Defensive Win Shares (DWS) The Key to Identifying Defensive Stalwarts in Fantasy Basketball

Defensive Win Shares (DWS) is a statistical metric used in basketball analytics to quantify a player’s defensive contribution to their team’s success. It measures the number of wins a player contributes to their team solely through their defensive performance.

DWS takes into account various defensive statistics such as steals, blocks, defensive rebounds, and opponent field goal percentage. It evaluates how effectively a player defends against opponents and contributes to their team’s defensive success.

Importance of Defensive Win Shares

For fantasy basketball managers, understanding DWS can provide valuable insights into a player’s defensive impact and help in making informed roster decisions:

Defensive Versatility

DWS recognizes players who excel in multiple defensive aspects, including perimeter defense, rim protection, and rebounding. Players with high DWS values are typically versatile defenders who contribute across various defensive categories.

Steals and Blocks

DWS considers a player’s ability to generate steals and blocks, which are crucial defensive plays that disrupt opponents’ scoring opportunities and lead to turnovers. Players who excel in stealing the ball and blocking shots tend to have higher DWS values.


While primarily a defensive metric, DWS also considers defensive rebounding, acknowledging players who secure rebounds to end opponents’ possessions and prevent second-chance scoring opportunities.

Opponent Field Goal Percentage

DWS evaluates a player’s impact on opponents’ field goal percentage, reflecting their ability to contest shots effectively and force opponents into low-percentage scoring attempts.

Defensive Rating

DWS is often correlated with a player’s defensive rating, which measures the number of points allowed by their team per 100 possessions while the player is on the court. Players with high DWS values typically have low defensive ratings, indicating their positive impact on team defense.

How Do Defensive Win Shares and Defensive Real PlusMinus Differ in Identifying Defensive Stalwarts in Fantasy Basketball?

When evaluating defensive stalwarts in fantasy basketball, defensive win shares and defensive real plusminus in fantasy basketball take different approaches. Defensive win shares measure a player’s contribution to a team’s defense, while defensive real plusminus in fantasy basketball calculates a player’s impact on their team’s defensive performance while on the court.

Fantasy Impact

In fantasy basketball, DWS can help managers identify valuable defensive contributors who may not always receive recognition based solely on traditional counting stats like points and assists. Players with high DWS values are likely to contribute significantly to fantasy points through steals, blocks, rebounds, and overall defensive performance.

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