NBA Lineup Construction 12/27/16


It’s a four game slate and I’m back with another edition of the NBA Lineup Construction. I’ll go over where the opportunity cost lies and where you can make smarter decisions to get an edge on your opponents. Since tonight features a small slate, building a solid floor can go a long way against people trying out cheap punts in bad spots. Let’s see where we can pay up, down, and save some money in order to take down some big cash prizes tonight.


Opportunity Cost

To me, it seems like the question tonight is “Westbrook or Harden?”. It’s a tough one because both are in average spots (at best) and are really expensive on a slate that doesn’t offer a ton of value. To get this answer we can easily turn to mathematics and figure out which is the correct answer. Let’s see who we should pay up for today.

I’ll set the table by saying I have bumped both players DOWN because of their matchups and have tried making the best possible lineup using conservative projections. These are the two lineups I made (Draftkings) and their projected scores.


Russell WestbrookJames Harden
Gordon HaywardIsaiah Thomas
Harrison BarnesHarrison Barnes
D’Angelo RussellD’Angelo Russell
Projected Score: 267.60Projected Score: 264.00


Not too bad from Westbrook to Harden, right? If we were to expand this chart to see the entire Harden lineup (sorry, we can’t), you would see that the Harden lineup looks a lot shakier. It includes guys like Andre Roberson who has a really low floor and Enes Kanter who could play 19 minutes because of Miami’s small-ball tendency. It’s also worth noting that the next best Harden lineup is projected two points lower than the first one. With that being said, I was able to make 72 Westbrook lineups that beat the second best Harden lineup. This is a classic case of opportunity cost and why you have to think of an entire lineup’s output versus a 1-on-1 scenario.


Guys that make it happen

Regardless of which way you want to go, we’re going to need some underpriced guys in good matchups to fill in the weaker spots. Here are the guys that are making my lineups as of now.


D’Angelo RussellShelvin Mack
Harrison BarnesJosh Richardson
Shelvin MackJustise Winslow
Justise WinslowRodney Hood


Remember we have Dallas and Memphis on this short slate so having a lineup filled with good matchups will be hard to come by. Make sure to keep price as a big part of the equation today and secure a floor instead of going for a ceiling.

As always, feel free to message me on Twitter (@MLora) with any questions you may have. I’ll also be in the premium slack chat answer questions up until lock. Hope to see you guys atop the leaderboards. Till next time, party animals!