Numbers Game: Does Pace Really Matter?
Numbers Game: Does Pace Really Matter?

This article is part of our Numbers Game series.

Fantasy analysts love to talk about pace. The reason is simple – faster play results in more possessions, and more possessions means more opportunities to pad box scores. It's all so logical. What could possibly be wrong?

Winning fantasy sports takes more than just logic. This is a game of numbers, and all the logic in world won't help us win if the underlying math doesn't support our assumptions. This week, therefore, I'm investigating pace – specifically, does an opponent's pace really matter?

Pace and Team Fantasy Points

The first topic we need to approach can be done without looking at any individual players. We need to find out whether extra possessions in a game really does translate into extra box score production, regardless of which players are accumulating the stats. Therefore, to start this investigation, I compared a team's pace to their opponents' average production.

To measure fantasy production, I used an average of DraftKings, Yahoo!, and FanDuel's fantasy scoring system. The three sites use very similar scoring rules, and where they differed, I used the average of the three (ie, Yahoo! and Fanduel both take away one fantasy point for each turnover, while DraftKings takes away half a point, so I took away .83 points per turnover). That means I count points as worth 1 point, rebounds worth 1.22, assists 1.5, steals 2, blocks 2, threes 0.33, and turnovers -0.83. DraftKings awards a bonus for double-doubles and triple-doubles, but I did not include that in my metric. I

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
NBA Podcast: Beal Extension, GM Survey, NFBKC Recap + More
NBA Podcast: Beal Extension, GM Survey, NFBKC Recap + More
NBA Draft Kit: 12-Team NFBKC Draft Review
NBA Draft Kit: 12-Team NFBKC Draft Review
NBA Podcast: All-Star + End-of-Season Awards Predictions with James Anderson
NBA Podcast: All-Star + End-of-Season Awards Predictions with James Anderson
NBA Draft Kit: Super-Sleepers To Target in Deep Leagues
NBA Draft Kit: Super-Sleepers To Target in Deep Leagues