The Top 3 Fantasy Basketball Apps on the Market
The Daily Fantasy Sports world is ruled by two main sites which are at the top of the charts in terms of prizes offered and total number of users. However, there are some new players on the scene who have been capturing quite a bit of attention and are growing as a result. Below is a list of the top three NBA fantasy mobile apps currently available in the US.
Boston-based DraftKings burst onto the scene in 2012 and quickly became a hit. Today, DraftKings is the largest DFS site in terms of prize pools and users. The company’s Daily Fantasy Basketball offering has been able to stand out with an innovative approach to rosters and scoring.
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FanDuel was the first DFS company to attract mainstream attention. The company first debuted in 2009 and and its DFS NBA product is still going strong. FanDuel’s simplistic styling and clear roster designations have made the site a preferred destination for many users.
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Prize Picks is one of the new and innovative platforms which has gained quite a bit of traction in recent times. The company debuted in 2018 and quickly gained attention for its new approach to DFS. Prize Picks games are a hybrid between DFS and prop betting in which users make selections based on expected player performance.
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Is it legal to play fantasy basketball in the US?
In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law. Inside of the bill is specific language which addresses fantasy sports. In a nutshell, the UIGEA deemed fantasy sports to be a game of skill, and one that should be permitted under federal law as a result.
It didn’t take too long before some enterprising folks zeroed in on the carve out for fantasy sports. Daily Fantasy Sports was introduced in 2007. The early days of the industry revolved around a few niche operators who serviced a rather small and loyal client base.
Daily Fantasy Basketball was among the initial offerings which proved to be quite a hit with users. In 2009, FanDuel debuted and helped to bring the industry more into the mainstream. A number of other operators followed their lead, including DraftKings.
Fast forward to today, and many of the other operators have ceased operations. DraftKings and FanDuel rose to the top of the charts as the preferred places to play across the industry, and they both remain atop the perch to this day.
Daily Fantasy Basketball hasn’t been immune to the changing industry. When the concept was first introduced, it was a salary cap style game in which users selected their lineups while adhering to traditional position requirements.
While DFS NBA in that format is still extremely popular, other formats have emerged. There are several different ways to play DFS NBA these days, including the innovative concept offered by Prize Picks.
How Does Daily Fantasy Basketball Work?
In its simplest form, Daily Fantasy Basketball is quite similar to what one would find in a season-long league. In both cases, users designate their starting lineups, and the one which performs the best is deemed the winner.
Of course, there are some very key differences. On the season-long side, users draft their team at the beginning of the season. These are the players they have to choose from to build their lineups all season long, but they do have opportunities to improve their team via trades and free agency.
For Daily Fantasy Basketball, every day is essentially its own season. Users select a lineup of their choosing from all of the available players from a day’s worth of games, all while adhering to salary cap and roster requirements. Once the games tip off for the day, users will see their lineups update in real time based on player performance.
Once the last game is in the books, the user with the highest score wins. On the season-long side, it’s traditionally played in either a weekly head-to-head format or on a total points basis with the top scoring team winning in both cases. However, the actual winner of the league won’t actually be known until the end of the season.
Daily Fantasy Basketball provides instant gratification. Users can play and know the results all within the confines of a single day. Users can simply log in and play whenever they have the time, and they can make that as often or as little as they would like.
Types of Daily Fantasy NBA Games to Play
For DFS, there are a number of different ways to play the games themselves. Here are the most popular game types you’ll find on the major operators.
- GPPs: These are guaranteed prize pool tournaments. They can range in size from the small to the massive, and the same applies to the top prizes offered.
- 50/50s and DoubleUps: For these types of games, the object is to simply post a better score than up to half of the field. Users who manage to do so are awarded cash prizes.
- Head-to-head: This is the DFS format of traditional fantasy sports. It’s user versus user with the top scoring lineup winning all the marbles.
You’ll find a number of other ways to play Daily Fantasy Basketball as well, but options will vary depending on operator. Some of the more popular recent additions to the DFS NBA menu includes single-game contests and pick’em style games.
For each of the game types you come across, you’ll find that they are offered at different buy-in points to accommodate budgets ranging from the small to high stakes.
Daily Fantasy NBA Rules and Scoring
If you’re new to Daily Fantasy Sports in general, be mindful of the fact that basketball rules and scoring can vary depending on where you play. While differences in scoring and roster requirements may not seem like they matter all that much, they actually change the game.
For an example, let’s take a look at the standard position requirements on the two major sites.
- DraftKings: PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, Util
- FanDuel: PG, PG, SG, SG, SF, SF, PF, PF, C
|Point||1 pts||1 pts
|3-Point Shot Made||1 pts||0.5 pts
|Assist||1.5 pts||1.5 pts
|Block||3 pts||2 pts
|Rebound||1.2 pts||1.25 pts
|Steals||3 pts||2 pts
|Turnovers||-1 pts||-0.5 pts
In addition, players can be eligible for multiple positions on DraftKings DFS NBA, while FanDuel locks players into their traditional designations.
For some users, the extra strategy components offered on DraftKings are more attractive, while others prefer the simplicity on FanDuel. The choice is yours, and there are also plenty of users who play on both sites.
Beyond the roster requirements, the two biggest games in town also have differences in scoring to keep in mind.
While these differences may seem minor, they can add up to a lot during the course of a DFS game. Additionally, DraftKings also awards bonuses for players who hit a double-double or triple-double, which means they hit double digits in either two or three of the scoring categories.
How to Select and Optimize a DFS Basketball Lineup
When playing DFS NBA apps, the task at hand is to put together the best possible lineup while staying under the salary cap. In a perfect world, you’ll hit the right notes and wind up with a high-scoring lineup.
The actual process of selecting a lineup on FanDuel and DraftKings is smooth and efficient. The two major operators spare no expense on the tech front, and the end result is an interface that’s very user-friendly.
Additionally, there are a number of different research components built right it. For example, you’ll be able to see the average fantasy points that each player scores, as well as how their opponents do at defending their position.
This information can be very helpful in building out lineups. Players who average a lot of fantasy points in general and who also happen to have a great matchup are ones who belong on your short list.
That said, optimizing a lineup isn’t as simple as that. For some users, the answer is to dive down the rabbit hole of research in a quest to crack the night’s equation. Naturally, other users are more time-pressed. Instead, they rely on some trusted resources that do the heavy lifting on research and then make their lineup choices based off of that.
For another approach, you can take those two concepts and mesh them together. If there are certain pieces of intel that you have time to gather and feel strongly about, go right ahead and do so. From there, combine what you have learned with the assistance of a trusted resource or two to get an even greater handle on the day’s games.
In the end, you should be walking away with a short list of plays at each position to make your choices from and to build out your lineups. Additionally, there are lineup optimizing sites and apps out there.
Some of them are free, while others are of the paid variety. There are users who prefer to go this route and it’s certainly an option to consider, just be aware that there will be plenty of other users out there who are using the exact same optimizers and will wind up with the same exact lineup as a result.
Who to Start in Daily Fantasy NBA
Unfortunately, there’s just no set answer to this question. In fact, the answer changes on a daily basis. Part of the beauty of Daily Fantasy Basketball is that each day is essentially its own season. As such, the top plays will vary depending on the matchups.
While there’s no set answer to the question on which players to start, you can narrow down the potential plays of the day by following a few tried and true principles.
For starters, take a look at the odds and game lines for the day’s games. Each of the games will have a spread and total attached. Locate the games with the highest totals for the day. After doing so, you have just found a whole group of players who could be in line to have high-scoring nights.
Next up, consider the matchups at hand. Take a look at the highest-priced players of the day. Do anyone of them have absolutely exceptional matchups in which they can put up a ton of points? The players that check off this box can make great anchors for your lineups.
Last but not least, get a handle on the day’s injuries. Are there any players out there who are poised to be thrust into the starting lineup due to injury? If so, they can make for a great value play to consider for your lineup.
If you can go through these three steps when playing DFS NBA, you’ll have an answer on who to start on that day for at least a few of the spots on your roster.
Daily Fantasy Basketball Draft Strategy
From finding the answer on who to start in DFS NBA, we have formed the basis of a solid strategy. To recap, start with finding a player or two from each of the following research steps.
- The projected highest scoring games of the day
- Superstar players with exceptional matchups
- Potential starters or increased playing time for others due to injury
Let’s say that you have found three players that fit the bill and slide them into your lineup. Now what?
First things first, see how much salary cap you have left and determine the best way to allocate it from there. You can go right back to the same three steps up above and find your second and third choices and so on.
Out of those players, find the best potential value opportunities. Said another way, which of these players can give you more bang for your buck based on their salary?
This is just one example of a strategy approach you can employ for DFS NBA. As you gain more experience, you’ll come up with your own way to attack things. Also, don’t forget that there are plenty of resources out there to lean on as needed or when you’re pressed for time.
Fantasy Basketball FAQ
When does fantasy basketball start?
Fantasy basketball starts with the first game of the regular season. For traditional fantasy leagues, the action generally ends when the regular season does. DFS NBA keeps the action going all season long and throughout the postseason.
Is daily fantasy basketball legal?
Yes. DFS NBA is completely legal and safe to play in the majority of the United States. Here are the states in which you won’t be able to play: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montan, Nevada, and Washington.
What is prk in fantasy basketball?
This is an abbreviation for player rank. In general, it represents how a player or team stacks up in relation to their peers in the league.
What does adp mean?
ADP stands for average draft position. For season-long fantasy, players are drafted through several rounds. The ADP of a player lets users know where a player is generally being drafted. It quickly lets users know how players are viewed by the masses, and also gives them a chance to spot potentially undervalued players.
Who should I draft first in fantasy NBA?
For season-long, there are generally several different takes on which player is worthy of the top spot. As for DFS NBA, the answer to this question will also vary depending on the day’s matchups and players available.
How much does fantasy basketball cost?
DFS contests on the major operators are offered at various buy-in points ranging from small to very large. When you compare DraftKings and FanDuel, the range can run from a low of .25 cents all the way up to entry fees that cost thousands of dollars.