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NBA Value in Cash Games

M played daily fantasy basketball before, you’re familiar with the concept of value. Basically, you’re targeting a certain amount of fantasy points per dollar that you spend on your lineup. In the other three major sports, this is difficult because players can have huge games that can almost guarantee a winning night for you as long as the rest of your team isn’t a complete bust.

NBA is about constructing an optimal lineup and making sure you are spending your salary cap dollars wisely. There will always be under-priced players. Some of them will come as a result of injuries or rest, and other times a player will see an increased role in the offense. That player’s salary will often take a couple of days to catch up to his recent production, creating a great value opportunity.

The mistake many players make is using a lower-priced player with an extremely low floor so they can plug a stud like Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis or S. Curry into their lineups. These guys are great players, and some night they have huge games. They’re also nearly incapable of having poor games because they have so many opportunities to contribute, and they’re the best player on the court. However, this is priced in. These players carry huge price tags, and if they have an average game (by their standards) or if they’re involved in a blowout that sees them sitting for the entire fourth quarter, they’re going to hurt your lineup. You won’t be able to make up for their lost production with the rest of your lineup, and the cheap, inconsistent player that you used in order to fit that stud in, is likely going to hurt you more often than he helps.

-Ian Olito

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