I’m going to continue to try and mix up the articles on a daily basis. Sometimes they will be interesting players and other days I will opt for different strategy or stat-based topics. Today, let’s take a peek at value and how often players achieve it.

If you’re new to DFS or NBA specifically, we try to roster players to reach a specific number of fantasy points based on their salary. The old adage used to be a roster full of 5x players would be enough to cash in a 50/50 and with 6x, you had a chance to win a GPP. As players get better and pricing gets softer, I think those numbers are closer to 6x and 7x respectively.

To calculate value, simply divide the player’s salary by 1000 and multiply that number by 5, 6 or 7 to determine how many points they “need” to score to pay for themselves. For example, Russell Westbrook at $12,000 needs 60 DraftKings points to achieve 5x value. (12,000/1000 = 12*5 = 60) A player priced at $3,000 only needs 15 DraftKings points to achieve value. If you spend all $50,000 of your salary and get 5x value from everyone, you’ll end with 250 points.

I am using the NBA Game Logs for this, and simply calculated DraftKings value in a new column.

Not All Players Are Created Equal

I feel like I say this on a daily basis, but it’s absolutely true. Here are the top 10 players who have achieved 5x value most often (min 4 games):


A player who reaches 5x or 6x value very often, is going to be a very good play in almost all formats, but you can tell that some players on this list have limited upside. Dwight Howard for example has been an absolute lock to score 5x value (83%) but drops off a cliff when you ask him to reach 6x (33%) or 7x  (0%) value. That would indicate that Dwight has been a nice cash game play this season, but wouldn’t often win you a GPP. Avery Bradley, on the other hand, has been a complete stud. Here’s a guy who hitting 5x value at 83% of the time and then 7x value in half of his games! Here’s the invert of that chart:


What you’re looking at here are the players who have achieved 7x value most often. Tim Frazier jumps off the list as a very volatile player. He’s only hit 5x value in half his games, but in EVERY one of those games, he’s hit greater than 7x. These tend to be inexpensive, inconsistent type players who can find themselves in plus situations on a given night.

Today’s Projections

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

The Studs

Let’s sort by highest average price and see what happens.


Well, one this is very clear. It’s tough for an expensive player to reach 7x value. The top 10 most expensive players have combined for 54 games, where they’ve reached 7x value just four times (7%). They’ve only hit 6x value in 31% of the games and 5x value in 53% of games. So what does this mean? It likely means that the basic value scale is misleading. It’s hard to count on Jame Harden to reach 7x value, but does that mean we shouldn’t roster him? Of course not. He’s very likely to be the leading scorer on any slate that he plays. We just need to temper expectations on guys with higher salaries and accept 5x value from them. That means that we have to “make up” that value from our less expensive players.

Value Is Relative

I propose more of a sliding scale where our players priced in the $3-$4K range need to reach 8-10x value so that our studs only have to carry the load for 5x value. Here’s a random GPP winning lineup I grabbed from a few nights ago to illustrate this point:


This winning lineup averaged 6.74x value and spent all $50,000 of his salary cap. As you can see, his two most expensive players were his “worst” players when only looking at standard value. However, could you really say Boogie’s 55 points were “bad”? Of course not. This lineup shows what’s realistic when it comes to value. His cheaper players were able to go nuts for 9.8x and 7.1x value which allowed his best players to have a standard game and move on!

Looking For More?

I used 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.