Experts Chime In: How To Build A Winning DFS Basketball Team

Winning in Daily Fantasy Basketball requires a lot of skill, a little luck, and some really keen nose for advanced statistics. I have won my fair share but don’t take my word for it. Let’s get the best advice on how to build a winning DFS basketball team from the experts.

We have curated the insight of some of the most famous names in Daily Fantasy Sports, including Michael Rathburn of Rotowire, Dr. Renee Miller, and Joe Kaiser of ESPN. We’ll skip the more basic tips and go right down to the meat of things:


  • Pay up at the right positions. Kaiser referred to Bryan Mears of Number Fire on this one and it makes a lot of sense. Because of the number of high-quality point guards that flood the league today, it’s best to pay up the big bucks on them. The wing positions are so much scarce that it’s advisable to go cheap, and then splurge on the remaining deep slots.
  • Pick your spots to be a contrarian. This tip needs you to pay attention to the schedule and have the balls to play the dreaded two-game contests. As Kaiser pointed out, DFS players usually stay away from these contests since it requires less skill and more chance of duplicate lineups. Again, if you have the necessary and calculated courage, THIS is the best time to be a contrarian and take home the bacon.

With the plethora of quality point guards in the NBA, experts suggest paying up big for that position. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Dr. Miller:

  • Make good use of the sportsbook lines. Point spread predictions is a good tool to use for Daily Fantasy. Avoiding games that has potential double-digit spreads is best, since the potential of your star players passing up fourth quarters is higher than a close game. Another fruitful game to target is the scoring potential. In Dr. Miller’s words, “if there is only one high-scoring game, it’s likely that everyone will be interested in using players from that game” but if there are several, it’s best to distribute the players you want to roster among those games.
  • Look for blowouts. A Golden State Warriors-Philadelphia 76ers game, for example, should not be a total turn-off for DFS players. In these types of games, you can target lesser-used and cheaper players to get minutes on both sides. For example, Stephen Curry may get the whole fourth quarter off in favor of Leandro Barbosa or Shaun Livingston or Ish Smith may hit the bench earlier so T.J. McConnell or Isaiah Canaan could play out the garbage minutes.
  • Don’t pay attention to team records. Team records, unlike in baseball, has little to no bearing in fantasy basketball. Even the bad teams has scoring options or defensive juggernauts that still help get you stats. Oftentimes, the good part is, they are generally priced much cheaper than their winning counterparts!


  • Home/Road differential. This measure is not factored in setting salaries, that is why, according to Rathburn, the home/road differential is one of the most under-used stat in DFS basketball. Some teams and players perform better on the road or at home, so figuring out which is which is one of the little things can get you a leg up on the competition.
  • Streaks and unadjusted salaries. Identify players who has been playing well the past two or three games and the salary hasn’t been adjusted yet. They could be backups filling in for injured starters or a role player getting more opportunities in the offense.
Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press