Pre – Draft Information
Every team selected on DraftKings will consist of 8 Players totaling $50,000 in Cap Space.
Each roster must consist of players from a minimum of 2 NBA Teams and represent 2 separate NBA Games.
The roster consists of the following positions:
- PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, UTIL
- A UTIL position means that a player representing any position can fill Utility spot.
Site Scoring is as Follows:
- Points = +1 PT
- Made 3pt. shot = +. 5 PTs
- Rebound = +1.25 PTs
- Assist = +1.5 PTs
- Steal = +2PTs
- Block = +2 PTs
- Turnover = -.5 PTs
- Double-Double Bonus = +1.5 PTs
- Triple-Double Bonus = +3 PTs
Late – Swap
Late Swap – The ability to remove a player whose game hasn't started from your lineup after the first games of the night have begun.
Example: It's 10:20 PM ET and the Clippers versus Golden State Warriors Game tips in 10 Minutes. Your Starting point guard is Stephen Curry whose salary is $10,100. News is released that Curry has come down with the flu and will sit out. Late Swap allows you to replace Curry with another player of the same eligibility and salary that maintains a $50,000 salary cap. In our case, Chris Paul is the opposing point guard and has a salary of $9,800 allowing us to swap Paul in for Curry.
Bringing It Together
Note – I am going to explain concepts in this section over telling you exactly what to do. To be successful in DFS you must understand WHY you are selecting a player in the position you are.
“Minutes To Win It"
Daily Fantasy NBA is one of the “easiest" sports to predict because consistency amongst projections is greater than any other sport. In the NFL, Peyton Manning can throw for 300 yards and zero touchdowns because his running back vultures goaline touchdowns. In MLB, Miguel Cabrera can go 0-for-4 with three fly outs 10 feet away from a home run and monster day. In the NBA, if James Harden plays 40 minutes it's highly unlikely he scores less than 20, possibly even 30 fantasy points, barring any injury or late news.
What does this tell you? MINUTES ARE KING! In MLB, you get four-to-five at-bats, a very small sample size of what your actual talent is. In the NBA, you have 30-40 minutes to display and “gain an edge" on your opponent.
Minutes are most important with your “replacement" players or typical non-starters when injuries occur. Player pricing is based on performance. We have already stated that increased minutes lead to greater performances, therefore we can see a fairly linear response to increased price for players who play the most minutes.
When an injury occurs, you want to evaluate the situation as effectively as possible. This might be looking at old box scores or following beat writers on Twitter. Every time a starter is not playing it opens up value and a new source of “edge" for you.
Curry comes down with the flu and decides to sit – he has been averaging 35 minutes per game. Who is the biggest beneficiary of this injury?
Most likely it is going to be his replacement, Shaun Livingston. When we see Livingston priced at below $4.5k it makes sense, he is a backup seeing 15-20 minutes per game. Post-Curry injury, we now have a $4.5k player who will be the primary ball handler in an efficient offense. He should see 30-plus minutes and is still priced as a backup.
*Note: That is a very linear example. It is your duty as a DFS player to find out who is going to benefit from an injury – whether it's a backup or other starter still in.
Are you a DFS NBA All-Star – Fantasy Points Per Minute Primer
This game is simple. I just take the players who have the highest average DraftKings points per game and create the highest scoring team!!!
The best indicator of success and strongest way to project NBA players is through something called Fantasy Points Per Minute (FPPM, FP/Min). This is exactly how it sounds; how many Fantasy Points per Minute does a player score.
Notice, I already discussed the importance of minutes played, and now our best indicator of player success is pairing that with FP/Min.
How do I know players' FP/Min? Well, you can create a statistical database of every game and calculate each individual player FP/MIN, or you can simply view these stats on Daily Fantasy Cafe.
FP/Min is a great way to quickly evaluate replacement players on nights with multiple injuries. If you are debating between two separate point guards who are both $5k and you project each to play 30 minutes, how do you decide? Look at their FP/Min!
Marcus Smart $5k - .80 FP/ Min – 30 MP = Baseline Projection of (.80 FP/Min * 30 Minutes Played) 24 Fantasy Points
Dennis Schroeder $5k - .92 FP / Min – 30 MP = 27.6 Baseline Projection
As you can see, at its simplest form, Schroeder is the better play in our scenario.
One of the best ways to start your NBA research is by looking over Vegas lines. We will have these posted on Daily Fantasy Cafe but also Pinnacle Sports and Vegas Insider are two of my personal favorite sources.
Now, why do we look at Vegas lines? Well, have you ever seen Las Vegas? The lights, money, and giant buildings? They are built on their effectiveness of presenting accurate odds. If a game total is at 180 points for the Warriors and Suns, Vegas would get absolutely crushed, as we know an accurate spread for that game is 200-plus points.
In fact, by utilizing Vegas totals you are using the most accurate, predictive model in the world. Vegas has the ability to construct and create the most accurate models purely because it is their business. We can feel fairly confident that an over under of 220 is going to yield more fantasy points than a Pacers versus Jazz grind it out total of 182 points.
Las Vegas doesn't limit us to game totals but also includes game spreads. When reviewing Vegas odds, take note of games that have spreads in the double digits (Blowout Potential). As we stated earlier, minutes are king and if your starter is playing less minutes because it's a blowout, you are wasting salary on that player.
Staying Up to Date – Injury News
We touched briefly on this earlier, but arguably the most important aspect of Daily Fantasy Basketball is staying up to date on injury news. One of the best ways to do this is through following beat writers on Twitter. You can find a list for your own following on Daily Fantasy Cafe.
Beat writers have a distinct edge over the rest of the public because they are at the game! They can watch warm-ups or see that suddenly LeBron James is in jeans and a hoody because he's fighting through an injury. By staying up to date with injury news, you can effectively understand the team outlook for the night and gain a significant edge on the competition.
*Note: A significant amount of injury news happens within the last 30 minutes before lock.
Benefits Of the Bonus
Knowing that players receive bonuses for three-point shots made (3 PTM) as well as double-doubles and triple-doubles can help you better create a lineup. When deciding between two players, ask yourself who is more likely to score his points via 3 PTM or who is more likely to go for 10 rebounds or assists. While 0.5 points or 1.5 points may seem insignificant, if you are constructing your lineup using small bonuses as tie breakers you will find yourself building higher floor and ceiling lineups.
As noted in “Pre-Draft Information," your lineup will consist of five “fixed" positions and three looser positions.
When selecting players, your goal will be to lock in “safe" and earlier game time players into the fixed positions.
Kyle Lowry is probable to play at a game start of 8:30 PM (lock is 7:00). If you lock him into your point guard position and find out that he will no longer play, you are forced to swap him with ONLY another point guard.
If given that same scenario you had plugged in a “safe," early start point guard into your point guard position and placed Lowry in your guard position, you would be able to replace him with any point guard or shooting guard. If you had happened to place him in your utility position, you would be able to replace him with any positional player. It becomes a simple game of numbers. If you are able to select from a pool of 25 players versus five players for a late swap, you will surely be better off picking from the larger pool.
*Pro Tip – When possible, try to maximize amount of GOOD point guards in your lineup. During times through the season, injuries will arise and players with SG eligibility on DraftKings will actually be playing as a point guard in the real game. By essentially having two point guards in your lineup, you can increase your floor as well as ceiling.
*Pro Question – Where else will you be able to place another point guard?
Guard Or utility position, essentially allowing four point guards and ball handlers on your team.
One other way I like to build my roster is from my top players outwards. For example, putting four of your highest value/projected players in and essentially “locking" into lineups can make your lineup construction easier.
Also, when finished I like to move the players in my current lineup into a different eligible position on DK. You will soon realize that you can upgrade a certain player you may have had at center if you place him into the utility position.
I find myself on DraftKings, more than FanDuel, using up my extra salary due to the multi-position eligibility. If you find yourself leaving $500-plus salary on DraftKings, it might make sense for you to tinker with your lineup and see where you can upgrade from a positional eligibility.
Finally, when you are finished constructing lineups, I like to rank my players from least worried about to most worried about. You will find this to be a very easy task and your “worried" about players will stick out. Look at their price, and decide which player has better value below to then upgrade your other player. You will soon come into questions such as Chris Paul and PJ Tucker OR Goran Dragic and Kawahi Leonard. It is these 50-50 decisions that can really separate you from the rest of the field.
Always remember to start your research and building process with us here at Daily Fantasy Cafe – Bringing you the Picks, Podcasts and Profits to your Daily Fantasy Games!