NBA DFS Analytics: February 11th, 2021


- You can download the datasheet and lineup optimizer in Excel by clicking here.

- You can read our articles on advanced analytics Here. These include articles on how to define player value, how to understand advanced matchup statistics, and more.

- Find our YouTube tutorial on how to use the optimizer and datasheet Here.


- Today's main slate features 5 games, IND and TOR are on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is PHI v POR at 229.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is MIA v HOU at 214.5 points.

 Need to Know:

McCollum and Nurkic Out: As has been the case for the past few games, McCollum and Nurkic remain out for the Trailblazers. This opens it up for Dame to see a ton of usage in what should be a high scoring game. Anfernee Simons ($4,100 on DK & FD) needs just 21 points to return value tonight on both sites, and I like his chances against a PHI team that has been really bad against pure 3 point shooters this season. We currently have Simons projected for 24 DK points, giving him a projected +- of +3. 

Smart Out: Boston is number 1 is salary adjusted DvP to the PG position this season. In other words, point guards against Boston have simply been unplayable. But that was with Smart healthy, with Smart out last game, the Celtics got torched by fill in PG Donovan Mitchell. Against Toronto tonight, this makes me more interested in both Lowry and VanVleet, as I know neither of them will have to deal with the incredible defense of Smart.

Siakam's Price Discrepancy: This isn't injury related, but I felt like I had to include it. Siakam is a ridiculous $1,600 cheaper on DraftKings then on FanDuel tonight. This is the largest difference I've seen for a key player this season and we project Siakam ($8,000 Dk & $9,600 FD) to score 43.2 points on DK tonight, for a +3.2 projected +-. 



DFS, and particularly NBA DFS, takes a lot more strategy than you might expect at first glance. There are different contest to play in, different ways to construct your lineups, and hundreds of metrics you can look towards when deciding who to play or fade. In this section, I will discuss that differences between GPP and Cash games, and why/how they should be approached differently. 

Note: This is a longer write-up, so if you're not interested in this sort of stuff, feel free to skip ahead to the injury report and top 10.

GPP: A GPP (guaranteed prize pool) is a tournament that typically pays out the the top 20-25% of winners, with huge payouts going to the top 10, and drastically smaller payouts to everyone else. First off, one thing you need to know right off the bat: If you are not entering more than one lineup on a night, you should stick to single entry GPPs. If you enter a single lineup into a multi-entry GPP, you are putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage, as other users will have hedged their bets with numerous different lineups.

The typical strategy for a GPP is high risk high reward. Two metrics to keep in mind when constructing a GPP lineup are projected ownership and potential rating (Both of these are available in our datasheet). If a player sits at a high projected ownership %, then selecting him is unlikely to give you a significant advantage on the rest of the competition. That being said, these players are oftentimes in optimal lineups, so it becomes a balancing act of how many to include. 

Let's take a look at an example from last night:

Hamidou Diallo: Proj GPP Ownership: 41.8%, 

Al Horford: Proj GPP Ownership: 21%

Isaiah Roby: Proj GPP Ownership 20%.

Darius Bazley: Proj GPP Ownership: 12%.

These are some high projections, and the actual ownership numbers ended up being even higher! So, how do you play this? In a cash game, I had enough confidence in the number of minutes each of these guys would play that I went ahead and locked in all 4, effectively capturing any range of outcomes (obviously, I got burned by Roby). But a GPP is very different, knowing that a lot of users were going to play some combination of the above 4, I picked the guy I had the strongest feeling about (the one our model projected for the highest +-) and excluded the other 3. I picked Horford, and was able to watch as the 40% of players who chose Roby in the GPP fell down the rankings. Obviously, this could've been a lucky pick, and I just as easily could have taken Roby, but the logic behind my decision making was sound and put me in a position to surpass a large percentage of my competitors. 

The second thing to consider is our potential rating. Perhaps a player is expected to command low ownership, and we have a strong point projection for him, but he has no potential for a huge game. Our potential rating looks at a players maximum score, standard deviations of scores, and player's salary to give you a rating 0-100 as to how likely they may be to have a big game relative to their salary. Take Tristan Thompson as an example. Thompson has one of the lowest potential ratings (~17) of any player, having exceeded 30 points only once the entire season. Despite that, we still project him to come close to returning value tonight. He's only $4,600 on DK and has a very consistent floor. But is Thompson likely to be in a GPP winning lineup? Of course not, for Thompson to return value in a GPP winning lineup he would likely need to score somewhere in the 35 point range, which he has yet to do this season. Creating a lineup comprised of high potential players creates a high risk high reward scenario, ideal for GPPs. 

GPP's should be approached from this perspective, you can't completely fade all obvious (chalk) plays, but you do have to fade some of them. Playing a lineup that commands high ownership and low potential (under 25) makes it nearly impossible to finish in that top 1%. As a GPP star tonight both Butler and Lillard make for interesting looks, as they both have huge game potential and strong potential ratings.

Cash: Cash games are ones that pay out either half or the top 45% of the field (think 50-50's and double ups). Here, the exact opposite of what has been talked about holds true. Looking for obvious, consistent, high floor plays is the best approach. In the above example, I locked all 4 OKC players into my cash lineup. I did this knowing that OKC had 8 healthy guys, and each of them should play over 30 minutes. Taking this high floor approach (for example only playing guys with greater than 30 projected minutes) is an interesting way to think about cash games. 

For this, you can also consider using our consistency rating, which looks at the standard deviation of a players scores from his average to create a metric for how consistent that player has been at scoring close to his average during the season. This is best used for high end stars who have played a lot of games. For example, I wouldn't fade Diallo in a cash game last night because of his low-ish consistency rating, as I know that he has grown into his role and is playing high minutes at this point in the season. Interesting cash games looks for tonight could be a guy like Ben Simmons, who is one of the most consistent DFS performers you will find, and Demarcus Cousins (especially at his $6,000 price tag on FD) who should see big minutes. 


Questionable/Out List: These other key players are Questionable or Out. Make sure to check the status of anyone who is questionable right before tipoff. You never definitively know either way until then.

Out Players

  • Christian Wood (O) HOU
  • Goran Dragic (O) MIA
  • Avery Bradley (O) MIA
  • James Wiseman (O) GS
  • Aaron Gordon (O) ORL
  • Shake Milton (O) PHI

Questionable Players

  • John Wall (P) HOU
  • Gabe Vincent (P) MIA
  • OG Anunoby (Q) TOR
  • Cole Anthony (Q) ORL
  • Evan Fournier (Q) ORL

Tonight's Top 10 Players, Projected Points

DraftKings Top 10

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Joel Embiid 54.9
2 Stephen Curry 54.0
3 Jimmy Butler 54.0
4 Damian Lillard 53.3
5 Nikola Vucevic 48.7
6 Ben Simmons 46.1
7 Domantas Sabonis 45.8
8 Jayson Tatum 44.3
9 Pascal Siakam 43.3
10 Fred VanVleet 42.3


FanDuel Top 10

  Top 10 Players, Projected PTs
RNK Player Proj PTs
1 Joel Embiid 53.3
2 Jimmy Butler 52.9
3 Stephen Curry 50.9
4 Damian Lillard 50.5
5 Nikola Vucevic 47.8
6 Ben Simmons 46.7
7 Pascal Siakam 44.3
8 Domantas Sabonis 43.5
9 Bam Adebayo 43.2
10 Jayson Tatum 43.0


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