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Differences Between NBA Tournaments and Other Sports

Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

This will be the shortest lesson in this course, but don’t dismiss it as being unimportant – especially if you are new to the daily fantasy basketball game. Some of you may be reading this as you get your feet wet in basketball having played other sports, such as football, baseball, college sports, golf, or soccer. Tournaments in the NBA game require a different approach than these other sports, and I will discuss some key differences here in turn.

Let’s start with the obvious sport: professional football. There are often times “correlation plays” that you can make when playing the daily fantasy NFL game. For example, you can pair a quarterback with his top wide receiver, or you can pair a quarterback with a tight end. You can even take a running back and a team defense on the same side of the ball in order to pair up a potential game where a team gets a big lead and runs the ball more. These specific elements don’t really apply in basketball. Every player produces independent of the others, and the only correlations are assists and baskets. This is a huge difference from basketball to football, but it’s even more extreme when you consider some of the other sports.

Baseball is the obvious “other sport” that I am referencing above. A great strategy to use in daily fantasy baseball is the concept of stacking a team’s offense, where you take three, four, or five hitters from the same team. This often is a winning tournament strategy because a run scored for one hitter is a run batted in for another hitter (or the same hitter, in the case of a home run). Once again, we have to put this strategy aside when focusing on basketball, because of the independent nature of the events that take place on a basketball court. You can lump soccer into the same boat as baseball, for purposes of this discussion.

Surprisingly, for me the closest strategy parallel for NBA is golf. Everyone is competing somewhat independently of other players in both sports, but yet they are pulled together in a way. In golf, everyone is chasing a cut line and a leader. In basketball, one team is chasing the other. Obviously, this is a simplistic view, and basketball players are all individually part of a team, which you don’t have in golf. Truly, basketball is a unique sport when it comes to tournament strategy. There is no other DFS sport that fits exactly in the mold of basketball. That’s why my tournament approach in NBA games is completely different from the approach that I use in football and baseball. If you are used to playing those sports, you first have to change your mindset to think a different way. It is only then that you can have success playing daily fantasy basketball GPP’s.

The biggest mindset change that you have to understand is that it doesn’t necessarily take being “different” to have success in basketball GPP’s. Often, you can run out the same lineup that you use for cash games and consider it an optimal tournament lineup. Many top players do this, and they have success in both cash game and tournament approaches. This is attributable to the points I discussed in the previous paragraphs: daily fantasy basketball is a different animal from football or baseball. There is much less correlation from player to player, especially within a given team. This eliminates any form of “stacking” and gives everyone a shot to create a lineup independent of teammates. Now, that’s not to say I always just take my cash game lineup and call it my tournament lineup. Things are much more advanced than that. There are always subtle things you can do to optimize the expected performance of your team.

In the next two lessons, we are going to examine roster building in a little bit more detail. In Lesson #3, I will tackle the single-entry tournament approach. In Lesson #4, I will hit the more advanced multi-entry approaches. Let’s delve deeper into the world of NBA GPP’s!

This will be the shortest lesson in this course, but don’t dismiss it as being unimportant – especially if you are new to the daily fantasy basketball game. Some of you may be reading this as you get your feet wet in basketball having played other sports, such as football, baseball, college sports, golf, or soccer. Tournaments in the NBA game require a different approach than these other sports, and I will discuss some key differences here in turn.

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About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

Instructor

Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

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