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But isn't he going to sit early in the fourth against the Phoenix Suns? 

This is a type of question I'm asked often. The problem with answering questions like that is that there is no right or wrong answer until we hear the final buzzer at the end of regulation. There lies the sticky situation Daily Fantasy constantly leaves us with to mop up ourselves. And it's a situation we face every night, picking our DraftKings and FanDuel lineups. That back and forth, this guy or that guy, a constant ping pong match in our overthinking DFS brains.

This occurs mainly because of other outside factors; trends, recent production, DvP, etc., instead of simply trusting our own intuition. Oh, I get it, believe me. Of course we seek help. I certainly do. Well, this should help silence some of the concerns we constantly express as Daily Fantasy aficionados.

Here's a look at some common misconceptions constantly tied to picking an NBA DFS lineup.

 

NBA Daily Fantasy Common Misconceptions

1) Avoid the Lopsided Matchup

Don't.

There's a reason it's considered lopsided. When an opponent's DvP (Defense vs. Position) is ranked 30th, 29th, 28th, 27th, it's for a reason. And that's because bad team defenses like the Kings, Lakers, Rockets, and Suns are as generous as Rockefeller was in the late 1800's, early 1900's--dishing out fantasy points at an extremely philanthropic rate.

I am undoubtedly a bigger fan of targeting a game between two fast-paced, high scoring teams like the Los Angeles Clippers versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the one-sided contests are simply magnetic to Daily Fantasy lineups. Although, here comes the concern. Will Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and other faces that belong on NBA's Mount Rushmore, play in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers?

I'm quick to say when do they not play? Of course superstars are rested late in the game during blowouts. The key word there, though, is superstar. So the real answer to the question above is:

It doesn't matter.

If they have a good game, they have a good game. Seems too simple? Well, I'd like to know how huge a difference that last five minutes of a game would make? I get the lingering fear of spending 9,000-10,000 on a guy  who will only play 25 minutes, but if LeBron drops 25, 10, and 5, and watches the remaining five minutes with a towel on his head, we'll be upset with his fantasy point performance? Let's not get too greedy here, and remember, that we too are in this long haul of a season, where our Daily Fantasy performance as owners will be judged on an overall basis and not an ephemeral one hit wonder claim to fame.

For example, in a recent 40 point blowout against the Suns, DeAndre Jordan posted 17 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks, good enough for 40.75 fantasy points in only 27 minutes of action. I don't know about you, but I'm good with that, especially if the rest of my team produces similarly.

Sometimes the obvious pick really is the obvious pick.

 

2) Avoid Stacking a Team with Too Many Players from the Same Game

Don't, again. Especially if the matchup is there.

When it comes to stacking, I'm always looking to stack heavily in a game between two good teams. In the contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder, I was almost inclined to break the bank on three players and then scavenge for penny sleepers afterwards. Taking LeBron, Kevin Love, and a combination of either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, wasn't out of the question, and would have been a solid Daily Fantasy play considering their stat lines.

LeBron: 25 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, three steals.

Love: 29 points, 11 rebounds, four assists.

Durant: 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, three blocks, four three-pointers made.

Westbrook: 20 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds, one steal.

Yes, you can compromise the integrity of the rest of your lineup, but the gamble is often worth it. That's over 40 fantasy points from each of them. Again, I'll take it.

But, won't they hijack fantasy points from each other? Didn't seem to be the case above. It's a team sport, which can only translate to success on your lineup the same way it would on the court. In a predicted close and competitive game, I'll surely spread my money all over the floor, likely on players a tad less expensive than the aforementioned. A stack I'm always a fan of is Nikola Vucevic or Marcin Gortat or Hassan Whiteside with players on their respective teams; an affordable center with a tremendous upside/ceiling.

 

3) Always Pick a Player When Another Fantasy Producer is Injured on the Same Team

Don't. Not always.

Again, I'm a big fan of sorting through injuries when picking lineups, seeing who can likely take advantage of the new opportunity to be the top guy. And it tends to be an effective way of drafting a team, specifically recently with injuries to Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Goran Dragic and Luol Deng posted big fantasy numbers in their absence. Although, like I said, not always.

This one requires a bit of research, studying the trends and performances of a player without another player in the lineup, especially if the injury is long-term. Opposing defenses can now heavily hone in on one player instead of two.

When Eric Bledsoe went down late in December, Brandon Knight emerged as the obvious choice on a nightly basis, before getting injured himself. But that obvious choice wasn't necessarily panning out the way we hoped it would. Knight failed to breach the 20-point mark in his first three games without Bledsoe beside him in the backcourt. And although scoring 20 or more points in five of the ten games as the best player on the floor for the Suns, his play became sporadic, likely struggling to adjust, mainly considering the rest of his subpar supporting cast. He turned the ball over a bunch, making it clear that he played better with Bledsoe in the lineup; different than what happened with Chris Paul and Jordan as their games elevated without Blake Griffin.

Initially, it's always a great pick. I'm certainly attracted to it. But it's best to pay attention to that player's consistency amidst injuries as opposed to one or two performances. Sustainability, people, sustainability.

 

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