How to play Fantasy Basketball

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

NBA fantasy leagues

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

The process begins with an organized draft. The most popular draft format is the standard “snake-draft” where a player’s position in the draft is determined by random drawing. For returning goalkeeping leagues, draft positions could be determined by the location of the coach from the previous season. In recent years, auction drafts have increased in popularity. With this format, each coach is given a fund, which is used to bid on players until their roster is full.

In both formats, each coach is required to draft a full squad of players based on league setup. Most leagues have up to 10 starting roster 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 head-to-head on a weekly basis. Towards the end of the season, the teams with the best overall records head to the playoffs, which generally cover the last 2-3 weeks of the NBA regular season.

Daily NBA fantasy contests

For managers who like their fast and furious action with online cash, popular fantasy sites provide access to daily contests. These daily contests come in a variety of formats which are listed on the website. Managers can choose to compete head-to-head with a smaller group of managers ranging from 2 to 25 contestants. These contests are generally designed and posted by one of the contestants, who then opens the registration process to any contestant who wishes to participate based on the contest settings. Entry fees range from $ 5 to $ 1,000 per contestant. While in some contests the winner takes all, contests with more than 10 contestants may offer small consolation prizes. In all contests, the fantasy sports site will charge a fee (usually 10%) to cover administrative costs plus winnings.

The other popular format is the sponsored contests provided by the website. These contests typically 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 where something like a Super Bowl weekend might be at stake. Often times, managers can earn a free entry fee by winning smaller satellite contests along the way.

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

Now that you have a general idea of ​​how to play fantasy basketball, it’s time to join the fray. If you choose to play in daily contests, you must remember that many coaches have a lot of experience, which could put you at a disadvantage. The bottom line is that you should never put more money at stake than you can afford to lose.

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