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NBA DFS Strategy: How to Build Winning GPP Lineups | DraftKings + FanDuel

Adam Scherer

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DraftKings & FanDUel NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Strategy, Picks, projections and ownership with Zion Williamson on Friday May 7

It seems like the only thing people around the daily fantasy sports industry talk about is winning tournaments. Of course, it makes for great TV advertisements to boast about how you can win $1 million in a single night. Let’s be real, we all want to take down a Milly Maker. So, how do we go about getting ourselves into a mindset where we’re building strong NBA DFS GPP lineups that can soar to the top of the DraftKings and FanDuel leaderboards? We’ll break that down from top to bottom.

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NBA DFS Strategy: How to Win DraftKings + FanDuel GPPs

What Are “GPPs?”

Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs) are contests that are guaranteed to run whether they reach their maximum number of entrants or not. Typically when we talk about GPPs we are referring to large-field tournaments that award a relatively large percentage of the prize pool to the top few finishing positions. Normally between 18 and 25 percent of the field will cash, but the bulk of the prize pool is distributed to those in the top few finishing positions.

How Should You Adjust Your Strategy for GPPs?

Since a large portion of the prize pool is reserved for the top few finishing positions in most GPPs, you want to adjust your strategy to maximize your chances of finishing at the top of the field. While you still don’t want to completely forego safety in your lineup, there is a large potential payoff for embracing risk and volatility that doesn’t exist in some other contest formats.

Player ownership is also an important part of GPP strategy. One way to think about this is to think in terms of finding points that your opponents don’t have. If every person in a GPP has the same player in their lineup, it doesn’t matter if he scores 100 fantasy points — you still won’t have an advantage over everyone else. If you’re the only person with him, however, you have a great chance to win the tournament and earn a large payday. It is important, therefore, to weigh a player’s chances of success against their expected ownership.

How Can You Use Our Tools to Improve Your GPP Play?

In addition to having access to strong projections, it is important to be able to find spots that you can exploit the field and give yourself a path to winning tournaments.

Our Boom/Bust Tool projects the percentage of the time that a player will exceed their target score and the percentage of the time they will fail to reach a minimum score threshold. In tournaments, we can look to their chances of exceeding their target score in order to ensure we are rostering players that give us the upside necessary to win a tournament.

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Our Ownership Projections project how popular each player will be in large field GPPs on DraftKings and FanDuel. This is crucial information because it allows you to build lineups that are unlikely to be duplicated while also allowing you to find individual players that are going overlooked by most of the competition.

The ultimate goal in building a GPP lineup is to find a balance between maximizing your projected points and minimizing the projected ownership. Combining the Boom/Bust Tool and the Ownership Projections is a powerful way to do this. By comparing a player’s chance of exceeding their target score to their projected ownership, you can quickly see which players are expected to be more or less popular than the data suggests that they should be.

Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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