How to Generate Multiple Lineups with the NBA Projection Tool

By: Bryan Povlinski on March 10, 2015

Previously, the NBA Projection Tool could only produce what it considered to be the “best” lineup for a given day. You could always make changes to certain players or tweak the projections and run it again for a new lineup, but you could only get 1 lineup each time you ran it. With a new update to the Solver spreadsheet – you can now generate as many lineups (time permitting) as you’d like. You’ll see the new file on the login page so if you’re already a subscriber be sure to grab it or sign up today if you’re interested in producing the best x number of lineups based on your custom projections. Here’s how to use new tool:

1. Download both the Projection Tool file and the New Solver file from the login page and save them to your computer.



It’s important you do this for both the Projection Tool file and the new Solver file. You also need to make sure the files are named the same as they’re intended. Sometimes, if you download a file with the same name more than once your browser will add a (1) or (2) to the end of the file name. Make sure you remove those suffixes if that happens. The file names should look something like “nba-all-sites-week-of-2015-03-09.xlsm” and “New-Solver-Multiple-Lineups.xlsm”

2. Open both files in Excel after you’ve saved them to a location on your computer

3. Refresh the Projection File and customize your projections per usual

4. Click the “Send to Multiple Lineup Sheets” on the Optimal Lineup tabs to use the New Solver


If you haven’t saved both of the files or have named them differently than they were intended you’ll likely get an error at this step that says “subscript out of range.” You’ll need to make sure both files are saved and you may need to edit the name if your browser added a suffix to the end of the file. You can still find the “best” possible lineup for the night in the Projection Tool file itself so that functionality hasn’t gone away.

5. Save and CLOSE the Projection Tool file

This is a very important step because you’ll get lineups 10 times faster if the New Solver file is the only Excel file you have open when you request your lineups. If you leave the Projection Tool open it will run much slower. This is a short-coming with the Excel Solver plugin since Excel sheets with a lot of data and formulas drag down Solver’s performance even if they’re completely unrelated to the model.

6. Exclude or lock players and determine how many lineups you’d like the tool to generate

You can add a capital L next to any player you’d like to “lock” into all of your lineups. You can also include an X for any player you want to exclude completely. The projections and all other logic (injury lists, adjustments, etc) will all be coming from the Projection Tool where most injured players will already be removed by default. There is a new control on the Player Adjustments tab to “force” a projection for a previously injured player that you’d like to make sure gets included so be sure to add them to that column in the Projection Tool to make sure he gets included in the New Solver. Finally, you can request the number of lineups you’d like the tool to generate. By default, it’s formatted to produce 10 lineups. If you request less there will be some extra formatting that won’t be used. If you request more than 10 all lineups beyond 10 will only contain the players and total projections.


Expect the tool to take some time to run a large number of lineups. On a fairly high-end computer with a good deal of RAM I can get 10 lineups in about 30 seconds and 50 lineups in 4 minutes. Your experience may vary based on a multitude of factors: number of other programs running on your computer, other Excel files open, your version of Excel, available memory on your computer, etc. One tip to speed things up slightly is to click on File > Options > Advanced and allow for Multi-Threaded Calculations under the “Formulas” section



7. Click over to the Lineups tab to see the lineups in descending order based on Total Projected Fantasy Points


All of the additional stats are color shaded relative to the other players in all the lineups you’ve generated – not compared to all players or historical results for that specific team or player.