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Tips to Winning Daily Fantasy Basketball

Tips To Winning Daily Fantasy Basketball Leagues (Salary Cap Edition)

By Elliot of

Over the course of an 82 regular game season, managing an NBA fantasy roster can be an excruciating mental experience. For those rosters that suffer heartbreaking injuries or just happen to severely underachieve, fantasy general managers can suffer insomnia, depression, or even worse, sheer embarrassment. In some sense, daily fantasy leagues provide a lot more certainty for fantasy players. Before setting your roster for a daily league, you have ample opportunity to find out and analyze who is injured, what player has gained a spot in their respective rotation, and the quantitate statistics for each rostered player.

This article will serve as a shortened treatise to prepare you and provide some type of guidance for you to dominate opponents in daily fantasy NBA leagues.


Draftkings (Where we play daily fantasy hoops) calculates each player's given salary in accordance with their current and past season performance as well as the set matchup for the player. In a salary cap adjusted league, DK allocates 8 roster spots (PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, UTIL). It makes sense for the top players to have the top salaries. Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Love, James Harden and Dwight Howard tend to take a substantial portion out of your capped $50,000 budget. So yes, it is clearly impossible to have those 5 on your active roster. But even having 3 of the aforementioned 5 could run you close to 60% in salary cap dollars. If you follow the rest of my article, you very well could supplement the rest of your roster with strategic, low-budgeted pickups.

When selecting my daily NBA league squad, I usually try to select 2 of the aforementioned names above to solidify my roster's foundation. Given most DFBKB sites reward for double-doubles and 2 points per block, I believe it's a wise choice to pick a big man such as Dwight Howard who can provide those statistics with his eyes closed. Please note, this is not necessarily the case for every daily NBA fantasy league but is a consistent safety measure 9 times out of 10. If you fail to select one of the day's marquee players, you are putting yourself in a position of relying on luck and match-ups. Even though these are important elements, it's also wise to go safe.


In an 82 game season, it is very hard to decipher how each team will play from a defensively and offensively statistical stand-point. With daily leagues, a run-down of statistics can be absolutely crucial to being "in the money." When choosing the players for my roster, I always look at the statistics for the current match-up. Additionally, it is also good to know the offensive and defensive tendencies for every team your players are going against. For example, if a team is weak in the middle (center position) it might be a wise pick-up to select the center they are facing. As crazy as it may sound, players also tend to perform well against certain opponents or certain players. For example, Kobe Bryant seems to light up the scoreboard against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. These variables should not be overlooked as they can play a strategic facet to your garnered fantasy success.


Another quick tip is to always factor in injuries before setting your roster. A lot of key players that would normally be plugged into your daily league roster could very well be plagued by injury or even given a night off by their coach. In this case, always look to take advantage by going for their replacement. Using 2011 as an example, the replacement of the year was Goran Dragic replacing Kyle Lowry at the point for the Rockets. Additionally if a #1 scorer like Kevin Durant is sitting out, look for players within the roster such as Russell Westbrook or James Harden to compensate for Durant's missing scoring. This formula could be used for every #1 option and their given NBA team.

Players To Keep An Eye On

Throughout the year, there are always players that fall out of favor by their coaching staff and other players who just sneak right into the fantasy spotlight. Whenever these players pop right into the radar, DFS sites tend to completely undervalue their intrinsic worth by giving them ridiculously low salaries. Until they have cemented their value, these players are always low-budget players that pack tons of fantasy scoring punch.

Good luck to you!

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