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NBA Core Plays 1/3/20


1) Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics

FanDuel: $6,900, SF DraftKings: $7,000, SF/PF Yahoo: $23, SF FantasyDraft: $13,400, F/C

First and foremost, Hayward is listed here because I am assuming Kemba Walker won’t play tonight. This tweet says that Kemba missed practice yesterday with flu-like symptoms and a 103-degree fever. The good news is that this is the first game of the night, so we should have the news regardless.

And besides, I want to use this situation as an example of when we need to apply a little common sense to what our tools are telling us. So let’s dive in to see what I am referring to.

If we immediately pull up CourtIQ and put Kemba OFF, you probably see that Hayward actually reflects a decrease in his FPPM rate. I know the thing everyone wants to do when using the CourtIQ tool is to immediately sort by FPTS under the ‘Differential’ section. That tells us who gets the “biggest bump” when Player X is out.

You want to know what I notice when I look at that?

Well for starters, I see that it is only 101 minutes worth of sample. So immediately I am not going to treat it as gospel.

The second thing I see is that Hayward’s usage rate and assist rate actually go up in this sample. The usage rate is a marginal boost, but the assist rate is +6.6%. So how in the world is his fantasy production going down if his underlying rates are going up?

Well, whenever I see something like that, my immediate next thought is: he must have shot like crap (and by crap, I really mean below expectation). Sure enough, if you change that CourtIQ chart to show you ‘Total’ instead of ‘Per Minute’, you see that Hayward shot 20 for 47, or 42.5%. On the season he has shot 53.4%.

(Tournament pivot: Tobias Harris is a good tournament pivot at small forward, and you are probably giving him serious consideration in cash games as well. With Kemba ruled out, I think Hayward has far higher ownership than Tobias. Some rough fantasy performances the past few games have brought the price tag down, but this is still a guy who has shown 50+ fantasy point upside a few times over the last 11 games due to his ability to contribute at a high level in multiple statistical categories. In what is a big pace-up spot for Philly, I certainly like the spot for Tobias tonight.)

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