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Fantasy Basketball Bankroll Management

Poor fantasy basketball bankroll management can turn even the best player into a long-term loser.

It’s the unwritten rule, the dirty little secret no one talks about. Fantasy basketball bankroll management is by no means a sexy topic, but it’s a critical aspect to sustaining a growing daily fantasy account. I’ve personally seen this concept cripple top players, and like death and taxes, it WILL catch up if you insist on dancing the dangerous waltz.

Below I’m going to detail the fantasy basketball bankroll management concepts I adhere to. These are by no means the “authority” on the matter. It’s important to understand that unlike other games of skill, blackjack, poker, etc, daily fantasy is still a wild west in terms of a unified fantasy basketball bankroll management consensus. What these concepts will give you is a solid starting point. I’ve played daily fantasy at least five nights a week for over three years now, and these tried and true methods are born directly of my own experience.

To start, we’ll be using a hypothetical $1,000 bankroll for a nice clean number to work with. Our fantasy basketball bankroll management discussion will ask two questions; how much should I put in play, and what contests should I enter?

On any given night I put between 5-10% of my total bankroll in play. Determining an exact percentage is based on a few factors. The number of players and lineups I feel comfortable deploying is a huge aspect, as the more players you have varied in and out of various lineups, the more effectively you hedge your monies. For instance, if I have a total of 20 players I feel confident with spread across three different lineups, I’m much more likely to push the envelop and invest 10% of my bankroll. On the flip side, if I can only assemble one lineup that inspires confidence, I’m much more likely to stick closer to the 5% side. As you can see, this particular portion of fantasy basketball bankroll management is subjective, and leaves much room for customization.

Once we’ve determined a percentage of our bankroll to invest, we’ll need to enter contests. I stick to a hard and fast rule for this aspect. Let’s say for example that we’ve chosen to play $100 or 10% of our $1,000 total bankroll. $80 or 80% of that $100 would be entered into cash games. If you remember last week we talked about the differences between cash games and tournaments, and to refresh, a cash game is a head-to-head or double-up style contest. This gives us a solid chance to profit even if we don’t have our “a-game” for the night. Next we’ll place $10 or 10% into triple-up contests. Triple-ups have grown on me over the past year, and they represent an excellent bridge between lineups that are solid enough to finish in the money of a large tournament, but not quite good enough compete for the big prizes at the top of the standings. Lastly we’ll place the final $10 or 10% into large-field guaranteed prize pool tournaments. It’s important that we take shots at big money, as taking down a large tournament is one of the best ways to move up in stakes comfortably.

When entering the 80% of your funds into cash games, be sure to spread the wealth around. It is much better to enter eight $5 head-to-head matches and eight $5 double-ups with our aforementioned $80 cash game allotment, than it is to enter two $20 head-to-head matches and two $20 double-ups. The goal here is reducing variance, and allowing ourselves many opportunities to defeat our opponents is the name of the game with fantasy basketball bankroll management.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about fantasy basketball bankroll management. Please leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on the matter.

About the Author
Gabriel Harber is a daily fantasy basketball, baseball, and football junkie. His beard could draft a better team than you. You can connect with him on , , and Twitter.
  1. todd Reply

    why do you wear a hat and sunglasses indoors constantly

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      I suffer from a rare condition where my scalp and eyes are allergic to light.

  2. Ed Bamberger Reply

    Gabey what’s up pal. Quick question for you on your scenario of $ 100.00 with 80 percent in head to head games. Will you try and get all the money in say one $50, one $20 and one $10 dollar game all against the same player or how will you normally break it up ?

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      Howdy Ed, thanks for the comment!

      If you check the second to last paragraph I go over how diversity in opponents and number of contests is paramount. You always want to spread your money around as much as possible!

      Hope that helps buddy :)

  3. Mike Reply

    What do you mean by triple up contests? You are saying the double ups are the head to heads correct?

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      A triple-up contest is one where 33% of the field triples their money.

  4. Ed B Reply

    Thx Gabey , gonna give that approach a try

  5. Ed B Reply

    You advise against using one lineup in all entries ?

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      On the contrary. I often use just one lineup. That does mean I’m only exposing my bankroll to a small group of players, so I will play closer to 5% if that’s the case.

  6. Colin Reply


    Great post I enjoy your stuff. I’m brand new to fantasy hoops and trying to learn. My question is if is if I scribed to the monthly access do you give out all your plays over which sites? It seems that if you tail someone knowledgeable like yourself there is a lot of money to be made. Thanks

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      I’d love to discuss this with you more through Twitter or email. Which do you prefer Colin?

  7. pat Reply

    What I really need is that $1,000. Its difficult to split $10 into percentages. Your info is valuable, but only if you have a minimum of $100 to invest.

    • CrazyGabey Reply

      I agree with you 100%. I’d say around $100 is a reasonable place to start. You can play $8 in H2H and 50/50 games, a $1 triple-up, and $1 in GPPs/Qualifiers.

  8. pat Reply

    I will definitely try the games you suggest with $10.

    Now I only have to wait and see if my less than skillful ability qualifies me to win.

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