The National Basketball Association (NBA) is undoubtedly the best basketball league in the world. Taking place over nine months in the USA, the NBA features some of the best athletes in the world in a 30-team competition, where each team plays an 82-game season, as well as a lengthy playoff series at the end of the regular season.
The purpose of this article isn’t to teach you the history of the NBA however, it’s to get you up to speed with the phenomenon that is taking the world by storm – Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and in particular, Daily Fantasy NBA. We’re going to give a quick run-down of what to expect from a typical NBA fantasy website and the strategies that you should employ to give you the best chance of success in NBA DFS contests.
How to select your team
For the purpose of this guide, we’re using DraftKings (who is an official partner of 7 NBA teams) as our DFS example.
When selecting a team at DraftKings, you will need to select eight players for your team (see photo below). Of these eight players, you must select:
1x Point Guard
1x Shooting Guard
1x Small Forward
1x Power Forward
1x Guard (can be either point guard or shooting guard)
1x forward (can be either small forward or power forward)
1x Utility (can be a player from any position)
For the most part, scoring systems are relatively similar across all Daily Fantasy Sport sites. At DraftKings (see photo right), the scoring is relatively simple and is easy to follow once you get the hang of it. One of the best things about NBA DFS is that you don’t have to be an absolute NBA guru to know if your selected players are going well. Also, there is the added excitement of watching your players rack up points and potentially win you some real money.
What to think about when picking your team
Now that you know how to pick a team and the different ways that your players can/will rack up points, it’s time to have a quick look at what you should think about when picking players for your team. More so, what will separate your team from the rest, thus putting you in a position to make money? The answer to this is complicated and experienced DFS players employ many different strategies depending on what sort of match-ups are taking place. However, when you’re getting started we feel there are three things you should consider:
- What premium players to pick?
This will often make or break your team. Obviously, the highest priced players are generally the best scoring players, but knowing which ones to include is vitally important. For example, is Stephen Curry coming up against a team that has poor perimeter defence, therefore he is likely to get hot from beyond-the-arc… or is LeBron James coming up against the Raptors who have arguably the best defender in the league in Kawhi Leonard, so maybe he won’t score as well? These are the types of things you should be thinking about.
- Who is underpriced?
Another key decision when picking your team is what cheaper players are likely to score above their price tag. A lot of the time this is just a lottery. But, there are certain circumstances when you can find a near basement priced player that can score like a bona fide star. A likely scenario here is when a player has had a few tough match-ups in a row and hasn’t been able to score well, so a site like DraftKings will lower their price. If you suspect they will return to form against a soft match-up, this is when you pounce!
- Injuries leading to opportunities
The third and final key thing to think about when selecting your team is are there any teams with injuries to star players that will give a cheaper/lesser known player a chance to shine. This is more so a sub category of dot points number 2, but we feel needed its own dot point to recognise it’s significance. There are usually one or two players in every daily slate of games that gets a bigger role on their team for the game, which will naturally improve their fantasy output. If you spot one of these guys, lock them in to your line-up.
Stay tuned to Fantasy Hero for more strategy tips for daily fantasy NBA!