When setting your daily fantasy basketball lineups on say, FanDuel, you’re going to need to identify which power forwards and centers to roster. Sometimes it’s easy when you have enough value elsewhere in your lineup to roster Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins, but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to decide or break the tie between a couple of centers to pick just the right one.
One way you can do this is by trying to identify who has the better floor to begin with. Points scored are big for everybody, but for bigs no category provides nice statistics than the easy act of collecting rebounds. Sure, there is only a 0.2 point boost for getting a rebound over scoring a point, but if your big is in the right game, the boards can come faster than buckets.
So how do you know what games to target?
We’ve already talked about pace and its importance on daily fantasy. More possessions in a game makes for more everything, including our focus category today, rebounds.
It stands to reason, right? If a team misses a lot of shots, then there are more rebounds for the opposition to collect. If a high-pace team also misses a lot of shots, this is a game to look to see who the opposing bigs are, because you are going to want to get them in there.
You can go to basketball-reference.com to find a quick summary of miscellaneous statistics for the season and identify these teams. For example, here’s a list of teams that are Top 10 in Pace:
1. Golden State Warriors 98.4
2. Phoenix Suns 96.7
3. Houston Rockets 96.3
4. Philadelphia 76ers 96.0
5. Denver Nuggets 95.9
6. Boston Celtics 95.8
7. Oklahoma City Thunder 95.3
8. Sacramento Kings 95.2
9. Minnesota Timberwolves 94.9
10. Los Angeles Clippers 94.6
Now, here’s a list of the bottom ten teams in shooting percentage:
1. Philadelphia 76ers .408
2. Charlotte Hornets .426
3. Detroit Pistons .426
4. New York Knicks .430
5. Denver Nuggets .431
6. Minnesota Timberwolves .434
7. Los Angeles Lakers .435
8. Indiana Pacers .438
9. Houston Rockets .438
10. Chicago Bulls .439
Clearly, the 76ers are a team you would want to target with bigs in this situation. They have the fourth most possessions per game (pace) and then they are far and away the worst shooting team in the league, meaning gobs and gobs of defensive rebounds up for grabs for their opponents.
Two other teams overlap both lists, the Nuggets and the Timberwolves, so they would be solid targets as well but a team need not be on both lists to be potential targets. The Pistons, who are second worst in shooting, might provide enough rebounding ops to be a serious decision point on which big to roster for a night.
Target teams that play a lot of possessions and miss a ton of shots, then identify the primary rebounder for the opposition. You have a solid target to roster on nights when it may not be so obvious where to go for your bigs.