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

October 20th, 2012

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to be a loser in real life and a winner in the pretend world…

March 4th, 2009

You can finally breathe.  The trading deadline for the NBA has passed.  Your league’s trading deadline is over.  Heck, even Marbury has already signed with the Celtics.  The fantasy basketball season is 3/4ths over and you can finally relax.  All you’ve got to do now is keep an active line up going for your team and you are golden, right?  Wrong!  What follows is a guide to alienating your wife, ignoring your children, and winning your fantasy basketball league.  Out of pure laziness, the guide will be focused on ESPN leagues, but the principles apply to other leagues as well.
During the draft and the first half of the season, the goal is obtain the most valuable players possible, while ignoring your category needs.  Starting at the midway point of the season and through 2/3rds 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 Camby for solid players whose output does not vary much, like Nowitzki).  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 Lebron, Paul, and Nowitzki) and avoiding those players who have nothing to play for in the spring (like Bosh and Butler).
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.  For ESPN leagues, you find this out by going to the Add Player page and sorting the free agents by PR15.  That will show you who is playing best of late.  The cutoff for a worthwhile player is 3 (that is the value for the 100th most valuable player, generally speaking).  Anyone lower than a 3 is usually not worth picking up.
5.  On a weekly basis, you will want to go to basketballmonster.com .  Set the parameters up 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.
6.  Check highposts.com regularly on the off-chance that POE has succeeding into haranguing me into writing another article.
Follow these tips religiously and three things are guaranteed:  1.  Your relationships in the real world will suffer; 2.  You will grow to hate Kaman and Boozer for tying up precious space on your roster; 3.  Your team will finish as high as is possible in your league.
There you have it!  You too can become a winner in the pretend world and a loser in the real world.  Your cheesy ESPN fantasy basketball league champion shirt awaits you!

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Dog or Delish

February 19th, 2009

The trading deadline is approaching in the NBA and fantasy leagues. It’s time for a last flurry of trades to either salvage your team or sabotage the league leader if you have grown to hate him. This being the case, here is my first installment of “Dog or Delish?” It’s a very simple premise. Most fantasy players can be summed up as Dog – avoid at all costs (yes, we’re talking about you T-Mac) or Delish – Yummy! Thanks, I’ll have two (Paul and Lebron). I’ll try to avoid some of the more obvious ones and categorize the player values for the rest of the season.

Dogs:

D-Wade – Injury-prone. I would never trust my fantasy season to him.

Granger – Dump him and his gimpy knee.

Ming – Get rid of him. I don’t remember the last healthy season he had.

Butler – About every time this year, it seems like he starts to shut it down. What does he have to play for this time of year.

Camby – If possible, wait for him to put up a great game and offer him to someone desperate for blocks.

Bosh – The knee scares me. That and the Raptors have nothing to play for.

Crash Davis – Nothing says “Stay away!” like “collapsed lung.” I hope he gets better, but I’d prefer to hope while he’s on someone else’s bench.

Boozer – Stick a fork in him already.

Marion – I don’t care who he plays for. I’ve grown to hate him as a fantasy player.

T-Mac – Yeah, yeah, like shooting fish in a barrel.

Delish:

Kobe – Will be carrying the Lakers and jacking up tons of shots.

Durant – Yummy! Great stats only to continue to grow. As a keeper, I have him ranked #3.

Nowitzki – The German terminator doesn’t get hurt and will put up solid stats right up until the Mavs lose in the first round.

Deron Williams – He’s finally healthy and ready for the playoff push.

Billups – Rarely hurt and putting up great numbers in Denver.

Joe Johnson – Steady, good, and doesn’t miss games.

Iguodala – Doing great now that Brand is gone for the season.

Okur – Solid, inexpensive, and rarely hurt.

Rondo – Solid numbers and does not miss games.

Jeff Green – Solid numbers and continuing to build for next year. Who knew?

Good luck with all your trades and may all your players get tons of minutes.

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