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Advanced NBA DFS: Ownership

We continue our breakdown of the basics for NBA DFS. In this section, we look at ownership, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic dribbles as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig defends during the second half at American Airlines Center.  Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In daily fantasy basketball, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding statistics and which ones will help you most in building your lineups. One of those is Ownership Percentage, which we will discuss below.

Ownership Percentage


Ownership percentage is the percentage of lineups in which you have a single player. An easy way to explain — You have 20 lineups and LeBron James is in 10 of them, his ownership percentage is 50%. The definition is easy but understanding ownership in DFS is very important.



Exposure to a player is a fancy way of saying you’ve got some ownership of said player. Deciding the amount of exposure we want to set for a certain player when constructing 20+ lineups is important. This is where your intuition will kick in and make or break some of your lineups.

Setting exposure is up to you. If you’re the type of DFS player who likes to go all-in, set 100% exposure to the guys you think are locks on that night. If you like some risk but also want to play it safe, pick out your lock of the night and spread out ownership throughout the rest of your plays. People who like hedging will generally spread out exposure and not bottle-neck themselves into any particular spot.

Remember, there isn’t a hard rule for exposure, it’s more personal preference. We can put some guidelines into affect, but for the most part it’s your judgement. If you think a player is worth locking in, by all means, go with your convictions. You need to always be aware that this can blow up in your face. It could also pay off. This strategy is best used in GPPs over cash games. Really, in cash games, you should only be used one lineup anyway, but we’ll touch on that in another piece.