Looking at Ian Mahinmi as a Daily Spot Start

One of our followers on Twitter asks if Ian Mahinmi is a decent start given Roy Hibbert’s suspension.  James Goldstein speculated in his lineup piece that IND will play more small lineups with Hibbert’s absence.  That strikes me as being correct.  However, given Mahinmi’s low salary on most sites, there’s probably some value in playing him tonight.  We can actually look at a correlation matrix to see which players’ playing time and fantasy scoring enjoys the most negative correlation with Hibbert’s.  Here are the correlations between Hibbert’s fantasy scoring and the fantasy scoring of his teammates.  You can see that Mahinmi does enjoy the most negative correlation (when Hibbert’s scoring goes up, Mahinmi’s generally goes down and vice versa).

Player Corr vs. Roy Hibbert
Ian Mahinmi (0.29)
Miles Plumlee (0.18)
Tyler Hansbrough (0.16)
Gerald Green (0.15)
Jeff Pendergraph (0.14)
Ben Hansbrough (0.11)
Sam Young (0.00)
Paul George 0.01
Danny Granger 0.02
Dominic McGuire 0.05
Orlando Johnson 0.06
Lance Stephenson 0.08
David West 0.08
D.J. Augustin 0.08
George Hill 0.26


If we plot all of the IND games on a graph with Hibbert’s scoring on the x axis and Mahinmi’s scoring on the y axis, we get the following graph:


In Hibbert’s four lowest scoring games of the season (these were just low scoring games, not even sits) Mahinmi averaged about 20 fantasy points.

Given Mahinmi’s low salary and some decent upside, he’s probably a good guy to consider in your lineups in order to free up salary for upgrades elsewhere.

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