8 Lineups to Exploit in Daily Fantasy Basketball in November
Sure, we could dive into how pace and defensive rating should influence everyday research for NBA DFS, but what it all boils down to is fantasy points. The more fantasy points we get from our lineups, the more we win.
And as it pertains to that specific example, while the Suns are allowing a total of 240.81 FanDuel points per game to their opponents, the rough-and-tough Grizzlies are giving up just 206.73. That's more than 35 FanDuel points that won't be there to spread amongst that game's DFS options. That's a big deal, especially when we're dealing with slow-paced teams or potential blowouts.
Given that and the various other factors, like pace, defensive rating and implied point totals, we can get an idea as to what teams to target. But how do we know which players to hone in on specifically? How do we know which lineups are the most exploitable for fantasy purposes?
After pulling lineup data from NBA Stats, I was able to calculate a lineup's points, rebounds, and so on allowed per 100 possessions so as to eliminate the influence of minutes and pace. From there, I was able to use those averages to find lineups' FanDuel points allowed per 100. Ultimately, I decided to simplify it to FanDuel points allowed per possession, which -- if you use your own models -- should help you take this data and include it in your projections, or at least your daily research.
This is a monthly piece in which I'll list five full lineups, highlight one, and detail three other two-to-four-man lineups that have proved exploitable in daily fantasy basketball. Keep in mind that some lineups -- mostly full lineups -- could have limited minutes. But it's my aim to focus on those relevant to a team's main rotations or those that they roll out in the event of injury.
Now, let's get to it.
For reference, the average FanDuel points allowed per possession is 2.043 (for the 250-lineup sample).
|L. Aldridge, D. DeRozan, D. Cunningham, B. Forbes, D. White||SAS||3||37||2.664|
|T. Ariza, I. Canaan, T. Warren, D. Booker, D. Ayton||PHX||7||86||2.654|
|D. Howard, J. Wall, M. Morris, B. Beal, K. Oubre Jr.||WAS||3||24||2.651|
|L. Williams, D. Gallinari, T. Harris, M. Harrell, S. Gilgeous-Alexander||LAC||7||37||2.604|
|D. Gallinari, P. Beverley, T. Harris, B. Marjanovic, S. Gilgeous-Alexander||LAC||2||29||2.555|
Once you get past the shock of seeing a Gregg Popovich-led San Antonio Spurs lineup here, the rest of the group is fairly obvious, with the struggling Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards. But for the two Los Angeles Clippers sets, it's the inexperienced Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as well as Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris at the heart of these high-opportunity lineups.
It hasn't really mattered who the other guard -- whether it be sixth man Lou Williams or "defensive bulldog" Patrick Beverley -- and center -- Montrezl Harrell or Boban Marjanovic -- is. Either way, these combinations are allowing at least 0.5 FanDuel points per possession above the average, and where they've been hurt most is through volume.
While the big lineup with Boban at center allows 123.3 points, 26.7 free throw attempts and exactly 100.0 field goal attempts per 100, the smaller one, with Harrell at the five, gives up 84.8 field goal attempts per 100, including 30.4 threes (17.7 makes) and 113.9 points. Surprisingly, the Boban lineup also surrenders 13.3 offensive rebounds per 100, which helps to increase the shot volume for opposing squads.
All of these minutes have come this month and with Avery Bradley sidelined for four straight games, so be sure to take advantage while you can. But this is certainly something to watch if the Clips decide to keep SGA in the lineup over Bradley, especially down the back half of the season.
For four-, three- and two-man lineups, the average FanDuel points allowed per possession are 2.124, 2.145 and 2.156 among the 250-lineup sample.
|J. Teague, T. Gibson, K. Towns, J. Okogie||MIN||5||86||2.376|
|T. Ariza, I. Canaan, D. Booker||PHX||9||189||2.568|
|H. Whiteside, J. Winslow||MIA||8||133||2.417|
The obvious appeal with the top lineup is that it has and could continue to be a staple with Jimmy Butler now in Philadelphia. While we can expect Josh Okogie to cede minutes to Robert Covington, this is a rotational lineup we could see often. As a unit, they've allowed 30.6 assists to go with 13.5 threes on 34.7 attempts per 100 possessions. All total, they give up 116.1 points per 100, and 7.3 opponent blocks is nothing to ignore on FanDuel, where you get the oh-so-valuable three points for each swat.
Talk about an obvious crater of a lineup. The Phoenix Suns are atop most of the "leaderboards" across 5-, 4-, 3- and 2-man lineups, and this core is a part of many of them. The smaller Isaiah Canaan has been overmatched at the point guard spot, he himself allowing 113.1 points per 100 possessions, which is book-ended by Devin Booker's 112.6 defensive rating and Trevor Ariza's 113.5. The trio is being hit up for 51.1% shooting from the field and 29.3 assists per 100 possessions. A combined 17.7 steals and blocks boosts their opponents' upside even more, as their 2.568 FanDuel points allowed per possession is the only mark above 2.5.
Over the course of the entire season, there have been some really bad two-man lineups, most of them coming from bottom-feeders like Phoenix, Atlanta and Chicago. However, in recent games, the Miami Heat's combo of big man Hassan Whiteside and swingman Justise Winslow has provided teams with fantasy points in bunches. They're at 2.417 on the year and 2.393 (in 104 minutes, 5 games) for the month of November to date, good enough for 12th-worst among the entire sample. Together, they have a defensive rating of 119.9, while fouling 23.6 times per 100, allowing 14.8 threes and, surprisingly, giving up 12.0 offensive rebounds over those same number of possessions.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.