DraftStreet Diary: New Fantasy Leagues Every Day; Win Cash

It’s great to be playing again at DraftStreet. Every Monday, I’ll start with a fresh $100 bankroll for the week and share my picks in this space once a day. Years of experience in traditional Roto and Head-to-Head formats doesn’t change the fact that I’m a relative novice in daily fantasy leagues. We’ll be learning together; just click on the logo to get started.

While there are some interesting variations, the Salary Cap game is most appealing. The rules are simple, yet it’s a new challenge every day. Players qualify at either G, F or C; you must start two of each and fill two Util spots — without exceeding $100,000 in total salaries. Scoring is PTS = 1 pt; REB = 1.25 pts; AST = 1.5 pts; TO =-1 pt; MFT = -0.5 pts; MFG = -0.5 pts; STL = 2 pts; BLK = 2 pts and the team that compiles the highest score wins.

Every day, I’ll list 15 players in the chart. They’re grouped by price range: “Stars” are those with a salary over $13,000, “Scrubs” are potential bargain picks, costing less than $9,000, and “Starters” are all the players in between. With only six NBA games tonight, there are only 20 players to choose from in the top level, but under the cap, you can rarely afford more than three Stars. Another 40 players are in the $9K-$13K Starters range and while there are 82 in the Scrubs category, not many will even see the floor, let alone contribute.

DraftStreet 15Dec. 10
StarsOver $13,000
LeBron James$22,503
Stephen Curry$17,541
David Lee$18,478
LaMarcus Aldridge$15,856
James Harden$17,378
ScrubsUnder $9,000
Linas Kleiza$6,893
Toney Douglas$6,565
Danny Green$8,395
Luke Babbitt$4,697
Gary Neal$8,604
Starters$9,000 to $13,000
Klay Thompson$12,194
Greg Monroe$12,435
Chris Kaman$10,513
J.J. Hickson$12,828
Chandler Parsons$11,820

All leagues close tonight at 7:00 EST; you can make unlimited changes to your lineups until then. Here’s one I’ve entered in multiple leagues, though I’m on the fence about Cousins.

F David Lee (GS-F) $18,478
F LaMarcus Aldridge (POR-F) $15,856
G Danny Green (SA-G) $8,395
G Klay Thompson (GS-G) $12,194
C Greg Monroe (DET-C) $12,435
C Chris Kaman (DAL-C) $10,513
U Linas Kleiza (TOR-F) $6,893
U DeMarcus Cousins (SAC-C) $15,218

This is hoping that LeBron James and Josh Smith ($18,136) play ferocious defense against each other. You could take the exact opposite approach and key on LBJ and Smoove, while ‘cutting corners’ at other positions.

Among the other options at DraftStreet that don’t use a salary cap are Pick’Em and Snake drafts. Pick’Em doesn’t include the entire NBA player pool. There are eight tiers of six players. You pick one from each tier to build your team. For example, Tier 1 tonight is David Lee, Josh Smith, Stephen Curry, Al Horford, James Harden and Tim Duncan. That’s a tough choice. Tier 8 includes Andrea Bargnani, Ray Allen and Vince Carter. It’s a great game for novices because you don’t need to be familiar with more than six or seven players per NBA team.

Snake drafts are very popular in traditional leagues. Instead of just once per season, DraftStreet has them every day. Join a 2-, 3- or 6-team Snake league; you can pre-rank your players immediately. When the league fills, a notice pops up, then the draft room opens. Unlike the salary cap and tier games, a player can be owned by only one team. When LeBron is gone, he’s gone. I’m going to try a couple Snakes on Wednesday, when 13 NBA games will make for a deeper player pool.

In addition to entering two different lineups in a $2 tournament with $1,000 in prize money, I joined two Weekly leagues today, a 6-man and a 10-man, for $2 each. Weeklies use a different salary scale, because number of games is so important. It’s a trickier challenge, too. Would you rather have two games from Kevin Durant, three from Dwyane Wade or four from Anderson Varejao?

Finally, I invested $5 in a Double-Up league. All you have to do is finish anywhere in the top 50 (from 110 entries) to win $10. That’s more of a long-term experiment, as I’m expecting to cash more than 50% of the time in that format. Total investment is $15 for the day; check in tomorrow to see how it went and get my Tuesday selections.

If you haven’t already joined DraftStreet, click here to sign up. They even have free leagues you can join to win points that can be redeemed for prizes. See you there!

Today’s Fantasy Spin looks at all six of tonight’s NBA games in more detail and reviews all the action from Sunday.

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