Never afraid to explore new frontiers with its offerings for DFS players, DraftKings has rolled out a selection of Olympics-themed basketball daily fantasy contests in conjunction with the launch of the Rio Summer Olympics on August 5th.
Contests ranging from freerolls to those with entry fees as high as $10,600 are currently available in the DraftKings lobby. A sampling of all contests types are being offered as well, including single-and-multi-entry tournaments, double ups, triple ups, 50/50s, and a variety of differently-sized leagues.
Initial Slate Set; Rosters Identical to NBA Contests
The initial slate being offered for Saturday, August 6th and Sunday, August 7th consists of the five games taking place over the weekend. The schedule kicks off with the USA-China and Serbia-Venezuela tilts on Saturday night, followed by the Lithuania-Brazil, Spain-Croatia and Nigeria-Argentina contests that unfold throughout the day on Sunday.
The roster configurations for the contests are identical to DraftKings’ NBA offerings, meaning that players will roster a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, guard, forward and a utility player.
As per official rules, rosters must include players from at least 2 different International Basketball teams, and representing at least 2 different real-life International Basketball games.
Athlete Mix Poses Unique DFS Challenges
With the contests encompassing a healthy mix of both NBA and international players, any competitive edge would likely go to those users explicitly familiar with basketball on a global scale.
Notable NBA players participating in the Rio Summer Games that are certain to be highly-owned in both cash games and tournaments include Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and DeAndre Jordan for the USA squad, as well as Bojan Bogdanovic, who will suit up for Serbia.
While the USA team is missing some of the NBA elite such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry, it nevertheless boasts a level of talent that is unmatched by any other team in the Summer Games. Their superiority is likely to result in a few blowout victories, which presents an interesting conundrum for DFS players rostering the stars. While they are likely to receive solid fantasy production from any member of Team USA, the extent of court time those players will receive in each game will be an open question.
Another Bold Step for DraftKings
The debut of International Basketball represents another first in terms of contest offerings for DraftKings, which has long shown a willingness to delve into sports not typically offered by industry rival FanDuel. These include Mixed Martial Arts, Soccer, Golf, NASCAR and Canadian Football League-themed games.
The $50,000 International Basketball Tip-Off, a 19,600-entry contest with $3 entry that awards $5,000 to first place, heads up the weekend’s GPP slate. Other tournaments being offered include the International $4K Fadeaway, which carries a $150 entry fee, and the $3K And-One, which carries a $1 entry fee.