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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.

From Around The Web

  1. Lance says:
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    Who do you like better ROS: Splitter, Aminu, or Ed Davis?

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:
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      @Lance: I’d probably run with Davis. Even when Jonas comes back, I don’t see him taking much of a hit.

      • Lance says:
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        @ChrisV: Thanks!

  2. Pavel says:
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    in a 16-team league, h2h, deep, with your roster:
    Pg: Dragic, George hill, Garett Temple
    Sg: James Harden, Dwayne Wade, Lou williams
    Sf: Josh Smith, Nicolas Batum, Turkoglu
    Pf: Lamar Odom, Markieff Morris, Seraphin
    C: Monroe, Kevin Garnett, Andrew Bynum

    would you give up on big man stats and just trade away Monroe/Hill for Lowry/Wall?

    • Pavel says:
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      @Pavel: ACtually I don’t have Josh Smith (gave him away for wade..small typo…haha)

      • ChrisV

        ChrisV says:
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        @Pavel: I would not punt rebounds/blocks.

  3. Thrilla says:
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    Looks like Kevin Love out for 8-10 weeks. Is he dropable in 12-Team H2H standard leagues?

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:
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      @Thrilla: Probably. I wouldn’t hold on to him, you need to win now (and over the next 2 months). You may be able to trade him to the first place team if they are willing to wait out his injury.

  4. Zandy says:
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    Reposting this- So I have Love who is now toast so I just got an offer for Marc Gasol.

    I have Marc Gasol – now that Love is done and dropped. What should I ask for from this list for me to trade for: Anthony Davis, Varejao, Kobe, Bosh, Griffin, Vucevic, Thad Young? He will go 2 or even 3 for 1… So be creative

    • Pavel says:
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      w@Zandy: who will you drop? I mean kobe+bosh would be my first selection. Kobe+Griffin would be the 2nd. Basically Kobe+a big guy bodes will with you. If you can get bosh+kobe that’s money, because your percentages even out (you gain a lot in ft%) and you don’t lose anywhere other than blocks (even then you’re fine).

      • Zandy says:
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        @Pavel: Drop Jordan Crawford or Love.

        Is Gasol Conley Love for Kobe Bosh Vucevic a good trade? I have Teague, Rubio and Wall as PG’s already

        • Pavel says:
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          @Zandy: Conley gets you 3’s and steals. Wall doesn’t shoot the 3 very much (and when he does he has missed a lot in the past). Teague is up and down. And rubio only is a sure thing to get you assists (he’s not a great offensive player at the moment). So Conley is actually your best pg. I would just do the gasol for kobe+bosh and drop love. If there is also some nice FA out there I would may be consider dropping crawford also.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:
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      @Zandy: I think I answered this in the post for January 10.

  5. ICE MAN says:
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    I’m thinking about trading David Lee for Paul George. Good, bad or ok deal?

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