How to play fantasy basketball

How to play fantasy basketball

As the NBA season begins, NBA fans across the country are lining up to play fantasy basketball. The two most popular formats used include season-long fantasy leagues and NBA daily fantasy contests. Both formats are available online through popular sports sites such as,, and among others. Each format requires a different approach that provides a little something for players of all experience levels.

NBA fantasy leagues

For years, fantasy sports leagues have been run for the benefit of managers who want to run their own team through the rigors of an entire season. While most leagues are played for fun, some league commissioners will run leagues with an entry fee and prize money awarded at the end of the season.

The process begins with an organized project. The most popular draft format is the standard “snake draft”, where players’ draft position is determined by random drawing. For returning goalie leagues, draft positions may be determined by the manager’s position in the previous season. Over the past few years, auction projects have grown in popularity. With this format, each manager is given a bank account which is used to bid players until their roster is full.

In both formats, each manager is required to field a full squad of players based on the league configuration. Most leagues have up to 10 starting positions plus bench players. Depending on league rules, managers can make player moves on a daily or weekly basis. Scoring is determined by league rules and competition is live on a weekly basis. Towards the end of the season, the teams with the best overall results head to the playoffs, which usually span the last 2-3 weeks of the NBA regular season.

Daily NBA fantasy contests

For managers who like their action fast and furious with money on the line, popular fantasy sites provide access to daily contests. These daily competitions are available in different formats which are listed on the website. Managers can choose to compete directly with a smaller group of managers ranging from 2 to 25 competitors. These contests are usually designed and published by one of the contestants, who then opens up the entry process to any contestant who would like to enter based on the contest setup. Entry fees range from $5 to $1,000 per competitor. Although some races are winner-take-all, races with more than 10 competitors can offer small consolation prizes. In all contests, the fantasy sports site will take a fee (usually 10%) to cover administration costs plus winnings.

The other popular format is sponsored contests provided by the website. These competitions usually have thousands of entries with huge guaranteed prize packages on offer for a relatively small entry fee. The greater the participation in these contests, the greater the number of places that will be paid. Prize packages can include large cash prizes, consumer goods, or prize packages for special events, such as Super Bowl weekend. Many times managers can earn a free entry fee by winning smaller satellite races along the way.

Contest rules and scoring parameters are provided by the website. Each manager is given a salary cap (usually $50,000) to use when selecting players. Each player scheduled to play on a given night will be assigned a salary cap. Obviously, the better the player, the higher the value. The team structure is usually PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F and a UTIL player.

Now that you have a general idea of ​​how to play fantasy basketball, it’s time to join the fray. If you decide to play in daily competitions, you should remember that many managers have considerable experience, which can put you at a disadvantage. The bottom line is that you should never bet more money than you can afford to lose.

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