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NBA Daily Fantasy Sports Strategy And Tips

Tips From A Daily Fantasy Sports Expert


In the NBA more than any other sport, when one player goes down with an injury or can’t play for any other reason, there is a clear beneficiary, statistically. Sometimes it’s that player’s direct backup, other times it’s one of the other starters that has to shoulder a heavier burden.

Being aware of this dynamic and knowing how to capitalize it can really help you become a better NBA DFS player. This article is a quick-hitting trip around the league, taking a look at each team and what their current situation looks like.

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Atlanta Hawks – Fairly healthy and always playing team first basketball, the Hawks are a tough team to get value out of in DFS. Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore are currently providing the most DFS value.

Boston Celtics – Avery Bradley recently suffered an injury, slotting Evan Turner into the starting lineup. Turner had a nice game on Monday and should provide value while he starts. Also, Kelly Olynyk started Monday and there could be a changing of the guard in Boston’s frontcourt rotation. Olynyk can fill the stat sheet.

Brooklyn Nets – With Jarrett Jack suffering a season ending ACL injury, Shane Larkin started in his place Monday. Larkin disappointed, and Joe Johnson had a flash from the past game, scoring 21 points. This situation will be very interesting to watch shake out. I’m inclined to think Larkin will emerge as a DFS value.

Charlotte Hornets – This team is going through so many injuries that they’re constantly in flux it seems. Right now, with Nicolas Batum hurt, Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin are shouldering big loads and Jeremy Lamb is a useful DFS player albeit coming off the bench.

Chicago Bulls – Even though the Bulls are a bit of a grind it out team, I still find them very interesting for DFS. Taj Gibson is playing a lot of minutes at a depressed price. Jimmy Butler is awesome when Derrick Rose misses time. Pau Gasol is playing great. Bobby Portis is a good tournament flier off the bench. And Nikola Mirotic is the ultimate wildcard, playing huge minutes one night and very few the next. With as productive as Mirotic can be, I’m always looking to take a chance on him in a DFS tournament.

Cleveland Cavaliers – Kyrie Irving’s return really diminishes the DFS value of all Cleveland players, save for Tristan Thompson who has taken the starting center role and run with it. Thompson is still very affordable on DFS sites.

Dallas Mavericks – The Mavericks are similar to the Hawks in that they play a very unselfish style and don’t extend anyone’s minutes too much. Some nights there are players to use based on injuries to the roster, but mostly I avoid the Mavs.

Denver Nuggets – Now that Will Barton week is over, the Nuggets go back to being a very deep team with the returns of Danilo Gallinari and Jusuf Nurkic. I would imagine that nobody on the Nuggets will offer much DFS value in the short term future.

Detroit Pistons – No injuries to capitalize on here, but the Pistons are one of the most predictable rotations in the league. Andre Drummond is the most consistent performer, but Reggie Jackson also makes for a nice play on some nights.

Golden State Warriors – With Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes both returning from injury, expect Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to come back to Earth a little.

Houston Rockets – Dwight Howard seems to have taken on a heavier minutes burden here recently and should be very productive for as long as that continues. James Harden is the only other Rocket who can be relied on most nights in DFS.

Indiana Pacers – Paul George tore up the league for about a month and a half before free falling around the holiday season. The last few games, George has started to look right again and could be a nice DFS play for the next week or so while his price is depressed.

Los Angeles Clippers – I thought Blake Griffin’s injury would result in monster Chris Paul and Deandre Jordan stretches. They’ve been good, but not quite as much as I expected. Both still make for solid DFS plays while Griffin is out.

Los Angeles Lakers – With Kobe Bryant missing a couple games recently, we’ve gotten to see what Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson can do with an expanded role. They’ve quietly been very productive with Bryant on the shelf.

Memphis Grizzlies – This team drives me bananas in DFS. They play at a slow pace, don’t have a good offense, and aren’t terribly predictable when it comes to who is going to be productive from night to night. I’ve mostly been avoiding them lately.

Miami Heat – Hassan Whiteside is currently nursing a knee injury. Chris Bosh becomes a very good DFS play when Whiteside misses action.

Minnesota Timberwolves – After finally buying in on the Timberwolves on Monday night, I was reminded why I was hesitant. Sam Mitchell can just be very unpredictable with his playing time, and that makes everyone on this team dicey.

Milwaukee Bucks – With a fairly tight rotation, the Bucks offer good value when in good situations. Jerryd Bayless is now nursing another injury, making Michael Carter-Williams a strong DFS play for the time being.

New Orleans Pelicans – Tyreke Evans is experiencing some knee troubles. If he misses time, the DFS value of Norris Cole, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday all takes a bump up.

New York Knicks – Carmelo Anthony is the only Knick who can currently be relied on for production. In good matchups, he’s always an option if the small forward position is tough.

Oklahoma City Thunder – Kevin Durant missed Monday’s game with a toe injury. He is likely to miss Wednesday’s as well. Russell Westbrook is a must play while KD is out. Serge Ibaka is another player to keep an eye on.

Orlando Magic – With Elfrid Payton struggling through an injury and poor play, Victor Oladipo was thrown back into the starting lineup and will be a DFS value until his price climbs to where it should be.

Philadelphia 76ers – Ish Smith playing well and pushing the pace at the point guard position is a boon to all of the 76ers values. However, if their prices get too high, they’ll be very tough to rely on.

Phoenix Suns – This team is a hot mess right now. T.J. Warren, if he continues to start, is likely the only player you should be interested in for the time being.

Portland Trailblazers – With the return of Damian Lillard, there are no compelling DFS plays on Portland’s roster on a nightly basis. Injuries are always something to be on the lookout for though.

San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs are the most team oriented team in the league and thus don’t offer much DFS value. Kawhi Leonard is the lone exception, and with a recent mini slump his price may drop to levels where you’ll want him in your lineups.

Sacramento Kings – The quintessential DFS tournament team. These guys play a fast paced and defense optional type of style. Boogie Cousins and Rajon Rondo make a great DFS tournament pairing any time they’re in an uptempo game.

Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan both make for solid plays at the guard spots if you’re struggling to find a good value on a given night. The frontcourt is currently a bit of a mess in DFS for the Raptors.

Utah Jazz – Since Derrick Favors has gone down, the three man show of Jeff Withey, Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood has paid considerable dividends for DFS players. That should continue while Favors is shelved.

Washington Wizards – Amid a rash of injuries, John Wall has asserted himself as a rock solid high end point guard for DFS. Marcin Gortat has been very solid as well. And a player I’ve got my eye on for DFS heavily is Otto Porter.

That’s it for this week. Remember to keep an eye on situations that you can exploit and to have an open and critical mind about what the fallout is for each injury situation. Thanks for reading, everyone. Find me on Twitter @IanJ300 with any questions.

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