NBA 50/50 Rookie League: 120 Contestants, $1 Buy-In
For the first time in my life, I’m betting on fantasy basketball. I’m dipping my foot into the pool, for obvious reasons. I entered a 50/50 Rookie League with a measly $1 buy-in. The field of contestants is 120, with the top 60 players winning back $1.80.
Fantasy Basketball Tip #1
That’s my first fantasy basketball tip: make little bitty wagers when you’re first starting out. I can learn the game for as cheap as possible, while still keeping things interesting. When I start to learn the game a little better, I’ll either up my wager size or enter a whole lot more contests. For the time being, I want to build up my knowledge of the National Basketball Association.
Actually, I keep up with the NBA pretty well. I’m a Dallas Mavericks fan and I watch all the usual games: TNT Basketball and the Wednesday night games on ESPN. But it’s a different level of immersion when you have money riding on the outcome, so I want to learn how fantasy basketball works.
As time passes, I’ll start adding tips and suggestions for players, based on my experiences. For now, I’m still getting my NBA education.
NBA Starting Lineup
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the starting lineup. The lineup is made up of 8 NBA players taken from 4 contests that occur on Tuesday night: the Oklahoma Thunder at the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Lakers at the Atlanta Hawks, the New Orleans Hornets at the Sacramento Kings, and the New York Knicks at the Milwaukee Bucks.
To make it a fair fantasy sports lineup, I must bet on players from at least two separate contests. I cherry-picked players from all 4 games. A full lineup includes 1 center, 2 power forwards, 2 small forwards, 2 shooting guards, and 2 point guards. Oh, how the center position has degraded in the NBA. Their prices didn’t even top-out as high as power forward or point guard…Wilt Chamberlain must be shaking his head somewhere (up there).
Anthony Davis it the most expensive player on the docket ($11,600), but he’s also the best one by far. Extrapolate his numbers and he’s still a bargain, scoring about 20 fantasy points a game more than players who cost about $2,000 less. If you want consistent play right now, the unibrow is where it’s at.
Omri Casspi, SF, Hornets
You might notice that I’m adding another New Orleans Hornets player. The Kings had a 5-game winning streak to boost their overall record to 6-4, but I believe they’re starting to come back to Earth with a 1-2 record in their last three games. I expect to see the Hornets win the battle in the front court, so I’m picking several of their players. The Kings are good on offense, but bad on defense, for the entirety of the season. I expect a high-paced game with lots of scoring.
Hawks Versus Lakers
I want to start as many solid players as possible against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are 1-9 and they obviously are having trouble defending opponents. Until LA can prove they can defend the ball, I’m going to keep betting against them. Try to avoid the shooting guards, since Kobe Bryant is likely to be guarding them. Otherwise, play them if you’ve got them against the LA Lakers.
For that reason, I have power forward Paul Milsap, center Al Horford, and point guard Jeff Teague started against the Lakers. All three should avoid the Kobe assignment, and all three should score more than their average points per game. Paul Milsap is leading the Hawks in points and rebounds, so expect to see a particularly good game from the power forward.
Anthony Morrow, SG, Thunder
Anthony Morrow is becoming a bigger part of the Oklahoma Thunder’s offense in the absence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Morrow is starting to get nearly 30 minutes a game and is putting up better numbers than his salary cap price at the moment. With a game at the Utah Jazz, Anthony Morrow should post solid numbers.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Thunder
With Russell Westbrook out, Reggie Jackson is putting up starting point guard numbers. Because Jackson’s the backup, his fantasy sports price is still a little deflated. It’s a good bet he’ll put up solid numbers again, so Reggie Jackson is essentially my starting point guard. Cross your fingers.
Khris Middleton, SF, Bucks
Khris Middleton had solid numbers in the last game, after Jason Kidd apparently decided halfway through the game that Middleton was the Bucks’ new starting small forward. Jason Kidd’s decision making is so unstable right now that I don’t necessarily trust Khris Middleton will get starter minutes against the New York Knicks. I’m trying to find another cheap option at small forward, and have nearly 24 hours to do it.
I’ll give an update when my FanDuel contest is completed.
I finished 25th out of 120 owners in this contests. My final score was 262.2 points. All players scored 20 points of more. My strategy to play players against the Lakers netted me over 100 points by itself, while Anthony Davis came up huge.
My scores were Paul Millsap (49.3), Anthony Davis (48.4), Jeff Teague (26.5), Al Horford (25.6), Khris Middleton (24.9), Reggie Jackson (21.1), Anthony Morrow (21), and Omri Casspi (20). That meant the Hawks players were 3 of my top 4 producers.
The 25th place finished netted me $1.80 in winnings, off of a $1.00 bet. The top finisher in the contest was ctheo, who finished with 314.8 points. Jabari Parker was his low scorer with 18.1 pts, while every other player 33 points or more. Alec Burks posted a 44.3 pt night, while he also fielded Anthony Davis, who was ctheo’s high scorer. Because of the 50/50 betting format, ctheo won the same amount I did.
Fantasy Hockey Is Next
I’m thinking of entering a fantasy hockey contest for the first time tomorrow night, if I have the time to research and write about it. I’m excited about the prospect, though I know a bit less about hockey than NBA basketball, in the post-strike era. Still, I’ve been excited by the moves by my Dallas Stars in the past year or two, so I’ve kept an eye on the NHL in 2013 and 2014.
I’m really enjoying FanDuel, so far.