How to Find Success in Playoff Daily Fantasy NBA, Presented By Netflix's Army of the Dead

FanDuel and Netflix's Army of the Dead are offering free-to-enter contests for the NBA's play-in tournament. How should we be approaching playoff DFS differently?

The NBA play-in tournament is already going to be exciting, but FanDuel and Netflix's Army of the Dead are teaming up to make things even better.

You can hop into a free-to-enter contest at FanDuel and get in on the action for each night of the NBA's play-in tournament -- all four nights.

There's an added bonus, too. You can get a free NBA Piggy Bank Shot voucher if a lower-seeded team "comes back from the dead" that night to win their game.

What should we be keeping in mind during the play-in games so that we can maximize our success during the NBA playoffs?

NBA Playoffs Daily Fantasy Tips

Minutes Matter

Anyone who has played daily fantasy NBA knows the importance of minutes, and that gets ramped up in the playoffs. Benches shorten, rotations tighten, and starters' minutes climb, on average.

If we use nothing but minutes ranges from last season's playoffs, we can see just how far apart high-minute players can separate in terms of fantasy potential

FanDuel Point Averages
by In-Game Minutes
FanDuel Points
Under 17.4 Minutes6.7
17.5 to 22.4 Minutes15.4
22.5 to 27.4 Minutes20.1
27.5 to 32.4 Minutes25.4
32.5 to 37.4 Minutes32.7
37.5 or More Minutes43.1

Balancing lineups with players slotted for big minutes will help our lineups ascend the ranks.

Stick With Starters

Here's a snapshot of how the 2019-20 season looked when we split up the regular season and playoffs into starters and bench players (sorted by FanDuel points per game).

Starters vs. Reserves
2019-20 NBA
Regular Season and Playoffs
FanDuel Points
FanDuel Points
Per Minute
Playoff Starters 32.7 31.0 0.95
Regular Season Starters 29.8 24.9 0.99
Regular Season Reserves 16.6 14.1 0.85
Playoff Reserves 15.1 11.7 0.78

We see that starters boost, on average, from 29.8 minutes in the regular season to 32.7 minutes in the playoffs, leaving fewer minutes to go around for reserves.

Even if we account for the lowered minutes and salaries for the reserve players, we see a big downward shift in FanDuel-point-per-minute averages for bench players in the playoffs.

Of the 226 individual games with at least 40 FanDuel points in the playoffs last year, 219 (96.9%) of them came from players who started that game. Such players averaged 38.4 minutes.

Home Splits Are Overrated Right Now

There's a narrative that role players fare better at home, but with minimal crowds, we saw a virtually even split in per-minute FanDuel production for starters (0.94 at home and 0.95 on the road) and for reserves (0.77 at home and 0.78 on the road) during last year's postseason.

Check Our Projections

This is an easy one, but numberFire offers free, updated NBA player projections that can help identify the best value plays and the best stars to target for each and every slate during the NBA play-in tournament.

So prioritize minutes, study our projections, and survive the NBA playoffs.