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Daily Fantasy Basketball Rules

Daily Fantasy NBA Rules
by Elliot of

Fantasy sports, through the years, has allowed the crazed to the mildly obsessed fan simulate the duties of being a professional sports general manager. From releasing immortal athletes on the waiver-wire to belitting chatter amongst friends, co-workers, and family, fantasy sports has become an outlet for every type of fan.

Typically, the season-length of the fantasy season mirrors the actual length of the regular season of the sport in play (i.e., a fantasy basketball season's regular season and playoffs will occur during the NBA's 82 week game regular season schedule). However, the popularity of daily fantasy leagues (leagues that have a scoring period of 1 day) has gained tremendous popularity and sites such as FanDuel have sprung to the leaderboard. For those that are still on learning curve, this article will examine the intracacies and subtleties of playing and dominating at a daily fantasy NBA league.

Types of Leagues

If you decide to venture into a whole new fantasy sports dimension, DFS sites offer a multitude of leagues that can certainly wet your whistle. Of the weekly and daily leagues the site offers, users can choose between a salary cap league, a pick 'em league, a snake-draft league, or even a survivor tournament.

Salary Cap

In the same way that the collective bargaining agreements of the professional sports leagues place a salary cap on rosters, Draftkings does the same in a salary cap league. Here, the salary cap is maxed at $50,000. Each player is allocated a salary pursuant to their nightly matchup and current statistics. As great as it sounds in your head to have a Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose lineup, it will most likely not be feasible. Additionally, you will be in danger of having your set roster disqualified if your lineup exceeds the $50,000 and/or have one or more empty spots. Surprisingly, most DFS sites also places a restriction on having your lineup consist of players all from the same team. So for example, your team cannot consist of players all from the Toronto Raptors (or any other NBA team for that matter). And if your lineup consisted of all Raptors, there is a bigger question we should be asking.


A pick'em league allows the fantasy user an opportunity to select their roster from players from a preset number of tiers. The players in each tier are considered to have similar fantasy value for the upcoming scoring period. It is up to you to decide which 8 players in the selected tiers are going to put you "in the money."


A snake-draft gives a much different feel than the pick'em and salary cap leagues. As soon as the league is filled, the draft will begin 5 minutes thereafter. Most sites allow for a maximum of 45 seconds to a minute per each pick. When drafting, the fantasy user must take into consideration that most sites allocate a reserve (RS or RES) or two.

Additionally, according to most sites's rules, they reserve the right to cancel any snake-draft league that is interrupted or delayed. Every user will be refunded if a league does in fact get canceled.


Survivor Tournaments last multiple days. In order to move on to the competition in Day 2, the fantasy user must place in the top 50% of the standings. To move on to Day 3, the final round of the Survivor Tournament, the fantasy user must place in the top 50% of the standings. Each day of the Survivor Tournament is scored independently. Thus, the points from Day 1 do not carryover to Day 2 or to Day 3.

Live Scoreboards

In order to keep track of your team's progress, DFS sites provide a live scoreboard that can be found under the Active Leagues section on your homepage.

League Durations and Scoring Periods

As mentioned previously, DFS sites offer daily and weekly leagues. For daily leagues, scoring will consist for games scheduled on the given date and will end thereafter. For games that have already been played or are already in progress, they will not count towards the scoring for a daily league.

In a weekly league, the scoring period will last for exactly seven days (makes sense, huh?).

NBA Playoffs

In regards to scoring for the NBA playoffs, when there are too few games, leagues may consist of a scoring period of 2 days. For the NBA Finals, scoring periods will usually last 2 games.

Player Pool and Salaries

DFS sites set the player salaries in accordance with the player's recent performance, current year as well as previous performance. In a daily league as opposed to a weekly league, matchups will also factor into the salary of a player.


League scoring is continually updated in real-time on a DFS site's scoreboard and is done so within seconds of a stat occuring. If your DFS site doesn't do this, we highly recommend that you look for greener pastures. All scoring is based on official stat changes.

Scoring for most NBA leagues equate to 1 point per point scored, 1.25 points per rebound, 1.5 points per assist, minus a half point to -1 point per turnover, -.5 points per missed free throw, -.5 points per missed field goal, 2 points per steal, and 2 points per block. Stats can and will vary by site.


DFS sites pay the user's reward within an hour of the completion of the scoring period (final game of the night.)


Most daily fantasy basketball sites split prizes on ties.

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