Fantasy basketball has taken the world by storm in recent years. The NBA was quick to notice and partnered up with FanDuel, a website that offers fantasy sports betting. FanDuel now is the official daily fantasy partner of the NBA and the WNB. They’re not the only site offering fantasy basketball. There are plenty of other sites where you can participate in different leagues, like DraftKings or ESPN.

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NBA fantasy betting

Fantasy basketball is a game you play online for money. Your role as a participant is to take on the role as manager of a team you’ve drafted. The draft of players is perhaps the most important part of playing fantasy basketball. After signing up for an account at a fantasy sports betting site, you can join a league and buy players to form a team. All the players you pick are actual players in the NBA. Whether you win or lose depends on how many points your team has won. This point system is based on statistics collected by gaming software. Statistics that are important are how many points the player scored, how much time players were on (or not) or if any penalties or suspensions were given.

Daily fantasy sports

There are many different types of leagues you can join in fantasy basketball. A season-long, weekly or daily league to name a few. More popular nowadays are the shorter leagues. They move quickly and many sports betting fanatics like that. If you participate in a weekly league that means you set your lineups each week. If you’re ready to take on fantasy basketball more seriously, it’s worth considering to take part in the daily leagues. Do keep in mind that this will take quite some of your time. The upside is that if you do well you can earn nice money quickly.

Manage team

Managing your fantasy basketball team is a real job. Well, kind of. It starts with drafting your team, which requires a few mock drafts if you want to be prepared. There are several rounds of picking your players and you won’t always get your first choice. That’s why preparation is key. You need to know your first, second and third choice for each position to be filled. Additionally, you have the option to trade players. You can simply propose a trade which the other participant can accept or refuse.

Tips for drafting your basketball team

If you’re just starting out playing fantasy basketball, it’s important to take into account a few things. First of all, it’s important to know that Fantasy sports are a game of skill and not luck. That means you should only participate in a fantasy sport if you know a decent amount about the league and its players. What determines the number of points for your team is the statistics of the NBA player’s performance. That’s why assembling your team smartly is absolute key.

Statistics

Preferably pick players that could be placed at several different positions. That extra flexibility is helpful if a player goes down and needs replacement. If you’re a die-hard basketball fan, try to not take that fan-hood into the league. As a fan, you have beliefs and preferences that can stand in the way of drafting and managing your team wisely.

NBA format

Playing fantasy basketball is available in different formats. There is head too head, salary based and point-based to name a few. Understanding the differences will help you to optimize your draft and refine your strategy. Below you can read more about each NBA format.

Rotisserie

When you play rotisserie fantasy basketball, you get to score points in different categories. To optimize your draft, you need to know what those categories are and which players would perform well. In a 12-team league, you can win a maximum of 12 points in each category. As you can see, the category points correspond with the number of teams in the league. The team with the biggest amount of points wins.

Points-based

This is the simplest style of fantasy basketball. Here it’s simply about the team that scores the largest amount of points. They can achieve that through points scored, blocks, rebounds, etc. This is more simplified than Rotisserie because it’s not separated by categories.

Head to head

As a team owner, you compete with just one other team owner. Your line-up competes with your opponent based on set categories. Because this is a 50/50 chance of winning, it’s easier to have a good overview when compared to the rotisserie.

Salary-based

Some fantasy basketball leagues work with a fixed budget to purchase players. Of course, this is fictional, but it’s something to keep in mind during the draft. You can’t simply take all the most expensive players because you’ll exceed your budget. Each NBA player has a ‘price tag’ and it’s up to you to make strategic decisions about who is worth it.

Fantasy basketball favorites

Before you even start considering your player picks, you need to understand all the ins and outs of the league you’re going to play in. The format of the league strongly affects which players would be a good choice. I know that picking the players and choosing your line-up is the most fun part, but you won’t believe how many beginning players significantly decrease their chance of winning because they don’t understand all the rules. The fantasy site might not always provide a thorough explanation of the format, but there is plenty to read online. So if there’s anything you unsure about, look it up.

General draft tips

Prepare a potential list with your favorite picks. Make one with your favorites which you know other players in the league will be eyeing. Make another list with player picks which you don’t feel are as obvious. These might be players others don’t see a lot of potential in, or simply ones that haven’t been getting the most attention. When you have those two lists clear, get a general idea of where they would fit position-wise and if you’re playing rotisserie, how well they’d perform in each category.

No list

Aside from having clear who you want, also make a shortlist of who you definitely don’t want. Some players can cost you dearly if they’ve recently had an injury or some other reason why you can’t use them. Along with your yes list, having a no list is very helpful to keep at hand and help you decide while you’re in the heat of the drafting process.

NBA players

You always want to keep your eye on the stable performers. In the last couple of seasons, the following NBA players have been very useful in every league. Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Devin Booker are some of the names that you’d always be targetting to have on your team. What you’d be looking at is players who you feel are very strong in at least 3-4 categories. Don’t aim to have players who are stars in each category, but pick those ones who do a couple of categories excellently. Points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks would be the main ones. If you happen to see a relatively unknown player do any of these amazing, don’t hesitate to prioritize them to get them on your team.

Rookies

Taking a bet on rookies for your NBA draft can work out amazingly, but you should do so with caution. If you are good at predicting who will be thriving this season, then trust yourself and go ahead. However, it’s still recommended to go for safe picks in the first couple of rounds. However, if you have too many rookies on your team there is a high risk of it not working out the way you want it.