DraftKings NBA Strategy

Welcome to my DraftKings NBA Strategy Guide.  Below you will find a video I created talking about the DraftKings NBA strategies discussed on this page if you would rather watch the video.

I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success with DraftKings NBA, even though I don’t consider it one of my top sports.  Below are two 2nd place finishes in back to back nights at DraftKings where I took home $27,500 in winnings!

Know The Scoring System

Before you get started with any type of DraftKings contest you need to know the scoring system, so you can properly pick the players that will excel with that type of scoring system.  DraftKings has a pretty standard NBA fantasy scoring system, but they do have two unique bonuses which are listed below:

-Bonuses for 3 points shots made (0.5 point bonus)
-Bonuses for Double-Double, Triple-Doubles

*All details on the DraftKings scoring can be found when you’re entering a contest.

High Minutes = Fantasy Points

Unlike NFL where the starting offensive players will be on for the majority of the offensive snaps, NBA players will often play around 25-30 minutes per game, with bench players playing less. It sound like stating the obvious but there is a direct correlation between minutes played and fantasy points. Be careful rostering players with low minutes played.

Be Careful of Back to Backs

When teams are playing back to back games, or their 4th game in 7 days for example, coaches may rest starters either completely (inactive for the game) or give them less minutes. It’s sometimes hard to predict when coaches will scale back starters minutes, but it’s something to pay attention to.

Pay Attention To Hot Streaks

Basketball players can be streaky – watch for hot streaks. Sometimes a player will have a few good games in a row and will be rewarded for more minutes. Might be a good time to roster a player after 2-3 good games in a row. BUT be careful with this, especially if the players price rises on DraftKings. Also be careful of below average players who have 1 or 2 really good games in a row – it might be an anomaly for that player.  Don’t use playing players on hot streaks as your main NBA DraftKings strategy, but do pay attention to them.

Watch News – Set Lineups As Late as Possible

In NBA there is more late news than any other sport. This includes lineup changes, injuries, players inactive, etc. It is ideal to set your lineup as late as possible because of this. If a starting point guard is ruled out 30 minutes before tip-off you might get great value on his backup who is priced cheap.

To be successful at DraftKings NBA this is maybe the most important strategy.  You can find some real value players close to tip off that will allow you to spend money on elite players.

Use Vegas Lines

Check this betting odds page on my site for Las Vegas betting lines.

The total will show you the expected number of points scored by both teams. The spread will show you who is expected to win and by how much.

Games that finish with higher totals usually means more fantasy points given out in total = better chance you will pick a player who exceeds value if you choose players from games with high totals.

You can make other predictions from spreads or totals as well. Example – if a team is on the second of a back to back and they are -15 (15 point favorites) they could take a big lead and rest starters.

Predicting Ownership

I’ve got a full video on this on my YouTube channel you can check out, but if you can predict how owned certain players will be in a DraftKings contest you can sometimes gain an edge.

Example – if you think Anthony Davis is going to be 75% owned you could take the risk on not rostering him, spending that money elsewhere, and if he has a poor game you will be in the 25% of people who gain an advantage of the poor performance. This is referred to as “Fading a player”

Don’t Shy Away From Elite Players vs Top Defenses

Sometimes the best players are what I like to call “matchup proof” – meaning no matter their match up they continue to perform like a superstar and rack up the fantasy points. Of course they will have their off games, and sometimes those come against elite defenses, but rostering an elite player vs a top defense can pay off as ownership levels drop on these star players.

Understanding NBA Specific DFS Stats

NBA DFS stats include things such as: Usage Rate, Pace of Player, and DvP. Below is an example of an NBA fantasy stat “Usage” that the regular person doesn’t think about when watching an NBA game, but you will want to if you want to become better at building winning DraftKings NBA lineups.


Percentage of players that player finished while on the court (ie makes a basket, misses a shot, turns the ball over)

It basically shows which players have the ball in their hands a lot and have the ability to score high fantasy points

All of these stats can be found in the top NBA DraftKings fantasy tools out there, which ties into my next strategy tip.

Use DFS Tools To Build Lineups

Instead of spending hours to research yourself, make sure you are using the available NBA DFS tools out there.  My favorite is FantasyLabs, which has helped me win a lot of money over the past year – including a couple of big payouts in DraftKings NBA contests.

That’s it for my DraftKings NBA strategy.  I hope this guide helps you become a winning player at DraftKings!