Fantasy Basketball – Basic Overview for Beginners


Expanding your views on fantasy sports sounds like a great idea.

Learning the ropes around fantasy basketball will only help.

My guide’s primary goal is to educate you about how to take the right approach to fantasy basketball.
With that in mind, this beginner’s guide will lead you through:

Learn how to create strategies to win your fantasy contests and leagues and achieve ultimate success.

Construct a serviceable team and win a league even if you haven’t been an active NBA fan. Fantasy basketball strongly resembles the real sport. The rules are almost the same.

Site Bonus Devices Rating Draft Now

50% up to $1000

Draft Now!

100% up to $200

Draft Now!

100% up to $600

Draft Now!

100% up to $1000

Draft Now!

Let’s delve deeper into the world of fantasy where the never-ending adventure awaits.

How Does It Work?

To play fantasy basketball, you need to draft real players from the National Basketball Association, but more importantly, you’ll need to pay special attention to earning points with those players.

To earn points, you need to analyse the performance of each player on the court. That aside, the game pretty much follows the same basic principles as all other fantasy sports games.

Fantasy basketball requires you to form teams from the respective league. The players earn points based on their performances, and eared points determine losers and winners on a daily, weekly, and seasonal basis.

Since the regular format of the game includes drafting fewer players than in other similar fantasy games, it’s safe to say that getting into fantasy basketball is a lot easier than getting into any other fantasy game.

How to Play Fantasy Basketball

To play fantasy basketball, you first need to understand your format. All fantasy sports follow the same patterns – the most valuable players are determined based on the league format.

How to Play Fantasy Basketball

How Players Score Points

Typically, there are four ways to score in fantasy basketball:

  • Points
  • Head to head Points
  • Head to head Roto
  • Roto


For Points, it’s all about simple math – the team with the most points wins. The scoring system determines which team has accumulated the most points. This is determined weekly, and there is also a lineup deadline. The winner is the team that collects the most points for the season.

Head to head Points

The Head to head Points game is almost the same as the Head to head Roto concept except for one detail. To achieve victory, you have to total the most fantasy points. This is the main difference between HTD Roto and HTH Points – rather than separating the statistics by categories, the preset value determines the total for each statistic.

The values are:

  • Points (+1)
  • Rebounds (+1.2 or 1.25)
  • Assists (+1.5)
  • Steals/Blocks (+3)
  • Turnovers (-1)

The Head to head Points game follows the format that’s more similar to fantasy football. It’s essential to keep in mind the way your commissioner assigns values. Understanding this will help you achieve success.

Head to head Roto

Head to head roto includes games weekly, where you’ll be required to play against other members of your league. You have only one winner and one loser, but it can also be a tie. It depends on your commissioner. The losses and wins determine who makes it to the playoffs, just like in real basketball.

To determine who is a winner or a loser, you’ll need to take a look at each of the statistical categories – steals, assists rebounds points, etc. Those players who accumulate the most statistics in each of the categories are the winners.

Let’s take a look at the following situation: your team accumulated 100 assists, 200 rebounds, and 300 points compared to the other team’s 99 assists, 150 rebounds, and 450 points. The victory is yours because you’ve won the matchup by two categories. This is the format that is mostly associated with fantasy baseball.

Rotisserie or ROTO

Roto includes each category receiving a unit each time your players contribute to that event in the game. If a player scores a rebound, the rebound category gets one point more. To score points, you need to compare your categories with all other teams in the league.

The number of teams in the league determines the number of points. The more teams there are, the more points there will be. It works like this:

The team with the best statistics for a category in the league receives points based on how many teams there are in the league.

If there are 10 teams, the winning team receives 10 points while the second-best team receives 9 and so on. To determine the team’s position in the league, you can total all points in all categories.

Head to Head Scoring

In fantasy basketball, teams compete against each other to receive points. These points are based on the on-field performance of the NBA players. The team that amasses the most significant score every week is the winner.

There are two methods of deciding which team is the winner:

  • Most categories: depending on the number of categories taken into account, fantasy basketball teams receive points. The team that scores the most points for each of the categories is the winner.
  • One category: here, fantasy basketball teams can also be winners in a particular category. All they have to do is collect the most significant number of points for that category. At the end of the season, all weekly results are totaled to set the seasonal results.

Fantasy basketball teams that use the head-to-head scoring method usually aim at the playoffs through which losers are eliminated till a champion emerges.

Scoring through Fantasy Points

Fantasy points are awarded for specific statistics and decisions regarding awarding of points are taken by the commissioner alone. For example, the commission may say that a steal will get two fantasy points. In this way, fantasy points are earned every night on the basis of NBA players’ performance on the field, and the team that earns the largest number of fantasy points at the close of the season becomes the winner.

Season-Long Leagues and Keeper Leagues

Keeper leagues refer to multi-year leagues where you’re allowed to stick with players from season to season. Typically, each league comes to a close at the season’s end, with the only exception being keeper leagues.

Your commissioner determines the number of players you’re allowed to keep. When it comes to this, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as each commissioner is different. Some might let you keep all your players from the previous season. Some might allow you keep a few or just one.

The strategy is seldom the same, and it varies the most during the draft. If it’s a season-long league in question, only a player’s performance in the current season is considered. This is somewhat a standard in season-long leagues.

Things look a little bit different for keeper leagues, as this is where future production matters the most. In keeper leagues, well-established, older players are quickly replaced by younger players in the making.

Rule Variations

There is no specific set of rules in fantasy basketball. Instead, there is a range of rule variations. The most common variations include:

Number of Categories: there are three to eleven categories in fantasy basketball leagues. Three-category leagues only include points, assists, and rebounds. This is a basic form of a fantasy basketball league. In some leagues, the commissioner is the one who sets the terms of how many categories will be taken into account.

Number of Teams: fantasy basketball leagues can be public or private. Private leagues are invitation-only and can consist of any number of players. The players are usually already well-established, seasoned, and experienced. Public leagues, on the other hand, consist of either 10 or 12 teams.

Draft Types: there are two methods to draft players in fantasy basketball players – the snake draft and the auction draft. The snake draft includes two rounds of NBA players – the first one is drafted in a particular order while the second one is reversed.

  • Snake Draft – In case of a snake draft, the first round of NBA players is drafted in a particular order, which is reversed in the second round. The GM who had the opportunity to make the last pick in the previous round will be making the first pick in the next round. The order is reversed so that the GM who gets the chance to make the first pick in a certain round will not get this advantage in the next round.
  • Auction Draft – In case of auction drafts, each GM starts with a pre-determined budget, which is the same as that allotted for fantasy baseball. GMs must use this budget to draft the entire roster. GMs auction off players and the GM willing to pay the largest amount for a player gets the chance to draft that player.

One of the biggest advantages of auction drafting over snake drafting is that all GMs have equal access to all players in case of the latter. On the downside, it takes long and may scare off beginners.

The commissioner who made the last pick in the second round gets to choose the first pick in the next one and vice versa. The auction draft is the case where each commissioner has a predetermined budget to start with, just like in fantasy baseball.

This budget allows GMs to draft the entire roster. The commissioner willing to pay the most for a player on the auction is the one who gets to draft that player. In auction drafting, all commissioners have equal access to the players in the snake draft. There’s a downside to this drafting type – it takes too long, and that’s the biggest reason why beginners avoid it.

Where to place bets

Just like with real basketball, you can bet on fantasy basketball if you love mixing entertainment with an excellent opportunity to earn some extra cash on the side. There are so many fantasy basketball sites on the net, offering a wide variety of free and paid contests.

These contests include 50/50s, guaranteed prize pools, and heads-up. That means that you got everything covered from NBA games to college basketball games. This is more than enough betting opportunities to go home with incredible amounts. To make it a bit clearer – you can earn from a few hundred up to a few million from betting on fantasy basketball contests.

Some of the professional fantasy basketball players play fantasy basketball games for a living daily. So, you can figure how much potential there is in betting on fantasy basketball. Pay a visit to Fantasy Sports, where you will find many different rooms for betting on fantasy basketball.

How Does NBA Fantasy Work?

NBA PlayOn DFSThe basics of NBA fantasy include selecting players from the NBA league with the primary goal of creating your super team. Based on their on-field performance, your fantasy team will score points.

To play NBA fantasy basketball, get your fantasy NBA dream team through the fantasy basketball season and set a real challenge for all who have the guts to stand up to your selection. To create your team, you’ll need one coach, 2 centers, 4 forwards and 4 guards.

Your budget is 95 credits. Each matchday has several game rounds, which are groups of matches that are played daily. You need to manage your roster in between the game rounds by making substitutions from and to the bench.

You can also buy and sell players but only at the end of the matchday. Aside from creating your own NBA team, you can step your game up and create your own NBA league or even leagues and become the champion. One of the newest and simplest ways to play Fantasy NBA is by giving a try Dunkest Fantasy Basketball.

Pick your favourite NBA players, create a team of winners that will win the championship, and use private or public leagues to become the best of the best. The glory is waiting, so take it.

How does Yahoo Fantasy Basketball Work

Yahoo! fantasy basketballTo score points in Yahoo fantasy basketball, you need to set a points-scoring format that pretty much follows the primary form of NBA fantasy. Based on their performance on the basketball court, your selected players score points.

These points accumulate and determine which team is the winner. In Yahoo fantasy basketball, there are a couple of ways to distribute the accumulated points:

  • One real-life point scored equals one fantasy point
  • Every rebound grabbed is 1.2 points
  • Every assist registered is 1.5 points
  • Every steal swiped is 3 points
  • Every shot blocked is 3 points
  • Every turnover committed is -1 point

You need 13 players to form a standard Yahoo fantasy team with three players on the bench and ten active players in the game. Those players who are active need to give their best to help your team win a total score for the week. Only points accumulated by active players are taken into account.

Fortunately, it’s possible to move players from the bench slot to the active slot during the week, but you have to be smart about it. The main goal is to make every player so that they give their best to maximize the total of fantasy points scored.

There are matches during the whole week, and you’ll get a chance to show your quality against other teams led by other managers. The team that scores the most fantasy points at the end of the week will take the matchup as the winner.

Structure Your Fantasy Team Like a Pro

PlayOn Daily Fantasy Basketball Team Structure

There are 13 sports on a standard Yahoo fantasy roster – three reserve positions and 10 active slots. Each of the ten active players can be chosen from the positional designations. Each fantasy basketball player can play up to three positions in an NBA game. An NBA court includes five positions:

  • Point Guard
  • Shooting Guard
  • Small Forward
  • Power Forward
  • Centre

Each roster has to fulfill the following requirements to make sure your drafting is approved:

  • 1 Point Guard
  • 1 Shooting Guard
  • 1 Small Forward
  • 1 Power Forward
  • 2 Centers
  • 1 shooting guard or point guard
  • 1 power forward or small forward
  • 2 flex player who can play on any position

To complete your drafting successfully, you need to make sure you pick the right candidates for every position required. Once you’ve filled your 10 active slots, your roster is ready. Now, all that’s left is managing your fantasy team. You’ll be required to change your team during the season. There are two ways to do that:

  • Trade negotiation
  • The waiver wire

Trade negotiation allows you to set the terms of the trade with another league member. You choose to send one to three players to another team of your league and get the exchange players in return. While you’ll have to work on your negotiation skills to make this work, a successful trade can change a lot for the better.

The waiver wire

The free-agent list or the waiver wire allows you to trade any player who didn’t pass the initial selection in the draft. You can trade, exchange, or drop your players to add another from the free-agent list, but there are limitations.

You can only make a restricted number of moves weekly. So, use the waiver wire only in situations when your player is under-performing, gets injured long-term, or a surprise player is performing better than you’ve expected.

Here is a great and useful tip: if you want to win a fantasy league, the key to success is in making sharp-witted moves on the waiver wire.

If you want to win a fantasy league like a real champ, there are three things you need to keep in mind – always look for players who can contribute to your team on the waiver wire, make trades with other managers, and switch players in your active slots.

Fantasy playoffs

There are always 4-6 teams that are at the top of every season. At the end of each season, these teams earn their playoff qualifications. They play in matchups, and the teams that lose, go home. This goes on until there are only two best teams left.

These top teams get a chance to play for the fantasy championship. This is the summit of fantasy basketball, and it should be your primary goal. To get to the finals, you need to learn the ins and outs of fantasy NBA. This is where the real action is.

How to Draft Fantasy Basketball

Think of the draft as of the core of your fantasy league. You’ll need to form 10-12 teams, each team consisting of 13 roster spots or players.

Each fantasy owner or general manager has 13 roster spots available. They select their players to fill in the spots, and they can do it using the waiver wire, a trade, or the draft.

Each manager can select up to 13 players. Drafting takes place before the beginning of the season. The league varies in size, and it can consist of 10 or 12 teams. The teams in the league are selected on a random basis, or some predetermined method can be used.

The selected teams take participation in the drafting, where they can pick players from the NBA that will play for them.

Standard drafts

Drafting is all about flexibility. Depending on your strategy, whether you plan to focus on blocks and rebounding categories, you can draft three players for the same position in a row.

Let’s say you draft three centers. Your goal is to dominate the blocks and rebounding categories. To do so, just play all three of them every night. However, things look a bit different when it comes to leagues.

The rules vary from league to league. Some leagues allow you to include just one player at a traditional position with a deep bench and a utility while others allow for one bench spot and all utility players. These things depend on two things – league management and fantasy contest systems.

Fantasy Basketball Tips

Let’s share some words of advice for you to ensure that you make the most of it. Here are some tips to make sure you master fantasy basketball like a true professional.

  1. Check the ranking and know the rules

    If you fail to make the right choice with your rankings, you’re doomed to fall. Never forget that a players’ ranking is his value that he brings to your team.

    The rules of your league, or shall we say, the format determines a players’ ranking. Always check the league rankings and make sure you understand the rules.

  2. Go for the best players in your drafting

    Draft only the top choices available. Why? Because they excel at every position. The key to finding the best players is in analyzing the teams that make it to the championship.

    Pay attention to the draft rankings in your league to find out what the positional availability is as this will give you a clear insight into an oversupply or shortage of good players.

    Here’s an excellent tip – start your drafting as early as possible as this will allow you to draft the best players before they’re already taken.

  3. Pay attention to roster movements and offseason trades

    Keep an eye on roster movements and offseason trades. There are two things you need to worry about in fantasy basketball – usage, which is a statistic, and opportunity, which is a characteristic.

    The more time the player spends with the ball, the more he produces the much-needed stats. The players that moved to a new team get more opportunities for increased usage.

    You need higher fantasy value in terms of blocks, steals, threes, rebounds, assists, and points to win. The more usage, the more stats, which means more value.

  4. Take injury risk into consideration

    Players get injured in fantasy basketball, just like in real life. NBA basketball is a game of high impact, and the risk of injury is not only high but always present.

    Some players are prone to injury, and you’ll want to avoid those because you don’t want to end up drafting players who will miss games every season due to being injured. You need fresh players, so avoid players with high injury risks.


As you can see, playing fantasy basketball and betting on it can be a lot of fun. I can tell you from my personal experience as a professional gambler that betting on fantasy basketball can be more exciting than placing bets on real basketball.

This guide is aimed at all those who are willing to give fantasy basketball a try and discover how immersive it can be.

Have you ever placed a bet on fantasy basketball? Have you ever played it? What is your strategy for creating fantasy basketball teams? Are you a passionate gambler like myself? Leave the answers in the comments, and let’s discuss useful tips that can help become better at fantasy sports.

Fantasy Basketball FAQs


Daily fantasy basketball is similar to traditional fantasy basketball. In case of daily fantasy basketball games, players have to build a team of NBA players and earn points based on their performance on field. As mentioned above, a variety of scoring rules and methodologies are used to award points. While traditional basketball lasts throughout the season, daily fantasy basketball games last only for a day.


Yes, there are plenty of free basketball games available. You can learn the various aspects of playing fantasy basketball without taking risks. However, you must note that you will not win any real money prizes if you are playing for free.


Fantasy basketball is 100% safe and legal as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 does not mention fantasy sports in its list of prohibited games. The fantasy websites we recommend are safe and legal as they do not even operate in the handful of US states that consider fantasy sports to be illegal.


You can find fantasy basketball games at any of the fantasy sports websites we recommend. Major sports portals such as,, CBS Sportsline, and Yahoo! also offer free or affordable fantasy basketball.


Yes, you can play fantasy basketball on mobile devices as all fantasy sports sites are mobile friendly.


In fantasy basketball, scoring is determined by scoring type. If your chosen format is a win/loss league, a win or loss for each category allows you to score players. Then you total the points at the end of the season, and the player with the highest point value takes the victory for that league’s season.


Yes, but it takes skills and practice. Know your league well, make sure you understand the rules, know which players to choose and when. Pay special attention to positions, don’t waste efforts trying to win every category, avoid rookies, and never think like a fan.


Yes, of course. I always advise you to start your drafting as early as possible and go for the power forwards. If you’ve chosen a 10-team format, every other position will do fine for the starting slots. If you have to choose between other positions that hold equal value to the power forward, your choice should be a power forward.


Find the fantasy basketball tab and select Create League. It’s essential to pick the desired league name that’s easy to remember and attention-grabbing. Aside from the title, enter your draft date and time, draft preference, scoring preference, and the number of teams.

Fantasy Basketball