NBA DFS Lineup Advice: Should We Attack the Early Value? (February 27)

Hey all, it’s Lindy! In this series of articles, I’ll walk you through the essential elements of the main NBA DFS slate every night. Remember, unforeseen events might impact the slate, so consider this information more as guidance than absolute gospel. I’ll spotlight some key decision-making moments for the current slate, aiding you in anticipating changes and fine-tuning your lineups accordingly. Let’s get into today’s NBA DFS lineup advice! For additional NBA DFS lineup suggestions, check out our NBA DFS lineup generator or our industry-leading NBA DFS simulation tools.

NBA DFS Lineup Questions: Key Decisions for Today

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NBA DFS Lineup Advice: News, News and More News!

One of the truly soul-sucking experiences that comes from writing about NBA DFS — which, by the way, is an honor and a privilege, so don’t confuse ‘soul-sucking’ for ‘actually sucking’ because it does not — is trying to figure out what to write about when there’s so much massive, potentially slate-changing news waiting in the wings.

Sure, I like a lot of contrarian tournament pieces right now after working through my process, but will I still like them if Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein from the Knicks or Zion Williamson and C.J. McCollum from the Pelicans all get ruled out? Probably not! Oh, and by the way, Karl-Anthony Towns was ruled out from nowhere as I was writing this blurb, and Rudy Gobert is still questionable, so my point exactly.

Actually, scratch that: My actual point is the second half of the NBA season is a wild, wild free-for-all at times, and anything/everything that’s written well before lock needs to be looked at through a different lens if news pops up from nowhere to render it obsolete. This may sound unnecessary or redundant to a lot of you who play DFS on a daily basis, but for some reason it’s intensified this type of year as tanking teams and playoff contenders with very different motivations take the floor.

But luckily, if you’re a Stokastic Sims sub, all the work to have the most updated information paired with the best tool in the NBA DFS game is done for you. Not sure what to do if Gobert is ruled out tonight? Easy: Wait five minutes, re-run your lineups in the Late Swap portion of the Sims, and enjoy knowing you have sizable edge against your opposition. Just ask my Live Before Lock co-host Greg Ehrenberg, who enjoyed his SECOND takedown of the main DraftKings contest this NBA season! And even on a somewhat benign slate, there was still a need to swap lineups reacting to unsuspecting news, such as Dennis Schroder’s surprise start against the Grizzlies.

Actually, that makes for a good segue to some actual analysis, so let’s dive in:

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Early Value vs. Late Value: The Battle Continues

If Shakespeare were still alive today and writing this article for whatever reason, I feel like start this section out with this:

“To lock in early value, or to not lock in early value? That is the question.”

Yes, it’s a tale as old as time/song as old as rhyme, but it’s one of the most important questions experienced NBA DFSers ask themselves on a daily basis — even if they’re not aware that they’re doing it anymore. There’s almost a mental checklist I say to myself without actually verbalizing it at this point:

  • How significant is the potential late injury news?
  • Who benefits the most if said player is out?
  • What do I do if the injury news reveals itself 10 minutes before lock as opposed to 10 minutes after lock?
  • What do I anticipate the field doing in response to the news?
  • How do I make the positions/salaries work in lineups to achieve maximum upside in either injury scenario?
  • And last, but certainly not least: What can I not live without in the early window of games?

So let’s do exactly that: If the Timberwolves and Knicks and Pelicans and whoever else is playing at 7:30 p.m. ET or later are still making us wait on pending news, what are some players locking at 7 p.m. ET that are absolutely still making my lineups? I’ll give you one in each price range who will all being highlighted for different reasons, starting with the cheapie:

1. Dennis Schroder, Brooklyn Nets — $4,800 PG/SG (Currently 33.1% owned)

The most popular play of the early window, Schroder got a surprise start over Ben Simmons on Monday, and this time around both Simmons and Cam Thomas are out. This should make way for massive minutes going to Schroder, who at sub-$5,000 with the added shooting guard eligibility will find his way into a at least a few lineups no matter when or how the later news shakes out. The matchup is horrendous against the Magic, who are fifth in adjusted defensive rating this season, but the 32.5 minutes he’s currently projected for at Stokastic more than make up for that fact.

2. Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers — $7,300 C (Currently 19.3% owned)

The reason I’m bringing up Allen here is that center is moderate to poor today. If Gobert plays, I’ll actually try to get to him more than any other center not named Nikola Vucevic, but not at the expense of at least some Allen exposure. The usage won’t be there in bulk with Evan Mobley playing more and Donovan Mitchell’s overall existence, but the Dallas frontcourt has been notoriously kind to bigs this season. Plus, Luka Doncic’s team has been playing up in pace, going from 28th in that category last season to ninth this year. Speaking of …

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3. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks — $12,000 PG (Currently 1.9% owned)

To properly dispel the notion that I’m just jamming in the highest-owned available players, Doncic is one guy I will certainly be overweight to the field on tonight. Sure, if the slate started now and nothing changed, I wouldn’t like that fact. But here’s the real reason why I want him even in a Cavaliers matchup that is pure brutality: He is the highest-projected guard by more than 10 fantasy points in our projections, and if an influx of injury news opens up, you don’t get to retroactively add Doncic to your lineups. Plus, a lot of my favorite plays that could potentially open up seem to be non-point guards: Naz Reid, Kyle Anderson, Herbert Jones and Josh Hart just to name a few. So if we get to lock and there’s still not a ton of clarity about what’s going on later, be grateful for it and embrace it. Oh, and get more Doncic in your lineups.

Eric Lindquist hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (yes, that’s the one with Mount Rushmore). A steady diet of three SportsCenters a day at an early age led to his obsession with sports, one that 30 years later is paying dividends for him as a successful DFS player and sports bettor. Despite over half a million dollars in net career earnings, he’s most passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals, an energy you can witness on the daily in his current role as a host and analyst at Stokastic. He’s a former Division I golfer at Iowa State, wishes he was a former Minnesota sports fan, and is a proud father to a 100-pound Bernese Mountain dog named Duke that wishes he could just eat people food instead of the crap he and his wife feed him on the daily.

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