NBA 1/11 Matchups and Correlation

Last night my article on matchups and correlation had solid hits but also some misses. I was right about DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Davis, Josh Smith, and Kyrie Irving all of which had monster games. But I was dead wrong as well, with most notably Blake Griffin, who absolutely crushed the Lakers. I think there were a few things that went into play here: 1) As I mentioned in my article, Griffin is the go to offensive player with Paul out and that may have been reason enough to use him. 2) When a team is just atrocious in one area, the fact that a player may not have a correlation to that signal doesn’t matter much because they will struggle against any big man. All-in-All I’m happy with how my projections last night went and I’m excited to see how my projections pan out tonight.

Strong Signals:

Thad Young – He’s a little high priced on Fanduel at $8,000, but on DraftKings he’s a much more fair $7,400. Youngs best signal is opponent Drtg, and New York has the 4th worst Drtg in the league. His stats are also indifferent to pace of play, which is great because New York is one of the slowest teams in the league. I think Young is a solid play here.

Anthony Davis – He correlates highly with DvP C and Drtg, both areas the Mavs do poorly in. Last night Davis racked up 50+ fantasy points, so clearly this is a good indicator of things to come. That being said, this is now at Dallas and New Orleans got crushed last night at home. Still, the line is only Mavs by 8.5 so this doesn’t have a significant chance of a blowout.

Nic Batum –
Batum is an interesting specimen with some strange correlations.He has a strong negative correlation with wins (aka he does well against bad teams) and teams that struggle rebounding. The Celtics do badly in both areas and our Batum signal projects him doing favorably against the Celtics. I like him on Fanduel where your SF options are limited but I’m indifferent to him on DraftKings.

Strong Negative Signals:

Josh Smith – Yeah, yeah, he had a monster game last night. However, he correlates highest to team FP allowed, and Phoenix is a pretty good D. He’s had flashes of brillance throughout this entire season and has been incredibly inconsistent. I’m not saying he doesn’t do well, I just don’t think he beats his salary.


Carmelo Anthony – Like Blake Griffin last night, Anthony doesn’t have any correlation to DvP SF or Team FPs Allowed. That being said, I think Anthony is still a good play like Griffin was in LA last night. Philly is exceptionally bad on D and runs at a frantic pace, this will straight up benefit the whole Knicks team and Anthony should get a piece of that.

Great Plays:

Glen Davis – He’s their starting Center with Vuvecic out and has been doing well. He goes up against Denver, who are terrible against big men. He has a very reasonable salary and should outperform it.

Andrea Bargnani, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton – These 3 are absolute must plays at their salaries vs PHI. My favorite play may be Shumpert, who is only $4600 on Fanduel and $5400 on DraftKings and now has essentially no backup with JR Smith effectively suspended indefinitely from the team. If you pass on any of these guys I’d probably pass on Bargnani, but honestly all 3 should be in your lineup.

Monta Ellis – Did well against NO last night and should do well against them tonight. He’s going to be guarded by Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers, neither of which are good defenders. He’s a nice play.

John Wall –
Correlates highly with FP Allowed and Houston is 5th in that category. Houston also turns the ball over more than any team in the NBA and their biggest culprit, Jeremy Lin, is who Wall will be guarding. I like him a lot tonight.

Goran Dragic – It’s hard to get good stats on Dragic since he spent half the season playing alongside Eric Bledsoe and half without him. However, the eyeball test seems to show that he does well against fast-paced teams, and Detroit plays at a very fast one. He’s done well with Bledsoe out and I expect him to continue to do well especially with this matchup.

Popular Plays I Hate:

Trevor Ariza – I hear talk of people thinking Ariza is a good gamble tonight, but I hate him. His minutes are a gamble with Martell Webster and Otto Porter breathing down his neck, he easily could have under 30. On DraftKings there’s absolutely no reason to play him since the positions are so flexible. On Fanduel, I’d rather spend a little more for Batum or Turner or take a bargain like Jeremy Lamb or Paul Pierce.

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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