Correlation coefficients are indicators of the strength of the linear relationship between two different variables, x and y. It is scored between -1 and 1.
A linear correlation coefficient that is greater than zero indicates a positive relationship
A value that is less than zero signifies a negative relationship
Finally, a value of zero indicates no relationship between the two variables x and y.
In fantasy basketball – no categories are so strongly correlated as to a 1 or -1. But they have a moderate connections to each other – enough to tell us what categories synergize well with others and which don’t. This helps us make suitable decisions around what additional categories we may wish to punt, or which we will need to make an additional effort to acquire.
Below is a table representing the Synergy or Correlation coefficients of the 9 regular categories used in Fantasy Basketball as per my projections for this season for the top 150 players as ranked by SR value. Please note I have inverted turnovers (multiplied it by -1) as we seek lower turnovers not higher like other categories.
Example 1: Points has a strong synergy with 3s, Assists and FT% and a moderate connection with Steals. It is has little connection to rebounds and is inversely correlated to Blocks and -TO. If we are to punt points we would be naturally weaker in 3s, assists and ft% so will want to target those categories in early rounds OR double punt into 1 of these categories.
Example 2: FT% has a strong synergy with Points, 3s and Assists. It is inversely correlated with Rebounds, Blocks and FG%. This makes sense, strong FT shooters are usually guards, and weak FT shooters are usually bigs. Therefore if we punt FT%, it will be easier for us to find Rebounds, Blocks and FG% but much harder to find Points, 3s and Assists. Therefore we want to stock up on Points, 3s and Assists early as they are weaknesses – this underpins the reason Curry is so valuable in the Punt FT build.
- Dark Green squares are closely linked – these make good punt pairings.
- Dark Red squares are opposites – it will be really hard to compete in both of these categories without a really specific set of players
- Assists and Turnovers are incredibly strongly inversely related at -0.8, meaning the better we are in assists, the worse we will be in turnovers and vice versa. This is where unicorns like Chris Paul come in who enable us a competitive advantage in A/TO ratio. Punting Points, which has a -0.72 relationship with turnovers also allows us to compete in both assists and turnovers.
- 3s and FG% is the other incredibly strongly inversely related pair. It is very difficult to compete in both these categories. That is where unicorns like Steph Curry and Zach Lavine offer unique value in that their FG% is high for their positions and they offer us elite 3 point production.