BCRT’s Unlocking Player Performance – FSPI

Dec 28, 2009

Written by Alex Woods

FSPI is an interesting metric we came across on NBA.com.  It stands for Fantasy Sports Performance Index (FSPI).  The goal is to allow you to compare player performance across positions.  For example, using the FSPI you can quickly evaluate trade offers and the impact of waiver wire additions.  In addition, you can easily compare the net impact of a player across all rotisserie categories.  So, even if you are comparing a point guard to center the FSPI can be used as a normalized score allowing you to easily decide which player will have the best effect to your team.  This article will explain FSPI in depth and provide insight into how it can be used to help win your fantasy basketball league.

The concept of FSPI is based around balance.  You best players in a rotisserie league are those that contribute in multiple categories and do not absolutely sink you in another.  For example, Zach Randolph will get you a ton of points and rebounds, but not much of anything else.  While it is great to average 20 &10 in real life, for fantasy basketball purposes the lack other statistical contributions is an extreme negative.  FSPI is a statistic that will allow you to filter out players that appear good, but do not make much sense to own from a fantasy basketball perspective.

Essentially the way FSPI works is that it assigns a score from 0-10 for each player in each category with zero being the worst and 10 being best.  The scores are then summed to give a total FSPI score.

So, what earns a player a score of 10?  FSPI compares all players to the league average.  The higher above the league average the closer the players score in a given category will come to a perfect 10.  Likewise, as a players score in a given category drifts below the league average, his FSPI will trend closer to zero.

The basic calculation is fairly simple, however should the FSPI scores be calculated off totals or averages?  While averages are an excellent indicator of a player’s potential, at the end of the year totals are all that count.  For example, Marcus Camby always has amazing average statistics, but he rarely plays the entire season.  To get around this the FSPI is calculated using both averages and totals.  The FSPI you see on NBA.com is an average of the FSPI calculated from averages and totals.

The final caveat is how field goal percentage and free throw percentage are handled.  As we mentioned in the previous BleacherCreatureRotoTalk fantasy basketball strategy series article: Fantasy Basketball Early Season Strategy – Above All Remain Above Average , the weight of the average categories is extremely influenced by the number of attempts a player gets.  That is why Dwight Howard is such killer.  Not only does he shoot a poor percentage from the stripe, but he shoots so many free throws that it is nearly impossible for your team to overcome the damage he does in that category.  The FSPI factors volume into its weighting to come up with its final FSPI scores for the average categories.

Now that we have explained exactly what FSPI is, how can it help you?  Its pretty obvious – for trade evaluations and the effects of waiver wire pickups.  The easiest way to use the metric is to pull the scores from NBA.com and sum them up for each side of a given transaction.  The side with the higher FSPI is making out better in the transaction.  Used in this manner the FSPI can help to identify overall which team is making out better, however rotisserie basketball is all about balance and using the FSPI to evaluate individual transactions may still lead you toward an unbalanced roster.

For the extremely hard-core, keeping a spreadsheet of your roster and FSPI by category can easily help you to balance your team.  While creating a spreadsheet may seem a bit over the top it is an excellent way to identify the major weaknesses of your team.  Just looking at the standings to-date is often skewed by an imbalance in games played from team to team.

The Fantasy Sports Performance Index (FSPI) is a great tool for measuring the “fantasy basketball” value of a player.  Furthermore, when used properly it is a valuable tool for balancing you teams statistical output.

Read More Fantasy Basketball News, Strategy & Advice at BleacherCreatureRotoTalk.com


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