FanDuel NBA GPP Strategy (5 Tips)

Steph Curry
Steph Curry

Who are the best players to target for your Daily NBA lineups? Well, that depends on whether you're trying to play it safe, or hit a big pay day by winning a large tournament on FanDuel.

In order to separate your lineup from thousands of other players, you have to not only take risks, but actively go against the grain with at least a couple selections that almost no one else thought to roll with. Here are 5 strategies that can help you craft an NBA lineup which will have a chance to place towards the top of large GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pools) on FanDuel.

1. Start With The Value Plays

Once the NBA season gets into full swing, there are plenty of star players who are listed as questionable, doubtful, or simply out after suffering injuries. It takes a while for DFS sites to adjust the price tags of their backups, so it's important to exploit those under priced players whenever possible.

For example, if Russell Westbrook sits out a game to rest his knee, Cameron Payne becomes an intriguing value option. It's not necessarily about how talented they are, but how much of an increased opportunity that player will be given to produce FPs.

2. Be Contrarian

This is easily the most important tip for those players who hope to hit it big in a tournament. If a PG is ruled out on a given night, the backup PG on that team could be owned in about 40% of DFS lineups depending on their skill and matchup. So, the best way to separate your lineup from the "Chalk" plays is to think outside the box and target a different player.

Things to consider:

  • Is the backup SG on that team capable of sliding over and playing the point?
  • Is there a playmaking forward on the team that will see increased ball handling duties because the PG is out?
  • Is the coach of this team unreliable when it comes to their rotations? If so, who might get extra opportunities with player X inactive?

These are the questions that you have to ask when considering how to attack a situation once an important NBA player is ruled out.

Contrarian can also refer to lineup construction regardless of injury news. Most often, it refers to a star player in a bad matchup, i.e. James Harden taking on the Spurs or the Grizzlies. Go deeper in your research about those defenses.

  • Do they have a true defensive stopper that can match up against said superstar?
  • Will they adjust their defense to try and contain the opposition's star?
  • Are they giving up more PPG than usual, or might they have a poor game because they're playing the second half of a B2B set?

Even if the answers aren't what you want to hear, you can still role with a superstar in a tough matchup simply to go against the grain. Again, that's the only way to separate from the herd in huge GPPs.

3. Stack Games

You can often begin your research for any given NBA slate by taking a quick look at the scoring lines according Vegas. There are often several games with lofty Over/Unders (210+ points), which you will want to attack with your lineups.

These games are usually between fast-paced teams in the Western Conference, meaning more possessions, meaning more opportunities for players on both sides of the ball to pile up stats.

So, you will want to try and stack a few key players on both sides of the ball in your NBA lineups because of the prospective Fantasy Goodness that this type of uptempo style will create. Ideally, said game goes down to the wire in the fourth quarter or even into overtime, which could make the gamble of stacking multiple players in the contest pay off with huge dividends.

4. Predict Playing Time Fluctuations

Sometimes the next man up isn't too easy to identify. Sure, you can look at a players' recent game log and see that they're playing more minutes in each subsequent game, but you often have to read between the lines to find a player that is on the rise.

A simple quote from the coach about "liking" what a young player has shown off the bench could suffice. Conversely, when a coach is outwardly critical of players or is seen yelling at a starter repeatedly during a game, than the next man up could be in line for a big performance the next time that team is in action. If you get out ahead of the trend and use the reserve before he "blows up" than you'll have a considerable edge in tournaments.

5. Balance Your Lineup

While the main difference between strategy and GPP formats is that you have to take more risks in tournaments, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to take a chance on every single player. Sometimes, a player is simply under priced on FanDuel and can serve as the cornerstone of your lineups in every format.

For example, if Player X is priced at $7,000, but continually exceeds value by producing 35-40 FPs in most of their outings, there is no reason to ignore that type of consistency as part of your GPP lineup. Even if they're highly owned or don't possess much upside on their own, Player X will help keep your lineup on pace for the 250-350 FD point total that is required to win big on a given night.

The best tournament lineups are comprised of both risky (i.e. contrarian) plays and solid stars that are worth deploying in any format. When you hit the right combination and everything falls into place, you could wind up winning some big money.

FanDuel review
Nathaniel Weitzer

Nathaniel Weitzer

Nate Weitzer is a successful DFS player that specializes in Daily NBA and MLB advice. He's currently working as a sports journalist in Boston, but writing about fantasy sports is way better than doing "human interest" pieces on local athletes, so he contributes to multiple fantasy sites on a daily basis. Follow him @nweitzer7 for year-round fantasy sports advice.