opp DvP L5 - The average DK points allowed by the opposing defense for each player’s position. If a player plays multiple position, the better defensive figure is used. Manu Ginobili is eligible at SG/SF and playing the LA Lakers with a DvP of 66.3. The Lakers on average give up 66.3 points to shooting guards and 75 points to small forwards so Manu will show the lower of these two numbers.
USG - The player’s usage rate
DK PPG - The player’s average amount of DK points. This number does not include bonus points for double-doubles and triple-doubles.
2. Injury News (via CBS sports)
Injury data is usually as of first thing in the morning and comes from CBS sports. The first column is the date the update is as of, the third column is the type of injury, and the last column is the expected return date. I do occassionally update this closer to lineup lock, but this is meant more to be a reminder of long-term injuries and to notify when a player may be returning. I would not recommend using this for breaking injury news and would rely on a site such as Rotoworld.com for that type of analysis.
3. Game Logs
Team game logs appear once you click on a player’s name from the first second. It does take a few seconds to load the first time and depending on internet connection. What appears is all player’s on the team who have played recently along with their minutes plated in each game and the value returned in that game. I find this helpful to look through recent box scores and see how player’s perform when certain teammates sit out.
A few other key trends to pick out - how consistent is a player’s minutes in the last few games - consistent blue means you can reasonably expect the player to see enough court time to justify the price. Positional groupings are also helpful to look at. Some offenses are run similarly regardless of player, and a missing starter there could be a huge opportunity. Davis Bertans is a great example in the screenshot below. Regardless of whether Leonard plays, he’s in a great spot and has exceeded 5x value. Obviously when Leonard out the upside increases but Leonard playing isn’t a pre-requisite for playing Bertans. It’s also important to note the outcome of the game when considering minutes. If a player has one dude game out of 5, is it because it was a blowout and the player didn’t play the 4th quarter? This table will give you a clue of where to look and confirm.
Here is an explanation of all the filters on the top of the cheat sheet and what they control
Date: Select the number of days, weeks, or months you would like to consider in scope for your query. Your selection here impacts all the metrics on the first section, and it impacts the number of columns shown in the Team Game Logs. I find it helpful to look at both short-term (3-5 days) as well as long term 2-3 weeks to find potential value plays and safer cash plays.
Team: Filter the first section for a specific team as well as the injuries section. This is helpful if you’re targeting a specific game with a high Over/Under.
Salary: Filter the top section for a specific salary. If I have one slot left to fill, I will drop the upper bound of the filter to however much salary cap I have remaining to find eligible plays within that range.
Pos.: Filter the top section for a specific position. Same use case as Salary
DvP: Filter for the opposing defenses points allowed to a given position. I typically start my research with the lower bound set to 75. The only time I drop below 75 DvP is if it’s an injury-replacement situation or I’m targeting a specific superstar.
For any questions, data discrepancies, or recommendations for improvement please don’t hesitate to reach out via Twitter (@BrianCreagh) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)