Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fantasy Basketball

I won my Fantasy Basketball league last night, which is a good way to end months of choosing lineups, trading players, and pouring over stats. For those who aren't familiar with the process, you "draft" a team of 13 NBA players, and decide which ten you'll play each week. You match up with another team, and you win or lose is based on how your players perform in each of 9 statistical categories (points, rebounds, steals, etc.). There are also rotisserie leagues which determine a champion based on the cumulative stats for the year--I'm not a huge fan of these--if you fall behind or your best players get injured it's really hard to catch up.

Some leagues let you change your lineup every day, but I find setting a weekly lineup more challenging because:
  • You have to factor in how many games someone will play in a given week. If you have a player that gets 20 points a game, but is only playing 3 games, you might bench the better player in favor of one who averages 16 points a game and is playing 4.
  • You might have some players miss time for injuries or other reasons, and there's nothing you can do to replace them until the following week. This adds a heavy element of chance.

That said, it's sort of an empty victory to win the league. The main reason is that the Fantasy Basketball season ends on the last day of the NBA regular season, and many teams who are headed to the playoffs rest their best players, and teams who are not going to the playoffs rest their veterans in favor of rookies. This makes the "finals" of fantasy basketball come down to who has the most players actually playing. Still it was fun--I ended up winning by 1 point: 763-762. Winning is good.

If anyone is interested in joining a league next year, let me know. It's free.

--Tinfoil Out


Kelly said...

That's awesome, Mark. I didn't know you were still doing that! Do you actually watch that many pro basketball games anymore or just pore over the stats?

Tin Foil Hat said...

It definitely changes the way you watch. I'm much more likely to watch a game if it has one of "my" players in it. I'm often rooting for that individual instead of any particular team. One other (more positive) side effect is that you learn the names/stats of fairly obscure players and follow "bad" teams that have one or two good players--so you get a more complete picture of the league.

Freakazoid Freddy said...

Congratulations! I've been playing fantasy basketball and baseball for something like seven years, and only have three second place finishes to show for it.

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