Especially for Yahoo Sports
When entering a fantasy draft, adequate preparation is key. For beginners and seasoned fantasy players alike, familiarizing yourself with your league’s setup is essential.
In fantasy basketball, almost all leagues operate in a Points or Categories format. In categorical leagues, the goal is to win as many statistical categories as possible. Points leagues are less complicated.
Unlike category leagues, point leagues are completely ignored how players collect fantasy statistics. Like most fantasy football leagues, each statistical category is assigned a point value, and each player’s points—regardless of how they were earned—are added up to produce a final score over a given period—usually a week.
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The NBA’s official scoring format uses the following values:
points: 1 point
jumps: 1.2 points
Assists: 1.5 points
steals: 3 points
blocks: 3 points
trades: -1 point
These may be default numbers, but most host sites will allow you to adjust the values to your league’s specific preferences. You can add or subtract points per category, which will have ripple effects in terms of which player archetypes lose or gain value.
If you were to add three-pointers made as another category in addition to points, stars like Stephen Curry and James Harden it would become even more sought after, as role-playing shooters would love it Duncan Robinson and Joe Harris.
In categorical leagues, it can be challenging to manage each category. One of the advantages of the points format is more freedom to create any roster structure you want.
If a player is an elite shot blocker but struggles at the free throw line, that deficiency is masked in point leagues since shooting percentages don’t count. Players love Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons they tend to become more valuable in scoring formats, as their elite scoring stats translate directly into fantastic points without being dragged down by poor free throws and 3-point shooting.
With that in mind, it’s important to consider the type of players who gain or lose value in scoring formats. Counting-stat monsters like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic they tend to rise in the rankings, while players are valued for their efficiency – think about it Kyrie Irving or Karl-Anthony Towns – lose some value.
Meanwhile, points leagues depreciate the value of specialists. A bench player who averages 1.5 steals per game but offers little else isn’t nearly as valuable as he would be to a manager in a major league looking to move up in the steals category.
While points leagues aren’t as intricate as category leagues, it’s still important to understand what makes for valuable fantasy. Points are often overvalued at first glance, and complementary numbers can provide a higher ceiling:
Player A: 20 points, 5sk, 2ast, 1stl, 0blk = 32 fantasy points
Player B: 8pt, 9sk, 3ast, 2stl, 1blk = 32.3 fantasy points
When it comes to preparing for a scoring league draft, the bottom line is: you’re looking for the best overall fantasy players. Using projections you believe in is especially valuable in point leagues, as you can simply plug in your league’s point values to generate a list of players ranked by their expected fantasy totals. In a way, that should make it easier to build a roster, as long as you take care to fill every required position.
Speaking of which, always familiarize yourself with your league’s roster settings in addition to its point values. Most leagues won’t require you to jump through hoops, but it’s important to know ahead of time if you should target certain positions.
A league that requires two starting centers, for example, makes the position more valuable and raises the importance of locking down productive options at both starting spots. In short, you don’t want to be the manager who waits too long and looks for options all season long.
Among the other factors to consider in points leagues – or any league, for that matter – is an overview of the weekly schedule. Every team plays 82 games, but not all weeks are created equal, and there will certainly be times when it makes sense to bench an elite player for an inferior option.
If the Wizards only play two games in a given week while the Trail Blazers play four, the bench Bradley Beal for Jerami Grant is a logical play even though Beal is a vastly superior player. Here’s a breakdown of the real stat line for each:
Beal: 28 PPG, 6 APG, 5 RPG, 1 SPG, 0 BPG = 46 FP/G; 46 FP x 2 games = 92 FP
Grant: 16 PPG, 2 APG, 4 RPG, 1 SPG, 1 BPG = 29.8 FP/G; 29.8FP x 4 games = 119.2FP
In conclusion, pay attention to your league’s setup – point value and roster spot – and this will give you a good knowledge base. After that, research potential sleepers and you’ll be ready to win your league.
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