Daily Fantasy Basketball, Evolved.

By November 18, 2014 NBA No Comments
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Daily fantasy basketball is one of the more popular daily fantasy sports variants. It’s fast paced, high-scoring and one of the purest sports in terms of how things are scored: a point is a point, blocks, steals, and rebounds are worth something that can be gauged roughly in the point-value those things equate to. There’s no need for arbitrary bonuses to artificially lift fantasy scores and there’s no ambiguity around if/how the fantasy stats categories help contribute to team performance.  But perhaps the best part of daily fantasy basketball is the handful of games that tip-off almost every night throughout the season, leaving players with never a dull moment. In so many ways, on the court fantasy NBA action translates perfectly into the daily fantasy sports format…

Other than one exception: late swap.

Unlike other sports, the NBA doesn’t require teams to announce their starting rosters before the game. Unlike other sports, NBA athletes don’t always play; even when all indications are that they are healthy and able. If an athlete feels like taking the night off, they will. If a coach feels like sitting their starting lineup, they can. In NBA, unlike any other sport, if you set your roster an hour before the sport events start, you can and often will have an athlete (sometimes a big athlete!) that ends up never taking the court. Unless you’re head-to-head against someone else afflicted by the same missing star, you’re likely to struggle through most of your fantasy basketball contests that night.

Late swap refers to the ability of a daily fantasy sports user to switch out players on their roster for players of equal or lesser value in the late games after the early games of a contest have already started. It’s a feature that was added by certain sites to compensate for the fact that so many users rosters were being destroyed by the whim and whimsy of the NBA stars.

Unfortunately for the daily fantasy sports user, late swap comes with slew of different issues. While it does allow the flexibility many sophisticated or professional users are looking for in order to maximize their NBA fantasy basketball ROI’s, not every user is interested in constantly refreshing Twitter and being glued to their computers checking which players are active for the full 5 hour stretch between when the first and final games start. In the world of late swap, those that don’t dedicate their entire night to keeping a careful eye on all NBA breaking news are at an extreme disadvantage.

Many recreational users are much more apt to ‘set-it-and-forget-it’. Without late swap, they can research their teams throughout the day and once the first games tip off and all rosters lock, they won’t have to worry about being disadvantaged by some late-breaking news for the late-night game. Still, it’s no fun to have one of your rostered players sitting on the bench scoring your team zero points.  So here at StarsDraft, we wanted to come up with a better approach to the late swap problem.

So we’ve launched our NBA fantasy basketball offering with a new position: substitute.

The substitute position will be the final spot you roster on your fantasy basketball team. As of launch, substitute players can be selected from any player in the pool that has a $5,000 salary or less.  When selecting your substitute player, their salary will not count against your overall salary cap — the substitute position operates completely independently.

Once the games tip-off, your substitute player will only be used if he outscores any other player on your team.  Your team score will be determined by your 8 highest scoring players out of your 9 man roster. You will be able to monitor which of your players (the lowest scorer of either one of your starting 8 players or your substitute) isn’t counting towards your overall team score based on which row is greyed out in our “Dashboard Contests” pages.

We hope you enjoy this StarsDraft variation on daily fantasy basketball – best of luck in your contests!