Welcome to the 2023-’24 NBA season. Before hopping right into things, understanding what to look for when constructing your DFS lineups will go a long way to helping you have a profitable NBA DFS campaign. If you’re a new NBA DFS player, it’s unlike any other DFS sport out there. It’s not all about stacking and news comes at you like a Usain Bolt 40-yard dash. Being able to adjust on the fly and having the knowledge of rotations and who teams will be pivoting to when players are ultimately ruled out. Now, time for the good stuff. The meat and potatoes of your research. Let’s dive in.

Actually, before we do, just note that the stuff listed below is not in order. It’s just a part of the process to get accumulated.

News Outlets

I know a lot of people have moved away from Twitter, X, X (formerly Twitter) but having an outlet that gets you up-to-the-second breaking news for each slate has become increasingly more important. There are multiple beat writers for all 30 teams across the NBA that are breaking news constantly about who’s in, out, and who’s starting.

ALSO, here at Fantasy Alarm, we have a dedicated Discord channel for every single player that a team is listing with an injury and every update that our partners at Underdog Fantasy make. Knowing who’s playing is the first step on the road to a new mansion on the beach (I’ll meet you there).

Lines, Spreads & Everything Sportsbook Related 

Next, taking a flight out to Viva Las Vegas is our next stop and it’s a direct flight because knowing what we’re looking at in each match-up is crucial.

  • Who are the money line favorites?
  • What’s the over/under?
  • What’s the spread and why is it close or far apart?
  • Player X was just ruled out, how much did the lines move?

All of this data isn’t gospel, but it’s worth knowing. If a game has a total below 200, it’s an awful game environment and usually something we want to stay away from unless there is an obvious value play or players are sitting out of that game.

If a game is north of 220, it’s one we want to invest in, and anything above 230 your eyes should gravitate to that FIRST. Much like all of the other DFS sports, Vegas acts as a chapter, not the whole story.

Pace of Play 

What is pace of play?

The definition is that it’s measured by counting the number of possessions that happen in a typical 48-minute game. Faster pace = more possessions. More possessions = more fantasy point opportunities.

It’s important to identify which teams play fast, which teams play slow, and which teams in every match-up are the ones playing up in pace, which you want, and which teams are playing down in pace, which you don’t want.

Below is a picture of NBA.com data with the fastest/slowest paces in the league from the 2022-’23 season;

Usage Rates

Another stat that likely needs a definition is usage rates. This is a stat that we should and will use a LOT when playing NBA DFS.

Usage rates are an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor. Usage rate can be calculated with how a possession ends: “field-goal or free-throw attempt, or a turnover. That’s as simple as it gets. There is a calculation that goes with it if you’re calculating your own data, but it’s not needed at this time.

Usage rates fluctuate based on who’s on/off the floor for a specific team and that data is accrued throughout the year as more and more games are played.

NBA DFS Lineup Generator

If you’re a multi-entry NBA DFS player or want to navigate into those streets, the Fantasy Alarm DFS lineup generator is for you.

  • 150 unique lineups
  • Option to select playbook-only plays or create your own player pool
  • Quick & easy exporting process to DraftKings/FanDuel

As soon as the beginning of the season begins, you’ll be able to use this bad boy however you want -> https://www.fantasyalarm.com/nba/generator

NBA DFS Projections

Projections are the average number of fantasy points that a player can score and at the end of the day, they’re exactly that;

A projection.

To beat hundreds and thousands of others, however, you need more than a player's “average number of fantasy points”. This is why you see players winning tournaments getting 10x their return on investment, not just the 5x baseline you look for in NBA DFS.

We have daily projections, powered by FanJections, here at Fantasy Alarm.

NBA DFS Ownership Projections

For anyone playing a DFS sport for the first time, ownership projections are simply translated into the percentage of lineups that a specific player has in their lineups.

For example - you make 10 lineups and you have Nikola Jokic in five of them. That’s 50%.

Having the data that gives you an idea of what every player is projected to be rostered at allows you to explore multiple lanes.

  1. Are the players that are highly owned worth using?
  2. Are you playing cash games or tournaments (GPPs)?
  3. Do you want to play/fade the “chalk” plays, aka the highest-owned options?
  4. Where is the best leverage on the slate? 

Tying all of that together when using ownership helps you construct your lineups and helps you build winners.