Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fantasy Basketball draft keys by @AlleyOopMaster


It’s almost that time of  year, folks.

Just a little over a week now, until we can watch all the NBA games we want while stuffing our mouths with our kids, grand kids, or neighbor’s Halloween candy. Oh yes, it is almost that time.

In preparation of the upcoming NBA season, we here at want you to be fully prepared for your future fantasy basketball draft. As a result, I have written this article to inform you of the best ways in which you can start winning your fantasy league right now. Because many veteran fantasy players know that winning and succeeding in your fantasy league, doesn’t happen halfway into your season, or on draft day, no, it happens BEFORE your draft even begins.

In this basic fantasy basketball draft guide you will learn the best ways to form a monster team on your draft day. By following these 3 simple principles on your draft day, you will maximize your team’s potential of being the team in league nobody wants to play. Let’s face it, we all want to have a kick ass team. But, most of us do not know how to construct one. For this reason, I have carefully designed a foolproof system that will make your team the next Miami Heat. Just follow these rules on draft day, and you will be well on your way to dominating your fantasy basketball league.

Here they are:

There Is No “I” In Team.

This statement is true throughout the realm of sports, however, too many fantasy players forget this statement. Many rookies to fantasy basketball think that their team is set after drafting a Dwight Howard or a Lebron James. No, not true. The key principle in drafting is to build your team around your 1st and 2nd round picks. This will ensure that your team will be dominant in multiple categories. Do not fall into the rookie mistake and think, “My team will be good in rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage because I drafted Josh Smith.” Don’t get me wrong, Josh Smith is a great player but he is only one guy. It is what you do AFTER you draft him that will make or break your team. If you draft DeMarcus Cousins or Al Horford in the 2nd round, if they’re available, then your team is well on its way to being the dominant team in your league in rebounding, field goal percentage, and blocks. Too many fantasy players aren’t thinking about the “Big Picture”, when drafting. When you think “Big Picture,” you will realize that the only way to win in fantasy basketball, ROTO or Head to Head leagues, is to be dominant in several categories. Most players, however, end up average in all the categories because on draft day they don’t have a plan, as a result, they end up drafting based on needs, and not on ways to maximize the strengths of their first and second round picks.

#2: Do Not Neglect or Lose A Category

Many experts and fantasy basketball players alike believe that it is okay to lose a category, such as free throw percentage every week, if your players are producing well in other categories. I think this idea is absurd. Throwing away a category is not a wise move to make on draft day. This is why I would shy away from players who are historically and currently horrible in free throw percentage. For example, many people want to draft Dwight Howard because he is a great player who provides excellent numbers in multiple categories (points, blocks, rebounds), but, he is a very risky pick because of his abysmal free throw shooting. Last season he shot 49% from the charity stripe. That number killed thousands of fantasy owners all across the country. In Roto leagues, it is nearly impossible to win your league if you’re dead last in free throw percentage. In Head to Head leagues, the same can be said, because when you neglect a category, you are banking your money that your good enough in the other categories to still win. But, when your players do have bad weeks, your team will get blown out using the neglect strategy on draft day. For example, according to ESPN, last season Dwight Howard was the first center picked up in most fantasy drafts, and he was drafted in the top 5 in most leagues. At the end of the year, fantasy-wise, Dwight Howard was the 16th best CENTER, and the 56th best fantasy player overall. Why? Because his horrendous free-throw shooting kept many owners from winning, or even competing, in their leagues.  So, on draft day do not neglect a category, it does not work in the long run. Just ask former owners of Dwight Howard last season. Wise fantasy owners learn from the mistakes of others.

#3. Depth, Depth, Depth

In order to be dominant in fantasy basketball, one must have excellent team depth. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense, during the course of an 82 game season, every player is bound to get hurt and miss at least a game or two. For this reason, it is imperative that on draft day you draft depth for every position. Especially for the Power Forward and Center positions. These positions are more prone to getting injured and missing a lot of time, thus, it is wise on draft day to draft many PF-C players for your later picks. Doing this will also make you more likely to strike gold, by drafting a backup center or power forward who, because of injury, is thrown into the starter’s role for several games. You do not want it to be Week 8, and all three of your PF’s are injured. Injuries can derail a fantasy season very quickly, if your team is not prepared for them. So, prepare yourself. You will thank me later.

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