Freeroll Friday: The Picker joins the challenge

“I hit my seven-team parlay last night.”

“My bankroll is up 2900 percent this week.”

“I went 26-1 this week.”

These were some of the messages I was getting a couple months ago from one of my Twitter followers. Naturally, I had my doubts, but I started communicating with the guy by e-mail, asking him for his picks in advance.

Bang, bang, bang, bang — he kept hitting them. And not just against the spread. He’d say stuff like “I like the first-half under in the OKC game” and it would hit with 10 points to spare. He likes money lines, too.

So the executive board of had a conference earlier this week and decided to challenge the guy, heretofore to be nicknamed “The Picker,” to take his predictions public and put them out there while the games are still on the board. He started with two picks Wednesday night, went 1-0-1, then made two picks last night (Knicks +3, Clippers -3) and nailed both.

He will have more picks tonight (they will be posted at 6 p.m. EDT), which you can access from the “Odds” tab on the homepage.

“The Picker” also is going to participate in tonight’s $350 fantasy freeroll, a Friday fixture on this site.

If you already know how to play, click here to enter.

If you are a first-timer, here are the rules: You get an imaginary salary cap of $100,000, and you have to assemble a team of eight players who are in action tonight. (Kevin Durant is the most expensive player on the board tonight with a salary of $20,004.  Melvin Ely of Charlotte is the cheapest at $2,101).

You pick two centers, two forwards, two guards, and two utility players.

You are awarded 2 points for every steal and blocked shot your players produce, 1.5 points for every assist, 1.25 points for every rebound, and 1 point for every point your players score. You lose 1 point for every turnover, and a half-point for every missed field goal attempt or missed free throw.

At the end of the night, the team with the highest point total wins. DraftStreet will pay you through Pay Pal, snail mail or anything in between.

The contest is free, but DraftStreet also sponsors cash games every night (our fantasy writer, Kent Williams, plays every night and post his results and his advice here). If you make a deposit today, be sure to include the bonus code APRIL to get an extra 35 percent added on top. Again, click here to sign up.

My lineup has some sure things and some flyers tonight: It is Kevin Durant and LeBron James at forward, Al Jefferson and Ronny Turiaf at center, Donald Sloan and Manny Harris at guard, and Josh Smith and Leandro Barbosa as utility players.

As for The Picker’s lineup, that will remain a closely guarded secret, as will his methods for picking against the spread — which is perfectly legal in Nevada and outside the United States.

As for this fantasy contest, it is a game of skill and not a game of chance, and thus is legal unless you live in Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Vermont or Puerto Rico, in which case you should contact your state assemblyman or write a letter to your Governor.

Good luck.


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