It’s true that being on top of player news, including injuries and role changes, is an important aspect for any DFS sport, but it may just be the most important aspect in NBA DFS.
There are staggered start times for games on any given slate, with news coming out right up until tip-off, which means every decision you made to craft your DFS teams in the lead up to submitting them, could be rendered completely useless.
NBA DFS players, and especially those new to the sport, will be all too familiar with checking the leaderboards and noticing a player that wasn't even on their radar is smashing value. You then learn that there was a late change before tip-off that was taken advantage of by DFS players who were paying closer attention to team news.
FINDING THE RIGHT NBA TEAM NEWS
NBA team news, and whether or not you are on top of it, can make or break your DFS slate, so there are two critical skills to learn to be successful at NBA DFS.
The first skill might sound simple, but it is the starting point to any successful NBA DFS player, and that is where to find the right NBA news. It’s the most integral thing for new NBA DFS players to learn to avoid having your slate ruined by NBA teams making late changes.
The main NBA team news to look out for is injuries or late outs due to personal reasons, rest or role changes. Injuries and late outs can be relatively simple if they are known in advance and fortunately the NBA has improved their policy regarding team news in recent years, mostly due to the popularisation of DFS and the recent advent of legalised sports betting in the United States.
Currently the NBA policy is that teams must “report information concerning player injuries, illnesses and rest for all NBA games by 5pm local time on the day before a game,” and that teams must also “designate a participation status and identify a specific injury, illness or potential instance of a healthy player resting for any player whose participation in the game may be affected by such injury, illness or rest.”
This means that you can at least start to prepare for an upcoming slate the night before a game. However, the NBA has more lenient rules for those teams playing multiple days in a row, stating “For the second game of a back-to-back, teams must report the information by 1pm local time on the day of the game”. With the Australian time zone this can make things a little more hectic in the lead up to a slate.
While this is better than a few years ago, teams are still able to be vague with their information such as the dreaded “game time decision” and some teams are far less adherent to the rules and still pull players right before a game.
Heading to Google and searching for NBA team news will give you plenty of options across the official NBA channels and mainstream media outlets, but truth be told, lots of this information will be outdated and completely detrimental to your DFS success.
The key to NBA team news is Twitter, and while there are lots of good accounts to follow, including team specific accounts with in-the-know city local journalists, the best place to start is with @fantasylabsNBA. Plenty of sources will have the information you seek, but will be bogged down by other information such as links to articles, etc. The Fantasy Labs Twitter account sends out a constant stream of team specific announcements in the lead up to every game, including injury and late announcements, and, very importantly to new NBA DFS players, the official starting five announcement before each game. You will also find plenty of information here about role changes and minute limits of players or minute announcements that coaches have made.
Once you get a feel for how the NBA and its teams announce and manipulate their team news sources, you can start following more accounts. Until then, at a minimum, you need at least one source that is up to date and you need to constantly be checking before the tip off, not only before the slate starts, but also in the lead up to each game within the slate.
HOW TO INTERPRET NBA TEAM NEWS
Now that you have the information, the real work starts and that’s how to interpret the news and use it to craft your NBA DFS lineups.
First and foremost, you need to understand the basics of what a player being out means to the ball usage and maybe minutes played, and therefore fantasy scoring potential.
As a generalisation, the most important ball handler and fantasy scorer in a team being out will mean that the second best player will get a bump in fantasy scoring due to their usage increasing. This will then also likely have a cascading effect throughout the team.
In this scenario there will also be a player who is usually on the bench that will now be in the starting five, likely giving them a huge bump in minutes played. Usually this will equate to more fantasy point scoring potential, but there are also instances where certain players are actually better off being the 6th man who leads the ball handling duties off the bench or has a better role with the second unit. When these players move into the starting lineup, they may play more minutes, but their time with the ball in hand might be vastly different to their usual role and limit their scoring potential. They will also now be playing against their opposition’s starting five, which is a completely different and likely far tougher match-up.
Due to the above, there may now also be value in the very cheap player who normally has a bad role on the second unit getting a bump because of the change to the starting five. For instance, if the main 2nd unit point guard normally plays 20 minutes off the bench and is now starting, there will be a guard on the bench who might get a bump to 20 minutes from basically nothing or just a handful of usual minutes.
This way of thinking is not only important when a stud fantasy player is out, but also in understanding who will be replacing a player’s minutes at each position and trying to think about how that affects each player on the court and even their counterparts on the bench. This is where finding the right news as previously mentioned is important, so if a player is out, you understand who is going to be benefiting.
It may sound daunting to try and work your way through NBA team news, especially on a big multi-game slate, but once you have the up-to-date information in hand, you will quickly get the hang of interpreting how this news changes fantasy scoring and improve your own NBA DFS game!
For more DFS strategy tips and tricks head to Daily Fantasy Rankings
Original Source: https://www.dailyfantasyrankings.com.au/article/dfs-strategy-where-to-find-nba-team-news-how-to-interpret-it