Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winning at Draftbug

This is an article about fantasy basketball. I realize that most of your are primarily interested in fantasy baseball, but since its basketball season, I thought I'd share a strategy to win at Draftbug and other daily fantasy basketball contests (such as Snapdraft). My approach to this (and its worth mentioning that I haven't had time to try this out yet) is fairly similar to the approach I used to win the 2008 Rotohog Baseball contest. You'll probably want to do this in MS-Excel. Here are the steps I would take:

1. Calculate player statistics in all scoring categories per minute played. This gives you an idea how good the player is when they're actually in the game.

2. Estimate expected minutes played for all players. Assuming that you don't follow basketball closely, I'd probably use something like the average of the last 5 or 10 games. You're going to miss out on players filling in for very short periods when someone is injured (and those probably are the best values), but at least you'll also avoid giving a high ranking to most players who WERE filling in and will be pushed to the bench by returning players. Giving someone who won't play a top rating is a much worse mistake to make here than underrating someone who will play more than expected.

3. Make an adjustment to play statistics based on whether the player is home or away. I would add 2% for home players and subtract 2% for players on the road. That may be slightly underadjusting, but in general I'd rather than overshoot with my adjustments.

4. Make an adjustment for opponent. You can get fancy with this and try to use statistics for how opponents affect specific statistics or players at specific positions' stats, but for starters just calculate the impact specific teams have on opponents scoring, and adjust projections by that amount. So if a given team allows 95 points per game vs. a league average of 100 points per game, then adjust their opponents' projections in all categories down by 5%.

5. Calculate a points projection using Draftbug's scoring system based on the statistical projection you'd done.

6. Select a team that balances solid undervalued players based on your points projection with top rated players (who may or may not be underpriced).

You can refine this strategy to be more precise, but I'm fairly certain that it will be a winning one, even in the relatively crude form described above.


Anonymous said...

Nice post. This obviously would be a great strategy to win RotoHog's basketball game on, as well.

Alex said...

Anonymous - It would help, but I think RH basketball is more dependent on efficient schedule management, in order to maintain a good roster value. I may be wrong, but I think basketball matchups usually don't make quite enough difference to overcome large differences in roster value.