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How Daily Fantasy Basketball Betting Works: Hittin' The Hardwood Running
By Bmore4life22, Daily Fantasy Basketball Handicapper,

Welcome Rotopicks Readers! If you've landed on this page, it is most likely due to having some sort of interest in fantasy sports, more specifically "daily fantasy NBA". Many of you may play season long fantasy football or basketball with your friends and are looking to add in some daily fantasy basketball. The world of "DFS" is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as sports enthusiasts are finding out how it can be both profitable and an extremely exciting form of entertainment on a daily basis. Whether you've never played fantasy sports, only played in season long leagues, or are in the beginning phases of daily fantasy play, you should be able to take something from this article and apply it to your game. ANYONE can be a daily fantasy basketball player, and not just a player, but a good player. You may be thinking... "Aren't there already a ton of good daily fantasy NBA players out there?" The answer is YES, hoewver, this does not mean that you cannot be one of them! To give you some brief background, I had never played fantasy hoops until about 4 years ago. I had not played daily fantasy basketball ever, and I had NEVER even played season long fantasy basketball. The only sport I had played was season long fantasy football. After having a rough season, I found Draftday Daily Fantasy Sports after I missed making the playoffs in my local league and then the DFBKB journey began!

Back when daily fantasy started, a guy had to fend for himself when it came to handicapping players. This is not the case today, as you have the opportunity to grab some helpful advice right here at to help get you started on the winning track!

So let's get to it! What is daily fantasy basketball? The best NBA snake site out there, Draftday, offers a variety of daily leagues that you can enter and play for free or real money.

The first thing you need to decide is which type of league strikes your fancy. Do you want to play salary cap, pick'em or live snake draft leagues?

A salary cap league is a league that you pick players that are assigned a price (salary) and you must field a full team that is under a salary of $100,000 dollars. Salary cap leagues are great because it allows for a lot of creativity and diversity for the player as there are various ways you can build a winning team. In salary cap hoops, you can have LeBron, Carmelo, and Durant all on the same team if you want (where as in a snake league you may not be able to get some of the players that you want). Now whether putting LeBron, Carmelo, and Durant on the same team is a good idea is a different story, as they will have a high price tag, leaving you with very little of your $100,000 salary cap dollars to fill out the rest of your team. Later in this article, I will give a little basic salary cap strategy and a few pointers to get started, but for now you will know what you are getting yourself into when you select a salary cap league.

Another league option is a snake league (old fashioned serpentine draft). A snake league is a whole different beast, as there is NO salary cap limitation, and you are doing a live draft against other players. A snake draft will automatically begin after the league is full. If it is a h2h (2 person league) the league will start 5 minutes after both players join the league. Make sure to turn on your sound and keep an eye on your computer if you are playing snake leagues. I cannot tell you the number of times when I first began, that I would forget that I was in a league and it would start without me knowing it had started! In snake leagues you will be assigned a random draft position by Draftday... say, you get pick number 1 out of 3 in a 3 person league. Once the draft begins, you will have 45 seconds to make a player selection. If you do not make a pick in this time, a player will be auto-selected for you. Part of the fun of a snake draft is it puts the pressure on the drafter to be prepared and ready to make a selection within this sort time frame. Kudos to you if you think well on your feet! Some players do not do well under a time constraint and this can be advantageous to a drafter who is prepared and know who he wants to pick even if his plan gets a little distorted by other drafters taking a player you may have wanted. Another difference about snake drafts is you will have 2 bench spots (these are players that do not play or count towards your score.) The bench spots can be VERY IMPORTANT. While they may not count towards your score, you can sub in these players for other players as long as the player you want to sub them in for has not started and the bench players' game has not started yet. It's important to make sure that you wisely select your bench picks. You will want to have bench players that play in later games in case anyone in your starting lineup gets announced with an injury. You also want to make sure that your bench picks consist of one guard and one forward, so if one of your guys in that position doesn't play, you can have a backup plan. While these are quick strategic points that may seem a bit confusing right now, I will discuss snake strategy in way more detail in some other articles.


The third type of league that you can join is a pick'em league. Pick em leagues are sort of a mix of a snake league and a salary cap league. Like a salary cap league, you can start building your pick em team as soon as you join the league. There is NOT a time limit like in a snake draft; the only time limit is to have your team saved before games begin. In daily fantasy basketball pick em leagues, A fantasy site will have a pre-determined groupings of players. There will usually be 8 different tiers/groupings of players. You will need to select 1 player from each tier of players. You can go back and forth and change the players you pick up until game time if you have second thoughts on players. You will not have a salary cap to worry about because the tiers are divided by the value of players. Tier 1 in pick em will always be the best players of the day (such a choices between LeBron, Durant, Love, Carmelo).

Now that you have the different types of leagues down and know your options, you have the very crucial decision of how many players you want in your league. There are all different type of player pool options, from leagues with 2 players (Head to Head) to leagues with 5,000 people or even more. You are the only person that can make the decision on what type of league you want to play and how many people are in it, but I will go over this briefly to help you make an informed decision.

First you have to know what you want out of the league. Do you want a high chance of winning or do you want a big payout. A head to head league is going to give you a 50% chance of winning that league (on paper). If you are looking for a sense of security and a high chance of winning, a head to head league is a good option. Now on the opposite end of the spectrum are GPP leagues (guaranteed prize pool). These leagues are ONLY for salary cap and pick'em and will usually have hundreds of players in them. The payout will be listed in the top right of the screen once you join and the prize pool will usually be much larger than the prize pool for joining a h2h league. However, with the large payout of the GPPs comes a lot lower percentage chance of taking down a prize. If you are playing against 500 people you are going to have to be on your "A" game that night (as well as some luck) and pick a very good squad in order to take home some money; whereas in a h2h league you could have an off night and still have a good chance at winning because there is only 1 other person you are playing against who could have an off night as well. There are also all types of leagues in the middle of these two options. There are 2 person, 3 person, 6 person, and 10-12 person leagues as well.

Another great option are double up leagues. Double up leagues usually have around 10-100 players and the TOP HALF of the players in the pool will get their money doubled. A double up league is similar to a h2h league but there is more player variation, so at times, can make a better option. Many daily players like double up leagues because you usually need a lower score to take home money, where as in a GPP, you're going to need a great score to make money.

Now I know that is a lot of information all at once, but it is important to know what you are playing and what results you are looking for. There is no right or wrong answer; it's a matter of preference whether you want to play salary cap, snake, pick em or double up leagues and how many players you want in each league, or any combination of those options. As you continue to play, you will find your niche and preference.

In addition to knowing the league type you are playing and the number of players participating, you need to know how the scoring works. Below is a breakdown of the roster and scoring for daily NBA leagues at Draftkings:

Salary Cap Rosters: PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, UT.


Point: 1 pt
Made 3's: 0.5
Rebound: 1.25 pts
Assists: 1.5 pts
Turnover: -0.5
Steal: 2 pts
Block: 2 pts
Double Double: 1
Triple Double: 3

As you can see by the chart, the scoring is fairly self-explanatory. Each time a player scores a basket, they will get points for it (layup = 2points) (free throw = 1 point). An interesting aspect to Draftkings is that you will lose points for turnovers. Also, looking at the scoring, you want players who "stuff" the stat sheet. A player may score 20 real points, but this does not mean very much if they have 0 rebounds, 0 assists and 4 turnovers. You want to find players that can score, rebound, and pass to give yourself the most possible upside in your scoring.

As the games are being played, your players will be scored based on these stats above which will result in a final score for the player and eventually a final score for your team. The point scoring is important to take into consideration because daily fantasy NBA is not just about putting the ball in the hoop, it's about getting all of the positive stats a player can offer while limiting the negative stats such as missed shots (some sites dock you for missed fg's) and turnovers.

(Strategic Note: The amount of minutes a player plays = increased statistics). Most DFS sites offer player profiles that show the amount of minutes a player has played in each of the last handful of games. You should be sure to look at how many minutes a player is receiving from his coach. The more minutes a player is in the game, (theoretically) the more stats he will produce. (Although there are some guys like Boris Diaw that seem to float around at times and not have much to show for it) While this plan doesn't always work out, you want to give yourself the best possible chance at filling up the stat sheet. Finding players who are an essential part of their team and playing big minutes is a key to success in daily fantasy hoops.

This article is a lot of information to take in all at once, but it is all essential to know and understand while you embark on the your daily NBA fantasy journey. Hopefully after reading this article, you'll be able to determine the type of league you want to play in, the number of players you want to play against, the potential payout you want from a league, how the scoring rules work and hopefully you absorbed some of the pointers I have intertwined. You my friend, are now on your way to becoming a fantasy guru!

Bmore4life22 - "Always B-more to Win More"

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