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Beginner NBA DFS: Lineups and Injury News

We continue our breakdown of the basics for NBA DFS. In this section, we look at lineups and injury news, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall during the first quarter at Chase Center. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In daily fantasy basketball, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means knowing who is playing and where they are in the lineup.

Lineups

Definition

In all sports, teams are required to submit lineups prior to the start of games. This is especially important in the NBA, which can be frustrating when it comes to lineups and reporting switches. The League is mostly good at this and has improved drastically over the years. This lineup will tell us who is starting, coming off the bench, and a list of injured and inactive players. It’s important to confirm that players in your lineup are active and playing. The last thing you want to do is find out somebody you started was scratched.

Strategy

For starters, you can download the DK Live app for all the latest injuries and news from around the NBA. You get helpful alerts that can make adjusting lineups quick and easy. There are a bunch of other ways to make sure you’re on top of lineups. Familiarize yourself with rosters around the League. The more you know! Follow reporters on Twitter — the top beats for each team can not only help with injury and lineup news, but also provide useful nuggets of info.

Injury News

Definition

Hell. Just kidding! Injury news in the NBA, again, can be a bit frustrating, but it only makes you a better DFS player. The more you’re on top of injuries while playing DFS, the better off you’re going to be. As was mentioned above, Twitter is your best resource as well as apps that provide up-to-date alerts for injury news. The faster you get injury news, the quicker you can adjust lineups.

Strategy

Injuries are our main source of value on almost every slate. Players get injured all the time. It’s unfortunate, but a necessary evil in fantasy sports. Injuries allow cheaper players to step into bigger roles, thus altering their expected usage and minutes.

An easy way to explain value in NBA DFS is with the Houston Rockets. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are similar fantasy performers operating on the same team. If one is out, the other benefits immensely. So when Harden is out, regardless of Westbrook’s price, he’s going to be an intriguing play.