Fantasy Basketball Strategy

Here are several top points that will help you succeed in daily fantasy basketball:

  • Matchup – Like any other fantasy sport, you are going to look at a player’s matchup on a given night. There are stats the measure a players defensive ability in the NBA such as their isolation defense, their pick and roll defense, and even their post-up defense (basically DVP). Obviously, you are going to want to pick offensive players going against a poor defender. For example, you may be hesitant to pick a PG going against Chris Paul because he is a good defender, but if you have a center going against Nikola Vucevic, then you can give him a bump in production. Honestly this is probably the most important thing because that is going to be guarding that player for a majority of the game and directly impacts how well that person will do.
  • Blowout Factor – This is a huge part of daily fantasy basketball that a lot of people don’t realize. In basketball there are a lot of blowouts. This causes a lot of starters to sit in the 4th quarter, limiting the amount of minutes that they will play throughout the game. You want guys who are going to play the most minutes because it maximizes their value. If you have say Russell Westbrook against the 76ers you really have to think twice. Sure, he is going to put up good stats in his minutes, but if he only plays 28 minutes instead of 38 you are basically cutting his production by 25%. Looking at Vegas lines for the game is very helpful for this because you get an idea of how the experts think the game will go. Other than injuries, there is nothing worse than losing players to games that are blowouts.
  • Points/Pace Expected – Another huge part of basketball is the pace of play and the expected points within a game. Naturally some teams are more defensive and like to play in the half court, while some are very offensive and love to play in the fast break. You want to be targeting guys in games that are moving as fast as possible. There will be more shots leading to more points, more misses leading to more rebounds, more made baskets leading to more assists, and less structure leading to more steals and blocks. One thing to look at is the Vegas lines again for their over under for points on the game. For example say the Rockets vs. Warriors is at 212 points on the over under whereas the Pacers and Hornets have a 180 point line. You are going to want to target guys in that first game due to the reasons listed above. They also keep track of stats such as how long teams usually take to shoot, and how many possessions they have per game.
  • Injuries – Again, just like any sport, you need to look at injuries and see how they will impact a game. A lot of times, you can get bench guys at a cheap price, who will play starters minutes. Guys who are cheap and play a lot of minutes are hard to find, so if you can find injury replacements, they are usually a good bet. The problem with the NBA, is that the injury notices usually come out like within 10-15 of game time whereas in the NFL it’s 1.5 hours before kickoff, and in baseball it’s several hours before the game. It is critical to always check the last 10-15 minutes to double check for injuries and making sure everybody is playing. Also this can be pivotal for guys who are second and third options on their teams. If a really good player gets hurt, then their production will get a good bump and in turn will become more valuable.