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Should You Enter Identical Lineups in a Multi-Lineup Contest? (Fantasy Basketball)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Jun 22, 2020

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You want to go where the big money is? You need to enter a multi-entry tournament. These contests offer the biggest prize pools, and they require the biggest risk from entrants who want to claim the top prize. Playing it safe in these contests won’t cut it for the money-makers out there, and you should be aware of the strategies involved with lineup setting.  When setting multiple entries for tournaments like this, should you ever use identical lineups? Let’s take a look at the consequences of doing so.

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When entering multi-lineup contests, you’ll always want to maximize exposure. There are dozens of different players you’ll at least think about plugging into your lineup, and it’s nearly impossible to get exposure to all of them. The more diverse your lineups are, the more exposure you’ll have to different players, and the better chance you’ll have of hitting on a winning combination. You may be hesitant to roster certain players for a number of reasons (health, matchup, cold streak), but there’s always a chance that player could erupt in an unexpected bonanza.

Multi-entry tournaments offer plenty of flexibility for owners who want to get ownership on diverse player sets and utilize different lineup strategies. Entering an identical lineup wastes that flexibility. Each identical lineup entered is one less chance to gain an advantage over the competition. If you’re using the same lineup for multiple entries, you won’t be able to take a chance on all of the fringe players you’re considering.

Core players are an important aspect of exposure. Your core plays are the players you trust enough on a given slate (based on matchup, opportunity and price) to include in multiple lineups as your foundation. Setting a core allows you to easily set multiple lineups with the same core, and set different players for the remaining spots in the lineup. If you set the same lineup, you’re not able to exploit the advantages that having a core with moving parts provides.

Playing it Safe

Multi-entry tournaments are where the big-rollers like to take their shots. The biggest payouts come from these contests, so they naturally attract the best DFS players. As such, the competition is fierce when trying to cash in these contests, so you’ll have to bring your ‘A’ game and take some high-risk, high-reward players in your lineups. By setting the same lineup for multiple entries, you’re almost always going to be playing it safer, at least unconsciously. The idea of not using a unique lineup for each entry in a multi-entry tournament is counter-productive.

Put simply, if you’re only using one unique lineup and spending the money to enter it multiple times, you’re going to think about how to make the lineup the best that it can be and probably overthink things a bit. You’re less likely to take a big swing with one unique lineup than you would be with multiple lineups. Multiple different lineups allow you to have a backup plan in case one of your riskier lineups crashes and burns. Setting one unique lineup lends itself to safer choices in the hopes of cashing out without completely bombing.

Preparing for the Worst

There are so many uncertainties when it comes to daily fantasy basketball. Injury is certainly one of the biggest risks, as you have no control over which players might get hurt on a given night. Late-game scratches due to personal reasons, rest, or a simple DNP also come to mind. Point spreads and over/unders are not always accurate, and though you might be confident in your mid-priced, high-upside guard playing in a close game with an over/under of 238.0, there’s still the possibility that one team comes out cold and gets smoked in the first half before your DFS lock is riding the bench thanks to a 30-point lead.

With so many aspects of the game that are out of your control, why not hedge your bets and cover as many angles as possible? You like the guy playing in the shootout? Cover your bases and roster some players from a game expected to be low-scoring with a slow pace in another entry.  You want to spend up for a five-figure center? Do it, and then roster the opposing center at half the price in another entry. If you use the same lineup in multiple entries, you’re counting on the stars aligning perfectly for each of the players in your lineup. Good luck.


If you’re planning to enter a multi-entry tournament, come prepared to make each of your entries unique. Doing so can maximize your exposure to players who might not find their way into your lineups otherwise. With each unique lineup, you increase your chances of cashing. It’s a simple numbers game that the more unique player combinations you enter, the more likely you are to win. Finally, you’re far more likely to throw caution to the wind if you have multiple lineups, and you won’t risk playing it safe. The only time entering the same lineup in a multi-entry tournament is when you’re completely sure the lineup will cash. In that case, each of your entries will be a winner, and you’ll logically take home more money. But playing DFS is never a guaranteed pay day, so do yourself a favor, and don’t use the same lineup more than once in multi-entry tournaments. You’ll be glad you didn’t.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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