We're entering a six-day hiatus during the All-Star break, and in lieu of a typical Dose I'm substituting a statistical analysis showing which teams yield the most/least fantasy value to their opponents. In other words, if you play in an eight-cat or nine-cat league (roto or head-to-head) this column, and the accompanying spreadsheet, will reveal the best and worst matchups for your players on a given night. Anyone playing daily fantasy sports leagues should also find this very useful as a predictive tool, as I break down the teams you want to target or avoid on a category-by-category basis.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night's games - the first games after All-Star Break. It's $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
This column should be familiar to anyone who has read my 'Numbers Game' columns (which focused on individual players) or my 'Points League Primer' (which focused on teams). Drop me a line on Twitter or via email if you have any questions, with the understanding that my 'methodology' is home-brewed and I'm not a statistician.
I encourage anyone reading this to explore the spreadsheet from which the following information has been culled. It's my original creation and it took quite a while to compile, but you're free to use it however you please. If you want the original Excel file just drop me a note with your email address via Direct Message on Twitter. Without further ado, here is the 'summary' view of my spreadsheet (cumulative nine-category values):
As became obvious when I ran a similar analysis for three different 'points league' scoring systems, the 76ers are by far the best team to face in fantasy leagues. The Pacers, meanwhile, are easily the worst team to face. This graph is jumbled but the point isn't to read every team name individually -- just notice how far away the outliers are from the 20-24 teams all huddled around the mid-point.
Finally, here is a quick chart which I have actually printed out for my own personal reference. It displays the top-five 'best' and 'worst' teams to face if you're targeting a specific category (it's formatted better in the actual spreadsheet).
|Best (You want to play them)||Worst (You want to avoid them)|
|Points||Philadelphia 76ers (Best)||Charlotte Bobcats|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Toronto Raptors|
|Denver Nuggets||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Portland Trail Blazers||Chicago Bulls|
|Sacramento Kings||Indiana Pacers (Worst)|
|3-pointers||Philadelphia 76ers||Chicago Bulls|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Boston Celtics|
|Miami Heat||Phoenix Suns|
|New York Knicks||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Indiana Pacers|
|FG Percentage||Minnesota Timberwolves||Houston Rockets|
|Detroit Pistons||Golden State Warriors|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Chicago Bulls|
|Sacramento Kings||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Utah Jazz||Indiana Pacers|
|FT Attempts||New Orleans Pelicans||Atlanta Hawks|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Charlotte Bobcats|
|Phoenix Suns||San Antonio Spurs|
|Sacramento Kings||Chicago Bulls|
|Denver Nuggets||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Rebounds||Los Angeles Lakers||Chicago Bulls|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Indiana Pacers|
|Milwaukee Bucks||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Orlando Magic||Miami Heat|
|Charlotte Bobcats||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Assists||Philadelphia 76ers||Phoenix Suns|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors|
|Detroit Pistons||New York Knicks|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Indiana Pacers|
|Steals||Los Angeles Lakers||Phoenix Suns|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Detroit Pistons||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Golden State Warriors||Charlotte Bobcats|
|Houston Rockets||New York Knicks|
|Blocks||Philadelphia 76ers||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Chicago Bulls||Dallas Mavericks|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||New York Knicks|
|New Orleans Pelicans||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Orlando Magic||Miami Heat|
|Turnovers||Portland Trail Blazers||Detroit Pistons|
|Utah Jazz||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Washington Wizards|
|Denver Nuggets||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Charlotte Bobcats||Miami Heat|
A few quick notes...I've assigned a 'score' to each team in the nine primary fantasy categories based upon standard deviations, not simply league averages or ranks. This yields a much more accurate and robust picture of actual values. I accounted for free throw attempts without including any measure of free throw percentages because although some arenas may cause opponents to miss more frequently (awkward lighting, loud fans, balloon promotions, etc.) it seemed unwise to factor that into the equation. For field goals I have weighted attempts and percentages (for more on my approach read this). Also, note that these numbers are valid for every game played through Feb. 12, so they do not include Thursday's two-game slate in which the Bulls thumped the visiting Nets, and the Thunder rode a 43-point night from Kevin Durant to steal a road win vs. the Lakers.
I also updated my schedule grid this morning so that it only reflects the remaining nine weeks in the schedule. I may combine these team 'values' with a team-by-team ROS schedule analysis, which would result in very advanced strength-of-schedule ratings, so check back next week in case I find the time to pull that off. In the meantime, enjoy the All-Star festivities!