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Focus on Fantasy: An Introduction to FanDuel Daily Games and Brew Hoop's 20-team Madhouse

SB Nation is partnering with to offer one-day fantasy basketball leagues you can play any night of the week.

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SB Nation has partnered with Fan Duel to offer our readers a chance to compete in one-day fantasy basketball leagues with thousands of other fans across the country. There are tons of leagues to play in every night, and many offer the chance to win immediate cash payouts.

As part of this partnership, I'll be running a regular fantasy-related post every week here on Brew Hoop to share my success stories and epic flops (probably a lot more of the latter) playing FanDuel's daily games, talk about fantasy-related trends for the Bucks, and offer updates on Brew Hoop's 20-team Fantasy League of Insanity. If you want to create a FanDuel account, try your hand at a couple of daily games, and share you experiences, great! If you just want to talk fantasy basketball with a Bucks-slanted theme, that's good too.

Disclaimer: Even though this is a sponsored post with affiliate links, all of the opinions contained in this post are my own and are based purely on my own hunches, guesses, and whatever my cat tells me to do. And as an FYI, FanDuel gave me some cash to play its daily fantasy games.

If you've never tried a daily fantasy site before, here's a link to FanDuel's Beginner's Guide. I did not read this guide before I started, and I lost every single game I entered on the first night! Take that under advisement. And if you're wondering where to start, here's a tip from the guide:

If you are looking to earn consistent cash, then you need to enter cash games. Cash games consist of head-to-head contests or 50/50 payouts. The chance of doubling your money is 50% in these formats, as opposed to the roughly 20% of people who cash in large format GPP’s (Guaranteed Prize Pools). It’s always tempting to go for a huge payday in the GPP’s and I’m all for taking the chance, so it’s best to try and balance out your funds between cash games and GPP’s, to avoid taking a big hit. I like to use my cash game winnings as my GPP entry fee, assuming that I’m winning my 50/50 contests.

Ready to get started? Here's a link to sign up with FanDuel and start playing!

Now let's talk madness.

As many of you know, Brew Hoop has been running a 20-team fantasy league every year for the last few seasons. 20 is the maximum number of teams Yahoo! will let us have, and you can be sure we'd have more if they'd let us, because we're all about taking things to the max here.

Naturally, a 20-team league brings with it a very different drafting strategy than your typical 10 or 12 team league. Here's a screencap of the first three rounds in our draft:

My team is Monte's Inferno, inspired by the incredible #monte Twitter phenomenon and my own subscription to the rule that fantasy team names should always be puns of player names. I had the #12 pick in the first round.

Despite this obviously being an incredibly deep league, my first-round selection of Kevin Durant single-handedly make or break my season. If Durant returns in early December and quickly gets back up to speed, I've got a top-3 caliber player for most of the season despite picking 12th. If he has a setback and misses another month, I'm probably already toast.

In truth, my main motivator for taking that risk was my own lack of interest in many of the players still available. So while I was punting at least a month of top-level production, I didn't feel like I was missing out on a ton of value.

Here are some other picks I liked in the first three rounds:

Derrick Rose - 35th Overall, Milwaukee Sonics
I'm of the opinion that Rose is "injury prone" in partly the same way Andrew Bogut is "injury prone." He's had some really bad luck and now he's got a reputation.  There's risk there, for sure, because knees/legs are more susceptible to recurring injuries. However, Rose doesn't have to deal with the problems that come from being a massive dude. When healthy, Rose is an elite fantasy talent. And I think he'll be healthy. I also like the Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo picks in the third round behind similar logic.

Nerlens Noel - 58th Overall, I WROTE THE BOOK
Another moderate injury risk, but Noel is very young and had tons of time to recover. And when he gets on the court, he's going to have a leash that Sam Hinkie could keep hold of while the Sixers and playing in L.A. Noel should be a great source of rebounds, blocks, and possibly steals, while chipping in a decent number of points, though he could struggle with shooting percentages and turnovers.

Blake Griffin - 10th Overall, Jabari's Atari 3000
This pick doesn't jump out as stunningly good value--nobody selected ahead of him felt like a reach--but I think there's a drop-off in value after this pick. Griffin showed what a well-rounded player he's become last year, and to get somebody with that kind of upside at 10 is great. Again, that drop-off played a big part in my decision to gamble on Durant at 12.