Fantasy

Are Taller Players More Productive in NBA DFS?


The average height for a modern day NBA player is six and a half feet tall.  Even point guards, traditionally thought of as the “short” NBA players average over six feet tall.  If you consider that only 3.9% of the US male population is 6’2’’ or taller, the NBA is truly filled with the tallest of the tallest strata of our population.

It’s easy to theorize why taller NBA players might score more fantasy points on average.  FanDuel scores an NBA player based on a number of criteria including rebounds and blocks. One would assume taller players would be at an advantage to score more points based on this alone.

So, should you include player height in your NBA DFS strategy?  Let’s take a look.

A quick note about this data – the research is based off of data from the past 5 NBA seasons and is scored using FanDuel’s NBA scoring rules.  I included only players who played a minimum of 10 games in a season for consistency purposes.  In the charts below, you’ll see the same player several times.  Keep in mind that this is due to guys playing more than one season.  Also, keep in mind that this data doesn’t take into account any other factors or variables.

Point Guards (PG)

Here is a scatterplot of all PG heights and average FanDuel points.  This includes a histogram for the highest height frequencies and highest frequency of average FanDuel points for the PG position in the NBA for the past five seasons.  You’ll see that the most frequent height for the position is 75 inches tall. Just about 31% of all the PGs are this height, while the average height for a PG is 73.9 inches. Those PGs that are 75 inches tall average 21.8 FanDuel points per game.  While just 2.1% of all PGs are 69 inches tall, those players also averaged 21.8 FanDuel points per game.

Regardless of height, PG score an average of 19.7 FanDuel points per game.

Small Forwards (SF)

Again, here’s a look at the same scatterplot of all SF heights and average FanDuel points for the past five NBA seasons.  You’ll see that the most frequent height for the SF position is 80 inches tall – a little over one-third of all SFs are this height – while the average height for a SF is 79.6 inches. Those SFs that are 80 inches tall average 24.7 FanDuel points per game.  This was the highest average points per game per height for the SF position.

Regardless of height, SFs score an average of 19.6 FanDuel points per game.

Centers (C)
Here’s a look at the same scatterplot for centers for the past five NBA seasons.  You’ll see that the most frequent height for the position is 83 inches tall. A little over 31% of centers are this height, while the average height for a C is 83.2 inches. Those centers that are 83 inches tall average 19.1 FanDuel points per game.  Only 3.5% of centers are 80 inches tall, but those that averaged 20.4 FanDuel points per game scored marginally higher than the most frequent height’s average FanDuel points.  There is one outlier in this sample, which you probably already guessed. He is a monster at 90 inches tall – Yao Ming.  Yao averaged 35 points per game in the season included in this data. Regardless of height, Cs score, on average, 17.2 FanDuel points per game.  This is the lowest per position average FanDuel points per game of all NBA positions.

Regardless of height, Cs score, on average, 17.2 FanDuel points per game.  This is the lowest per position average FanDuel points per game of all NBA positions.

Shooting Guards (SGs)

Here’s a look at the same scatterplot of all SG heights and average FanDuel points for the past five NBA seasons.  You’ll see that the most frequent height for the position is 78 inches tall. A little under 24% of SGs are this height, while the average height for a SG is 77.2 inches. Those SGs that are 78 inches tall average 19.57 FanDuel points per game.  While only 1.3% of SGs are 73 inches tall, those that are averaged 21.51 FanDuel points per game, marginally higher than the those SGs who were 78 inches tall.

Regardless of height, SGs score an average of 17.6 FanDuel points per game.

Power Forwards (PF)

Here’s a look at the same scatterplot for all PF heights and average FanDuel points for the past five seasons.  You’ll see that the most frequent height for the position is 81 inches tall – 36.74% of PFs are this height – while the average height for a PF is 81.5 inches. Those PFs that are 81 inches tall average 17.29 FanDuel points per game.  This is one position where height did have a direct correlation to the points scored.  As PFs got taller, they scored higher average FanDuel points per game.  The tallest PFs in the league, at 84 inches tall scored, on average, 26.68 FanDuel points per game.

Regardless of height, PFs score an average of 19.9 FanDuel points per game.  This is the highest average FanDuel points per game across all NBA positions.  This might be something handy to consider when playing at DFS sites that use a “utility” player spot.

To Summarize

Most positions resemble some sort of bell curve when it comes to both the frequency of heights and also in the distribution of average FanDuel points compared to height.

bellcurve

This means there is an optimal range of heights that produce the highest average FanDuel points per game.  However, there is one notable exception to this.  The PF position consistently scores higher average FanDuel points the taller the player is.

Takeaways

If you disregard any and all other factors affecting a player’s ability to score FanDuel points, you’ll want to look for:

Point Guards who are 75 inches tall

Small Forwards who are 80 inches tall

Centers who are 80 inches tall

Shooting Guards who are 73 inches tall

Power Forwards who are as tall as possible (84+ inches)

 

By By BostonTrev

http://www.draftcrunch.com/dfs/are-taller-players-more-productive-in-nba-dfs/


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