DraftStreet Diary: Think Freerolls Are Fun? Try Live Snake Drafts

Yes, the Sheridan Hoops Freeroll returns this Friday, with no entry fee, no strings attached and $300 in cash to the top 15 finishers. It’s money for nothing, so why not give it a try?

For Freeroll regulars who haven’t yet made a deposit, there’s NBA action at DraftStreet every day, and your odds are much better in $2 leagues. You already know much fun the Salary Cap game is, plus there are two other formats.

Pick ‘Em seems almost too easy. While the rules are simple, it’s still quite a challenge. You choose one player from each of eight tiers; there are no salaries. A tier can have as few as two or as many as eight players; there is no guarantee that any individual player will be part of the game on a given night.

Anyone who plays in traditional Roto and/or Head-to-Head leagues is familiar with the excitement of a live draft. There are Snake drafts every day, and for a reader curious about them, here’s a screenshot:

That was a 2-team draft, against a random opponent whose name is blocked out. You can see the undrafted players after we made ten picks, and my roster on the right. (It’s a 45-second clock, so these don’t take long. There is a 5-minute window to queue your picks from the moment a Snake draft fills.) I was pleased with this team, never expecting Stephen Curry and David Lee to have bad nights and cost me five bucks. I did win a 3-man Snake ($13.50) and whenever there are enough NBA games, 6-man Snake drafts are great fun.

After turning a small profit on Monday, last night we gave it back, plus a bit more. The $100 weekly bankroll is down to $92.50 for an exciting 13-game Wednesday. There are 339 players in the Salary Cap pool tonight, featuring a host of expensive superstars. While it’s certainly possible to use LeBron James and Kevin Durant, that would leave you only $56,125 to spend on six other players, just over $9,000 each. Choosing between LBJ and KD isn’t easy, but your supporting cast will be stronger. Of course, you can leave both off your team, and build around three or four stars like Kyrie Irving.

DraftStreet 15Feb. 6
StarsOver $13,000
LeBron James$22,828
Kevin Durant$21,047
Russell Westbrook$18,436
Kyrie Irving$16,385
Carmelo Anthony$16,292
ScrubsUnder $9,000
Caron Butler$8,979
Kevin Martin$8,694
Samuel Dalembert$6,351
Alec Burks$6,638
Ray Allen$7,343
Starters$9,000 to $13,000
John Wall$12,940
Nikola Pekovic$12,812
Evan Turner$12,348
Amare Stoudemire$11,792
Eric Gordon$10,017

Narrowing this field to 15 for today’s chart is quite a task. The ‘middle class’ (salaries from $9,000 to $13,000) is particularly strong. You can make changes right up to the 7:00 EST deadline; late-breaking news of illness or injury often affects multiple players. Here’s one lineup I’m using:

F1 LeBron James (MIA-F) $22,828
F2 Marreese Speights (CLE-F) $11,914
G1 Kyrie Irving (CLE-G) $16,385
G2 Darren Collison (DAL-G) $11,618
C1 Samuel Dalembert (MIL-C) $6,351
C2 Lavoy Allen (PHI-C) $9,816
U1 Kyle Lowry (TOR-G) $12,021
U2 Randy Foye (UTA-G) $8,753

Keying on LeBron and Kyrie, combined with two possible bargains at center, means I can afford three other players in the $12,000 range. The trick is choosing the right ones.

To get started with Wednesday night leagues, open a free DraftStreet account. You can join free leagues every day to become more familiar with the rules. Everyone should sign up for Friday’s $300 Freeroll, which may be a 1,000-1 shot, but the winner gets $100 cash.

The Fantasy Spin, published by 9:00 every morning, previews all 13 of tonight’s games and recaps a wacky Tuesday, when the Rockets were red-hot from 3-point range.

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