5 Tips to Win in Nba Fantasy Basketball League
For months now, I’ve been managing my own team in our custom NBA Fantasy League. Until early November, I had no idea how the NBA Fantasy League works. One of my friends at work created a custom NBA league at yahoo and invited me to join in. I found it quite interesting, so I joined the fantasy league.
I learned that when you join an NBA fantasy league, your role will be that of a Team Owner or a Manager. You select your own players from the roster of real-world NBA players and form your own team. When your players play well in the real world, you win! When they are having an off game, you lose! That’s basically it.
During the draft night, I had no idea who to pick. I had not watched an NBA game for quite some time so I only knew those famous players, who, unfortunately, tend to be old and prone to injury. Hence, during the early part of the NBA season, I had players sitting on the bench, waiting for their injuries to heal. Being a beginner, I struggled to find the right combination of players, always feeling that all good and quality players have already been selected by other teams. My team struggled along with me as it went down to the bottom of the pack.
My first win came after months of figuring out what works. I also had to figure out how to select good players, when to release, and how to monitor the injured list. Here’s a list of the lessons I learned while managing my own team in NBA fantasy league.
- Consistency. I tend to look for players who are consistent. They need not be spectacular. They just need to be consistent day in and day out. Most of the time though, the all-star players tend to be the most consistent. Some players have one breakout game and then they suddenly fade into mediocre performances. Some players, however, put up decent numbers everyday whether they are having an off game or not, whether they are playing through injuries or not.
- Offense. As half of the statistical categories are related to offense like field goals made and percentage, 3-points made, free throws made and percentage, it really makes sense to concentrate on offense. When you really think about it, the better scorer a player is, the more involved he is in defense as well. He sometimes gets more rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Of course, there are always some exceptional cases.
- Extra skill. I like to find players who are good in more than one statistical category. For example, I have players who are good in scoring, rebounding and blocks. They tend to be a forward or a center and can play multiple positions. I also have guards who are good in scoring, assist and/or steals. Sometimes, they are even good in blocks, which is certainly surprising.
- Injuries. Watch out for injuries. If your own players are injured, they are practically not playing. It is as if they are benched. Your team will be at a disadvantage simply because the other team will have more opportunities to do something on the court and contribute to the statistics. Sometimes, the injury is not serious, so it’s ok to leave them on the lineup. However, players fresh from injuries tend to play miserably on their first game back, so be careful also. It may bring down the field goals and free throw percentages and it might even get you a very healthy dose of turnovers. On the other hand, the injured list is also laden with opportunities for agile team managers. Sometimes, a team just needs to release its injured players because it cannot afford to have too many players sitting on the bench. I once saw a team having its 5 players on the injured list. So, once the injured player is released, you can add him into your roster for future use. It pays to know how long the injury is going to take. Of course, you don’t want to add a player who will be out for at least 4 months, or worse, out for the rest of the NBA season.
- Patience. Lastly, it pays to be patient on your players. Just like in the real-world, they are bound to have a few off games every now and then. It’s also good to know whether there’s a specific reason why the player is having an off game. Sometimes, it’s because of a delayed flight schedule, or a new coach, or perhaps the player might be nursing a minor injury. In most cases, players tend to come back strong after a poor performance. So just don’t drop them off just yet.
This is a very general list. I still have a long way to go until I master the art of managing an elite NBA fantasy league team. I am still at the bottom of our custom league’s ranking. To my pleasant surprise, however, by following the above simple rules, I’ve already started winning and having a small streak of my own. Maybe, I’ve finally figured a thing or two about this exciting world of NBA fantasy league. How about you?
Update: After 5 straight weeks of winning, my team is finally out of the bottom of our league’s standings. (^o^)/