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The best fantasy basketball drafting strategy you’ve never heard before

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Before the draft, develop your list of the top 120 players. Participate in several mock drafts so that you have a good idea of where players are going.

During the draft take the best player available. Always. Ignore your category needs. Ignore the positions. Each time take the best player available. Use the ADP to ensure that you do not take players too early or too late. The BBM draft tracker is a very useful tool in this regard.

During the draft and the first half of the season, the goal is obtain the most valuable players possible. To do this you want to use BBM and the standings to identify the category needs of other teams and offer them deals to address those category needs. Again, ignore your own category needs and instead focus on quality. You want to meet the category needs of other teams while getting a slight edge in quality with each trade. You also want to do as many two for one trades as possible (in which you give up two good players to get one very good player). This does two things. First, the best players in the league are less likely to disappear and have a terrible season (yes, I am talking about you 2011-2012 Nowitzki). Two, this will give you plenty of roster spots to use to pick up hot waiver wire players during the season.

Unless you want to sit in front of your computer each evening watching box scores for several hours, I would recommend that you subscribe to the twitter feeds of the rotoworld staff. They will let you know about any hot pickups each night.

Starting at the midway point of the season and through two-thirds of the season, you want to address the category needs of your team. Additionally, you want to decide how much beta you want your team to carry for the last third of the season. Beta is a statistical term that refers to variance. If your team is winning and projected to finish in first place, you would like to decrease your team’s beta (e.g., trade players who are risky, but have upside like Curry for solid players whose output does not vary much, like Horford). Alternatively, if your team is not projected to win, you may want to increase your beta by trading solid players for risky players with more upside. Key to your trades is trying to make sure that you are acquiring players who have something to play for in March and April (like Westbrook, Lawson, and P. Gasol) and avoiding those players who have nothing to play for in the spring (like players on the Nets and Timberwolves most years).

Let’s say that you have followed my advice and you are now at the 75% mark of the season. At this point, the categories become dominant. I recommend that you do the following on a daily basis:

1. Review the Rotoworld news updates each night. Review the box scores for all of the games before you go to bed. In particular, look for injuries and the players who take their place. Care more about minutes and a solidly defined role rather than a hot shooting night by a player.

2. Review the ESPN’s Daily Dime and Truehoop each morning. If you are going to do well in fantasy basketball, it is essential that you know the NBA, not just fantasy, extremely well.

3. Each morning, review the standings for your leagues. Not only that, but also go through each category (e.g., steals, points, etc) and sort the category so that it is ranked from top to bottom. This is how you know which categories you need to focus on to win.

Don’t worry about whether you are first or last in a category. Focus only on those categories in which you are close to your competitors. Thus, if you are near the bottom in assists, but not close to gaining or losing ground in the category, don’t worry about the category. In contrast, if you and several other teams are separated by only a few steals in that category, make sure that you are starting players who are going to get you thefts.

4. Once you know your category needs, you will know the type of players that you need to pick up for your leagues. Obviously if a solid player becomes available, pick them up right away. That is a fairly rare event. Instead, what you want to focus on are the players who are playing well of late. Using BBM rankings for the past week or two can be very helpful in this regard.

5. On a weekly basis, set the parameter on BBM so that you get a printout of the top 100 players for the season, past 30 days, and past 15 days. This way you can be sure that you are continuing to keep the best playing ballers on your team.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at 1:47 pm and is filed under Don "No Soul" Simmons, Fantasy Basketball, Pro Basketball. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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