It’s all well and good to test your fantasy sports knowledge against your friends, but it’s always nice to have some skin in the game. Play well and be rewarded for your skill and acumen, it’s a dream worth having. Well, turn your fantasy into hot and spicy reality, because DraftKings offers you the ability to pit yourself against other fantasy players to see who can put together the best team possible. It’s simple: you are given a salary cap, and you have to put together a team you think will perform at optimal production for the given amount of time. If your ragtag group of ragabond players does the best, you are king…DraftKing.
DraftKings provides daily fantasy games for MLB, NBA, NCAA football and NFL. Over here, we care about basketball, so here’s how it works. You buy into a contest for a certain prize level. For example, it costs $2 for a shot at $750 and $27 to go for a cool $3K (it doesn’t cost you any money to look, however). There is a first time deposit bonus (“It is 100% guaranteed for up to $600, which is the best in the industry bar none” – Ghost of Abraham Lincoln). You’re then given $50,000 and a list of players available to play in that night’s game. Greivis Vasquez will cost you $7,300, whereas Vince Carter will run you $5,200. So I went and put together a team as follows:
PG – Jeremy Lin ($6,100)
SG – Manu Ginobili ($6,100)
SG – Arron Affalo ($5,900)
PF – Nikola Vucevic ($7,100)
C – Serge Ibaka ($6,500)
That leaves me $18,300 to fill in my remaining Guard, Forward and Utility positions, which gives me plenty of maneuver room. Of course, sometimes it’s worth it to pay $9,000 for a James Harden type and then run with a hot hand for cheap. Other times, you may want to balance your roster to minimize risk. It all depends on which teams are playing that night, and the beauty is, you have a new pot of players to choose from every day.
DraftKings also offers step tournaments. What’s that, you say? It’s like what I just described, except it runs for 6 levels, each with a higher buy-in and greater payout. The goal is to advance at each step, obviously, but even if your first attempt doesn’t pan out, there are retry tickets given out and daily opportunities to test your luck again.
Today is a good day to try out DraftKings if you haven’t already. The NBA, for whatever reason, loves to stockpile games on Wednesday nights, so there are routinely 10-14 contests on hump day. Well, hump your way to glory! Err, wait, this isn’t the porn blog I used to write for under by other pseudonym, “Duff Dongpeddler.”Anyway, with so many games, it is the best night for DraftKings and a great opportunity to make use of their easy to use layout. It’s clean and intuitive. If you’re not sure which player to grab, you don’t even have to leave the site, as you can click any player’s name and get stats for his prior game, last 10 days, and the entire season, as well as a handsome mugshot suitable for framing. Relax, Andray Blatche, I was using the term “mugshot” facetiously, it’s not like you actually did it. You may be a Net, but you’re not Jayson Williams.
Anyway, back to the article. Once you buy into a DraftKings contest, you can follow along with live stats and see how your players are performing. You can also monitor your rank as compared to your competitors. The winner of the $3,000 prize pool last night ran with a team of Dwayne Wade, Paul George, James Harden, Reggie Evans, Patrick Patterson, Alexsey Shved, Metta World Peace, and Nikola Pekovic. That’s a balanced team, but let’s be honest, Evans’ 23 rebounds helped.
I’m hooked, and I’m looking forward to competing against some of the Razzball faithful. Let’s show ’em how it’s done.