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Daily Fantasy Basketball 101: How to Win on FanDuel

Michael Rathburn

Michael Rathburn

Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. He was also nominated by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for Best Baseball Series in 2011.


Last week, I covered how to win on DraftStreet and how to find value inside the data. This week, I finished up my three part series with FanDuel. FanDuel has much softer salaries than the other two sites, but tighter restrictions on roster management. Their algorithm updates two to three times per week. The players are only eligible at one position, and the rosters are fixed positions meaning player’s are listed as PG or SG, not G. This makes for a different strategy on FanDuel compared to other sites.

The importance of hitting on your “Blue Chip” stocks is the key to winning in daily fantasy basketball. Another factor is identifying the most consistent players on a nightly basis. Expanding on my original research, I dug into when a player presents value either home or road, along with their consistency.

You can see that a player’s salary isn’t going to differ much whether at home or on the road, but I needed to calculate those in order to create the value measurement. This formula takes fantasy points per game/salary*1000. On FanDuel, your value target for top-tier players should be at least 4x. The value report for each player shows each time a player hits value and for how much. This will show who are the most consistent players, and also the players who have the highest ceiling.

Each player will have their salary (home/road), average fantasy points per game (home/road), value (fantasy points per game/salary*1000), value report (how many games they hit for value and at what multiplier), consistency report (percentage of time hitting 2x or greater), ceiling report (salary at time of hitting 50 FPPG or higher), and notes.

Here are the top players to consider in daily fantasy basketball on FanDuel:

Kevin Durant

Home Avg Salary $11793; Avg FPPG 52.1; Value 4.43
Road Avg Salary $11911; Avg FPPG 47.0; Value 3.97

Value Report – 6x(3), 5x(10), 4x(19), 3x(16), 2x(7), 1x(1), 0x(0)
Production Report (FPPG) – 70 (2), 60 (5), 50 (20), 40 (18), 30 (9), 20 (0), 10 (1)
Consistency Report - 32/56 games 4x or greater = 57 percent
Ceiling Report – 27/56 games 50 FPPG or greater = 48 percent

Kevin Love

Home Avg Salary $11160; Avg FPPG 48.5; Value 4.40
Road Avg Salary $11075; Avg FPPG 48.7; Value 4.40

Value Report – 6x(2), 5x(13), 4x(20), 3x(14), 2x(5), 1x(0), 0x(0)
Production Report (FPPG) – 70 (1), 60 (7), 50 (17), 40 (19), 30 (9), 20 (1), 10 (0)
Consistency Report - 35/54 games 4x or greater = 65 percent
Ceiling Report – 25/54 games 50 FPPG or greater = 46 percent

-- Love provides better value on FanDuel over Durant. He is just as consistent at home versus on the road.

LeBron James

Home Avg Salary $11045; Avg FPPG 42.8; Value 3.90
Road Avg Salary $10946; Avg FPPG 47.1; Value 4.32

Value Report – 6x(1), 5x(9), 4x(20), 3x(17), 2x(5), 1x(0), 0x(0)
Production Report (FPPG) – 60 (4), 50 (9), 40 (23), 30 (14), 20 (2), 10 (0)
Consistency Report - 30/52 games 4x or greater = 58 percent
Ceiling Report – 13/52 games 50 FPPG or greater = 25 percent

-- We talked about James not having much value on other sites, but his value on FanDuel is on the road where the Heat play a higher pace. 10 out of his best 14 value games were on the road. Also, note his strong consistency rating, but terrible ceiling making him a much better “cash” game player referring to head-to-head and double-up contests.

Stephen Curry

Home Avg Salary $9822; Avg FPPG 42.0; Value 4.28
Road Avg Salary $9828; Avg FPPG 42.0; Value 4.28

Value Report – 6x(3), 5x(14), 4x(16), 3x(14), 2x(5), 1x(3)
Production Report (FPPG) – 60 (2), 50 (14), 40 (13), 30 (18), 20 (5), 10 (3)
Consistency Report - 17/55 games 5x or greater = 31 percent
Ceiling Report – 16/55 games 50 FPPG or greater = 29 percent

Chris Paul

Home Avg Salary $10023; Avg FPPG 42.8; Value 4.30
Road Avg Salary $9920; Avg FPPG 44.5; Value 4.53

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(1), 5x(7), 4x(15), 3x(14), 2x(2)
Production Report (FPPG) – 70 (2), 60 (1), 50 (3), 40 (21), 30 (11), 20 (3)
Consistency Report - 10/41 games 5x or greater = 24 percent
Ceiling Report – 6/41 games 50 FPPG or greater = 15 percent

-- Because of a long injury layoff, Paul’s salary on FanDuel is very low. Take advantage.

DeMarcus Cousins

Home Avg Salary $9500; Avg FPPG 42.6; Value 4.49
Road Avg Salary $9625; Avg FPPG 42.6; Value 4.43

Value Report – 6x(3), 5x(17), 4x(12), 3x(11), 2x(4), 1x(2)
Production Report (FPPG) – 50 (16), 40 (13), 30 (14), 20 (4), 10 (2)
Consistency Report - 32/50 games 4x or greater = 64 percent
Ceiling Report – 16/50 games 50 FPPG or greater = 32 percent

-- Cousins is a consistency beast on FanDuel and a great heads-to-head/double-up pick most nights. Assuming he’s not suspended or injured that game, of course.

Carmelo Anthony

Home Avg Salary $10062; Avg FPPG 46.3; Value 4.62
Road Avg Salary $9984; Avg FPPG 41.6; Value 4.17

Value Report – 7x(1), 6x(2), 5x(9), 4x(22), 3x(16), 2x(4)
Production Report (FPPG) – 70 (1), 60 (2), 50 (10), 40 (23), 30 (15), 20 (3)
Consistency Report - 34/54 games 4x or greater = 63 percent
Ceiling Report – 13/54 games 50 FPPG or greater = 24 percent

-- Anthony makes a great tournament play at home because of the huge ceiling potential.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Home Avg Salary $9936; Avg FPPG 44.2; Value 4.45
Road Avg Salary $9939; Avg FPPG 43.1; Value 4.36

Value Report – 7x(2), 6x(2), 5x(5), 4x(22), 3x(18), 2x(4)
Production Report (FPPG) – 70 (1), 60 (4), 50 (7), 40 (19), 30 (17), 20 (5)
Consistency Report - 31/53 games 4x or greater = 58 percent
Ceiling Report – 12/53 games 50 FPPG or greater = 23 percent

-- Once Aldridge comes back from injury watch his salary. If his salary is below $9900, there’s plenty of value to be found.

Blake Griffin

Home Avg Salary $9365; Avg FPPG 44.2; Value 4.73
Road Avg Salary $9387; Avg FPPG 40.0; Value 4.27

Value Report – 6x(5), 5x(13), 4x(21), 3x(19), 2x(2)
Production Report (FPPG) – 60 (2), 50 (12), 40 (22), 30 (18), 20 (6)
Consistency Report - 39/60 games 4x or greater = 65 percent
Ceiling Report – 14/60 games 50 FPPG or greater = 23 percent

-- Griffin is a monster at home on FanDuel, and he’s definitely worth more as a tournament play.

Anthony Davis

Home Avg Salary $9404; Avg FPPG 45.8; Value 4.92
Road Avg Salary $9430; Avg FPPG 38.7; Value 4.14

Value Report – 8x(1), 7x(1), 6x(3), 5x(11), 4x(18), 3x(8), 2x(4), 1x(2)
Production Report (FPPG) – 60 (4), 50 (8), 40 (17), 30 (12), 20 (5), 10 (2)
Consistency Report - 34/48 games 4x or greater = 71 percent
Ceiling Report – 12/48 games 50 FPPG or greater = 25 percent

-- Davis’ highest value games come at home. His salary provides the highest return when it falls under $10,000.