Derek "Notorious" Farnsworth

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Daily Fantasy NBA Playbook

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


The start of the NBA season is right around the corner and with so many new players taking up daily fantasy sports, now is the time to gain an advantage over your competitors by studying up on daily fantasy basketball strategy. The NBA is a completely different animal than the MLB or the NFL. While there is certainly variance on a nightly basis in the NBA, it may be the most predictable sport as production is generally tied to minutes, which are fairly predictable. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about daily fantasy basketball so that you are fully prepared for the long grind of the NBA season.

 

Opportunity / Minutes

 

In the NBA, opportunity is everything. Minutes directly lead to production so taking advantage of underpriced players that are expected to see a boost in minutes is a must in daily fantasy basketball. The opportunity that a player has is tied to the amount of minutes that he receives as well as his ability to produce on both ends of the floor. If you can predict minutes and opportunity on a nightly basis, you can really start to predict fantasy performance in the NBA.

 

Editor’s Note: RotoGrinders.com is our exclusive partner for daily fantasy basketball strategy. Want to take your FanDuel game to the next level? Check out RotoGrinders' FanDuel Incentives Package to get picks and advice from proven daily fantasy winners.

 

Injuries

 

Injuries in the NBA impact daily fantasy more than in any other sport. Once again, minutes and opportunity are everything in the NBA. When a star player gets injured, his minutes and his production are both going to get picked up by his teammates. Not only will his backup get the start and pick up the majority of the minutes, but the rest his teammates will also have to step up to pick up the production.

 

Constantly monitoring injuries throughout the day is critical to your success in daily fantasy basketball. The most important 15 minutes of the day are right before lineups as most of the injury news is announced right before tip-off. The goal is to target underpriced backups that will see a boost in minutes and opportunity thanks to injuries. The backups not only give you a cheap source of production, but they allow you to spend up on the rest of your roster.

 

Pace of Play

 

Pace of play is another key component of daily fantasy basketball and once again it relates to opportunity for the players in the game. Pace of play measures the number of possessions that each team averages per game. The faster the pace of play, the more possessions a team has, which leads to more opportunities to score fantasy points. Games with a faster pace of play will have more points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals to go around simply thanks to the fact that both teams will see an increase in possessions.

 

Defense vs. Position Rankings (DvP)

 

NBA Defense vs. Position rankings are another great tool to use in the NBA. These rankings measure how many fantasy points each team gives up to each position on the floor relative to the rest of the league. Defense vs. Position rankings help you spot the most favorable matchups each night. When looking at the rankings, it’s typically best to look two sets. You want to see how a team is defending each position over the entire season as well as how they have been defending them in recent weeks.

 

Vegas Lines

 

The Vegas lines are similar to the pace of play in that they are a great way to see which games are expected to be high scoring each night. Games with high totals are expected to be faster-paced which in turn means more fantasy points are going to be scored. The lines are also a great source of which games you may want to avoid each night, whether that’s from a low total or a potential blowout.

 

Blowout Factor

 

Blowouts play more of a role in fantasy basketball than they do in any other sport. When NBA teams get up by more than 15 points, the starters will usually sit for the entire 4th quarter. As mentioned above, minutes are king in the NBA and players have a hard time reaching value when they don’t see their full allotment of minutes. Typically, any game with a favorite of more than 10 points has a good chance of the game turning into a blowout.

 

Targeting Hot Streaks

 

Basketball is one of the more streaky sports around. Momentum is something that affects teams as well as players. When a player has confidence in his game, he’s likely going to be more aggressive. Likewise, when a player is coming off of a bad stretch of games, he is typically is much less aggressive on the floor. Targeting players on hot streaks is never a bad strategy, but make sure not to overpay when a player’s salary starts to match his recent level of production.

 

NBA Scoring on FanDuel

 

Knowing the scoring system is important because you can take advantage of it with your roster selection. Here is a breakdown of the scoring on FanDuel:

 

RGNBA

 

The two obvious statistics that stand out are blocks and steals. Both are worth two fantasy points while points scored are only worth one each. This scoring system really benefits the players who can fill up the stat sheet and takes value away from players who are strictly scorers. Always keep the scoring in mind when creating your lineups.

 

News Sources

 

There are basically two sites to check NBA injury news. Rotoworld has the most reliable player updates of any site around.  To get to the live player updates section, click on the “Player News” link under the NBA tab. Twitter is also a great source for NBA news as you can get up to the second injury news. The only issue with Twitter is that there are a lot of unreliable sources. Make sure to follow each team’s beat writers for injury news.



Derek “Notorious” Farnsworth is ranked #7 Overall, has won a $50,000 Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship, qualified for the 2013 FanDuel Basketball Championship, and is a lead contributor on RotoGrinders.com. When he’s not winning daily fantasy contests, the Talented Mr. Noto can be found on Twitter @RG_Notorious.



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