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Winning Fantasy Basketball Strategies

Updated on December 28, 2014
Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant

Playing Fantasy Basketball

The NBA season will be starting before long, and it's never too early to start getting prepared for the fantasy basketball season. The fantasy game is great for any NBA fan. You can join a league and select the players you believe will take you to the promised land in the form of a fantasy basketball championship. There will certainly be joy and disappiontment throughout the season. Besides just following your favorite team, you'll be able to follow many players from different teams who are on your fantasy squad.

If you play fantasy basketball, the goal should be to win a championship. Even if you've never played before you've still got just as good a chance of winning as anybody else in your league if you keep up on everything during the NBA season. Some luck is usually involved to win, but the best fantasy basketball strategies will also be needed. If you draft the right way and play the regular season and playoffs properly, total victory can be yours.

Winning Fantasy Basketball Strategies for Creating or Joining a League

When you plan on playing fantasy basketball, the first thing you need to do is to join or create a league to play in. You won't have any problem finding websites that allow you to create and join leagues. These sites will keep track of all of your stats, making it easy to gauge how your team is doing. There are some great fantasy basketball strategies when it comes to creating or joining a league.

One of the best winning fantasy basketball strategies is to play on the top websites that allow you to create and join leagues. You'll be able to join a public league or a custom league, so you can find any type of league with any kind of settings out there somewhere. Of course, you can also create your own league with whatever settings you desire.

Once you decide on what website to play fantasy basketball on, you need to find a league to join. All of the major fantasy basketball sites have public leagues you can join with default settings. You'll also be able to find custom leagues that will have more teams, different settings, which may be more players per team, different stats, etc. If you're a newbie, one of the best fantasy basketball tips is to keep it basic, so going with a public league is probably the best way to go. If you have experience, you can try deeper leagues with more teams and stats for a bigger challenge.

Another thing you have to consider when joining a league is whether you want to play in a head-to-head or rotisserie league. In a head to head league, you'll play a different team each week and have to either win more stats or score more points (with each stat being worth a certain amount of points) than them to win your matchup. One of the neat things about a head to head league is that there will be a playoff. Rotisserie leagues go by total stats of your starting players for the entire season and don't have a playoff. Both are fun to play, and you should try each type of league to see which you prefer.

The next step is to choose the type of draft you would prefer to enter. The two main options when it comes to fantasy basketball are snaking and auction drafts. In snaking drafts, the teams will select in a random order in the first round, then the last pick of the first round will pick first in the second round and teams will pick in the opposite order, and this will continue for each round. In auction drafts, each team will start with the same bankroll and bid on the players they want. I personally prefer snaking drafts, but you can try both to see which one if for you.

If you'd like, you can create your own league and have whatever settings you'd like. Once you create a fantasy basketball league, you can invite friends to play against you or publish it so that other players looking to join a league can join your customized one.

Lebron James
Lebron James

Winning Fantasy Basketball Draft Strategies

After you create or join a league you'll have to draft your team. Many people consider this the funnest part of playing fantasy basketball, as you get to choose the players you think will lead your team to victory.

When drafting a fantasy basketball team, you'll need to fill a roster made up of all of the positions on a real team. This means that you'll at least have a point guard (PG), shooting guard (SG), small forward (SF), power Forward (PF), and center (C) on your team. Most leagues are set up as follows: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 G (PG or SG), 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 F (SF or PF), 2 Cs, and 1 or 2 utility players (players from any position). Of course the amount of players can vary from league to league, this is usually the basic setup. There will also be some bench slots for your team (usually 5 or 6). You'll have to be sure to draft enough players for each position, along with a bench player for each of them. Go ahead and go for the best available player if you want early in the draft, but know that at some point you can't neglect a position if you haven't yet filled it. 

One of the top winning fantasy basketball strategies is to draft players with multiple position eligibility. There are plenty of players who will be eligible at more than one position. For instance, you'll find a lot of power forward/center eligible players. There will even be players you can play at forward and guard positions. Players with a lot of position eligibility that are available late in the draft will make excellent selections for your bench, as you'll be able to plug them in whenever your starters have an off day or get hurt. Of course, you'll want talent, so go after whoever you think will give your squad the best shot of victory.

You can also draft your team to be stronger at certain stat categories at the expense of others. This is a technique that's better used in head to head leagues, as you won't want to "punt" too many stat categories in a roto league. In head to head leagues, you can draft to get high totals in a few categories and hope to do well enough in the others.

It's a good idea to avoid players who get injured often early in your draft. They won't do you any good if they get hurt again. By contrast, if you get an often injured star player late in the draft and he stays healthy and produces, you will have made a steal.

Players who look like they're on the verge of a break out season should be targeted in fantasy basketball drafts, while stars on the downsides of their careers should be avoided. A lot of times, it seems that players who were picked high in the NBA draft and are entering their second or third seasons are good upside players. A teams situation will also factor into players with upside or downside.

Winning Fantasy Basketball Season Strategies

Once the NBA season begins, it will be time for your team to start playing and, hopefully, winning. In most leagues, you'll need to set your starting lineup every day (though there are weekly lineup changes in some leagues). This means that you'll have to keep track of how the players on your team are doing. There are also some great winning fantasy basketball strategies when it comes to playing during the season.

One of the most obvious things you need to do during the regular fantasy season is to keep an eye on your team. You don't want to forget to set your starting lineup and lose statistics that could be the difference between winning and losing.

You'll also need to look at who's available on the free agency and waiver lists during the season. Every season there are players who step up to produce beyond their previous stats. Usually, these are young players who are getting more playing time and taking advantage of it. There will also be fantasy managers who drop good players who start out bad or are injured early in the season. You can take advantage of this by nabbing a good player shortly before he starts playing better or comes back from injury. The NBA trading deadline is an especially good time to check waivers and free agency, since some players will step up due to trades while others will lose their luster.

You can always try trading with another team if you feel it can improve your team. The best trades are ones that will help strengthen both teams. If your team is strong at a certain position or stat and need help at others, you can try trading with a team that has the opposite problem. You should try to make fair trades. No team manager that knows what they're doing is going to make an unworthy trade.

Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki
Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade

Winning Fantasy Basketball Playoff Strategies

If you play in a head to head fantasy basketball league, you'll have a chance of making the playoffs. Of course, your team will need to have a good enough record to make it to the playoffs. With the right fantasy basketball strategies, your team has a better shot at winning a title.

One problem you may run into during fantasy playoff time is that star players who are banged up may not play as much, especially if their team has clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs. It seems to me that good players on bad teams are nice to have for the fantasy playoffs, since their seasons are going to end and they want to go out strong. Of course, you can't really plan ahead for this. You just need to consider benching or dropping stud players who aren't getting much playing time at the end of the season.

One of the best fantasy basketball tricks is to load up with players on teams that have more games during the last few weeks of the NBA season. More games ultimately means more stats. If you get to the fantasy finals in your league you can take this a step further by adding players on teams that play more games over the final week of the NBA season. When you get to the last few days of the season, pick up goodplayers on teams that play 2 of the last 3 days of the season. If you want to win it all, you want to get as many stats as possible

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      AJ 3 years ago

      Great post! I am a fantasy basketball beginner and this was super helpful to me. Thanks!