because I spit hot fire.
November 8, 2014 Basketball , Daily Fantasy # ,

Daily Fantasy Basketball Projections – November 8 2014 – NBA DFS

I hope everyone had a successful Friday in daily fantasy. We have one early game today (Blazers @ Clippers), with the rest of the slate kicking off at 7:00pm. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to keep these updated through the day, but if there are any updates, I will make a note. The following daily fantasy projections are based on DraftKings scoring. If you haven’t played at DraftKings before, click the logo below to sign-up.

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November 7, 2014 Basketball , Daily Fantasy # ,

Daily Fantasy Basketball Projections – November 7, 2014 – NBA DFS

Now this is more like it. We have a solid 11 game slate. There aren’t too many questions about top guys, outside of the Bulls. Hopefully, there are not a lot of hijinks in the lead up to tip-off. The following daily fantasy projections are based on DraftKings scoring. If you haven’t played at DraftKings before, click the logo below to sign-up.

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***All projections updated as of 6:12pm***

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November 6, 2014 Basketball , Daily Fantasy # ,

NBA DFS – November 6, 2014 – Daily Fantasy Basketball Projections

Nothing like doing my first post of projections on a 2-game set, with the Spurs sitting half of their team. I’m sure the accuracy will be through the roof. I’m going to try to put out some sort of FAQ this weekend to answer any questions. Cliff notes versions for tonight. I have a set of NBA projections for fantasy points per possession. I translate those projections into a score for that particular game. I also run each player’s numbers through a sim to estimate the chances of hitting 5X and 6X value. All of my projections are using DraftKings scoring. The projections below are updated as of 4:30pm. If I make any changes, I will make a note in that particular section. I hope this can be an asset to the daily fantasy community.

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October 16, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NBA Draft Comparables: 2007 Edition

Since I mentioned Kevin Durant in the first post, it makes sense to start with the 2007 NBA draft, made famous by the Durant/Oden debate and Yi Jianlian’s workout against a folding chair. I probably won’t touch on everyone, but there are usually a few highly ranked comps that I find interesting and/or comical so who knows. Again, all of this information comes from Layne Vashro’s Prospect Comparison Tool.

I wish Greg Oden’s list was more interesting. Bryant Reeves, Greg Ostertag and Shelden Williams all show up three times each in Oden’s Top 50. The problem here is there just aren’t many basketball players like Greg Oden. 7’0″ freshman who put up amazing numbers just exist in the college landscape all that often. Oden’s comps list is basically just 39 guys that were good centers in college.

Al Horford, however, starts off his comp list perfectly. His top two comps, at the time, were two fellow Gators. #1 was Joakim Noah from the same season. #2 (technically, #3, but I’m avoiding looking into the future unless it tells a good story) was David Lee’s 2005 season. The Noah comp is amazing. Only 229 minutes separate Horford and Noah in the NBA. Total separation by Win Shares: 4.6. It’s no wonder Florida was amazing.

2007 NBA Draft: Al Horford vs. Joakim Noah

#4 pick Mike Conley has Ty Lawson twice in his first four comps, plus Tyus Edney showing up at #6 AND #7, but the most interesting part of Conley’s comp list is Aaron Craft showing up four times. The VAL number for Craft is -0.49. VAL goes from -1 to +1. Anything negative means the person in question was better, statistically, than the comp. Positive means the opposite. Vashro’s tool explains it as a “rich man/poor man” comparison. In this case, Mike Conley is the Mark Cuban version of Aaron Craft.

Jeff Green is the first guy to land on the list of “Guys That Might Not Have Been Drafted So High If This Tool Existed In 2007.” Besides Richard Jefferson at #10, there is a lot of crap on that list, including the O’Bannon brothers. Surprisingly, Jeff Green is #10 in Win Shares in this draft class, so maybe he wasn’t such a gigantic overdraft after all.

2007 NBA Draft Comps: Jeff Green

Corey Brewer had a pretty interesting comp list, with Todd Day showing up three times in the top 17, with fellow Gator Mike Miller coming up twice. The Todd Day comp has been pretty accurate, with similar numbers across the board through their first 7 seasons. Mike Miller represented Brewer’s “upside” heading into the draft.

2007 NBA Draft Comps: Corey Brewer/Todd Day/Mike Miller

#8 pick Brandan Wright might be the most fascinating person of all. His top 10 comps contain a lot of NBA talent. Rasheed Wallace, Antawn Jamison, Nick Collison, David Lee, LaMarcus Aldridge. Wright’s per minute numbers in the NBA have been amazing. His WS/48 is well above average. He’s efficient from the field, has great rebounding numbers and is an excellent shot blocker. The problem is, he has only played 4,460 minutes in coming into the league. To give you a frame of reference, Kevin Durant played just short of 4,000 minutes between the regular season and playoffs LAST SEASON. Injuries have derailed most of his early career, but the past two seasons have been incredibly productive while playing 18 minutes per game over 60 games for the Mavs. For someone who played in all 37 games of his freshman season at UNC while averaging 27 mpg, Wright becomes another datapoint in the unpredictable nature of the draft.

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October 14, 2014 Basketball # , , , , ,

My Addiction to Layne Vashro’s Prospect Comparison Tool

I have a confession to make. I am an addict. I am completely addicted to Layne Vashro’s NCAA Prospect Comparison Tool at Nylon Calculus. I spent hours yesterday going through just about every major prospect and bust for the past 20 years. I find it all fascinating, with the perfect amount of hilarious sprinkled in. There’s an overview section at the bottom of the link to the tool, for those wondering what it is. For a brief synopsis, this tool allows you to compare college basketball player seasons for all prospects since 1990, using different weights for different stats. There are 26 categories, from points to eFG% to strength of schedule. I’ve tweaked them to what I like, but there is no right answer. Here are the weights I’m using. If a stat isn’t shown, it’s weight is zero.


So, until I get sick of doing this. I’m going to go back and look through some draft classes and look for interesting comps or things I just simply find funny.

For example, using my weights and taking a look at 2007 #2 pick Kevin Durant, his top-5 comp list is pretty interesting.

Durant Top 5

That’s right, everyone. Coming out of college, Kevin Durant was the black Keith Van Horn. You know we all thought it. No one had the guts to say it. But really, is that such a crazy comparison? We know that Durant was a better athlete. That athleticism allowed Durant to reach offensive heights that KVH couldn’t dream of. This is a table of their rate stats through their first four NBA seasons. Obviously, it’s not the best comparison due to Durant entering the league after his freshman year while KVH was a senior, but I think it works. They were both high usage players. Van Horn was a slightly better rebounder, while Durant’s assist rate was a bit higher. They had similar steal and block rates, with KVH turning it over a touch more. I’m rolling with this from now on. When people talk about this draft and discuss the Oden/Durant comparison, just remember…Kevin Durant was the athletic Keith Van Horn.

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March 16, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , ,

The EPW Bracket – FINAL

The wait is finally over. Here is the EPW bracket that will be submitted to Bracket Matrix, assuming Florida and Michigan St. are victorious.


The #1 seeds are Florida (South), Arizona (West), Villanova (East) and Wichita St. (Midwest). Their pods are Orlando, San Diego, Buffalo and St. Louis.

The #2 seeds are Virginia (East), Syracuse (Midwest), Wisconsin (South) and Iowa St. (West). Their pods are Raleigh, Buffalo, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

The #3 seeds are Michigan (Midwest), Kansas (South), San Diego St. (West) and Michigan St. (East). Their pods are Milwaukee, San Antonio, Spokane and Orlando.

Finally, the #4 seeds are Creighton (Midwest), Duke (South), Louisville (East) and Cincinnati (West). Their pods are San Antonio, Raleigh, Spokane and San Diego.

Final Bracket - Top 16






#5 seeds: Connecticut (Midwest), UCLA (South), New Mexico (East) and Saint Louis (West)

#6 seeds: Gonzaga (Midwest, Massachusetts (South), Pittsburgh (West) and VCU (East). *Notes, Ohio St. and North Carolina both forced down a seed line. VCU jumps two spots.

#7 seeds: Ohio St. (West), North Carolina (South), Oklahoma (East) and George Washington (Midwest)

#8 seeds: Kentucky (East), Harvard (South), Texas (Midwest) and Providence (West)

Final Bracket - Top 32






#9 seeds: Baylor (West), Oregon (Midwest), Memphis (South) and Saint Joseph’s (East)

#10 seeds: STEPHEN FULLER AUSTIN (Memphis), Colorado (East), Southern Miss (West) and Arizona St. (Midwest)

#11 seeds: Xavier (South), SMU (West), Oklahoma St. (Midwest) and North Dakota St. (East)

#12 seeds: Florida St. (Midwest), Toledo (South), Stanford/Green Bay (East), Nebraska/BYU (West)

#13 seeds: Manhattan (Midwest), North Carolina Central (East), Delaware (West) and New Mexico St. (South)

#14 seeds: Western Michigan (West), Mercer (South), Tulsa (East), Eastern Kentucky (Midwest)

#15 seeds: Louisiana Lafayette (Midwest), Milwaukee (East), American (South), Wofford (West)

#16 seeds: Weber St. (West), Albany (South), Coastal Carolina/Mount St. Mary’s (East), Texas Southern/Cal Poly (Midwest)

Final Bracket - Complete






Last Four In: Stanford, Green Bay, Nebraska, BYU

First Four Out: Dayton, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana Tech

Next Four Out: Kansas St., North Carolina St., Tennessee, Minnesota

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March 16, 2014 Basketball # , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through March 15

Well, it’s finally here. Selection Sunday. In EPW terms, this should be a pretty uneventful day. The four #1 seeds should be set. Saint Joseph’s ranking, for me, puts them in win or lose. I’m putting up the ratings going into today’s games right now, and will update them accordingly after each game. Sometime after 5:00pm, I will post the final rankings list and the official EPW bracket. I will attempt to stick to the seed order as much as possible, but I will be going through the entire bracket like the exercise I posted on Friday.



1: Florida, Arizona, Villanova, Wichita St.

2: Syracuse, Michigan,Wisconsin, Virginia

3: Iowa St., Kansas, San Diego St., Duke

4: Creighton, Michigan St., Louisville, Cincinnati

5: Connecticut, UCLA, New Mexico, VCU

6: Saint Louis, Gonzaga, Massachusetts, Pittsburgh

7: Ohio St., North Carolina, Oklahoma, George Washington

8: Kentucky, Harvard, Texas, Providence

9: Baylor, Oregon, Memphis, Stephen F. Austin

10: Colorado, Southern Miss, Saint Joseph’s, Arizona St.

11: Xavier, SMU, Oklahoma St., North Dakota St.

12: Florida St., Toledo, (Stanford/Green Bay), (Nebraska/BYU)

13: Manhattan, North Carolina Central, Delaware, Georgia St.

14: New Mexico St., Western Michigan, Mercer, Tulsa

15: Eastern Kentucky, Milwaukee, American, Wofford

16: Weber St., Albany, (Coastal Carolina/Mount St. Mary’s), (Texas Southern/Cal Poly)

Last Four In: Stanford, Green Bay, Nebraska, BYU

First Four Out: Dayton, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana Tech

Next Four Out: Kansas St., North Carolina St., Tennessee, Minnesota


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March 14, 2014 Basketball # , , , , ,

EPW: Mock Bracket Walkthrough

I’ve meant to do this exercise for a few weeks. This will be a full walk-through of the seeding process, using my rankings as an S-Curve. I’m going to attempt to build the bracket using the selection committee rules, while trying to stay as true to the ratings as possible. I will do this on Selection Sunday so that I can send a bracket to Bracket Matrix to track the results. I want as little human interaction as possible, but I know I can’t just seed everyone straight through with the rankings, otherwise we can end up with 6 teams from the same conference in the same region. The only thing I won’t pay attention to is potential re-matches from non-conference opponents. I’m only one set of eyes and I don’t have the time to double-check everything while still writing this post. Enough explanation, let’s do this.

This whole process starts off simple, but gets harder as it goes as more teams need to be shuffled. The four #1 seeds are, in order, Arizona, Florida, Villanova and Syracuse. Arizona goes to the West Region (Anaheim) and is placed in the San Diego Pod. Florida goes to the South Region (Memphis) and gets the Orlando pod. Villanova will be in the East Region (New York) and gets a Buffalo pod, with Syracuse rounding it out in the Midwest Region (Indianapolis) and grabbing the other Buffalo pod. The bracket lines up like this:

Bracket - #1 seeds






Next, we have the #2 seed: Wichita St., Wisconsin, Kansas, San Diego St. Wichita St. goes first, being placed in the Saint Louis pod and the South Region. Wisconsin goes to the Milwaukee pod and the Midwest Region. Kansas joins Wichita St. at the Saint Louis site, while heading to the East region. San Diego St. is unable to be placed in the San Diego pod, since it is their home floor, so they’ll be heading to Spokane and grabbing the spot in the West. So far, so good.

The #3 seeds are as follows: Michigan, Creighton, Virginia and Iowa St. Michigan has a few favorable pod locations, so to make things easier for some other #3 seeds, but since both Buffalo pods have been taken, they’ll grab the 2nd spot in Milwaukee. The Midwest would be their best region geographically, but since Wisconsin is already in that region, they move to the East. Creighton’s two best pods (St. Louis and Milwaukee) have already been filled, so they’ll head to San Antonio for their first game and be placed in the Midwest. Virginia is next, and they’ll head to Raleigh and take a spot in the South, with Iowa St. going to San Antonio and the West.

Moving on to the #4 seeds, we have Duke, Cincinnati, Saint Louis and Michigan St. Duke gets a first round game in Raleigh and is heading to the East region. Cincinnati has to head to Orlando, via process of elimination, but gets a spot in the Midwest. Saint Louis and Michigan St. both draw short straws for pods, heading to Spokane and San Diego, respectively. Saint Louis is placed in the South region, with Michigan St. heading to the West. Not a lot of perks for Michigan St. as the last #4 seed, but what can you do? The bracket now looks like this:

Bracket - Top 16






The #5 seeds are Louisville, Massachusetts, Connecticut and North Carolina. Louisville can’t go to the Midwest, due to the presence of Cincinnati, so they’ll be put in the South. Massachusetts is next, heading to the East. Connecticut is locked out of the Midwest and the South, the East has already been filled, so process of elimination puts the in the West. Which should mean that North Carolina goes to the Midwest, however that is where Syracuse is seeded. The only region that does not have an ACC representative at this point is the West, meaning the Tar Heels need to be bumped down a spot on the seed line. The next team in like is Gonzaga. Since they have no conflicts, they can be placed on the #5 line in the Midwest.

Now the #6 seeds should be North Carolina, Ohio St., New Mexico and Pittsburgh. Now UNC can slot into the West. Ohio St.’s only possible location at this point is the South. New Mexico can’t go to the West because of San Diego St., so they’ll be in the Midwest. That leaves Pittsburgh to be placed. Pittsburgh will be the 5th ACC team to be seeded, meaning there will now be multiple conference teams in one region. With Duke being the #4 seed in the East, Pittsburgh can slot in as the East’s #6 seed, which avoids any potential conference re-match until the Elite 8. Perfect.

Bracket - Top 24






Next up is the #7 seeds, Texas, VCU, George Washington and Oklahoma. Texas goes to the South, VCU to the Midwest, and George Washington is forced to the West as the 4th A-10 rep. These leaves Oklahoma unable to be seeded as a 7, as their only potential landing spot at the point is in the Midwest. UCLA is next in line, so they snag a cross-country trip to the East, if they make a Sweet 16 appearance.

The #8 seeds are now Oklahoma, Harvard, Baylor and Memphis. Oklahoma heads to the Midwest and Harvard takes a spot in the East. Baylor makes team number 5 for the Big 12, so their spot requires some analysis. The Big 12 has no teams in top half of the two remaining regions, so placing them in either one will work. That’s a different story for Memphis, though. The AAC has teams in the top half of both of those regions, so the Tigers will be forced to drop to the #9 line. The next team up is Oregon, who can be placed in the South without problem, which makes Baylor to the West official. This type of musical chairs becomes quite regular from here on out.

Half of the bracket has now been seeded. Potential conference re-matches have been minimized and pushed out as late as possible. An all-chalk 2nd round is now visible for the entire bracket, which looks like this:

Bracket - Top 32






Now, the first round matchups start being created. The #9 seeds are Memphis, Kentucky, Southern Miss and Colorado. Memphis goes to the East, since the AAC has teams in the other 3 regions, where they’ll meet Harvard. I don’t think Kentucky would get a spot in the Midwest, as that could potentially put Syracuse in a semi-road game in the 2nd round, so they head to the West to play Baylor. Southern Miss goes to the South to take on Oregon, since Colorado’s only potential region is the Midwest and a game against former conference mate, Oklahoma.

For #10 seeds, we have THE LUMBERJACKS OF STEPHEN FULLER AUSTIN, Xavier, Toledo and Providence. Stephen F. Austin heads to the Midwest for a date with VCU. Xavier is the South region and draws Texas. Toledo ends up in the East and matches up with UCLA. Lastly, Providence goes to the West and plays George Washington.

In the 8 total games that have been set-up so far (ignoring any potential home court adjustments), only Kentucky is projected to be a favorite in their game.

Moving on to the #11 seeds, we have Stanford, Arizona St., Florida St. and SMU. Since the Pac12 already have 4 teams in the bracket, the region choices have some limits. The East is the only region to have a Pac12 in the bottom half of a region, so Stanford gets a spot in the West against North Carolina, while Arizona St. takes on Ohio St. in the South. Florida St. takes Midwest’s #11 seed, taking on New Mexico, with SMU joining the East region and taking on Pittsburgh.

Bracket - Top 44






The #12 seeds traditionally are the most popular upset teams in the tournament, and in this instance, one of these teams is particularly strong. This group of teams also includes the first play-in game. The teams are Oklahoma St., Dayton, the winner of Nebraska/Saint Joseph’s, and North Dakota St. Seeding these teams was a little tricky due to the play-in game, but ultimately everyone can be kept on this seed line. Oklahoma St. heads to the South to take on Louisville in what I would assume is one of the strongest 1st round games in the history of the NCAA tournament. It’s absolutely a doomsday scenario for the defending champs. Louisville will still be favorites in the game, but the relative strength of the rest of the 12-seeds pales in comparison to OKST’s. Dayton goes to the West for a game against Connecticut. The Nebraska/St. Joe’s winner is placed in the Midwest, which has an top-half of the bracket without any teams from the BigTen or A10. Both teams are underdogs in that match-up with Gonzaga, though. The last 12-seed in North Dakota St., who heads to the East to face Massachusetts.

#13 seeds include the winner of Green Bay and BYU, Louisiana Tech, Manhattan and North Carolina Central. With BYU as the projected winner, they’ll be in the East region as Duke’s opponent. Louisiana Tech would be in the Midwest and would take on Cincinnati. Manhattan goes to the South for a date with Saint Louis and NC Central heads to the West to take on Michigan St.

The #14 seeds are Delaware, Georgia St., New Mexico St. and Mercer. Delaware gets placed in the Midwest to take on Creighton, Georgia St. is in the South region and draws Virginia, New Mexico St. is in the West region and plays Iowa St., and Mercer finishes off this group in the East against Michigan.

Per KenPom ratings, half of the Sweet 16 teams have now been decided.

Bracket - Top 60






This leaves just the #15 and #16 seeds. The #15 seeds are UC-Irvine, Eastern Kentucky, Stony Brook and Milwaukee, with the #16 seeds being American, Wofford, and the winners of Weber St./Coastal Carolina and Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern. UC-Irvine takes a crack at Wisconsin in the Midwest. Eastern Kentucky takes on Kansas in the East. Stony Brook locks up with undefeated Wichita St. in the South, and UW-Milwaukee heads to the West and “battles” San Diego St.

Finally, the #16 seed match-ups are American taking on Syracuse in the Midwest, Wofford against Villanova in the East, the Weber St./Coastal Carolina winner against Florida in the South and the Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern winner against Arizona in the West.

All of this creates a bracket that looks like this:

Bracket - Complete






All of the games are done using a straight comparison of the higher KenPom rating. No need to run any sims on this hypothetical. So much can change just by simply putting teams in different regions. For example, even though Louisville makes it to the finals, the game against Oklahoma St. would severely lower their overall chances of doing that. Replace Saint Louis with Duke and you have an even more difficult road. All in all, I think this is a really fun exercise. The bracket was able to come together with a very small amount of restructuring due to conference alignments. I’ll be very interested to see how this measures up to the rest of the brackets that are tracked at Bracket Matrix. Anything in the top half will look like a very big success.

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March 14, 2014 Basketball # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through March 13

There were so many shake-ups yesterday that I don’t even know where to begin. Villanova lost their spot as the EPW #1 overall team with their loss to Seton Hall. Iowa tumbled 12 spots thanks to a loss against Northwestern and now are on the outside looking in. Xavier, Providence, Stanford and Florida St. have all taken the necessary steps to strengthen their resumes. All in all, yesterday was a pretty eventful day in college hoops, and it is only going to get better.



1: Arizona, Florida, Villanova, Syracuse

2: Wichita St., Wisconsin, Kansas, San Diego St.

3: Michigan, Creighton, Virginia, Iowa St.

4: Duke, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Michigan St.

5: Louisville, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina

6: Gonzaga, Ohio St., New Mexico, Pittsburgh

7: Texas, VCU, George Washington, Oklahoma

8: UCLA, Harvard, Baylor, Memphis

9: Oregon, Kentucky, Southern Miss, Colorado

10: Stephen F. Austin, Xavier, Toledo, Providence

11: Stanford, Arizona St., Florida St., SMU

12: Oklahoma St., Dayton, (Nebraska/Saint Joseph’s), North Dakota St.

13: (Green Bay/BYU), Louisiana Tech, Manhattan, North Carolina Central

14: Delaware, Georgia St., New Mexico St., Mercer

15: UC Irvine, Eastern Kentucky, Stony Brook, Milwaukee

16: American, Wofford, (Weber St./Coastal Carolina), (Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern)

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March 12, 2014 Basketball # , , , ,

EPW: College Basketball Rankings through March 11



1: Villanova, Florida, Arizona, Syracuse

2: Wichita St., Wisconsin, San Diego St., Kansas

3: Michigan, Creighton, Virginia, Duke

4: Iowa St., Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Michigan St.

5: Louisville, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Oklahoma

6: Connecticut, Gonzaga, Ohio St., VCU

7: George Washington, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Texas

8: Memphis, Harvard, UCLA, Oregon

9: Kentucky, Stephen F. Austin, Baylor, SMU

10: Southern Miss, Arizona St., Colorado, Toledo

11: Iowa, Xavier, Providence, Nebraska

12: Oklahoma St., Saint Joseph’s, (Dayton/Florida. St), North Dakota St.

13: (Green Bay/Kansas St.), Louisiana Tech, Manhattan, North Carolina Central

14: Delaware, Georgia St., Boston University, New Mexico St.

15: Mercer, UC Irvine, Eastern Kentucky, Stony Brook

16: Milwaukee, Wofford, (Weber St./Coastal Carolina), (Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern)

Last Four In: Dayton, Florida St., Green Bay, Kansas St.

First Four Out: Stanford, BYU, St. John’s Missouri, Arkansas

Next Four Out: California, Tennessee, Minnesota, Clemson

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