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DraftKings NBA DFS Data Insights (11/1/21): Top Values, Best Matchups, Minute Gainers

Hello RotoBaller! I'm Jon Anderson and I'm the resident data modeling guy here at RotoBaller. I mainly contribute to this website with fantasy baseball analysis, but I decided to dip my toes in the NBA modeling business this year. Basketball is probably the best sport for data modeling and projections, just because of the inherent qualities of the game. That makes the DFS version of the game very exploitable in terms of getting ahead of our opponents with math and projection.

Whenever there is a big enough slate on the board during the week, and I have enough time to write this up, I will take you through my NBA data model's most interesting projections. This should help give you an early idea of the most exploitable spots on the slate.

That said, the whole key to the game of NBA DFS is adjusting to late-breaking news. Almost every day we see players being ruled out within 30 minutes of slate lock, so making the right adjustments after those news breaks remains the most important element of the game here. We'll do our best to highlight the possible spots where players could be out to prepare you for those, but there's not a ton we can do on this post to compensate for the out-of-nowhere news that comes at 6:45 pm. The NBA injury roundup for today can be found here, and be sure to follow our NBA injuries news feed before lineups lock. With all of that said, here we go!

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NBA DFS: Best Team Matchups

#1: Clippers vs. Thunder

Oklahoma City leads the league in DraftKings points allowed per game at 245.3 in their six games. They've given up the eighth-most field goal attempts per game and the second-most three-point attempts. Note that they have played the Warriors twice already, which is probably the main reason for the high three-point attempts allowed. The data model right now has the Clippers projected for 234 DraftKings points (+12.8 from season average) and 110 actual points scored (+7.1).

Leading the way for the Clippers in fantasy output is Paul George with a huge 23% share of the team's DraftKings points this year, and a 23% share of the team's points scored. He is priced up to $10,700 tonight, however, making a huge smash fantasy performance a little bit tougher to grab. The model's favorite Clipper is Luke Kennard ($4,400) who we have projected for a dozen shots, 4.5 three-point attempts, and 26.6 DraftKings points which would give a salary value multiplier of 6.05. Eric Bledsoe (26.1, 5.6x) is the only remaining clipper with a projected value of 5.5x at this point. You can certainly play Paul George for the gigantic ceiling he has, but Kennard and Bledsoe are in the best position to benefit from the pace-up matchup here.

#2 Nuggets vs. Grizzlies

Memphis checks in at number three on the most DraftKings points allowed per game leaderboard, giving up 242.1 per game. They have given up the most actual points and assists in the league, making this seem like a better spot for guards rather than big men (they've given up the fourth least rebounds per game). Those data points could change in a hurry since we're still only a handful of games into the season, so don't take it too seriously. The Nuggets leading man is Nikola Jokic, a center. However, Jokic is no ordinary center as he owns a ridiculous 23% share of his team's assists to lead them. He has a 26% share of their DraftKings points, making him nearly a one-man show. He's in a great spot although really expensive ($11,000). The next guy to consider would be Will Barton ($5,700), although the model's projection on him isn't fantastic (27.6 points for a 4.8x value). For the year, Barton has averaged a strong 34.1 DraftKings points per 36 minutes played, so if he can play a handful of extra minutes (he's averaging 31) in this spot, he could really beat the model's projections here. Other notable names would be Michael Porter and Nah'Shon Hyland, but I would be most inclined to go to Jokic or Barton.

#3 Timberwolves vs. Magic

Orlando comes in fifth in the league in DraftKings points allowed per game at 237.8. They are fourth in the league in actual points allowed and sixth in assists allowed while being quite good in rebounds allowed (fifth least in the league) per game. T'Wolves guards project well here, although their leading guard Anthony Edwards has seen his price come put o a season-high $8,200 for this spot. D'Angelo Russell may be the best bet here as he's ripped off at least 14 shot attempts in every game this year but has been running quite cold from the field shooting just 38%. That's going to come up eventually, and if its starts tonight he's in a position to really crush this price tag of $7,600.

 

NBA DFS: Cold Shooters

One thing I want to be checking every slate is what players have shot the worst from the field over the last few games. The reason for this is that shooting percentages over short data samples are pretty random exercises, and we should not take being "hot" or "cold" into account when making projections. However, the pricing algorithm does account for how "hot" or "cold" a player has been recently, which gives us the opportunity to buy low on players who have just not been making shots lately and therefore posting below-average fantasy scoring. Let's look at it for today.

Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs

Johnson is just 11 for 37 in his last three games (29.7%), 15 points below his early-season average of 44.7%. He has taken 13, 14, and 10 shot attempts in those last three, so he's getting his shots up there. We haven't seen a price drop for him, in fact, tonight's $5,700 is the highest tag on him of the year, but he would most likely be even more expensive tonight if the shots had been falling for him recently.

Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers

Bledsoe re-appears here! He is just 5/21 from the field (23.8%) over his last three, 13.7 points below his season average. His price has dropped $1,000 since his last game the whole way down to $4,700. For the year, he's shooting an unsustainable 19% from three. This seems like a great spot for Bledsoe to bounce back, although he's averaging less than 27 minutes played per game his year as well which does pose a small issue for us.

Jaren Jackson, Memphis Grizzlies

The big man is shooting just 30% from the field this year and has made just 11 of his 41 shots over his last three games. The price has come down to a season-low of $5,400 tonight, making Jackson an awesome buy-low.

Others (here I list the player name along with their FG% over the last three games): Kevin Love (28.6% on 28 shots), Justin Holiday (29% on 31 shots), Michael Porter (29.5% on 44 shots), De'Anthony Melton (30.0% on 30 shots), LaMelo Ball (31.2% on 48 shots), Jalen Suggs (31.6% on 38 shots).

 

NBA DFS: Minutes Gainers

This section will just be a leaderboard of the players that are projected to play the most minutes today above their season average.

Scottie Barnes finds himself doubtful for tonight's game, which boosts up Chris Boucher and Dalano Banton's projection. Patrick Williams is also set to miss for Chicago, boosting Javonte Green's minutes to 25. There will be changes on this throughout the day, and I will be updating this table with a script throughout the day, so keep checking back!

 

NBA DFS: Top Values

Here I will show off the top 25 projected players in terms of salary value.

That table should also be refreshed throughout the day as we react to more breaking news, so keep an eye on it.

That'll be all for today, thanks for stopping by!



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