It’s never too late to learn the art of fantasy basketball. If you’re a pro at fantasy football and already conquered the world of fantasy baseball, consider adding the third in this illustrious triumvirate to your repertoire with this simple and easy how-to guide. Fantasy basketball 2012 here you come!
The Short Version
It’s simple enough on the surface: you draft a team consisting of NBA players, pay attention to how their statistics change over the season and then the drafter whose team logs the best statistics at the end of the season wins. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Or at least it’s a recognizable formula that makes sense. If you’re hell-bent on winning, however (easy there, Caesar), you’ll have to read on for the subtleties, tricks and tips that make up a winning season. But first things first.
Types of Leagues
Rotisserie, or “roto,” is a borrowed phrase from fantasy baseball (the first of the fantasy sports to be officially played) which in this instance describes a style of fantasy basketball where statistical categories (called “Stat Cats”) are set up by the league creator and then help determine how many points each team gets (based on how their players perform). Stat Cats can include steals, rebounds or three-pointers, for example, and the team manager who wins each specific Stat Cat gets the highest number of possible points for that category, with the second-highest receiving his or her accordingly appointed points.
Another popular type of league is the Head-to-Head scoring league, which is much like roto, except that each team manager goes up against another one every week (meaning the line-ups have to be adjusted weekly) and the league uses a fantasy points scoring system.
Each team normally consists of: one point guard, one shooting guard, one guard (point or shooting), one small forward, one power forward, another forward, either power or small, two centers and one or two extra players in any position. You may also be allowed to keep some players on the bench, to be moved in and out of your starting line-up, which can be helpful when fantasy basketball sleepers start emerging as stars come the mid-to-late season.
You will either use the snake draft or the auction draft when selecting the players for your team. In the snake draft, the first person to pick in the first round goes on top pick last in the second and so on. This keeps the first person to pick from maintaining an advantage throughout the rounds of draft. The auction drafts give each manager an imaginary budget that he or she will then use to “buy” players in an auction format (whoever offers the most for a single player wins that player). This gives each manager equal access to all the players, but inexperienced drafters who rely on fantasy basketball rankings might find it tougher.
As there are many different kinds of scoring and drafting leagues, there is something for everyone and not everyone will like the same kinds of leagues. Try a free league for starters, so that it’s no big deal if you’re crushed or you don’t like the style of it.
About the Author: Jeffrey Banks is a contributing writer and fantasy basketball 2012 enthusiast with a 4-2 record.