We have come to the end of the year for our NBA DFS grading, Consensus articles and Lineup Construction articles. It was a fun season where we learned a lot about which experts are at the head of the class and how to use the Consensus list to help construct lineups.

In the sections to follow I will provide the final results of the Expert Grading and while the top three spots might not be a surprise if you have been following along this season, we did get a surprise “expert” sneak into the fourth spot in the final Overall Standings. Our Lineup Construction series ended up turning a profit overall when we shifted to be more flexible in how we created our lineups using the consensus list. Also, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article to learn more about how you can use the consensus list to help project ownership percentages and some other lessons learned by analyzing the data we collected during the NBA season.

So let’s get to the final results. Drum roll, please…

Overall Leaderboard

We have completed our tracking and grading of the NBA for the season and after all of the scores have been tallied and grades have been handed out across 77 days of the NBA season, I would like to announce that the top three experts that we graded this year are…

#1) Scout Fantasy (Score: 5.27) ends up in the top spot after joining our grading process just four weeks ago they produced the best overall results during those four weeks to finish in first place in the overall standings. I look forward to grading them all season next year to see if they can continue to live up to being one of the top NBA DFS sites.

#1a) RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down (Score: 5.020) was graded the entire season spanning 77 days of NBA action and just barely edged out DailyRoto for second place. However, second place is not representative enough of the strong, consistent picks that were recommended all season so I would like to give them a “1a” ranking.

#1b) DailyRoto (Score: 5.017) finished just a fraction behind the NBA Grind Down after the two sites battled back and forth for the top spot all season long. Once again I would like to give them a “1b” ranking due to their consistently good performance all season long.

And finally thanks to a strong push over the last week of the season the DailyOverlay Industry Consensus Picks (Score: 4.71) ended the season in 4th place in the Overall Standings showing that the wisdom of the crowd can often result in better performance than the individual pieces. Without the great expert sites that we tracked all season the Industry Consensus picks could not have achieved such a lofty ranking.

Here is the final Overall Leaderboard. Looking forward to providing more NBA DFS expert grading and consensus plays next season!

Week in Review

Monday (March 28)

Monday night a consisted of a solid 10-game slate of NBA action. The experts did very well with 10 out of 12 experts graded including the Industry Consensus receiving a DailyOverlay score over 5.0.

Industry Consensus Picks
The Industry Consensus finished in the middle of the pack with a 7th place ranking out of 12 experts graded posting a strong DailyOverlay score of 5.53 for the day.

A+ – Kristaps Porzingis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Ricky Rubio, Raymond Felton, Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, JJ Barea, Kosta Koufos
F – Kyle Lowry, Evan Turner, DJ Augustin

Top Experts of the Day
#1) RotoGrinders 6-pack (Score: 7.83) topped the leaderboard on Monday with five out of six selections receiving a grade of “A” or “A+”. Top picks included Consensus plays such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Devin Booker and Kosta Koufos. They also had an off the radar play of Patty Mills receive an “A+” grade.

#2) Scout Fantasy (Score: 7.50) pulls into second place on Monday with all six “A+” grades and no grade lower than a “C” out of their 10 selections. Some of their key selections included Russell Westbrook, JJ Barea, Raymond Felton, Kristaps Porzingis and Willie Cauley-Stein.

Sleepers of the Day
A+ – Rodney Hood (DailyFantasySportsRankings, FanSided)
A+ – Kyle Anderson (DailyFantasySportsRankings)
A+ – Jrue Holiday (DailyRoto, RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down)
A+ – Omri Caspi (RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down)
A+ – Norman Powell (FantasyAlarm)
A+ – Shane Larkin (FanSided)
A+ – Al-Farouq Aminu (FanSided)

Tuesday (March 29)

Tuesday night featured a fairly small six-game slate of NBA action. The experts didn’t perform as well with only three experts plus the Industry Consensus receiving a DailyOverlay score of 5.0 or better.

Industry Consensus Picks
The Industry Consensus finished well coming in 4th place out of 12 experts graded with a DailyOverlay score of 5.13.

A+ – Kyrie Irving, Ian Mahinmi, Elfrid Payton, Stephen Curry, Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum, Draymond Green, Enes Kanter
F – Brook Lopez

Top Experts of the Day
#1) DFSOnDemand (Score: 7.75) tops the list with on Tuesday with three out of four selections receiving an “A+” grade from Elfrid Payton, Ian Mahinmi and an off the radar play of Andrew Nicholson.

#2) FantasyTeamAdvice (Score: 7.56) comes in second place with six “A+” grades out of their nine selections. They were led by picks of Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Ian Mahinmi and Enes Kanter.

Sleepers of the Day
A+ – Marcus Morris (DailyFantasySportsRankings, FanSided)
A+ – Iman Shumpert (DailyRoto)
A+ – Hollis Thompson (FantasyAlarm, FanSided)
A+ – Courtney Lee (FanSided)
A+ – Harrison Barnes (FanSided)
A+ – Steven Adams (FanSided)
A+ – Andrew Nicholson (DFSOnDemand)

Wednesday (March 30)

Wednesday night consisted of nine NBA games. The experts had a solid night with five experts plus the Industry Consensus picks receiving a DailyOverlay score greater than 5.0.

Industry Consensus Picks
The Industry Consensus finished strong with a 4th place finish out of 12 experts graded coming in with a 5.61 DailyOverlay score.

A+ – Hassan Whiteside, Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal, JJ Barea, Chris Paul, Khris Middleton, DeMarcus Cousins, John Henson, Dwyane Wade, Wesley Matthews, Tim Frazier, Alexis Ajinca
F – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Josh Richardson, Andrew Wiggins

Top Experts of the Day
#1) RotoGrinders 6-pack (Score: 7.50) tops the leaderboard for the second time this week with four out of six picks receiving an “A+” grade. Top picks included John Henson, Bradley Beal, Chris Paul and an off the radar selection of Norman Powell.

#2) DailyFantasySportsRankings (Score: 6.78) finishes in second place for the day with 11 out of 18 selections receiving an “A+” grade. Some of their key selections included Chris Paul, Tim Frazier, Bradley Beal, Rodney Hood, Wesley Matthews, Jordan Hamilton and Luol Deng.

Sleepers of the Day
Too many to name them all but here are a few…

A+ – Rodney Hood (DailyFantasySportsRankings, RotoGrinders Expert Tourney Picks)
A+ – Jordan Hamilton (DailyFantasySportsRankings, Scout Fantasy)
A+ – Luol Deng (DailyFantasySportsRankings, DailyRoto)
A+ – Dante Cunningham (DailyFantasySportsRankings)
A+ – Derrick Williams (DailyRoto)
A+ – Jabari Parker (DailyRoto)
A+ – Norman Powell (RotoGrinders 6-pack, FantasyAlarm)

Friday (April 1)

Friday night consisted of our last day of grading for the NBA season with a 10 game slate of NBA action. The experts did not go out with a bang as only one expert was able to reach a DailyOverlay score greater than 5.0.

Industry Consensus Picks
The Industry Consensus picks finished in 5th place out of 12 experts, posting a DailyOverlay score of only 4.19.

A+ – Draymond Green, John Wall, LeBron James, Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles, Marcus Morris, Harrison Barnes
F – Alex Len, Ish Smith, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein

Top Experts of the Day
#1) RotoGrinders 6-pack (Score: 5.83) finishes off a great week with their third 1st place day this week. They had three “A+” grades out of six selections. The “A+” picks included Trey Lyles, Marcus Morris and Draymond Green.

#2) RotoGrinders Expert Tourney Picks (Score: 4.75) grabs second place on Friday with six grades of “B” or better out of eight selections. They were led by picks of Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Stephen Curry and Victor Oladipo.

Sleepers of the Day
A+ – Giannis Antetokounmpo (DailyRoto, Moxyball-MoxyList)
A+ – Langston Galloway (RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down)
A+ – Jerian Grant (RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down)
A+ – Jeff Teague (Moxyball-MoxyList)
A+ – Jonas Valanciunas (FantasyAlarm, FanSided)
A+ – Markieff Morris (FantasyTeamAdvice, FanSided)

Consensus Lineup Construction Review

This was our final week of building lineups for the NBA and while Stephen did well with his FanDuel lineups, Matt and I were unable to cash.

Here is a list of the “rules” we are following when constructing lineups:

  1. We will make two separate lineups for each site (FanDuel and DraftKings), one for Cash games and one for GPP tournaments.
  2. For Cash games, we will build our entire lineup from the Consensus list using any player listed regardless of what tier they are in.
  3. For GPP games, we are allowed to choose up to two players that are not on the Consensus list.
  4. We can modify any lineup as we see fit for any late-breaking news updates that open up good options even if they are not on the Consensus list.

Weekly Results

FanDuel

Day Cash Score Cash Place Profit(Loss) GPP Score GPP Place Profit(Loss) Picks By
Monday 319.7 43/100 $0.80 357.2 941/88,235 $6.00 Stephen
Tuesday 261.7 80/100 ($1.00) 271.7 36,169/88,235 ($1.00) Stephen
Wednesday 288.9 4/100 $0.80 276.4 16,633/88,235 ($1.00) Stephen
Friday 274.1 66/100 ($1.00) 307.1 14,947/88,235 $1.50 Stephen
Total 286.1(avg) ($0.40) 303.1(avg) $5.50

Stephen finished the season strong on FanDuel with a $5.10 profit for the week for a 63.75% ROI thanks to two cashes on his GPP lineups including finishing in the top 1% with his lineup on Monday. He was also able to cash on 50% of his cash lineups for just a small loss.

DraftKings

Day Cash Score Cash Place Profit(Loss) GPP Score GPP Place Profit(Loss) Picks By
Monday 289.0 85/100 ($2.00) 295.0 7,738/25,882 ($1.00) Brad
Tuesday 242.5 83/100 ($2.00) 220.0 24,816/29,411 ($1.00) Matt
Wednesday 235.25 54/100 ($2.00) 245.25 14,096/29,411 ($1.00) Brad
Friday 242.25 94/100 ($2.00) 273.25 11,587/29,411 ($1.00) Matt
Total 252.3(avg) ($8.00) 258.4(avg) ($4.00)

A rough final week for Matt and me, as we were unable to cash all week. Seems like a good time to move on from the NBA.

Overall Results

Below you will see a grid of our results since we changed our process to the new rules where we have more flexibility on who we select from the Industry Consensus list each day.

FanDuel Cash Entry Fees Cash Tot Winnings Cash ROI GPP Entry Fees GPP Tot Winnings GPP ROI Tot Entry Fees Tot Winnings Tot ROI
Brad $2.00 $3.60 80.00% $1.00 $2.00 100.00% $3.00 $5.60 86.67%
Stephen $24.00 $19.80 -17.50% $26.00 $34.77 33.73% $50.00 $54.57 9.14%
FD Overall $26.00 $23.40 -10.00% $27.00 $36.77 36.19% $53.00 $60.17 13.53%
DraftKings
Brad $24.00 $14.40 -40.00% $12.00 $41.00 241.67% $36.00 $55.40 53.89%
Matt $26.00 $21.60 -16.92% $18.00 $12.00 -33.33% $44.00 $33.60 -23.64%
DK Overall $50.00 $36.00 -28.00% $30.00 $53.00 76.67% $80.00 $89.00 11.25%
Overall $76.00 $59.40 -21.84% $57.00 $89.77 57.49% $133.00 $149.17 12.16%

After a slow start to our Lineup Construction series using our initial rules that forced us into just using the most recommended players and filling in where we could, the second set of rules we followed (above) allowed us much more flexibility to combine our own knowledge of the players and lineup construction along with the Industry Consensus to produce better lineups.

While we were unable to turn a profit with our 50/50 lineups, we were able to use the flexibility to build numerous winning GPP lineups for a net ROI of 57.49% in GPPs and an overall positive ROI of 12.16% using our second set of rules. We are going to continue the Lineup Construction articles for the MLB season and will continue to take what we have learned during the NBA season going forward to build better, winning lineups.

Ownership Percentage Tracking

A part of daily fantasy sports strategy is understanding ownership percentages and being able to predict ownership percentages prior to entering contests especially for GPP tournaments where you might want to be contrarian by selecting lower owned players or fading highly owned players depending on the payout structure and size of the contest.

We had a hypothesis at DailyOverlay that we could utilize the Industry Consensus list to help predict ownership percentages with the assumption being that players who were selected by more experts would likely be higher owned picks in Cash and GPP tournaments.

Below is the current table showing the data we have tracked over the last three weeks. Results are using DraftKings Double-Up or 50/50s for Cash and large field multi-entry tournaments for GPP. The Count column shows the number of times a player was selected by the experts for a given day. The Cash % column shows the average ownership percentage of those players in a Cash game. The GPP % column shows the average ownership percentage of those players in a GPP tournament. The Total column shows the number of occurrences that a player was selected that many times.

Count Cash% GPP% Total
11 71.63% 46.27% 3
10 58.28% 34.75% 6
9 51.06% 30.66% 13
8 37.74% 22.93% 25
7 31.99% 21.97% 56
6 24.68% 19.00% 80
5 18.61% 16.05% 126
4 14.52% 13.03% 141
3 10.78% 10.70% 222
2 8.16% 8.73% 298
1 4.01% 5.39% 554

We tracked ownership percentages for the Industry Consensus list over the last six weeks of the season and our original hypothesis appears to be correct that DFS players can use the Industry Consensus list to help them predict ownership percentages for the NBA.

As you can see from the table above there was a linear progression of the count of experts that recommended a player and their average ownership percentages for both Cash games and GPP tournaments. DFS players should be able to use this information going forward to help them predict ownership percentages which can be a big advantage when building lineups, in particular when you want to be contrarian in some GPP lineups.

Additional Industry Consensus Data Analysis

Throughout most of the season NBA season, we tracked a variety of data points in regards to the Industry Consensus including things like the Ownership Percentage analysis above.

Another breakdown that we analyzed is in regards to how players graded based on how often they were selected by the experts for the day.

Count A+ A B C D F Total DO Score
9+ 16 3 3 5 4 4 35 5.66
8 18 7 11 9 4 7 56 4.82
7 33 16 20 16 9 6 100 5.11
6 53 14 22 17 16 13 135 5.30
5 62 28 47 28 30 18 213 4.63
4 85 35 48 34 42 19 263 4.86
3 122 56 76 65 56 49 424 4.51
2 143 49 111 84 110 85 582 3.93
1 217 113 174 146 197 173 1020 3.67

As you can see from the grid above players that were selected by at least nine experts occurred 35 times and netted a DailyOverlay score of 5.66 which was the best score as you would hope. However, after you get past the most recommended players, the DailyOverlay score and player performance varied some as players recommended just four times outperformed players that were recommended eight times. To me, the most important takeaway from these results is the big gap between players recommended by at least three experts compared to those recommended by just one or two experts. Players recommended at least three times had a DailyOverlay score of 4.51 or higher compared to under 4.0 for those recommended by just one or two experts.

One last breakdown that I want to share is the breakdown by the salary of the players recommended compared to their DailyOverlay scores.

$ A+ A B C D F Total DO Score
$10,000+ 91 17 11 2 2 7 130 7.95
$9,000-$9,999 49 37 17 13 5 3 124 6.10
$8,000-$8,999 64 38 32 41 21 16 212 4.85
$7,000-$7,999 88 61 97 71 71 33 421 4.01
$6,000-$6,999 106 54 111 91 107 63 532 3.67
$5,000-$5,999 122 50 110 77 118 101 578 3.58
$4,000-$4,999 140 38 91 71 104 95 539 3.91
$3,000-$3,999 89 26 43 38 40 56 292 4.33

This analysis was done using DraftKings player salaries. Look at the grid above you can see that for the most part you get what you pay for as the high-priced players, in particular, those $8,000 or higher produce at a high level on a consistent basis. What I found interesting with this data is the dip in production by those players in the $5,000 range which had the worst DailyOverlay score of just 3.48 while the players in the $3,000 range had the 4th highest score at 4.11. My biggest takeaway from this data is that you should likely use a “stars and scrubs” type of approach when it comes to lineup construction to maximize the overall performance of your NBA lineups.

 

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