Fantasy Basketball Production for the Top 200 NBA Players

(Best Viewed on a Computer)

This is Part 1 of my series on Fantasy Basketball. These posts will specifically focus on 9 category fantasy with Field Goal %, Free Throw %, Three Pointers Made, Points, Blocks, Steals, Turnovers, Assists, Rebounds. It will also be focused on auction leagues with a $200 bidding budget.

The graphs below are a visualization of player production compared to their average draft cost (from Yahoo Sports for the 2020-2021 season). I computed production with a similar formula to the "z-score" that is used on most fantasy basketball analysis sites. There are more details on this calculation below the graph. Note that this only includes the top 200 players since below that threshold is not relevant for most fantasy leagues (unless you're like me and pick up any Celtics player who has even a mediocre game).

Try filtering for a particular player, or clicking on the graph to view the breakdown of a given player's production.

Production Calculation

The basic stats are per game, meaning that playing few minutes hurts players but missing games for injury or rest does not.

For any given category, a player's production is simply how many standard deviations above the average production for that category they are. So a competely average player in every category would have 0 production. However the average player in this dataset has more than zero production because we are only displaying the top 200 players.

FG% and FT% are also calculated slightly differently since we have to take into account the volume of field goal or free throw attempts, not just the raw percentage. For these categories I used a derived stat with this formula: (Field Goals Made) * (Player Field Goal % - Average Field Goal %). Replace Field Goal with Free Throw for the FT% calculation. This weights for a player volume and how much better than average they are, since a player who makes a lot of free throws at a below average rate is actually a negative for that stat.

Coming Soon!

I'm hoping to do some more analysis into optimal drafting strategies, which categories are best to focus on, and a deeper look at individual positions.

If there's anything else you'd like to see, shoot me an email to zacharysabin at gmail dot com

Source Code

You can see the source code for this on my github.

The players stats data is from basketball reference and the auction values are from yahoo.