Starting under the player tab, this is where you will find your basic information for the night. You can sort by player and team, which you can do more directly in the tabs above. This can help you narrow down more what you are looking for if you don’t want a ton of numbers just thrown at you. You might be wondering why the position doesn’t match truly what the player plays. This is because sites like FanDuel and DraftKings might use a different position. For example a player that is listed as a shooting guard might really play small forward. They do this to balance out positions so they are not as top heavy. Usage rate is a stat that shows how often a player is involved in possessions, and the higher the usage, generally the more fantasy points.
The projections are created using a formula we will get into down below, but this is what we project each player to hit when all is said and done. Projections are going to vary throughout the day because of potential changes to the lineup. When key players sit, usage goes up around them, so checking back in throughout the day is a wise decision. Making sure you are getting the best bargain for your buck is important, so our projected points are divided by the salary to breakdown how good the value is. The higher the number the better the value is. Fantasy points per minute is a good way to break down their projection if you believe they will play more minutes, or if they don’t see as many as projected.
The game area is going to showcase the opponent for the day’s game, and also the Vegas numbers that come with it. This will show if games are projected to be low or high scoring, but also there could be a potential blowout. Opponent rank is the overall team rank and how good they are overall. DvP is defense versus position, and this breaks down how good a team is against a specific position. For example the Brooklyn Nets struggle against opposing centers, and they would rank low among other teams. But a team like Milwaukee might rank high against opposing point guards. The color coded rank will give you an easy look at how good a team is against a position.
Finally, the projected game stats is where the projections are broken out into individual stats. Starting with minutes, this is the most crucial starting point because we want the guys in our lineups to be seeing a ton of minutes. You can’t score fantasy points if you are not out on the court. After that we get down to the projected points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks. These are the stats that drive fantasy points. After that you can see more efficiency numbers like FG%. Overall this is a look at how they are going to generate those fantasy points, because players do it in various ways. Sometimes a player will have a big defensive game and provide fantasy points through blocks. A point guard can have a projected average scoring game, but is racking up assists.
How Projections Change Throughout The Day
I cannot stress this enough, but staying on top of projections and player news is extremely important in the world of NBA DFS. Your night can be ruined if you miss a piece of news and one of your guys is out, or you missed out on the chalk value who was filling in for an injured player. A normal day in the NBA is not the same as a normal day in other daily fantasy sports. For NFL you have a week to prepare, and most of the news is going to be somewhat settled by the time Friday or Saturday rolls around. Maybe there are a few that go into Sunday morning, but for the most part it is relatively calm. For baseball, the lineups roll out throughout the day, and unless a pitching scratch occurs, you could do research the night before and have it stand into the next day. You are just looking to make sure they are in the lineup. If they are not, you have plenty of time to change, and the slate doesn’t revolve around players being in and out of the lineup. NBA is the complete opposite of all of that.
If you have seen the move Mad Max: Fury Road, the last 30 minutes until tip off is usually just like that. It can go from a calm day to an absolute mad scramble to get those lineups right. Because the NBA player reporting news for injuries and starting players is not as straightforward, it can leave us fantasy players in the dark or playing a guessing game. This can be frustrating. Now starting off your day, you will look into a slate and see where you want to go. Make note of the injuries on the slate, especially guys that are questionable. Knowing how they will effect the team whether they play or don’t play is big. Our projections will be leaning one way or the other based on news, because we are in the same boat as you.
As the day goes on, projections will shift with the news. If a player is leaning more on the doubtful side all of a sudden, projected fantasy points will shift to other players on the team. This could be their backup or starters alongside them, and starters are generally the biggest benefit because they soak up their usage. The projections will do their best to side with how the news is leaning, but things won’t be confirmed until we get an injury confirmation. Unfortunately this can be after lock, which is always the most frustrating aspect of NBA DFS.
Using Projections For NBA DFS
When building out your roster, you still want some human element in how you are choosing your team. If we could simply put together winning rosters because the projections said so, we would all be winners. There is still going to be plenty of variance for an overall lineup. You have things like mid-game injuries as well as foul trouble. Blowouts and coaching decisions can also cause some variance to happen to those projections. So understanding everything around the projections is still important.
In cash games you are going to want to build out a lineup that is relatively safe. They have high minutes, a few good usage players, and also some strong value when it presents itself. You are trying to minimize the risk of your lineup and create a safer lineup with a good floor. In tournaments, you might be taking a few more risks on a couple of players, but having a safe floor lineup can still have upside in tournaments. Overall look for those projections that are higher up but also factor in that their usage and upside could be even higher than what they are projected for. Of course they can also be lower too.
There is going to be good and bad value on a nightly basis, and finding good value is important. This can open up by injury or sites did not price someone accordingly. You still want to make sure that player has a strong floor and usage in the offense. Because a player slides in due to an injury, it does not mean those minutes and usage are guaranteed to go there. Also use the Pts/$1k column to indicate how good of a value you are getting on a player based on their projection. You might be able to find a player that can get you the same amount of points for cheaper.
Using Projections For Betting Player Props
These fantasy projections can be used for other things. While the betting world is still growing, betting on player props has been increasingly popular. It is an easy way to get accommodated to betting, and you can just focus on one player instead of a whole team. Because we show the projected game stat lines, we are going to show what they are projected for in each category. Player props will be out throughout the day, and they will have a set stat where they offer an over or under. For example, Rudy Gobert might have an over/under of rebounds set at 11.5. Meaning if he gets 12 or more and you bet the over, you would win. If he gets under and you bet the over, you would lose. You will also see combined props, meaning they might offer a bet of 22.5 points + assists, meaning it will be a combination of the two.
Our projections are narrowing down what they will be doing each night in terms of stats and not just overall fantasy points, so you can take a look at these projections and see if there are any differences for the player props out there. Like everything above, be sure to keep looking out for news and projection changes because regardless of how you are using this page, you will need to stay updated.
What Goes Into NBA Projections?
While we can’t give away our formula, we can tell you a little bit about what goes into our fantasy projections. Players that are heavily involved in the offense are always going to have a stronger base, because usage is not created equally on teams. We have seen names like James Harden and LeBron James carry a high usage rate, and they have been some of the top fantasy players in the game for a while now. Their overall production and usage within an offense is going to be a good starting point for what we are looking at. This is because the matchup won’t be as heavy on them. When going down the list of usage and production, we factor in those things with minutes and their role in the offense.
Looking at Vegas and the defensive matchups for the night is where we can start to fine tune what we are projecting for those players. Vegas is going to do some of the work for us because they are already projecting how high scoring games are, and giving us implied totals, underdogs, favorites, and spreads. If a game is going to be played up in pace and projected to be a 220 combined total, those players in that game might see a projections bump. There could also be a decrease if a slow paced game between two top defenses is in place. Defenses may be good or bad against certain positions, struggle on the glass, or give up a lot of turnovers. This is all factored in for their projections.
Because projections have a lot of moving parts, they might be on the move because of news. If a player is going to be out, our formula finds where that usage and production is going to go accordingly. This means you won’t have to do a deep dive. NBA DFS is all about adjusting on the fly, and our projections are built to do that.
Differences In Site Scoring
You might be wondering why a player projected with the same stat line is projected for more fantasy points on one site in comparison to the other. This is because there are scoring differences between the sites, and they have a major effect on projections. Looking at FanDuel first, turnovers will be weighted heavier when evaluating players. They have a negative one scoring for every turnover, compared to DraftKings, where they are negative .5. When Harden turns the ball over eight times in a game, it is only -4 on DraftKings, and -8 on FanDuel. FanDuel also values defense much higher, where blocks and steals are worth three points each. On DraftKings they are worth two. Those players who rack up blocks will have slightly more value over on FanDuel, like a Rudy Gobert.
Now DraftKings has a few perks of their own, as things like a double-double and triple-double bonus. This means added points for when a player hits that mark, and on FanDuel those are not offered. Three point shots made are also an extra bonus of .5. This gives a slight bump to those three point shooters, where a three point made is 3.5 instead of 3 over on FanDuel. You can certainly cross compare players and see where they have more value based on what they are being projected for. Their salaries will often be different as well.
NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Projections FAQ
What Is DFS Basketball?
DFS stands for daily fantasy sports, and NBA basketball is a sub sport of their overall product. DFS sites carry various contests that are run daily for basketball, which restart each day and that differs from the season long products.
What Are Fantasy Basketball Projections?
Fantasy basketball projections are set for the daily slate of games covering all players involved. They are created by a formula that calculates a number of what their predicted fantasy outcome will be for that given game. Projections can updated throughout the day up until tip off.
What Is FPPM?
FPPM stands for fantasy points per minute. We can look at this at the end of the night and see how many points a player scored per minute in terms of fantasy points. Or we can project how much fantasy points a player will score per minute.
What Is DvP?
DvP stands for defense versus position. This is a way of showing how an individual team performs defensively against a position. If Chicago ranks 3rd against point guards, that means they are a good defense against the position. If they rank 28th against centers, then they are not a good defense.
Why Do Fantasy Basketball Projections Change?
You might see projections change drastically throughout the day, and that is because injuries have a major part of how projections come out. Because projections are updating they will reflect whatever the current news is for that day’s slate of games.