Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fantasy Basketball: Finding Value at FanDuel

We are just four weeks into the NBA season and one of the biggest concerns for any Daily Fantasy Basketball player at sites like FanDuel is finding value. I know this because people are always asking me who my value picks are for a particular night. My answer?

All nine players on my roster are “value” picks….or at least they are supposed to be.

People sometimes think I’m busting their chops but the reality is when you have $60,000 dollars in salary to distribute amongst nine players with the goal of 5 points per dollar spent in cash games and 6 points per dollar in GPP tournaments that’s exactly what you have to attempt to achieve. It’s not always easy to do this either.

The Floor Matters

Before I even consider point spreads or match-ups I’m looking at the list of players and looking for the highest floor (lowest FanDuel score) players on the slate and write them down in my notebook. I do this for every position and next to their floor I jot down the salary of the player. What I’m looking for are players that have a floor as close as I can get to the 5 or 6 points per $1000 dollars and if I can do that with 7 or 8 players I’m probably going to go home a winner that night.

The True Floor vs the Season Floor

You don’t have to do much research to discover what an individual players floor is; all one has to do is click a player’s name at FanDuel and scroll. It’s really easy to do but those numbers can be awfully misleading. Let’s use the Denver Nuggets Will Barton as an example.

Will Barton is priced Tuesday night at a modest $5,000. He has a floor of 8.9 FanDuel points and no way should anyone even consider adding him to their roster. Upon further investigation what you will discover is that there is a Barton when playing 17-23 minutes with that low floor and a Barton with a floor of 26.3 when he plays 30 minutes or more which he has done 4 times out of the Nuggets 10 games thus far this season. These minutes came mostly in blowouts so we need to also keep this in mind when we roster Barton.

Now that I’m interested in Barton it’s time to visit my beloved home town of Vegas and depending on who you ask the over under of this game is anywhere from 204-210 points and the home Pelicans are 5.5-6 point favorites. This game is also the second highest over under game on our FanDuel slate so that is also in his favor.

The next thing we do is look at the Nuggets themselves; specifically what we are looking for is which Barton we are more likely to see on Tuesday. Through 5 road games this season Barton is averaging 28 minutes a night and is the second leading scorer (14.2) for the Nuggets. He’s also the third leading rebounder (6.2), third in assists (2.2) and leads the team in steals (1.6) on the road. Barton has done all of these things as part of the regular rotation and without injuries to any other Denver players. These are all good things to see.

When we look at the Nuggets the other thing that stands out to me is the possibility that Kenneth Faried may not play on Tuesday night. That probably won’t factor into Barton’s playing time but it might mean more opportunities for production. This is another nice thing to see.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the Pelicans and what we discover is shooting guards score an average of 38.88 FanDuel points per game against the Pelicans and point guards a whopping 48.52 points per game. That’s 21st and 30th in the league respectively and that is also a very good thing to see.

Based on all that research it looks as if the 26.3 floor of Barton might be the one we are likeliest to see tonight. At $5,000 dollars in salary this floor meets our 5 points per salary dollar required for cash games and darn close to the 6 points we are looking for in GPP’s……and if my research is correct he could well exceed the 6 points and make DFS owners very happy campers tonight.

As with all NBA players be sure to check and see if Barton is even active tonight. He's been dealing with some shoulder issues all season long and while it's highly likely that he will play always check to be on the safe side.

This is my routine for every player I’m considering each night that I play. It doesn’t always work out the way the research indicates but more often than not it does. We’ll see after tonight how this turns out.

Good luck at FanDuel tonight DFS player!