The NBA playoffs usually produce a few young stars, with the spotlight that comes from the increased pressure really pushing some players to ascend to new levels of play. Last year, Pascal Siakam became a shocking number two option on an NBA championship team. This year, it's going to be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder who...
7 Keys to Winning Your Fantasy Basketball League
Last year we gave you six tips to dominating your fantasy basketball league and due to the positive reception we decided to rehash those tips along with a seventh tip and 10 new breakout players.
While your competition scrambles to develop a game plan for the season, we have 6 rules here that are guaranteed to propel you to the top of your fantasy basketball league. Take it from us, we've won 80% of the fantasy basketball leagues we've participated in over the last 5 years and it would be 100% if not for a few untimely injuries. These are the secrets to fantasy basketball success.
1. Good is greater than Great.
Good Players on mediocre to bad teams are preferred to great players on great teams. Great teams tend to spread shots around the team and rest late in the season. Good for them, bad for you. The difference between a first and third place finish in your league is late in the season during the key stretch of games where good players on bad teams are still receiving heavy minutes. The Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers are two teams you should look to avoid.
Example: Trae Young on the Hawks over Ben Simmons on the 76ers.
2. Good Big Men Eat First.
Take the great big man over the great guard nice and early in the draft. The talent pool for good fantasy guard play is endless while the talent pool for good PF/C play is very limited. Take a great big man, there'll be plenty of guards to supplement.
Example: Karl Anthony-Towns and Buddy Hield give you more value than James Harden and JaVale McGee.
3. Do not draft Rookies.
Rookies are the most unpredictable commodity in all of fantasy basketball, do not draft one. Wait a week or two into the season before you decide on adding one to your roster or not. Add rookies, don't draft them.
*There are exceptions, see rule 6.
4. Two player curse.
Almost never select two players on the same team. We have all heard the age-old saying of not putting all of your eggs in one basket and it certainly applies here. There are exceptions to the rule such as a starter and a sixth man on the same team but even then, try to avoid selecting two players on the same team unless you absolutely have to.
Example: Backcourt combos like Conley and Mitchell, Lillard and McCollum often perform based on the success of the other. If one is having a bad game, the other most likely will too.
5. Reward the Hot Hand.
Make changes often. Use the 'last 15-days' feature to gauge the performance of your players and the available free agents. The feature allows you to see how many fantasy points a game the player is producing over the last 15 days. 'Last 7-days' is another you could use but the 15-day report is a more accurate way of seeing which direction the player is trending. Do not hesitate, if the free agent is out performing your player, make the change.
*This rule only applies to your fringe players, not your core players.
6. Take risks.
The risk/reward rate in fantasy basketball is incredible so take risks. Be responsible in the risks you take. The general rule of thumb is to never take a risk player over a guaranteed star player. But by all means if you want to take a chance on a potential breakout star over an already established star then you take that risk. Check the list below for some of the players you should consider taking a chance on.
7. Next man Up.
Players leave, sometimes team get value replacement and sometimes they don't.. Now more than ever, teams are liable to losing a star player or two in any given off-season. Someone has to step up which means more shots and usage for a player the league isn't ready for. That's great for your fantasy prospects especially early in the season.
Example: Pascal Siakam is the next man up for Toronto.
Trae Young (G) - Trae Young is a walking video game and he put to bed doubts about his production after finishing the second half of the season on 25 points and 9 assist a game. Trae Young only got better in the off season and better yet he is still on an underperforming team. Fits Rule number 1 perfectly.
Pascal Siakam (PF) - We told you Siakam was next up long before he helped the Raptors to a Championship and signed his 32.5 million per year contract. With Kawhi gone and Lowry turning 34 during the season, Siakam is the new number one in Toronto and his numbers will reflect that. Rule number 7.
Kristaps Porzingis (PF) - Porzingis is back with a new team and a fellow star player in Doncic. If Krisptaps is anything like the 23 and 7 player he was in New York then the Mavs are in for a treat. Fits rule number 2.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF/C) - Jaren Jackson Jr snuck under a lot of radars last season and with all the attention directed towards Ja Morant, Jackson is in the perfect position to capitalize on a huge second season. Jackson is in a very similar situation to what John Collins was in last season. We gave you Collins last season and that paid off and so will Jaren Jackson. Jackson is a late draft steal. Rule number 6.
Da'Aron Fox (PG) - The Fox is arguably the best amongst the new age of point guards (anyone younger than Damian Lillard). The General for a Sacramento Kings team that will be pushing for a playoff berth which means plenty of usage especially late in the season. Rule number 1.
Marvin Bagley (PF) - He may be shorter than we thought but other than that, last year's number 2 pick is every bit as advertised. With a nice shooting touch and elite athleticism, Bagley is already one of the best power forwards in the league. Bagley will make the jump from sixth man to somewhere between a number 2 and 3 option and that bodes well for late in your draft. Be careful adding both Bagley and Fox on the same team. Rule number 4.
Otto Porter (SF) - Porter has the potential to be a true stat sheet stuffer and a bad Bulls will offer him every opportunity to do so. We already told you he would be an all-star this season so its only fitting he makes this list. Do not reach for Porter but if it comes down to him or an untested rookie, you know what to do. Rule number 3.
Julius Randle (PF) - Someone has to score for the Knicks and why not the man that already averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds a game last season as a 6th man? The Knicks are awful but that should only encourage you to pick up Randle. I don't always advocate reaching but this is a risk worth taking. Rule number 6.
Shai Gilgeous Alexander (PG/SG) - Westbrook is gone and there's no telling how long Chris Paul will be in Oklahoma City. That's where SGA comes in, someone has to pick up the slack and Shai will have every opportunity to do so. 48 percent from the field and 37 percent from three on very limited touches, SGA will only get better as the season moves on. Rule number 7.
Miles Bridges (SF) - Bridges was disrespected with how little of a role the Hornets gave him last season. This season will be much different and Bridges will take full advantage. Arguably the best athlete anytime he steps on the floor, Miles Bridges has the skill set recquired to get you at least 16 and 8 every single night. Rule number 6.
Good luck and remember these tips to dominate your fantasy basketball season.
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