It happens to the best of us, but there’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a bit of a DFS rut. If, like us, you’ve been looking to shake up your DFS game, one of our favourite choices right now is basketball. It’s fast-paced, easy to follow and definitely doesn’t lack in excitement.
While steadily gaining popularity in the UK, basketball is HUGE in America. NBA athletes are the biggest sports players in the world—in terms of both salary and stature! The season kicked off in October but runs until April, after which the playoffs begin. You know what that means? You’ve still got plenty of time to get stuck in!
The general rules of basketball are fairly basic, so it’s easy to get to grips with the game pretty quickly. In the NBA (which we’ll focus on here for ease) each game consists of 4 quarters lasting 12 minutes. Each team has 5 players on the court at a time. The ball moves across the court by being dribbled or passed. Players cannot travel with the ball unless they are dribbling it.
A successful shot during open play scores 2 points—unless it is thrown from outside the three-point line, in which case it scores (you guessed it) 3 points. If fouls are committed, the opposing team gets a number of so-called ‘free throws‘, which are each worth 1 point. And that’s basically all you need to know to get started!
In basketball there are actually no formal positions, players have a lot of freedom and need to display a range of skills. The most common team set-ups are as follows:
- Point Guard – The leader of the team’s strategy, this guy is often the fastest and shortest (only comparably, mind you) on the court. He handles the ball the most and leads offensive plays.
- Shooting Guard – Does what he says on the tin: shoots the ball a lot and racks up points for the team.
- Small Forward – A bit of a jack-of-all-trades: scores, defends and creates chances.
- Power Forward – Very tall and strong player. Creates a lot of opportunities, usually stays fairly close to the basket for both offense and defense.
- Centre – Similarly tall and strong, he protects the basket and thus doesn’t stray too far from it.
Once a team has the ball they have 24 seconds to attempt a shot, or the ball goes to the other team. This means play is very fast-paced and you can easily get wrapped up in the action. It’s heart-pounding stuff—especially if you have money on the line and your star players are involved!
The clock is stopped whenever play is inactive, so games actually last 2-2 ½ hours, even though quarters are technically only 12 minutes. Teams have unlimited substitutions, but they can only be made when play is stopped.
How Does it Compare to Other Fantasy Sports?
For a kind of starter pack on how fantasy basketball works in the UK, make sure to check out our earlier article. One of the many pros of DFS basketball is that it’s not hard to get your friends into it as well. The rules are easy to teach and learn, and the fast pace means they should be hooked in no time! This means it’s great for mixing DFS with your social life. As we’ve seen from the life of DFS pros, it can be a somewhat lonely existence if you play a lot of fantasy sport. Basketball can be a good antidote to this.
The speed of play in basketball means that players have to switch position (from offense to defense) very quickly. As a result, fantasy players can gain a lot of points if they pick the right athletes. As positions are so fluid, one player could net you points for scoring, and, a few seconds later, earn you some more points with their defensive play. Substitutions are also frequent—meaning your benched players are likely to have more of an influence than they would in, say, the NFL.
If you’re planning to play Fantasy Basketball in the UK, we’d recommend using PlayOn or DraftKings. With PlayOn, for example, you need to pick a 7 player team with £100 million budget. Team configurations are usually laid out like this:
As you can see, two of your players can be flexible in terms of position, so you have a lot of options to play around with in terms of your line-up. Points are earned for the following kinds of play:
You earn 1 point for every point your team scores. An assist can get you 1.5 points and a rebound 1.2. A Steal or block grants you the most points, with 3 for each. On the downside, if your team loses possession before they’ve attempted a shot (known as a turnover) you’ll actually lose a point.
Surely you don’t need much more convincing! Here’s why basketball should be your next DFS obsession:
- It’s very easy to pick up the rules, so you can get started right away without much effort.
- The game itself is quick, exciting and enthralling.
- If you choose players well, you can find yourself racking up points (and cash) fast.
- You can get your friends involved and make a group hobby of it!
There’s nothing left to do but get started on your line-up! You can thank us later.
For the best tips and tricks of the trade, keep checking in with DailyFantasyUK!