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Building NBA DFS Lineups – Strategies for Success

  • Post category:NBA

Pre-season NBA has been active for quite some time now, but the regular season is rapidly approaching. Basketball is a crowd favorite fantasy sport because building NBA DFS lineups is not as cut and dry as other sports. The sheer number of players garnering usage makes for plenty of interesting strategies on any given slate. We’ll discuss several of these strategies and give you the info you need to be successful this season. 

Lineup Building on DraftKings

We’ll start out with the most popular DFS platform. There’s an abundance of NBA contests on DraftKings ranging from full roster to single game styles. DraftKings is probably the place to go if you prefer a huge offering of contests, but the competition is much sharper. 

NBA roster construction on DraftKings is unique in the sense that you get a utility spot. You also get to draft any guard and forward in addition to the PG, SG, SF, and PF spots available. The utility combined with the guard and forward spots pretty much guarantee that you can get contrarian in any contest you’re entering. 

DraftKings gives you more flexibility in terms building lineups to match the expectations for a slate. For example, you can choose to play four total guards if there’s several studs on a slate – or you might opt to draft two centers if they present more upside in a situation. Regardless of what your preference is, you should never struggle when it comes to being unique in NBA DFS. 

NBA scoring is not the same on DK and FD, which is part of the reason for covering each platform separately. DraftKings, of course, is known for their scoring bonuses which allow you to generate more points. NBA players score +1.5 points for a double-double and +3 points for a triple-double.

Regarding the rest of the scoring, it’s pretty straight forward. Each game point translates to a fantasy point, with an additional half point given for three pointers. Rebounds are worth +1.25 points, while assists are worth +1.5 points. Blocks and steals are each worth +2 points, while turnovers deduct half a point. 

From a logical perspective, it makes the most sense to focus on the stats that generate the most points. Assists, blocks, and steals, for example, result in more points, so we’ll focus on players that get the job done in those categories. This represents a great start when paired with total usage and fantasy points per minute. 

When in doubt, look for discrepancies in pricing related to a player’s production. If a certain player is dropping 40+ fantasy points every night and their salary doesn’t move, you might have an edge. This only scratches the surface, but it’s a solid start when combined with other resources. 

Lineup Building on FanDuel

FanDuel also offers a plethora of NBA DFS contests. Many people prefer FanDuel for NBA because lineup construction and scoring vastly differs from DraftKings. There’s no utility option on FanDuel – instead you draft two of each position other than the center. 

NBA scoring on Fanduel differs because turnovers are more costly while blocks and steals are weighted higher. The rest of the scoring remains the same, but it’s important to note there are no scoring bonuses. Players that rack up a lot of blocks and steals are always worth consideration on the blue site. 

Depending on how you view the roster spots, you might have an easier time building lineups on FanDuel. We say this because there’s less decision making when it comes to filling a specific spot. There’s less leniency because none of the roster spots allow multi-position eligibility, unless that player actually plays both roles. DraftKings, on the other hand, gives you more options at several of the roster spots. 

You should play around on both platforms to determine where you’re most successful. Despite DK having more contests than FanDuel, you might find out that the competition and scoring puts you in a better position on the latter platform. Trial and error are a major aspect of DFS, and it’s something you’ll need to get comfortable with. 

General Strategies

Here we’ll outline some general strategies to help you get better at building NBA DFS lineups. Before you adhere to any of these strategies, please note that these are subjective and not a guarantee of success. 

  • Use the scoring rules to your advantage on both platforms. On Draftkings, you should be trying to draft players who are capable of hitting bonuses while being productive otherwise. If you’re playing on Fanduel, focus on the guys with an above average number of blocks and steals per game. 
  • Always look at a player’s fantasy points per minute and compare with their average minutes per game. This gives you a general idea of their overall production and point projection. 
  • Use injuries to your advantage, if applicable. If you know a star player will be out, look for the bench players that’ll fill the role and play them accordingly. Note that playing minutes have to be distributed somewhere if injuries are a factor. 
  • Compare player prop projections to player salaries to identify any discrepancies in pricing. 
  • Use game lines and total points to determine the pace of a game and focus primarily on the theoretical higher scoring games. 

Slate Research

In terms of doing research for a slate, there’s a lot you can do. Start by reviewing the player pool for whatever contest you’re entering in to see how the player salaries are looking. From here, you can review things like recent form, matchup data, injury news, and Vegas odds. 

The DFS scene is constantly growing, so there’s plenty of free content out there to help you out. Consider watching videos and reading articles that cover a certain slate. Although you don’t have to adhere to someone else’s opinions, you can use them to strategize. 

It’s always worth taking into account player projections and ownership projections if available to you. Plenty of sites offer their own projections, some with better accuracy than others. Regardless, you can use this data and compare it to determine consensus good plays. 

When in doubt, remember to trust yourself and your own research rather than blindly tailing someone. Chances are that the external information you’re getting doesn’t cover every facet of a slate, so take it with a grain of salt. Taking a contrarian stance could be the difference between negligible profits and a big pay day. 

Closing Thoughts

With the NBA season right around the corner, now is the best time to brush up on your fantasy basketball skills. The purpose of this article was to inform readers on building NBA DFS lineups through logic and solid research. If you’re new to the game, you’ll have upwards of 80 chances throughout the season to take home big money. 

Remember to check back frequently for NBA content as the season gets started. Although this article only scratches the surface of NBA DFS, we plan on covering other important topics like contest selection and bankroll management. Thank you for reading!