Happy Holidays ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Team Rise or Fall NBA Christmas Fantasy Cruncher Rewind Special. Before we get rolling, it’s important to note that the start of this season is going to be like no other. We’ve already seen a game canceled due to Covid-19 and it probably won’t be the last of the season.
My research is based derived from a simpler time when we only wore masks on Halloween, to weld, or to perform surgery. A time when an NBA coach had a rotation of seven to nine players and we knew for sure who they would be. This season has already seen coaches go 10-11 deep and that very well could be the case on Christmas day. So look at the information as points of interest and not stone cold facts when you’re reading.
And of course, I have to thank Fantasy Cruncher Pro and the Lineup Study feature for all of the information below.
Let’s take a look at the top 20 finishers from the 2018 and 2019 Holiday Classics.
2018 Holiday Classic Top 20: 2019 Holiday Millionaire Top 20:
There’s a couple of ways we can look at stacking in the NBA. The first way is a primary stack or a stack of just one team. That happened 12 times in 2018 and nine times in 2019.
Then there’s the secondary stack where multiple players are used from a different team than the primary stack. That happened eight times in 2018 and 11 times in 2019. Pretty simple math there.
The next step is to see how many game stacks were used. In 2018 three out of the top 20 were game stacks. The finished tied for 6th (Philadelphia-Boston), 14th (Oklahoma City-Houston), and 20th Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State. In 2019 there was only one game stack in the top 20. It was Houston-Golden State and finished tied for 12th.
Let’s take a look at the stacks that were used:
Over the last two years stacking two teammates and a bunch of one-offs or stacking two pairs of teammates have dominated the top 20. But going back to how I started this post, there’s no way to say that this will hold true to this unique season. And even though the 2 and 2,2 stacks littered the top 20, the #1 spot was won by a 3 stack both years.
If you’ve read any of my NFL Milly Maker Reports you’ll recall that a consistent theme is ownership isn’t that important, it’s about roster construction. Well, that’s football. I think ownership is much more important for NBA DFS. The main reasons being that projections are pretty consistent across the industry and the NBA is typically the most predictable sport. This means we need to find low owned, high upside players to give us a boost to the top spot.
In 2018 there wasn’t a projected ownership feature in Fantasy Cruncher so I’ll only use Christmas 2019 for the next image.
Since ownerships are slate dependent I think it’s hard to give a definitive take, especially with such a small sample size. If you’re a Fantasy Cruncher user I do think you could have some fun in Rewind using the projected ownership in the My Data tab.
I’m going to close out this report by talking about projections, and just like with ownership, I think Fantasy Cruncher users can/should use the Rewind feature and the My Data tab to set projection minimums.
2018 Actual Score vs. Projected
2019 Actual Score vs Projected
Small sample size and all of that but you can see out of 40 lineups only three had a projection lower than 250 fantasy points. And none of those three instances happened in 2019.
Again, this is new territory for us because of the coronavirus and the season starting like it did. There’s no guarantee that anything I’ve written here will matter on Christmas. With that said it does seem like a good idea to have a minimum projection you’re shooting for on Christmas or any slate. That number will vary due to slate size so that’s why I suggest backtesting for yourself before you settle on a projection total.
That’s it for now. Hopefully DraftKings or FanDuel slides down your chimney and leaves you a life-changing gift. Let’s get this money!
See ya in Discord,