Importance of Pace and Projecting Possessions in NBA DFS
Pace is an important and often underrated aspect of daily fantasy basketball. A team’s pace is measured by the number of possessions that they use per 48 minutes. It’s important to use pace per-48 minutes, so that the pace numbers aren’t skewed by overtime games.
When it comes to daily fantasy, the faster the pace of the game, the more possessions a team has. Every single possessions leads to some form of fantasy production, whether it be points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, or turnovers. Therefore, the more possessions that a team has, the more opportunities each player has to score fantasy points.
Makes sense, right?
When people try to predict pace, most take the easy way out. If you are short on time, this is obviously the best route to take. Looking at the Vegas lines and looking for the games with the highest totals will give you a general idea of which games are expected to be the highest scoring. However, a team’s implied total doesn’t tell the entire story when it comes to pace.
For instance, if the Sixers and Lakers square off against one another, the total for the game is not going to reflect the pace at which it will be played. These are two of the least efficient offenses in the NBA, which is why the total won’t be particularly high. However, both teams rank in the top 10 in pace of play and both are ranked in the bottom five of most defensive categories.
Does this mean that we should avoid targeting players in a game between two of the worst defenses in the NBA? Of course not! Just because the teams may not be projected to score the most points that night, both teams are still in excellent matchups. The fast pace of the game will provide opportunity for more rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals.