Daily Fantasy Basketball is one of the most action packed daily fantasy sports as players have possessions every minute leading to high and low scores. Additionally, players hit the ball more often and get points for a wide variety of stats.
Here are several essentials that will help you succeed in fantasy basketball on a daily basis:
Matchup – Like any other fantasy sport, you will be watching a player’s game on any given night. There are stats that measure the defensive ability of players in the NBA, such as their isolation defense, their pick and roll defense, and even their post-up defense (basically DVP). Obviously, you’re going to want to pick offensive players against a bad defender. For example, you might be hesitant to pick a PG against Chris Paul because he’s a good defender, but if you have a cross against Nikola Vucevic you can give him a boost in production. Honestly, this is probably the most important thing as it will keep that player for the majority of the game and have a direct impact on how well that person performs.
Blowout Factor – It’s a big part of everyday fantasy basketball that a lot of people don’t realize. In basketball there are a lot of breakouts. This causes many starters to sit in the 4th quarter, which limits the number of minutes they will play throughout the match. You want guys who will play the most minutes because that maximizes their value. If you said Russell Westbrook vs. the 76ers, you really have to think twice. Sure, he’s going to display some good stats in his minutes, but if he’s only playing 28 minutes instead of 38, you’re essentially reducing his production by 25%. Watching the Vegas lines for gambling is very helpful for this as you get a feel for how the pundits think the game will play out. Besides injuries, there is nothing worse than losing players in games that are explosions.
Expected Points / Pace – Another important aspect of basketball is the pace of play and the expected points in a game. Naturally, some teams are more defensive and like to play in the half court, while some are very offensive and like to play in the quick break. You want to target guys in games that are evolving as fast as possible. There will be more shots leading to more points, more misfires leading to more rebounds, more baskets made leading to more assist and less structure leading to more steals and blocks. One thing to watch again is the Vegas lines for their more points on the game. For example, let’s say the Rockets vs Warriors are 212 points above while the Pacers and Hornets have a 180 point line. You’re going to want to target guys in this first game for the reasons listed above. They also keep track of stats like how long teams usually take to shoot and how many possessions they have per game.
Injury – Again, like any sport, you need to look at injuries and see how they will impact a game. Often times you can find bench guys for a cheap price, who will play tee minutes. Guys who are cheap and play a lot of minutes are hard to find, so if you can find injury replacements they’re usually a good bet. The problem with the NBA is that injury notices are usually posted within 10 to 3 hours of the game, whereas in the NFL it’s 1.5 hours before kick-off and in baseball it is several hours. before the match. It is essential to always check the last 10 to 15 minutes to check for injuries and make sure everyone is playing. It can also be essential for guys who are second and third options in their teams. If a very good player is injured, then his production will get a good bump and in turn become more valuable.
Cash game vs GPP players (tournament) – This is a major difference in building basketball teams. Usually in tournaments you are looking for guys to get around 5 times their value for any site. For gambling, you typically need 4 to 4.5 times a player’s value. This basically means that if a player costs $ 10,000, they must hit 50 points for a tournament and 40-45 for a cash game. A large part of achieving this value will be the minutes and the usage rates during those minutes. Guys who have a high utilization rate don’t need that much time because they have the ball in hand more often. Players with a lower usage rate will likely need more minutes to reach their value unless they can help or bounce at a very high rate. The guys with the highest usage rate I like for tournaments because they have a much higher chance of scoring a ton of points, where guys with lower usage rates and playing more are safer choices and more likely to hit their value night after night. Also for tournaments you are going to want guys who are not very well owned most of the time. Of course, there may be a stud that you must have that is owned by 30% of the people, but it’s about making the players who are less than 5% successful. If they can, you have a much better chance of winning the tournament.
Streaks – This is a huge part of basketball too, as it often determines how many people will pick a player. If a player continues a hot 2-3 match streak, their owned% will skyrocket, while if they struggle for 2-3 matches their owned% will drop. Returning to my previous point on tournament players, these guys are the ones to target sometimes, where popular player fading is sometimes the best option. For gambling, you usually want to role play a guy on a hot streak because you are only competing to beat half the pack, so taking the risk of knocking out a popular piece is way too risky.
Miscellaneous – This is more if you want to spend a lot of time and effort on your research. I know people are looking at umpires. As in any sport, they have a huge impact on the game and can put people in difficulty or put people in danger. If you choose star players it may be best to look for referees who call more fouls per game, compared to if you have a player who keeps a star player in that game you may want to avoid them. It comes into the game, but some guys have favorable games, but just fight against some teams. James Harden comes to mind against the Clippers for regular reason. He had Reddick / Barnes to guard him, which isn’t that great but he rarely hit a value against them. It is also important to look back to back because a guy can play, but won’t play as much. Watching little things like these is really important and the key to success.