Whether you’ve tried season long fantasy basketball or not, the nuances of daily fantasy hoops are actually relatively easy to pick up. The sport is driven by a core of stats that, when used properly, can make your day-to-day research much easier. Concepts such as defense vs. position statistics, pace, and opportunities are all variables that you can correlate to other sports and apply to your daily fantasy basketball games. In this article, we’ll take a look at four figures to look at each day that can get you ready for your contests on DraftKings.

#1) Defense vs. Position Stats

DvP stats are the easiest way to get a quick understanding of matchups. DraftKings actually shows defense vs. position figures next to a player’s name in the draft lobby, but there are a number of places where you can find these stats (including in weekly updates right here on the DraftKings Playbook). Essentially, defense vs. position stats show you the stats allowed by each team against one of the five positions on the floor (PG, SG, SF, PF, C). DvP stats allow you to identify which teams struggle against each position, and from there you can try to exploit the matchups to find both value and studs to target. The important thing to realize with DvP stats is that they don’t necessarily make a bad player better, but they can push a mediocre player into an above-average game and they can really help star players post high-ceiling games. Take a look at the sample of DvP stats below:

#2) Pace of Play

You can use sites like NBA.com to find each team’s pace, which is the number of offensive possessions a team averages per 48 minutes of play. Essentially, the higher a team’s pace is, the better they tend to be for daily fantasy purposes. The theory behind it is simple; higher paced teams have more offensive possessions thus more opportunities for fantasy points. Personally, pace has a bigger effect when I’m looking at stud players than at values. Value guys are typically harder to find, so I’m more willing to use a value play in a slower game so I can have salary left over to spend on a star in a potentially high-paced game.

#3) Vegas Lines

Vegas Lines for over/unders are usually going to tell you some stats very similar to pace of play, but you can also use the spread for insight into your daily fantasy basketball play. Games with double digit spreads tend to be a bit riskier, since the chance of a blowout could leave one of your players on the bench for the majority of the 4th quarter. As we’ll discuss in a moment, playing time is crucial in daily fantasy basketball and you don’t want to get two-thirds of a game out of one of your top players. On the same note, games that are really close on the spread are expected to be more back-and-forth and that could lead to a player getting more time on the court than his typical allotment.

#4) Minutes

Minutes are king in daily fantasy basketball, don’t ever ignore that. Sometimes it’s difficult to target a bad player in line to see a lot of minutes, but what you have to remember is that playing time in basketball leads to constant opportunities for rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. It seems almost too simple, but you want to try and find guys who will be over that 30 minutes played mark at all costs. If you’re just starting out, look at player game logs in the draft lobbies and check recent minutes. If a guy looks to be getting ample playing time, he’s usually a solid daily fantasy hoops option when you combine some of the other factors discussed above.

There you have it. Four basic statistics you can easily research each day to get your NBA lineup building experience going. Not only is NBA extremely entertaining, but it’s also relatively easy to key in on the important statistics to find the best options night to night.