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Daily Fantasy Basketball 101: SportsTradex Daily Strategy

Michael Rathburn

Michael Rathburn

Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. He was also nominated by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for Best Baseball Series in 2011.

SportsTradex is a new daily fantasy sports site that offers a unique twist. None of their contests have a salary cap and they are proud to boast it! They offer Pick'em, Pick'em Duds, Survivor, and Trading Contests.

Scoring

The scoring format on SportsTradex is very simple and straightforward. The one thing I noticed right away is the premium placed on assists so I will lean towards point guard heavy matchups when making my picks.

Points – 1
Rebounds – 1
Assists – 1.5
Blocks – 2
Steals – 2
Turnovers - (-0.5)

Strategy

Last week, I had the pleasure in participating in their signature contest this month. Every Friday is the $3,000 Guaranteed NBA Big Baller. It is a 15 man field with an entry fee of $216 (max four entries). The payout structure is top three paid out in $1300-1st, 2nd-$1000, 3rd-$700. The contest I was in closed at 11 entries giving some great value for overlay. Instead of three out of 15 paying, it was three out of 11 (27 percent instead of 20 percent). The object of the game is to pick the most winning matchups versus your opponents. This requires a lot more detailed thinking and planning than just going with your gut. Think of it like poker and regular fantasy sports is 5-card draw, and STE is closer to an Omaha Hi/Lo game because there are more cards in your hand, so the strategy requires a different way of thinking.

I will go over the results and give an analysis of why each matchup won so you can take the info with you any night playing on SportsTradex by looking at home/road, Vegas line, Vegas total, and opposing matchup.

Matchup #1

Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR 51.00 (vs MEM, -1.0, 186.5 over/under)
LeBron James, PF, MIA 36.00 (vs DEN, -10.5, 214 over/under)
Wesley Matthews, SG, POR 24.50 (at vs NOR, -2.5, 203 over/under)

Total 111.50

vs

Chris Paul, PG, LAC 39.50 (at UTA, -9.5, 205.5 over/under)
Paul George, SG, IND 41.50 (at PHI, -16.5, 205 over/under)
Zach Randolph, PF, MEM 28.50 (at TOR, +1.0, 186.5 over/under)

Total 109.50

Lowry ended up with the 2nd best performance of the night, only being outscored by Anthony Davis and Thaddeus Young. Even though Group B had three road games, two of them were great matchups vs UTA, and PHI so I leaned towards Group B. Also, the over/under totals favored Group B. When looking at the opposition points allowed, again Group B was the choice. Hard to predict Lowry's breakout performance, which barely ended up beating the Group B.

Matchup #2

Damian Lillard, PG, POR 38.00 (at NOR, -2.5, 203 over/under)
DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC 25.00 (at UTA, -9.5, 205.5 over/under)
Lance Stephenson, SG, IND 31.00 (at PHI, -16.5, 205 over/under)

Total 94.00

vs

Anthony Davis, PF, NOR 51.50 (vs POR, +2.5, 203 over/under)
Kemba Walker, PG, CHA 25.50 (vs MIN, +1.0, 207.5 over/under)
Wilson Chandler, SF, DEN 11.00 (at MIA, +10.5, 214 over/under)

Total 88.00

When I initially looked at this matchup, it was just too close to call so I passed on it. I liked the balance of Group A, but the upside on Davis tipped the scales to the point where it looked even. Plus, Walker is a much better player at home versus on the road. Looking back, I should have gone with the balance of Group A as Chandler was the weak link and had a terrible matchup.

Matchup #3

Blake Griffin, PF, LAC 35.50 (at UTA, -9.5, 205.5 over/under)
Trevor Ariza, SF, WAS 40.50 (at ORL, -5, 203 over/under)
Tristan Thompson, PF, CLE 15.50 (at GSW, +9, 201 over/under)

Total 91.50

vs

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, PHI 33.50 (vs IND, +16.5, 205 over/under)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA 23.50 (vs MIN, +1, 207.5 over/under)
Ty Lawson, PG DEN 36.50 (at MIA, +10.5, 214 over/under)

Total 93.50

All things considered most of the time I would lean towards the matchup with two point guards, as STE's scoring system rewards assists more than usual. But the matchups for MCW and Lawson were really tough, and Griffin/Ariza were a great combo. I knew Thompson was a weak link, but so was MKG who ended up scoring 23.50 fantasy points. Another very close matchup that could have gone either way.

Matchup #4

Jerryd Bayless, PG, BOS, 9.50 (vs PHO, +5, 208 over/under)
Matt Barnes, SF, LAC, 23.50 (at UTA, -9.5, 205.5 over/under)
Nicolas Batum, SF, POR, 47.50 (at NOR, -2.5, 203 over/under)

Total 80.00

vs

Amir Johnson, PF, TOR, 26.00 ( vs MEM, -1, 186.5 over/under)
Andre Iguodala, SF, GS, 21.00 (vs CLE, -9, 201 over/under)
Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN, 40.50 (at MIA, +10.5, 214 over/under)

Total 87.50

I felt strongly about this matchup and going with Group B as Faried has been on a tear, also I look for the weakest player of the six and that was clearly Bayless. Batum is a much better player at home, but put up a monster game so I was lucky to skate by here.

Matchup #5

Channing Frye, PF, PHO, 17.50 (at BOS, -5, 208 over/under)
Chris Bosh, PF, MIA, 25.00 (vs DEN, -10.5, 214 over/under)
Robin Lopez, C, POR, 27.50 (at NOR, -2.5, 203 over/under)

Total 70.00

vs

Andrew Bogut, C,GS, 26.00 (vs CLE, -9, 201 over/under)
Randy Foye, SG, DEN, 8.00 (at MIA, +10.5, 214 over/under)
Ricky Rubio, PG, MIN, 25.00 (at CHA, -1, 207.5 over/under)

Total 59.00

I passed on this matchup because there was no home/road advantage, and the over/under totals were about the same. There was a slight advantage with Group A who had three favorites versus only two in Group B.

Matchup #6

Brian Roberts, NO, 28.00
DeMar DeRozan, TOR, 19.00
John Wall, WAS, 41.00

Total 88.00

vs

Al Jefferson, CHA, 43.00
Jodie Meeks, LAL, 27.00
Thaddeus Young, PHI 51.00

Total 121.00

Much the same as I did with the pick of the Faried led group, once I saw Jefferson it was an automatic play to select his group. Jefferson has been a lock for 40-50 fantasy points. The thing I did not expect was Thaddeus Young putting up 51 fantasy points which ended up being one of the top totals of the night against a very stingy Pacers defense.

Matchup #7

Marc Gasol, MEM, 28.00
Marcin Gortat, WAS, 43.00
Timofey Mozgov, DEN, 13.00

Total 84.00

vs

Derrick Favors, UTA, 28.00
Kendall Marshall, LAL, 23.00
Rajon Rondo, BOS, 24.50

Total 75.50

I had these groups about even with slight lean towards Group B because Mozgov was the weakest link. Gortat ended up being the highest scoring player and beating up on the weak Orlando frontcourt.

Matchup #8

Goran Dragic, PHO, 28.00
James Anderson, PHI, 24.00
Mike Conley, MEM, 26.00

Total 78.00

vs

David West, IND, 32.50
Kevin Martin, MIN, 27.50
Luol Deng, CLE, 24.00

Total 84.00

Once I looked at the grouping for this matchup, I immediately leaned towards Group A because of the two point guards especially with Martin on the other side as a shooting guards.The tipping point ended up being the Pacers matchups against the Sixers providing David West an shot to outpace my projections for him leaving me on the wrong side.

Matchup #9

Henry Sims, PHI, 17.00
Mario Chalmers, MIA, 31.50
Nikola Vucevic, ORL, 20.50

Total 69.00

vs

Danny Green, SA, 28.50
Gerald Green, PHO, 5.00
Jeff Green, BOS, 23.00

Total 56.50

When selecting your groups on STE, a lot of times you just want to take the one who has the highest projected scoring player and hope they carry the load. That was the case here, as I took Group A with Vucevic. Getting Chalmers at home in a high scoring matchup also tilted the balance versus the Green team.

Matchup #10

Kevin Love, MIN, 31.50
Roy Hibbert, IND, 19.00
Wesley Johnson, LAL 16.50

Total 67.00

vs

Klay Thompson, GS, 0 (Did not Play)
Kyrie Irving, CLE, 31.50
Pau Gasol, LAL, 41.50

Total 73.00

Typically on STE, whenever you get a scratch for one of the matchups, you want to jump on the other side. I mean, why not take three active players against only two? Well, that and getting Kevin Love in Group A made this a no-brainer. Ha, so much for that as Irving and Gasol put up solid games and Love fell short of a projected 40 fantasy points. I didn't expect a ton out of Hibbert or Johnson, but I felt they would at least get in the mid 20s.

As you can see, last Friday was met with a lot of close matchups that could have gone either way, but if you instill some of these strategies while playing on SportsTradex, you will come out on the winning side of the ledger more often than not.

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