Archive for Strategy

Examining Position Scarcity: What Positions Should You Target Early

by Ray Lin

There are a number of things people typically consider when deciding between a handful of players during a draft: previous season performance, career trajectory, surrounding cast, coaching scheme, etc. When things get into the middle and late rounds, however, one inevitable question comes up — which position should I draft for?

It’s partly a loaded question: if you’ve already maxed out at a certain position, you’re not gonna keep cramming eggs into that basket. However, if you’ve got a utility spot to occupy or can’t decide whether you should address shooting guard or power forward first, that’s where perhaps some stats can help you make an informed decision.

So this is what I did: I went to ESPN’s Player Rater for the 2015-2016 season and extracted all the data for the Top 200 players by ranking in that system’s year-end list. For the ease of analysis, let’s just take the primary position listed for those who are eligible at multiple. Read more

How Should We Deal With Resting Players?

by Ray Kuhn

And down the stretch we come. The problem though is that NBA teams are treating the season’s final games a little differently than fantasy owners.

For fantasy owners, the playoffs are up ahead. Every game, every minute, and every rebound are of the utmost importance. Either your playoff hopes or fate in the playoffs are at stake constantly now. No longer is the season a marathon, it is now a sprint.

I am not saying you have to treat your season long league like a daily lineup you entering at Fantasy Score, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least take on some of that mindset.

Read more

Trend Spotting: Themes From The First Week Of The Season

by Will Overton

With just two games on the slate tonight we are going to bypass the daily “Sixth Man” article for daily leagues. Instead today we are going to take a look at some early season trends and things we are learning after a week of basketball.

With teams having played just a handful of games so far we are looking at really small sample sizes, but it still doesn’t hurt to start noting trends that continue to pop up and note what it means for fantasy owners.

You don’t want to overreact to any trend that is only been happening for a week, but these are things that are worth keeping an eye on for daily leagues and yearly leagues. Let’s take a look at some of these trends and discuss what they mean for fantasy players:

The Lakers and Celtics Defense Is Awful

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are the two most storied franchises in the NBA with a long history of rivalry between the teams that goes way back. This year the only thing they will be fighting over is the worst defense in the league award. Boston’s best effort was holding Houston to 104 points and the Lakers pride themselves in holding the same Houston team to 108 points, those are honestly the best defensive efforts these teams have given. Read more

Strategy Talk: Simple Steps To Conquer Your Fantasy Basketball Draft

by Ray Kuhn

Basketball knowledge is vital to success in fantasy basketball. Kind of goes without saying, right? But there is more to it. One big piece to the puzzle is the draft and how you manage it. Yes, you can recover from a bad draft, but wouldn’t you rather start from a position of success?

When it comes to any cheat sheet or set of projections, there is no such thing as 100% accuracy. I know, I shouldn’t be admitting to that as we want everyone to purchase and devour our draft guide, but that fact cannot be avoided. At best, anyone is probably going to be wrong at least a quarter of the time. And that is fine. You just need to avoid those 25% of players in your draft. Yes, it is easier said than done, but that is one of the things that make fantasy basketball so much fun.

So, you do the research, the cheat sheet is done, and the tiers are made. It is now draft day, and what do you do?

I would break the draft down into three different categories or types. Read more

Strategy Talk: Tips To Help You Dominate Your Auction Draft

by Ray Kuhn

I am biased. Give me a choice on draft type, and I’m taking auction every time.

When doing a draft against 9 or 11 other owners, there is no such thing as having a perfect draft. All it takes is one thing to completely change the direction of your team. But I feel that an auction gives you more control. This is not meant to be an argument as to what type of draft you should do, as auctions are not as common, but instead the hope is that it provides you some tips. Perhaps by the end of this article, you will be more prepared or be apt to trying an auction.

There is no such as having a plan when it comes to auction. Yes, I know that goes against everything you know about fantasy basketball and everything that we stand for. The statement may be harsh, but it is true.

Of course you are going to have a plan, you say. Your rankings are done, players are tiered, statistical targets noted, sleepers highlighted, and dollar values computed. You are asking for trouble if you do otherwise. Read more

Recipe For Success: Tips To Make Sure Your Prepared On Draft Day

by Ray Kuhn

This is it. We are now in the home stretch. After an off-season of preparation, the most important day of your fantasy season is here. It is Draft Day.

So what do you need to do prior to your draft to give yourself the best chance at success?

There are two facets of your draft and each have equal importance; everything you do prior to the draft starting, and then the actual execution during the draft. Your fortunes, either for success or failure, will not be entirely dictated by your performance during the draft, but it certainly determines how your season begins and whether you are in a position of strength or weakness. And the direction in which your draft goes is dependent upon your preparation. In draft strategy will be covered in a separate article.

We will operate under the assumption here that you general knowledge of the player pool. Let’s take that as a given, and then also keep in mind that every league is different. That is where your preparation should begin. Read more

Stat-Stuffers: Three Point Snipers You Can Have In The Mid and Late Draft Rounds

by Will Overton

Over the next couple of weeks there will be a lot of fantasy basketball drafts happening and we’re trying to equip you with the knowledge you need to do the best you can in your drafts. Part of it is knowing who to pick and who to avoid. Part of it is strategy though.

Early on in the draft I promote a best player available strategy for the most part. That doesn’t mean I think you should take five point guards in the first five rounds just because they’re your highest ranked player, but I wouldn’t get too cute with my early picks either.

If you wind up coming up short in a couple categories after your early picks you can make up ground in the later rounds. When it comes to the middle and late rounds of fantasy basketball drafts it’s not as much about the best player as the right player for your team based on you who have already picked. If you took Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo early you have some rebound and assist heavy guards, but you’re going to be lacking in three pointers. So even if you have JaVale McGee ranked ahead of Doug McDermott, maybe you should be taking McDermott. Read more

Immediate Impact: Four Under The Radar Guys Likely To Have A Big Weekend

by Will Overton

Time is ticking and we have a big weekend full of basketball lying ahead of us. With 13 games tonight and several more over the course of Saturday and Sunday a lot of work can be done this weekend. It’s all about knowing who is playing well and who isn’t playing at all in some cases.

As we have been doing we are going to take a look at a few guys who stand out to me as strong plays this weekend. I will avoid the obvious ones such as Kevin Durant, but look more at the guys who you have to debate on playing or possibly add off from the waiver wire.

Here are some of the guys that I like this weekend:

Roy Hibbert – C, Indiana Pacers: I am bringing up Hibbert because I think there are a lot of owners out there who have no idea what to do with him. Hibbert has been off of his game lately including being benched two games ago and “rested” in the last game. All indications are that Hibbert will be back in action this weekend though for two games against the Heat and Thunder. Time is ticking for Hibbert to get back into his groove before the playoffs and the Pacers need that to happen. Hibbert loves playing the Heat and plays well against them. I think he gets back on track and despite recent events I would be keeping him on my team and in my lineup. Read more

Tips of the Trade: Ten Tips to Become a Better Fantasy Basketball Trade Maker

by Will Overton

One of the best parts of fantasy sports is trading. There is just something so satisfying about working out a deal that is both exciting and sometimes nerve wrecking. But don’t be fooled, trading in fantasy basketball, or any other sport is not a crap shoot, it’s an art and if you can become a good trader your going to stand a lot better chance of finding your name at the top of the standings. Here are ten tips to become a better fantasy basketball trader. 

1.      Patience Pays Off

Don’t get frustrated when the first deal you offer someone doesn’t go through, and don’t always assume you have to accept the first deal you’re offered just because your team needs help. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to make a deal happen and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve spent a week or two going back and forth with people trying to work out just the right deal, your goal is to not settle and get the most out of a deal as possible.

If you are working with someone who is cooperative than feel free to take your time. When you get offered a deal let the other person know why you’re not accepting and who you like and don’t like in the deal and than counter. Chances are if they don’t like your counter they’ll at least have the courtesy to do the same as you and the more information on the table the easier it’ll be to work something out. But just like in the big leagues, it doesn’t always happen right away, in fact in my experience I rarely have my first offer accepted or accept someone else’s.   Read more

Beginners Guide to Fantasy Basketball: Four Important Keys For Instant Success

By James Ramsburg

The NBA season is just around the corner which of course means fantasy basketball is nearly upon us. This article is not for the veteran GM’s, you experienced and grizzled fantasy basketball participants will find no useful information here. Rather, this is for the newcomers to the world of fantasy basketball and for those who have played but have had no success.

1.       Love of the Game
The first key to fantasy basketball success is that you must love the game of basketball and be willing to put in many hours of research and study. Knowledge is power.  GM’s who compete for championship titles watch a ton of games, read as much analysis as they can find, and they never take a day off. A winning GM reads box scores more often than the Pope reads the bible.

There is no excuse to not be informed as there are hundreds of websites devoted to basketball and fantasy basketball in particular – use them!  If you are lazy, don’t have the time to dedicate to basketball, or are just a casual fan of the sport you will not win! Read more