Let’s take a break from our normal write-ups and introduce something new for today. I want to break down what it takes to be a Top 10 player on any given night. Obviously if you want to win consistently, it can only help to roster as many players who finish in the top 10 in scoring each night (duh!). For the purpose of this article, we are looking at any player who finished with the 10 most DraftKings points on a given day. That ends up being 119 different players (with ties) over the first 12 days on the NBA season. I am using the NBA Game Logs for this, which include a “Rank” column that show how each player rank for that date.

Studs Help

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but T10 players are almost always studs. Here’s the list of all players who have finished in the T10 on 3+ occasions:

top102

Those are a lot of big names. 15 of those 18 players rank in the top 18 of DraftKings points scored per game this season. Only Karl-Anthony Town, Draymond Green and Isaiah Thomas are not ranked inside the top 18 for the season. Those might be three GPP targets moving forward, since they won’t be priced as high, but have T10 upside. For tonight, Draymond is the only one of those three on the slate.

Today’s Projections

2016-17 Game Logs | 2015-16 Player Scoring Calendar | 2015-16 Salary Database | 2015-16 Points Allowed By Position

In terms of consistency, Harden and Westbrook are the cream of the crop. They’ve finished in the T10 in every game they’ve played while LeBron and Giannis are both 5/6.

Fun Facts

  • The average T10 game is 51.92 DraftKings points and 48.30 Fanduel points.
  • The average T10 player salary is $7,917 on DraftKings and $8,173 on Fanduel.
  • 82% of T10 games have an over/under greater than 200.
  • 61.3% of T10 games were recorded by a player on the home team.

Matchups Matter

Thanks to great pace and bad defense, some teams are more susceptible to giving up a T10 game than others. Phoenix and Denver have both allowed seven opponents to record a T10 game. It’s worth noting that Phoenix has played six games, while Denver has only played five (!!). Also, both good and bad teams seem just as likely to allow a Top 10 game:


pace2

There is obviously a clear correlation between pace and the likelihood that you allow a T10 game. Above is all 11 teams that have allowed at least 5+ such games, with 8 of 11 teams ranking in the top half of the league in pace. Also, the top five fastest teams allow the most T10 games. For tonight, Golden State and Oklahoma City are on the slate, so you should look towards New Orleans and Miami as potential beneficiaries.

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Listen To Vegas

Again, no surprises here, but the games with the higher vegas totals, allow more fantasy points! Out of the 119 total T10 games, 98 of them came in games with an over/under over 200. The average line in such games was 207.16. For tonight, that would only cross off UTA/PHI (193.5) and DET/LAC (197.5). Maybe more notably, 61% of T10 games were tallied by players on teams that were favored by Vegas.

Value Guys

If you’re looking for a T10 game from a value option, good luck. Only 17 of 119 such games have come from players priced under $6,000 on DraftKings. So how can we identify those players who might break out? Obviously this is a small sample to try and analyze, but minutes is going to play a huge part here. Of those 17 games, T10 players averaged 32.7 minutes and only two of them played under 28 minutes (Embiid and Mirotic). If you’re opting for value plays who are only going to play 20 minutes, look elsewhere.

Looking For More?

This is the tip of the iceberg. I use the NBA Game Logs to run all this analysis and there’s much deeper you can dig. If you are a Pro Member, you get the logs updated daily. If you are not a Pro Member yet, you can sign up here.