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DFS NBA: 5 NBA Stats You Need To Use For Daily Fantasy

If you are playing Daily Fantasy Basketball and have not yet visited stats.nba.com, you are seriously missing out. Over the past few years, the NBA has started to embrace the analytics movement, opening their own stats and data website with their own advanced metrics. There is a ton of data on the website, much of which pertains to DFS Basketball.  Of the many interesting statistics they’ve put together, here are 5 stats found on the NBA website that will help you predict great fantasy plays on any given night.

FGM%AST

This stat is basically like it sounds, it’s the percent of field goals made by a player that were assisted. I like to think of this stat as the “good fantasy teammate for guards” stat. Players with high FGM%AST are guys that don’t create their own shot, so they are mostly scoring when other teammates do shot creating.

You can find this data in their Scoring Statistics section. In the previous link, I’ve filtered out players with less than 12 minutes played per game this season and under 15 games played on the season so you’re not seeing people who barely play. As you can see, there are several players with 90%+ of their field goals assisted. These guys are the best fantasy teammates for guards, as their teammates take more shots and gain more assists when they are on the floor.

This may seem like a pretty minimally impactful statistic, but it can make a huge difference. You can read about in example in an article I wrote last year on Reggie Jackson. Last season, Jackson too a huge leap in fantasy production mostly based on Greg Monroe being replaced by Anthony Tolliver, who you may have noticed is one of the highest FGM%AST players in the league. Be aware that when guys like Anthony Tolliver, Mike Scott, Channing Frye and Wesley Johnson move into more playing time, the biggest beneficiaries will be the teams starting guards.

NBA Height And Weight Data

This data is almost certainly available everywhere, but stats.nba had the only height and weight data for NBA players all in one place. The data is located in the Player Bio page. The basic idea behind the importance of this data is that height or weight advantage could be an important fantasy point signal.

When I mentioned I was looking for this data on Reddit r/dfsports, a user made an interesting point. Isaiah Thomas is one of the smallest players in the NBA, but the Celtics are one of the best teams in the league against PGs. That is certainly true, but I think that is mostly an exception to the rule. My guess is a height and weight advantage is a bigger deal for big men, who can exploit size difference in the post and grab rebounds more easily. But I still think size advantage matters to guards too. A lot of other short guards on the list have been great fantasy matchups in games I’ve observed.

PACE

In my research, I’ve found PACE (possessions per 48 minutes) to be a solid indicator of fantasy statistics (On a side note, it turns out PACE is a very good indicator of steals, which are incredibly unpredictable game to game). On the Advanced Statistics page, stats.nba has PACE data for individual players. That may be a bit confusing; it’s just possessions per 48 minutes for a team while the player is on the floor.

Injuries happen all the time in NBA, so when a slow paced player is replaced by a faster one, the game that player is in becomes a better fantasy point environment for both that player’s own team and his opponent’s team. But be careful about sample size here. On the season (at the time I’m writing now), Sam Dekker leads the league in PACE, but he’s only played 6 minutes the whole season. The true fastest paced player in the league is probably Steph Curry, who leads among players who average more than 15 minutes a game. This statistic is extremely team dependent, meaning players on fast teams will have higher PACE and vice versa, so use discretion.

%BLKA

This is the percentage of a teams total blocked shot attempts a player gets while on the court. While it isn’t exactly a measurement of a players rate of blocked shot attempts, it’s close enough to be relied upon. This stat is found on the Usage Statistics page.

The biggest determining factor, in my opinion, of how many blocks a team will give up is the amount of field goal attempts they take inside 5 feet, another statistic provided on the NBA’s website. At this time, the current team leader in blocked field goal attempts is Denver by a wide margin. Unsurprisingly, Denver also is tied for 1st in FGA’s inside 5 feet. But Denver also has a large amount of players high up on the %BLKA leaderboard. With Danillo Gallinari out for almost the entire season, Denver should give up even more blocks with replacement Jakarr Sampson high two point rate and high %BLKA.

Blocks do not make up a large percentage of any players fantasy point output, but with Center’s and some PF’s it’s significant enough to want to consider the type of blocks matchup a player has.

Opponent Shooting Percentage

The last statistics I recommend you take a gander at are the ones on the Opponent Shooting Statistics page. There is a team page as well. The individual player page can give you a good idea of who the worst and best defensive players in the NBA are, and subsequently who you should avoid and target in different fantasy matchups. The team page can be good for identifying a type of player who will perform well against a certain team. Guys like Dwayne Wade and Giannis Antetokumpo, who score mostly two pointers, matchup very well against teams that give up a high FG% on FGs inside 5 feet, such as the Los Angeles Lakers.

Summary

  • The NBA’s official statistics website has a plethora of cool data that is relevant to Daily Fantasy NBA on FanDuel and DraftKings.
  • FGM%AST is a measure of how many field goals made a player has that are assisted. When a player with a low FGM%AST is replaced by a high FGM%AST player, his team becomes much for fantasy friendly for guards, especially point guards.
  • Smaller players tend to be good fantasy matchups for big men.
  • PACE is a good indicator of most fantasy statistics, and individual players with high PACE will increase their teams overall PACE.
  • Blocks are not a big fantasy statistic, but teams that take the most field goal attempts inside 5 feet and have the most players with high %BLKA tend to be the teams that give up the most blocks to opponents.
  • Opponent shooting percentage is likely a very good indicator of the quality of a players defense.

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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