With the off-season starting to settle and the season less than two months away, it is a great time for every fantasy basketball fan to start preparing. Since 2017, I’ve been doing a review of last year’s projections in order to make this year’s projections better, as well as to identify potential opportunities and hazards in the upcoming draft. If you are interested to learn about the math behind the process and how I calculate the accuracy of the projections, check the initial article and I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments.

So without further ado, let’s dive straight to it.

Missed Players

Every year, I summarize the players that are categorized as “misses.” These are the players that have a value difference between the projected and the actual value that is above the standard deviation. Again, if you are interested to learn more, check the first article of the review series here. The first line for each player is my projection from last year, while the second is their actual stats for the 2020-21 season. The third line is the difference and the fourth is the difference expressed as a percentage of the respective standard deviation.

 

Name Val Pts 3pt Reb Ast Stl Blk Fg% Ft% To
Damian Lillard 0.51 29.3 4 4.2 7.9 0.9 0.3 45 90 3.1
0.16 24 3.2 4.1 7.3 0.6 0.4 40 88 2.9
Diff -0.35 -5.3 -0.8 -0.1 -0.6 -0.3 0.1 -5 -2 -0.2
SD% 0.29 -0.06 -0.21 -0.97 -0.72 -0.13 -0.84 -0.23 -0.74 -0.73
Kevin Durant 0.46 25.3 2.2 6.8 4.7 0.7 1.1 53 88 3.1
0.78 29.9 2.1 7.4 6.4 0.9 0.9 52 91 3.5
Diff 0.32 4.6 -0.1 0.6 1.7 0.2 -0.2 -1 3 0.4
SD% 0.17 -0.2 -0.9 -0.76 -0.21 -0.52 -0.69 -0.82 -0.64 -0.57
Bradley Beal 0.4 31.2 2.7 5.1 5.6 1.2 0.4 46 87 3.3
0.01 23.2 1.6 4.7 6.6 0.9 0.4 45 83 2.9
Diff -0.39 -8 -1.1 -0.4 1 -0.3 0 -4 -3 0.1
SD% 0.45 0.42 0.08 -0.85 -0.52 -0.17 -0.95 -0.86 -0.53 -0.91
Michael Porter 0.28 21.7 3.3 7.1 1.4 0.7 0.8 52 82 1.7
-0.42 9.9 1.1 6.6 1.9 1.1 0.2 36 55 1.3
Diff -0.71 -11.8 -2.2 -0.5 0.5 0.4 -0.6 -16 -26 -0.4
SD% 1.62 1.08 1.1 -0.78 -0.77 0.13 0.17 1.6 2.2 -0.58
Richaun Holmes 0.2 14.6 0 8.6 1.6 0.7 1.4 63 79 1.3
-0.16 10.4 0 7.1 1.1 0.4 0.9 66 78 1.2
Diff -0.36 -4.2 0 -1.5 -0.5 -0.3 -0.5 3 -1 -0.1
SD% 0.33 -0.25 -0.96 -0.38 -0.75 -0.11 -0.06 -0.55 -0.85 -0.94
Dejounte Murray 0.15 18 1.1 7.4 6.3 1.5 0.2 45 80 2.1
0.55 21.1 1.4 8.3 9.2 2 0.3 46 79 2.6
Diff 0.4 3.1 0.3 0.9 2.9 0.5 0.1 1 -1 0.5
SD% 0.5 -0.45 -0.7 -0.64 0.37 0.46 -0.72 -0.81 -0.92 -0.37
LeBron James 0.11 23.9 2.3 6.9 6.8 1.1 0.5 51 69 3.4
0.69 30.3 2.9 8.2 6.2 1.3 1.1 52 76 3.5
Diff 0.58 6.4 0.6 1.3 -0.6 0.2 0.6 1 7 0.1
SD% 1.15 0.13 -0.45 -0.46 -0.73 -0.44 0.12 -0.77 -0.2 -0.89
Chris Boucher 0.1 14.3 1.7 7 1.3 0.6 1.6 50 78 1.1
-0.21 9.4 0.9 6.2 0.3 0.6 0.9 47 78 0.5
Diff -0.31 -4.9 -0.9 -0.9 -1 0 -0.7 -3 0 -0.6
SD% 0.14 -0.13 -0.19 -0.66 -0.54 -0.97 0.34 -0.45 -0.97 -0.35
Robert Williams 0.09 10.4 0 7.6 1.6 0.8 1.6 71 63 1.2
0.42 10 0 9.7 2 0.9 2.2 74 72 1
Diff 0.3 -0.5 0 2.1 0.4 0.1 0.6 3 9 -0.2
SD% 0.22 -0.91 -1 -0.17 -0.82 -0.63 0.17 -0.57 0.12 -0.81
Kemba Walker 0.07 20.6 3.2 4 5.3 1 0.3 42 88 2.3
-0.28 11.6 2 3 3.5 0.7 0.2 40 85 1.3
Diff -0.35 -8.9 -1.2 -1 -1.8 -0.3 -0.1 -2 -3 -1
SD% 0.3 0.58 0.18 -0.6 -0.17 -0.25 -0.78 -0.72 -0.58 0.15
Devin Booker 0.07 26.2 2 4.2 4.5 0.8 0.3 48 88 3.2
0.39 26.8 2.7 5 4.8 1.1 0.4 47 87 2.4
Diff 0.33 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.1 -1 -1 -0.8
SD% 0.2 -0.89 -0.34 -0.66 -0.84 -0.08 -0.83 -0.77 -0.85 -0.06
DeMar DeRozan -0.07 18.9 0.2 4 4.2 0.9 0.2 50 86 1.8
0.33 27.9 0.7 5.2 4.9 0.9 0.3 50 88 2.4
Diff 0.41 9 0.5 1.2 0.7 0 0.1 0 2 0.6
SD% 0.5 0.58 -0.56 -0.53 -0.66 -0.95 -0.77 -0.93 -0.8 -0.35
Miles Bridges -0.11 12 1.6 6.2 2.2 0.7 0.8 48 85 1.6
0.26 20.1 1.9 7 3.8 0.9 0.8 49 80 1.9
Diff 0.38 8.1 0.3 0.8 1.6 0.2 0 1 -5 0.3
SD% 0.4 0.43 -0.69 -0.69 -0.27 -0.38 -0.92 -0.82 -0.42 -0.68
Jeremy Lamb -0.15 11.3 1.5 3.9 1.8 1 0.5 44 89 0.9
-0.48 7.3 1 2.8 1.4 0.5 0.4 38 84 0.7
Diff  -0.33 -4.0 -0.5 -1.1 -0.4 -0.5 -0.1  -6 -5 -0.2
SD% 0.22 -0.3 -0.5 -0.54 -0.83 0.28 -0.78 -0.08 -0.39 -0.73
Gary Trent Jr. -0.16 17.5 2.9 3.8 1.6 1.1 0.3 40 80 1
0.18 18.3 3 2.7 2 1.8 0.3 41 85 1
Diff 0.34 0.9 0.1 -1.1 0.4 0.7 0 1 5 0
SD% 0.25 -0.85 -0.92 -0.56 -0.81 0.89 -0.91 -0.77 -0.36 -0.98
Ja Morant -0.17 20.9 1.4 4.4 7.8 0.9 0.3 46 75 3
0.17 27.4 1.5 5.7 6.7 1.2 0.4 49 76 3.4
Diff 0.34 6.5 0.1 1.3 -1.1 0.3 0.1 3 1 0.4
SD% 0.28 0.16 -0.86 -0.47 -0.5 -0.29 -0.83 -0.47 -0.86 -0.5
Evan Mobley -0.32 10.8 0.4 6.6 1.5 0.6 1.5 49 66 2
-0.01 15 0.3 8.3 2.5 0.8 1.7 51 66 1.9
Diff 0.31 4.1 -0.1 1.7 1 0.2 0.2 2 0 -0.1
SD% 0.17 -0.27 -0.94 -0.32 -0.52 -0.46 -0.69 -0.71 -0.97 -0.9
Kyle Kuzma -0.37 15.1 2.2 6 2.4 0.5 0.5 43 71 2
-0.06 17.1 1.9 8.5 3.5 0.6 0.9 45 71 1
Diff 0.31 2 -0.3 2.5 1.1 0.1 0.4 2 0 0.5
SD% 0.16 -0.65 -0.75 0.02 -0.47 -0.62 -0.24 -0.65 -0.97 -0.37

 

The percentages highlighted in red represent the stats that I missed on and that were greater than the standard deviation. The closer the percentage is to 100, the greatest my miss, whereas negative percentages indicate that I succeeded in the prediction. If you see a -100%, you are legally obligated to buy me an authentic Australian jersey of Joe Ingles as a set with the matching white sweat wristband and send it to my last known address, as this indicates a bullseye prediction with no error. Obviously, I only included in the above array the “missed” players, but I can assure you I did the exact same procedure for the remaining 137 players that were classified as “hits”. Some players that stand out from the misses are:

Damian Lillard: Disastrous season for Lillard but he will bounce back and I would bet he gets underdrafted during this year’s draft. Not by me, that’s for sure.

Kevin Durant: I tempered my expectation with Durant after his return from injury but he looked as dominant as ever, with a newfound boost in assists further elevating his value.

Bradley Beal: Lack of motivation for the Wizards affected Beal and he declined sharply both in points and triples. I expect a bounceback but not to the height of two years ago.

Michael Porter Jr: This one hurts as I ended up picking Porter in many drafts last year and was completely burned. Even before the back injury his shot was atrocious and will come with a major risk and discount this year.

Dejounte Murray: He completely blew up in his star role for the Spurs but takes a usage hit next to Trae Young in Atlanta.

Robert Williams: We witnessed Williams break out last season but he seems poised to maintain his value and even further increase it as his game is very fantasy-friendly.

DeMar DeRozan: I projected that his move to Chicago would mean a stronger decline in his shots and points which did not materialize. Injuries to his teammates played a role and I expect a slight decline moving to his second season with the Bulls.

Gary Trent Jr: He is an excellent case of trying to draw some conclusions from this process. His value skyrocketed because his projected steals were a modest 1.1 and he ended the season with 1.8, ranking inside the top 50 because of this. I would not bet on the same steals output and would be looking at him closer to 100 in the draft.

Conclusion

The whole process concludes with the calculation of the absolute mean difference in value between my projection and the actual stats of the 2020-21 season. As a reminder, the smaller this number, the more accurate the projections. This number by itself does not mean much, but it can be used as a comparison with the accuracy of my projections from the previous years. For reference, this number was 0.156 in 2017, 0.16 in 2018, 0.162 in 2019 and 0.149 in 2020. And now for this year the number is …

0.155 !

That’s the second-best I’ve had since I started imposing this mental torture upon myself, so I can say that I’m satisfied. The last two years have had the best projections based on this number so, hopefully, this trend continues and my projections can meaningfully help you guys in your fantasy drafts.

Thank you for making it all the way to the end and let me know if you have any questions regarding the process used or any other offseason fantasy questions in the comments below!

I hope to have my yearly top 155 Roto projections ready in the coming weeks so stay tuned !

5 Comments
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Yoshi
2 months ago

Amazing stuff, I can’t imagine how much number crunching you have to do to for these projections and reviews! 🙌

I was going to wait for the coming projections, but since you brought them up, I gotta ask about your thoughts on Trae and Dejounte. Do you see them both becoming a bit less valuable as they team up, a bit more since they on paper have pretty complementary skill sets, or some mix?

Yoshi
2 months ago
Reply to  Kostas

Yeah, I got Murray in something like round 5 or 6 last year, that is not happening again..! Thanks for the reply, looking forward to the projections!

osama romeh
osama romeh
2 months ago

absolutely incredible work man. this is dominant writing. great job on the projections from last year, cant wait to see this years numbers.