NBA Fantasy Advice & Strategy
Fantasy basketball is a fairly simple game. You select a team and fill out a roster. You succeed or fail based on how well your players perform in certain categories. If you want to be a fantasy basketball rockstar, you have to pay your dues. :
Draft a team of NBA players.
Watch as their statistics accumulate over time.
The team with the best-aggregated statistics wins.
Of course, if you want to win, you may want to dig a little deeper.
Types of Leagues
There are as many configurations as there are leagues, but most fantasy NBA games fall into one of the following groups:
Head to Head vs. Cumulative Scoring: In a head-to-head league, you compete against a single team for a set period of time — usually a week. Head-to-head leagues typically use fantasy point scoring systems. Cumulative leagues have scoring systems based on statistics accumulated over the entire season — the team in first place when the season ends wins.
Daily vs. Weekly Transactions: This is a particularly important factor to consider in basketball because game schedules aren’t balanced: A given team might play two games one week and five the next. Choose wrong, and you may have your selected players sitting on the bench for several games.
The typical default setting for a league hosted on one of the big providers — ESPN.com, Yahoo!, CBS or NBA.com — is a draft-style with rotisserie scoring and daily transactions.
A typical NBA fantasy roster includes:
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one or two utility players, who can play any position
Most leagues also allow a set number of bench players. Players on the bench don’t count toward your team statistics; they’re extras you can move into and out of your starting lineup as you like.
Trades and Waivers
Most leagues allow players to be traded between teams. Some might have a trade-approval or trade-protest option to prevent trades that are unbalanced or otherwise unfair. Players who don’t get drafted are considered free agents and can be picked up by teams during the season, usually on a first-come, first-served basis.
The statistical categories used in most fantasy basketball leagues are:
field goal percentage
free throw percentage
The first six categories are counting stats, where you add up each player’s total to get your team’s score. The last two — field goal and free throw percentage — are percentage stats, meaning that your score is based on your team’s total shooting percentage.
To figure your team’s percentage in either category, divide the total number of shots made by the total number of attempts. Some leagues substitute assist-to-turnover ratio for assists, while others add turnovers, three-point percentage or other categories to the mix.
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