NBA DFS Lineup Study: 3 Takeaways From Top Pros in Monday’s NBA Contests

Each morning, I spend time doing lineup study, leveraging the Stokastic Post-Contest Sims to learn from the prior night’s slate. This is the single most important part of my process and has led to a lot of success for me this NBA season.

This process consists of reviewing my own lineups, taking a look at the field’s exposures compared to 150-maxers and doing a deep dive on the lineups of 20 or so pros that I follow closely that have a strong, repeatable process.

In this series of articles, I will uncover daily learnings from my NBA DFS lineup study process.

Feel free to reach out on Twitter/X with any questions or topics you’d like to see covered here!

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NBA DFS Lineup Study: 3 Takeaways From Monday

Lesson No. 1: Late breaking starting lineups can provide just as much leverage as late swap

Monday night, Luke Kennard was announced as the Memphis starting point guard leading up to lock when many players had already set their first run of lineups. The majority of the field did not react to this news for two potential reasons:

  • BKN-MEM was seen as an unappealing fantasy environment, and, being the first game of the night, players wanted to retain flexibility for later in the night
  • The news simply went overlooked given it was somewhat buried and broke relatively late in the normal cadence of lineups

Despite this news breaking approximately 15 minutes before lock, credit the Stokastic data team for getting projections updated and pushed out in a timely fashion. I was able to get to nearly 30% Kennard (over 4X the field in large-field contests), and he went for 38.5 DK points which was an excellent value at $4.8k. I noticed many top pros getting to significantly over-the-field exposure, too.

Lesson No. 2: Know your contest structure

The winning lineup in the $350k Micro-Max ($4 entry, $100k to first) only had two players from the most stackable game of the night (UTA-WAS), whereas the winning lineup in the $3,180 Rainmaker had four players from that game. There is variability in terms of what lineups at up at the top in contests, but there is a good lesson here: In contests with massive field sizes, you truly have to be close to perfect to win. Very often, large-team stacks build in some implicit negative correlation, which can be entirely fine in high-stakes, small-field contests, but may hold your lineups back from reaching GPP-winning ceilings when the number of entries skyrocket.

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Lesson No. 3: Pros jam good chalk and get different elsewhere

You’ve probably heard this line elsewhere – or even from me – but it is worth repeating. Let’s compare a few chalk players exposures’ last night between the $15 Fadeaway and the $4 Micro-Max (where the $15 contest surely had a much higher concentration of pros).

  • Lillard: 67% Fadeaway vs. 46% Micro-Max
  • Banton: 64% vs. 39%
  • Portis: 58% vs. 47%
  • Collins: 50% vs. 38%
  • Sexton: 35% vs. 25%

These were all incredibly strong plays that ended up working out. Top players found ways to get different by mixing in lower-owned plays that had ceiling performances (e.g., Reath, Kennard, Simons) to keep total lineup ownership in check. Some spots are truly too good to try to get away from.

If you want to use Post-Contest Sims and evaluate your own game — as well as use Stokastic Sims to increase your DFS process — check out all of the packages and offerings and join the community today!

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