clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Intermediate NBA DFS: Player Efficiency Rating

We continue our breakdown of the basics for NBA DFS. In this section, we look at Player Efficiency Rating, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after scoring against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In daily fantasy basketball, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding statistics and which ones will help you most in building your lineups. One of those is Player Efficiency Rating, which we will discuss below.

Player Efficiency Rating

Definition

Player efficiency rating (PER) is a catch-all metric created by ESPN’s John Hollinger. It measures productivity and impact by taking made shots, missed shots, rebounds, steals, blocks, pace, turnovers, and other stats into account. The complex formula adds points for positive stats but subtracts points for negative ones. It is adjusted to a per-minute basis so starters can be compared to bench players accurately. The league-average for PER is 15.00, but there’s a ton a variation between players in different roles.

Strategy

PER gives you an idea about the overall value of a player. While starters are typically have higher ratings, identifying bench players with high ratings are important, as they could return a ton of value if injuries or other factors affect the usual lineup. Memphis Grizzlies power forward Brandon Clarke ranks 24th in PER (21.82) and was able to put together some great stat lines when his team struggled with frontcourt health because of his efficiency. Another good example is Mitchell Robinson, who ranks 16th in PER (23.48). He had better numbers than Taj Boyd across the board despite coming off the bench.

Here are the five players with the highest PER ratings in the NBA so far this year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 31.79
James Harden: 28.39
Anthony David: 28.25
Luka Doncic: 28.75
Kawhi Leonard: 26.76

Here are a few players hovering around the league average.

Jalen Brunson: 15.02
Kelly Oubre Jr.: 14.98
Monte Morris: 14.96
Terry Rozier: 4.93
Aaron Gordon: 14.88