6 Keys to Winning Your Fantasy Basketball League

10/13/2018

6 Keys to Winning Your Fantasy Basketball League

Fantasy basketball season is here and with that comes a host of bragging rights. While your competition scrambles to develop a game plan for the season, I 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 4 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 Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics are two teams you should look to avoid.

Example: Victor Oladipo on the Pacers over Kyrie Irving on the Celtics.

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: Jokic and Kemba Walker give you more value than James Harden and Enes Kanter.

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 Beal and Wall, Lillard and McColumn 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 all-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.


Kemba Walker (G) - Kemba Walker is good for 20 and 5 every season but usually drops in the draft. Fits Rule number 2 perfectly. 

John Collins (PF) -  Collins gave the Hawks 10 points and 7 rebounds on only 24 minutes a game last season. With a projected increase in minutes and offensive touches, Collins is a late round steal. 

D'Angelo Russell (G) - Russell averaged 15 and 5 last season as he struggled through injury but his per 36 of 22 Points and 5 assists a game makes him a late round steal.  Fits Rule number 2.

Tobias Harris (SF/PF) - In his short 32 game stint with the Clippers last season, he had career highs in points (19.3) and assists (3.1). With the Clippers failing to sign a superstar in the offseason, look for Tobias to take on an even bigger role. Rule number 5.

Lauri Markkanen (PF) - Markkanen will be the breakout star of the season. 15 and 8 as a rookie on just 30 minutes a game. With improved strength and poise, Markkanen could become an all-star this season. Rule number 6, take a risk on him.

Zach LaVine (G) - Coming off an ACL injury, LaVine saw reduced minutes and struggled as a shooter. However, LaVine is still the best option the Bulls have offensively and should return to the form that saw him averaged 19 points a game in the 2017 season. However, beware of rule number 4.

Domantas Sabonis (PF) - Sabonis will excel with an improved role in the Pacers offense. I wouldn't take him early, but he's a great pick late on especially over an unproven rookie. Rule number 3.

Dennis Smith Jr. (G) - Dennis Smith silently had a great rookie season with 15 points and 5 assists a game but only shot 39% from the field. With the addition of Luka Doncic and an increase in talent, Smith's overall efficiency will significantly improve. While people will understandably look to select the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons early, DSJ is the sophomore you should target. Rule number 6.

Aaron Gordon (SF/PF) - Aaron Gordon low-key had a great season and no one is talking about it. The 4th year player averaged 18 and 8 while significantly improving his three point shooting percentage from .288 to .336. I project an output of 20 and 10 for the upcoming season. Rule number 6. 

Kevin Love (PF) - With LeBron gone, Kevin Love is back to being a big fish in a small pond. We'll see a little more of the Minnesota Kevin Love that averaged 26 points and 13 rebounds a game. Kevin Love is back and fits Rules number 1 and 2 perfectly.

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