The debate about late swap is a hot button topic, especially when it comes to NBA contests. DraftKings has addressed evolving player sentiment on late swaps by announcing that late swaps will be returning to the daily fantasy sports site for the 2017-2018 season.
DraftKings noted that in recent player surveys, the return of late swap to the NBA was the most popular feature request with 75% saying the would either be “somewhat interested” or “very interested” in the enhancement.
The DraftKings NBA late swap feature will be applicable to Classic and Tier contests with DraftKings noting late swaps are “not necessary” for Showdown Captain Mode contests. Despite the fact that DraftKings is instituting late swaps in a big way for this NBA season, the brand says it will continue to monitor player feedback.
While many players seem to favor the developments, the debate continues to rage on about what is best for the contests. For those not happy with the current DraftKings policy, late swaps are still available for NBA contests on FanDuel.
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What are late swaps?
In daily fantasy sports, lineups either completely lock at the start of the first game of the slate or after a player’s specific game has started.
Late swaps in DFS allow a user to switch a player in their lineup after the first games have started, but only for a player’s game that has not yet begun. DFS users may choose to swap a player because of late injury announcement or adjust strategy in the middle of the contest. One common example may be if a user is behind in a contest, they may want to take a more aggressive approach.
The argument for and against late swaps
Perhaps more than any other sport, late swaps in NBA contests are a significant topic of discussion. This is due to the frequency news and developments in the final hours prior to an NBA game.
Both sides have strong reasons for their positions on late swaps.
The most common reason players are in favor of late swaps — and vocal of their frustrations — is having a player in their lineup sit out, something that can easily make or break whether you win or lose a contest. Seasoned users have noted that drafting players from later games can in many ways be considered a crap shoot three hours from the game. Of course, all users participating in the contests are playing under the same rules.
Those against late swaps decry that users need to pay attention throughout the entire slate, something that favors more engaged and dedicated players, giving the recreational type of player a distinct disadvantage, especially for those who don’t use late swaps for non-injury news. The argument is a compelling one and is described well in the video below.
The counterargument to anti-late swap position is that there is no skill in monitoring news and that all users have the capability to switch players in and out of their lineups. But will the recreational player actually want to put in the time that is necessary?
DraftKings will continue to monitor the debate
Regardless, whether or not you or agree with that position, some DFS players may not be able to relate to that position and could choose to just not play. And we can all agree that fewer recreational players is a bad thing for daily fantasy sports.
Fortunately, DraftKings appears to be sensitive to player perceptions of late swap, and if it working or doesn’t continue to be preferred, we could again see a reversal of late swap. But until that time, be ready for late swap this NBA season and adjust accordingly.