Stop Using DvP
If you've ever played DFS (or any fantasy sport), then chances are you've faced a tough decision between two players, and your final decision came down to the little green (or red) number next to the players matchup. The well known defense verse position (DvP) metric has been widely accepted as the primary source to consult when considering whether a player has a good or bad matchup.
On the surface, DvP makes sense. If a team has given up more points on average to a certain position, then they are more likely to in the future, right? Unfortunately not. The standard DvP metric you see on popular sites fails to account for one crucial factor. Certain players are better than others! Let's look at an example of this so it makes more sense.
Imagine the Jazz were playing the Mavericks. We would have a point guard showdown of Luka Doncic and Mike Conley. If you're familiar with DFS basketball you know that Luka Doncic averages one of the highest fantasy point outputs of any player, as such, he is typically priced the highest (or close to it). You also might know that although sometimes a viable option, Conley typically averages far fewer points, and is thus priced much lower. For this scenario we will imagine the following salaries and outcomes for a Mavs vs. Jazz matchup.
Luka Doncic: $11,000, 31 fantasy points scored, season average of 55 points.
Mike Conley: $6,000, 30 fantasy points scored, season average of 28 points.
Using standard DvP calculations, the Mavericks gave up 30 points to PGs that night, while the Jazz gave up 31 points to PGs. The Mavericks would be ranked ahead of the Jazz in a standard DvP calculation.
But wait a second, the Jazz held Doncic to 24 points below his season average, whereas the Mavericks gave up 2 more points to Conley then he typically scores.
Salary Adjusted DvP
In order to account for this, we adjust DvP according to the player's salary. Through this, we can now see that if you played Luka Doncic against the Jazz, you would've spent ~351 dollars for each point he scored. Whereas if you played Mike Conley against the Mavericks, you would've spent ~214 dollars for each point he scored. This is an astronomical difference that was completely missed by the standard DvP calculations. By comparing the average $/Pt that teams have allowed to players in certain positions across the entire season, we can create a DvP metric that accurately reflects whether a player is in a plus matchup from a positional perspective.
*Check out our article on projected $/point if you need a refresher on how that works.
For access to salary adjusted DvP rankings for every player on every day's main slate, you can visit our DFS Analytics Newsletter Here where you will find this information in the downloadable datasheet.