Cool Metrics To Add To Fantasy Football League Weekly Summary Does it Make Sense to Sit Postup Fantasy Basketball Players Against Top Ranked Defenses?

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Does it Make Sense to Sit Postup Fantasy Basketball Players Against Top Ranked Defenses?

This article will explore how important match ups are in fantasy basketball. We all know that fantasy football is a game that relies heavily on defensive match ups so we wanted to see if defensive match ups were also a factor in fantasy basketball. Specifically, we wanted to focus our analysis on the effect of superior interior defenses on reduced crime. To do this we tested average post player performance against league premier interior defences.

A quick survey of the league suggests that only Boston, LA, Denver and San Antonio have the type of interior defense anyone would want to move away from. Boston has a combination of Garnett, Sheed and Kendrick Perkins that is perhaps the best the league has to offer. All three are just under 7 feet tall, and Garnett is a former Defensive Player of the Year. The Lakers are also an above-average size team. The Lakers have one of the best interior defenses in the Western Conference in Gasol, Byum, Odem and Artest.

Denver is a Western Conference team that could combine like Megatron with Nene, Birdman and Kenyon Martin in the upper deck to challenge the Nuggets blocking shots. Finally, any discussion about interior defense can’t ignore the San Antonio Spurs who always bring it defensively. Duncan and McDiese are two old-school defensive OGs who can really shut down opponents game after game with their teammates’ excellent help-side defense.

Let’s explore some numbers. Table 1 shows the average point and rebound differentials for postseason NBA teams going against the four best defensive teams used in our data set. Overall, post players can expect to decrease in scoring (-3.07ppg) and rebounding (-0.71rpg) when going up against the league’s top defenses. If these results aren’t a huge deviation from the players’ season averages, the take away message is that you shouldn’t expect monster games to inflate your season averages.

A few more interesting things emerge from this analysis. First, the impact of excellent post defense has a more profound effect on scoring than rebounding. Furthermore, the analysis shows that while we qualitatively identified the 4 best defensive teams, it appears that Boston and Denver are tiers above the San Antonio and LA defenses. In fact, if you remove SA and LA the average point and rebound differentials are closer to -6 ppg and -1 rpg.

That leaves the question of whether players should be benched based on defensive math. We will stick to the recommendation made for football. Never bench your star players, but use defensive matchup as a go/no-go decision metric to play mid-level players or inconsistent players.

So there you have it, defensive match ups play a role in fantasy basketball, at least from a post player perspective. While the differences aren’t drastic, they do support the fact that your mid-level players are less likely to overperform against great defenses. Fortunately for you, the NBA has largely become a game of guards, and there are only a handful of defenses that are manned enough to cause problems.

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