NBA Daily Fantasy Sports Strategy And Tips
Matchups To Exploit In NBA Games
About a month ago, I wrote a piece about the best and worst matchups for different positions in NBA DFS. Today, I’m going to expand on that by taking another look at those matchups but more importantly adding some context as far as reasons I believe those matchups are good or bad. The breakdown will be point guards, wings (shooting guards and small forwards) and bigs. The majority of the stats I’ll be using today can be found at stats.nba.com.
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Best matchups: Lakers, Suns, Kings, Rockets, Nets
Key Stat(s): The big one here is team defensive efficiency, or DefRtg. DefRtg is a measure of how many points each team allows per 100 possessions on defense. These teams are five of the six worst teams in the league in defensive efficiency. Another place I like to look when it comes to matchups is in the opponent section of the team stats on nba.com. For point guards, opponent assists allowed and steals allowed lines up with these good matchups.
Worst Matchups: Celtics, Heat, Spurs, Jazz
Key Stat(s): Defensive efficiency is of course key here as well as the Spurs, Celtics and Heat are all in the top six in DefRtg. The Jazz rank 12th, but are lapping the league in another key stat; pace. Teams with good defenses that play at a slow pace are going to be death to point guards in NBA DFS.
Best Matchups: Rockets, Bucks, Suns, Kings, Wizards
Key Stat(s): Pace, Opp (opponent) 3 point attempts, Opp 3P% and Opp Steals are all categories I look at for wing matchups. These stats all line up with the idea that wing players are going to benefit from an up and down game with a lot of turnovers, fast breaks and three point looks. Keep this in mind when looking for good tournament options on the wings.
Worst Matchups: Spurs, Cavs, Jazz, Heat, Pistons
Key Stat(s): As with point guards and as we will see with the bigs, the same stats will be key in determining good and bad matchups. We just look at the other end of the leaderboard in terms of Pace, Opp 3 point attempts, Opp 3P% and Opp Steals or Turnover Ratio to find all these teams that are brutal on wing players. These teams like to play a slow and safe type of game and some of them – the Spurs being the ultimate example – have elite individual defenders on the wing.
Best Matchups: Hawks, Lakers, Bulls, 76ers, Nuggets
Key Stat(s): For big men, I like to look at a few stats in conjunction and focus some on player types to make decisions. The big stats for me are Reb%, True Shooting % and Opp Blocks. For instance, the Hawks are a very poor rebounding team, one of the worst in the league. A player like Deandre Jordan or Andre Drummond will have immense upside when facing the Hawks. The Nuggets and 76ers lead the league in Opp Blocks, making them good targets for elite shot blockers. The Bulls, while sporting a respectable Reb%, are second to last in the league in True Shooting % and allow the most Opp Offensive Rebounds per game in the league. And the Lakers, well, they’re just bad.
Worst Matchups: Thunder, Cavs, Spurs, Jazz, Wizards
Key Stat(s): Again, Reb%, True Shooting % and Opp Blocks are good places to look. The Thunder, Spurs and Cavs are the three best rebounding teams in the league. None of these teams get their shots blocked at a high rate and they all score the ball efficiently, limiting rebounding chances. The Jazz have some of those things going for them, but their biggest hindrance on opposing bigs is their massive and top notch defensive frontline of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. The Wizards are the anomaly in the group, checking in at dead last in Reb% in the league. They do a good job of suppressing Opp Blocks and offensive rebounding is my best guess as to why they are tough on bigs in DFS, since those two factors are huge for big man fantasy scoring.
When considering matchups, a lot of times it can be beneficial for us as DFS players to take a step back and try to look at things logically. Thinking about not only who the good matchups are but why they are good matchups can open our eyes to a lot of opportunities to exploit things that many people aren’t considering.
Thanks for reading. Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 with any questions.
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