I recently started a weekly blog covering my fantasy hockey league, and decided with basketball season around the corner that it would be fun to do the same for basketball. Fortunately I am much more familiar with basketball so I will not have to put in as much prep time. And since I just started up the hockey league, the process is virtually the same, so I joined a free Yahoo fantasy basketball league so that all of my leagues will be in one app. Makes managing your teams much easier!
Setting up the Draft
Since I am familiar with most of the top players in the NBA, I went ahead and signed up for a draft the same evening. There are 12 teams in the league, with 13 rounds so should take about an hour to complete.
I did partake in a mock draft just to see how it would play out, with no major surprises. It was a 14 team mock draft though so I am sure that there will be better players available later in the draft than in this one.
Take a look at the Settings
Obviously after signing up in any fantasy sports league you want to check out the league settings before doing anything else. I already knew there were 12 teams in this league, and I chose a head-to-head league over rotisserie since I enjoy those much more.
This league uses the FAAB (free agent acquisition budget) with continual rolling list tiebreak just like the hockey league, which is nice since that seems to make the waivers a little more fair. This also means that players will always be on waivers, unlike most fantasy football leagues, where after the player goes through the waiver system they are put in the free agent pool for anybody to take.
The trade deadline is February 26, 2020, and a traditional 2-day waiting period so that the rest of the league can vote if they feel a trade is unfair. You are only able to pick up 4 players in any particular week, so I will have to keep an eye on that as I go through the season.
6 teams make the playoffs, which begin in week 22 for 3 weeks, ending on April 5th. The playoff tie breaker is whoever has the higher seed, and there is playoff reseeding so that the best team will play the lowest seeded team remaining in the second round of the playoffs.
Look over the roster spots
At the end of the setting page it displays what spots are used in this league. In this particular league, you will use 3 guards (1 point guard, 1 shooting guard, and additional one of either of those), 3 forwards (1 strong forward, 1 power forward, and 1 additional forward), and 2 centers. There is also 2 utility players that can be from any position, as well as 3 bench spots and 2 injury spots.
When going through my draft I always like to look for players that I can put in multiple position, such as PF and C. So if I am looking at two different players that are very similar in ability, I will choose the one that gives me more options when setting up my roster.
Player Stat Categories
There are 9 different scoring categories in the Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues, all of which occur normally in the NBA. These are field goal percentage (FG%), free throw percentage (FT%), 3-point shots made (3PTM), total points scored (PTS), total rebounds (REB), assists (ASTS), steals (ST), blocked shots (BLK), and turnovers (TO). Obviously some of these categories overlap, such as if Steph Curry hits a 3 point shot, he helps his field goal percentage, gets a 3 point shot made, as well as adds 3 points to his total.
My initial goal will be to find a player like a Russel Westbrook who gets triple double on a regular basis over somebody who just scores a lot of points, since that would help out more in the long run. Another thing I will look for though is a solid center to start, since there is not as many top quality centers like there were years ago.
In addition to this, I will look at players that do not get injured often. The best ability is availability! Which also leads me to select players that will get more playing time, even if they are not necessarily as good as another player on another team. Some of the younger players on teams that are rebuilding will still put up points and fill up the stat sheets whereas some of the prominent teams like the San Antonio Spurs like to sit their players to keep them fresh for the playoffs.
I also like to take players on teams that put up a lot of points, like the Golden State Warriors. Even though they have lost Kevin Durant to free agency, and Klay Thompson will be sidelined with a torn ACL for a majority of the season, the system the Steve Kerr runs is still potent, and Steph Curry is still there. He will keep defense’s attention leaving open shots for other players to step up.
As the draft goes on, the best thing to do is pick the best player available, By the later rounds hopefully your lineup is filled, and you are just picking utility players and bench players so position is not as important. This is also a good time to take a chance on players who may not have had great statistical seasons before but on new teams, or rookies who you have a feeling might do well in the NBA. Except Zion Williamson who will no doubt be gone very early in your draft!
NBA tip off
Everything is now set up and ready to go! The draft will begin shortly, then all to do is wait for the regular season to begin on October 22nd and keep an eye on the sports channels to make sure none of the payers I drafted get injured during the preseason. If you have any advice, or any questions, as always please leave them below and I will answer them! Good luck and enjoy the season!