Fantasy Basketball Lineup Demo

Lineup Ordering

Here's an example lineup with fake stats to help you understand how to order your team. You can click on player names and move them up or down or switch their position (for McGrady and Nowitzki). Go through the exercises below if you have trouble understanding all the numbers. Note: You won't be able to change lineup orders after the game has finished and you know the stats. This is an example to help illustrate how positions and order factor into scoring.

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Minutes Played
Fantasy Points
Guard Minutes Played
(96 avail)
Forward Minutes Played
(96 avail)
Center Minutes Played
(48 avail)
Fantasy Minutes Played
Fantasy Points Earned
% minutes used

Leftover Minutes:
Total Team Score:


1. Understanding a Lineup

Before you try anything, click "Calcuate Score" and see how the lineup fares in the current order. Remember that you get 96 guard minutes, 96 forward minutes, and 48 center minutes to fill.

Things to look for:

  • The total team score should be 145.
  • Players in dark grey are not counting in the total fantasy score and players in light grey are only counting for partial points.
  • The red 7 tells you than 7 center minutes went unused. You've got 48 but if you look, 26 are used by Yao and 15 by Nowitzki meaning you have 7 left.

2. Switching Positions

Click on Dirk Nowitzki. You'll see he's playing FC which means he can play forward or center, but fills forward minutes first. Since you've got 7 center minutes to spare and lots of forwards still below Nowitzki, it would make sense to use his center minutes first. To do this, click Switch Position to change him to a CF.

Things to look for:

  • The red 7 goes away and the score jumps up to 149. Looking better!
  • Shawn Marion is no longer dark grey, but instead light grey which means more of his stats are counting (this is the reason the score bumps up).

3. Understanding FPPM and Ordering Good Players First

You'll find that FPPM (Fantasy Points Per Minute) are crucial to ordering your team. Look at Steven Nash - he had 40 FP in 36 minutes and his 1.11 FPPM is much higher than all of the guards above him. But he's not being counted towards the total points. Let's see what happens when Nash is moved up. Click on Steve Nash, then click Up until he's at the top of the lineup.

Things to look for:

  • Every time he passes a guard with lower FPPM, the total score increases! That's because instead of Nash's minutes being dropped, you're not playing Manu Ginobili (0.28 FPPM) and Ray Allen (0.48 FPPM). It's a much better bang for buck to have Nash playing at 1.11 FPPM!
  • Why didn't the score increase when Nash is switched with Kobe Bryant even though his FPPM is higher? You've got 96 guard minutes, but there's no differentation between how people are ordered. If there's enough minutes for both Nash and Bryant to get their full points, the order won't matter - you'll still get 100% of their points.
  • If you've followed steps 1 to 3, your total score should be at 173. Big improvement!

4. Emphasizing FPPM and not FPPG

Move Robert Horry down one spot to the 10th spot, leave Shawn Marion at the 11th. Look at Shawn Marion. He has a 0.63 FPPM and is below Robert Horry even though he has a lower 0.48 FPPM. But Horry has 11 fantasy points available, and Marion only has 10. Should Marion go above or below Horry? Click Shawn Marion and move him above Robert Horry.

Things to look for:

  • Your total went up. FPPM are more important because players only use up as many minutes as they played. Horry may have more fantasy points, but he needs 23 minutes to get them. Marion is much more efficient with 16.
  • FPPM are important, but they're not everything. You still need to get fantasy points, which is why the stats pages default to sorting by FPPG, not FPPM. A good blend of FPPG and FPPM make for a good player (don't go drafting Stephen Hill or Shavlik Randolph just yet).

5. Optimizing Minutes and Not Blocking Your Stars

The lineup is looking respectable, but you'll notice the order is still not ordered by highest FPPM to lowest. Here's something interesting: you'll notice that both Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki are using your center minutes, but Nowitzki has a higher 1.07 FPPM than Yao's 1.00. Should the score increase if Nowitzki is moved up above Yao? Click Dirk Nowitzki and move him up the lineup to one ahead of Yao Ming - 6th overall.

Things to look for:

  • Your total went down 2 points! So do you still order by FPPM? Yes, but you need to be aware of which players play which position. Notice Nowitzki can play center or forward, but Yao Ming can only play center. If Yao is ahead of Nowitzki, when the center minutes run out for Nowitzki, he can play the rest of his minutes at forward (22 minutes at center, 6 at forward to be precise).

6. Optimizing Lineups

You now have seen the basics. It seems like a lot to soak in, and you have to save these lineups before you see how they do. But, it's not as complicated to put together a good lineup as you think. How should you prepare your lineup?

Some basic techniques to use:

  • Put players with higher FPPM higher in the lineup - even if they play less minutes and get less FPPG (Fantasy Points Per Game). You can see what your players' FPPM are by clicking the Lineup Stats link on the lineup page or your team name on the rosters page.
  • Group players who play the same position together to make it easy to see how they affect the boxscores. Consider putting the dual position players in between groups so that they can soak up both.
  • If a lot players (or your best players) all play the same position, try to get your dual position players to play another position first. It will spread out the minutes. In this example, there are lots of forwards, so you can see the benefit of playing Dirk Nowitzki as a CF instead of FC.

Challenge: What's the highest score you can get from this lineup? With a few moves, it's not hard to get to 177. The maximum is 179. Can you figure out how to get that?

Discuss your order in the comments to get feedback from others.

: only getting 177.
10/25 08:38 pm
: I got 179 - you just have to be smart ;) Here's why: Most people do not realize that KG is ranked way too low than his actual fantasy spot - lower than Horry actually. You use the following setup to get max score: Kobe, Nash, Marion, Yao, Nowitzki (CF), T-Mac (FG), Horry, Garnett, Allen, Ginobili, Lewis, Bowen
10/25 11:37 pm
: Yao-Dirk(cf)-Nash-Bryant-Allen-TMac-Marion-Lewis-Horry-Garnett-Bowen-Ginobli....Come on Cam
10/26 12:02 am
: 179
10/26 03:49 am
: 170 too
10/26 04:18 am
: sorry, 179
10/26 04:19 am
: this really helped thank you from all the first time users out there
10/26 04:52 am
: Nash, Kobe, Ming, Dirk (C/F), Marion, Rashard, TMac (F/G), Horry, KG, Bowen, Allen, Manu....child's play for a guy with 3 rings. :)
10/26 09:02 am
: I wish they had a game simulator you can use with a current team and a past game to see how one could maximize points. I have a few multi position players!
11/20 06:34 pm
: 179!
12/10 04:45 am
: 179 EASY
12/11 03:30 pm
: 179. is it max score?
12/23 10:54 am
: 179!
11/27 04:19 am
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