NBA Home vs Away Splits

Ryan Anderson is deep in thought. What is he thinking about?

Perhaps he’s wondering why he’s so much better at home than he is on the road.

If you play on draftkings you’ve likely seen that when you click on a player there is a ‘Splits’ Tab.
Here you can see how a player has performed specifically in home and away games.

ryno splits

Home vs Road splits are yet another way to find an edge against your Daily Fantasy competition. By looking at large split samples we can see that some players simply perform much better with the home crowd behind them (and sometimes even the opposite).

Ryan Anderson is a textbook example of someone who performs much better at home than he does on the road.

He’s averaging 5.6 more Fantasy Points in home games than away games, while playing .3 less minutes at home. Last year he scored 16.42% more fantasy points in home games compared to the average of all games (home and away).

Here’s a list the of players’ who had the highest percentage increase in fantasy point per minute production in home games compared to the average of all their games during the 2014-2015 season:

home increase fppm

Tonight Anthony Davis is questionable for the Pelicans game against the Timberwolves. If Davis sits with his injury we can project Ryan Anderson to play at least 36 minutes. For the sake of this example we’ll ignore the fantasy point per minute boost Anderson will have from starting in a line up without Anthony Davis (If AD is out and Ryno is starting, he’s almost always a great play). We’ll multiply Anderson’s home fantasy points per minute from last year (.98) by the 36 minutes we project him to play. This gives us a projection of 35.28 fantasy points and at $5,600 DraftKings price Anderson would be a great value (6.3X).

But what if this was a road game?

Using the same 36 minutes and Anderson’s away fantasy points per minute from last year (.73) we’d now project him to score 26.28 fantasy points. Just by changing the location of the game Ryan Anderson’s now rates as a poor play (4.69X).

Ryan Anderson is definitely an anomaly so let’s look at a player with less extreme splits.

Russell Westbrook had a .19 fantasy point per minute difference between his home and road games last season. Notice the percentage difference between Westbrook’s home games and overall sample is only 6.25% compared to Ryan Anderson’s who had a 16.2% difference.

westbrook splits

Russell Westbrook playing 36 minutes multiplied by his home average FP/M (1.68) would project him scoring 60.48 fantasy points. Using the same 36 minutes with his away game average (1.49) Westbrook would only project to score 53.64 fantasy points. This nearly 7 fantasy point difference in projection can once again mean the difference between Westbrook being worth playing and Westbrook being someone you should fade.

How should you apply this information to making your picks for daily fantasy?

One thing to remember is that finding meaningful split data takes time and there are plenty of variables that can skew this data. For example if all of Ryan Anderson’s games played when Anthony Davis was injured were played at home, this would inflate his home stats.

In cases like Ryan Anderson’s splits are very meaningful, but for most players they are less significant.

For the less extreme cases I like to use splits to differentiate players who i think are very close together. If I view two players as being nearly the same value after looking at the match up, Vegas lines, etc I like to use splits as a ‘tie breaker’ to choose between the two.

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