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  • An Entire Course About Injuries in NBA DFS

Short Term vs. Long Term Injuries

Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

Are you tired of reading about injuries?

Well, I apologize. However, it is well worth your time, so I guess I’ll take my apology back.

The final lesson in this course will be brief. The goal is to give a little background on how the length of injuries affects the value for the backup and for the surrounding cast. This helps to differentiate between when there is actual value and when there is not.

Short-Term Injuries

Short-term injuries are basically any injury where we can expect the player to return to the lineup in a reasonable time frame. We don’t have to put specific parameters on it, but it’s basically when a player is expected to return within the next week or two.

Sites typically set their salaries for the next day’s slate the night before. The time difference, between when salaries are posted and when lineups lock, creates inefficiencies in the market. This is where the short-term injuries come into play. When a player is a scratched from the lineup, his backup is going to be priced as if he were playing his usual role. The sites can’t do anything about it, because the salaries are already set for the night. This makes the backup player that may usually play 10-15 minutes a huge value, because he is obviously going to see a considerable more amount of playing time.

Daily fantasy sites will generally try to adjust salaries as quickly as possible in these situations, but even after a backup has a big fantasy outing, you will rarely see his salary fully reflect a single performance. It generally takes 4-5 games before that backup is actually priced as a starter. There is generally a solid window for us to derive value when a player misses a week or two of action.

Due to the nature of the pricing models and the fact that we get to pick a new team every single night, we like to see as many short-term injuries as possible. We obviously shouldn’t cheer for players to get injured or anything like that, but the short-term injuries really open the door for value.

Before we get into the long-term injuries and how they affect fantasy production, I want to quickly state how important it is to go with the “chalk” when it comes to injuries, especially in cash games. Even the most obvious of plays are rarely over 70-80% owned. There have been times when even the most obvious plays – a starting point guard for minimum salary – don’t end up being close to 100% owned. There are always going to be people that either miss the injury news or decide to fade the obvious plays. Don’t be one of them.

Every edge that you can get in daily fantasy is worthwhile. Sure, a value play could end up being a dud, but more often than not, the increase in minutes and usage is going to result in a good fantasy outing. When there is a player that I feel has a 90% chance of not only reaching, but also exceeding value, I will not hesitate to have 100% exposure to him. Even if he ends up being 70% owned, when he easily outperforms his salary expectations, I will have an edge on 30% of the field in all league formats. Everyone says that you have to be contrarian to win tournaments, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fade a great play just because he is going to be highly owned. Use the rest of your roster to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Long-Term Injuries

The longer that a player takes to return from an injury, the less value there is for his teammates in terms of salary to fantasy production expectations. When a player is out for weeks or months at a time, the salaries are going to eventually reflect each player’s new role on that team.

For instance, if Ricky Rubio gets hurt and ends up being out for a month, Zach LaVine is obviously going to be a great value play in the short term. However, once he starts being productive as a starter, his salary is going to reflect that level of play soon thereafter. He will then be priced as a starter, which basically takes the value from Rubio’s injury away. That’s not to say that we can’t target LaVine once his price goes up, but he no longer has that great value that he had when Rubio’s injury first occurred.

I sure hope I didn’t jinx Ricky Rubio. The Wolves are going to be a fun team to watch this season if they can stay healthy.

If you haven’t checked out my other courses, feel free to do so:

NBA Blueprint Volume 1
NBA Blueprint Volume 2
What is Value and How to Find it in DFS
Vegas Lines and Opportunity

Short-Term Injuries

Short-term injuries are basically any injury where we can expect the player to return to the lineup in a reasonable time frame. We don’t have to put specific parameters on it, but it’s basically when a player is expected to return within the next week or two.

Sites typically set their salaries for the next day’s slate the night before. The time difference, between when salaries are posted and when lineups lock, creates inefficiencies in the market. This is where the short-term injuries come into play. When a player is a scratched from the lineup, his backup is going to be priced as if he were playing his usual role. The sites can’t do anything about it, because the salaries are already set for the night. This makes the backup player that may usually play 10-15 minutes a huge value, because he is obviously going to see a considerable more amount of playing time.

Daily fantasy sites will generally try to adjust salaries as quickly as possible in these situations, but even after a backup has a big fantasy outing, you will rarely see his salary fully reflect a single performance. It generally takes 4-5 games before that backup is actually priced as a starter. There is generally a solid window for us to derive value when a player misses a week or two of action.

To read the rest of this lesson, you must purchase the course!

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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

Instructor

Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week.

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