When a player is injured it can change the projection for every player on his team.
Sometimes the benefits are more subtle resulting in small boosts to teammates. For example Danny Green has averaged roughly 3 minutes more in games when Manu Ginobili has missed with injury. These extra 3 minutes give Danny Green a slight bump which can potentially make or break him as a value play.
Other times the benefits teammates receive are really obvious and have a huge impact on their projections. Recently both Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young were both ruled out as late scratches. This left 3 true big men dressed for the Nets: Thomas Robinson, Willie Reed, and Chris McCullough. This meant there were 3 players to play the majority of the 96 minutes needed to fill the power forward and center spot. McCullough had only played in 7 games so far this season so it was a safe assumption Robinson and Reed would see very heavy minutes if they could avoid foul trouble. Both players have high production rates of over .9 DraftKings fantasy points per minute this season and they were both priced at the minimum on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Projecting both players would play 30 minutes (a safe assumption) and using their seasonal averages would project both players to score over 27 DK fantasy points. On DraftKings this would be over a 9X projected value. Both players had upside from these numbers in both their minutes and production levels as starting players.
Thomas Robinson and Willie Reed were some of the best plays you’ll ever see in the NBA. Very rarely to you have an opportunity to project players to nearly 10X their salary. If these players hit their projected value and you did not pick them, you’d have very slim chances of having a winning day.
Thomas Robinson ended up playing 40:27 minutes while scoring 53.3 DK fantasy points and Willie Reed played 31:33 minutes and scored 36.5 DK fantasy points. These players achieved 17.77X and 12.17X value respectively. I can not remember seeing a value as high as Robinson achieved ever since I started playing NBA DFS.
As expected you would have almost certainly lost if you did not edit your lineups to include these late values. These players went from unplayable to elite values with just 30 minutes before lock.
Always be on the look for any Must Plays of the day. If you pick up these players you’ll create a large separation of expected value from those who miss them. If you miss them you’ll be the one missing out on great value and likely have a big losing day.