An Introduction to Real Dream Team NBA

Updated: October 6, 2018

The AFL season has drawn to a close following an EPIC Grand Final win by the West Coast Eagles. Dom Sheed rewarded the faith of all those residents of #SheedIsland by calmly and coolly slotting the game winning goal.

And that ladies and gentlemen, will be the last of the AFL talk for the next 6 months* (excludes Free Agency, Trades, Draft and Pre-Season talk!)

So our attention now turns to Sportsdeck’s Real Dream Team NBA competition. This has been running for around 3 seasons now, and has been growing in numbers each year. There will be a Schedule Analysis article coming soon, but in the meantime, let’s revisit some of the basics, and provide some hints and tips for the upcoming season.

Basics of the Game

RDT NBA is a salary cap based Fantasy game for the National Basketball Association played in America and Canada (and a game or two in Europe). Each week, you select your team, and score points based on how well your players perform during their games for that week. You score points as follows:

  • Points – 1 point
  • Missed Shot (includes 2pt, 3pt and Free Throw) – lose 1 point
  • Rebound – 1 point
  • Assist – 1 point
  • Block – 2 points
  • Steal – 2 points
  • Turnover – lose 1 point

Team Selection

Your team each week will include 2 Point Guards, 2 Shooting Guards, 2 Small Forwards, 2 Power Forwards and 1 Centre. You must also select 1 emergency player for each line, as well as a Captain and Vice Captain. Your Captain will have their weekly score doubled.


The rules around emergency players haven’t changed this season. An emergency players score will only count if one of your players on the court does not play at all during the week. Unless you sleep through the Monday night lockout, this should NEVER happen. If you are paying attention, you will know if one of your players is injured before the start of lockout, and if they get injured in a game during the week, your emergencies score won’t count anyway. This means that your bench players must be used for cash generation only. Initially, there is no point having any player on the bench priced at more than $4 million. Use that cash on your court.


You can make unlimited trades up until lockout of Week 1. Lockout in RDT NBA occurs when each team plays their first game of the week. The scoring week is based on the NBA week, so given the time difference between Australia and America, lockout generally lifts on a Monday afternoon, and the first teams are locked in for the next week on Tuesday morning. This means you have Monday night to get your trades done and your team sorted.

Speaking of trades, there is a common error by coaches who are used to playing the Real Dream Team AFL format, where you get 30 trades for the entire season. RDT NBA is slightly different:- you are allocated 3 trades each week for the entire season. There is no reason to save trades for later weeks. The key to doing well in this game is to work the schedule to maximise the total number of games in your team each week, and trading in players with 4 or 5 games each week is essential.

Generating Cash

Early in the season, cash generation is your main priority. As with other salary cap games, getting enough cash to have a ‘complete team’ as early as possible will allow you maximise your points later in the season. Price changes in RDT NBA are based on the rolling average of each players last 6 games. It is interesting to note that a player must play at least 3 games during the week to change in price. This is important to note, as each week there are a number of teams that will only have 1 or two games. Players from these teams will not change in price after that week. This also means that there are no price changes to players until they have played their 6th game of the season. Once again, this makes the schedule analysis vital, as you want to be generating cash as soon as possible, so focus on getting players who will play at least 6 games during the first two weeks.

Dual Position Player (DPP)

The majority of players in this competition will start the season with DPP. Players withe DPP will not lose or change their positional status throughout the season. Players that start with only one position may have another position added during the season. This shouldn’t make too much difference to your planning, just one of those things to watch out for during the season.

Leagues and Groups

You can join both Head to Head Leagues, and also a Group in RDT NBA. Leagues can either be 10 or 20 teams, and Groups are unlimited. We have already set up the OTLS Monster Group, which you can join by going here. League finals begin Week 20 (5th March, 2019) where the top 8 teams will face off to see who will be crowned champions


This is arguably the most important factor to take into account each week. Whilst player price changes are based on their per-game average, your weekly score is based on the total points your players score for that week. Each week, we will publish a Schedule Analysis article that will let you know which teams are playing the most games over the next two weeks. We have already published a pre-season article that you can use to get an idea of which teams have the best early season schedule.

The key is to select players each week who will play at least three – though preferably more – games each week. It shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor; there are some examples of players who will score more in 3 games than others of similar price will score in 4. This is what makes this game so enjoyable.

The season tips off on 17th October, 2018. The first week is a short one, and it finishes on Monday 8th October.

Most weeks, the majority of teams will play 2, 3 or 4 games. There are a couple of anomalies in the schedule however.

  • Week 14 – Washington play New York in London. Due to travel factors, both teams only have 1 game that week.
  • Week 18 – All-Star Weekend – This is actually two calendar weeks (12/2/19 to 25/2/19).

Quick Hints and Tips

  • Cash Generation is vital early on
  • 3 trades every week
  • Emergency players are for cash generation only
  • Use RotoWorld App to keep up to date with injuries
  • Read the OTLS Schedule Analysis article each week
  • Join the NBA Fantasy Hub Facebook page for great banter and info

Join our OTLS Monster Leagues

NBA – 627042

Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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