Here at the ICT Zone, we rely on a satirical and unconventional ranking system. No analysis, no subjectivity, if a lower-ranked team defeats a higher-ranked team, then the two teams automatically switch rankings. After all, you're only as good as your last game.
8 Keys to Winning Your Fantasy Basketball League
Fantasy basketball season is here and with that comes a new opportunity for bragging rights. While your competition scrambles to develop a game plan for the season, we have 8 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 Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat are two teams you should look to avoid.
Example: Ja Morant on the Grizzlies over Jimmy Butler on the Heats.
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: Nikola Jokic and CJ McColumn give you more value than Luca Doncic and DeAndre Jordan.
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 CP3 and Booker, 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: Jayson Tatum on the Celtics with Hayward in Charlotte and Kemba hurt.
8. Beware of Bubble Magic
Bubble Magic is the term I have for what we saw go down when basketball resumed in Orlando after months off. All of a sudden previously mid-level players were putting up superstar numbers, while some stars did the opposite for whatever reason. Don't let that Bubble Magic make you reach for a guy who surprised you in the bubble. The bubble was an extremely unique and unlikely scenario that gave us some surprising results and events, don't bet on Bubble Magic to return without the bubble.
Example: TJ Warren averaged 31 points a game in the Bubble.
10 FANTASY SLEEPERS
Mitchell Robinson (C) - Robinson was a solid fantasy option last season, but he may see a true breakout this year with more minutes. You can never have too many double-double threats with high shooting percentages. Rules number 1 and 2.
Collin Sexton (PG/SG) - Yes he has had his issues with teammates on the court. Yes it isn't quite sure if his game translates to winning basketball yet. But that does not take away from a guy who shot 47% from the field last year, and is 39% from 3 for his career. For context on how absurd that is, he is in CP3 territory for how efficient he is in scoring at just 6'1 and 20+ points a night. His role will increase this season on an awful Cleveland team, we are in for some video game numbers. Rule number 1.
Rui Hachimura (PF/SF) - The Washington forward had a solid rookie season, and should be able to get more open looks with superior guard play on the team. Plus, he'll grab plenty of rebounds with all the bricks Russell Westbrook will shoot. Rule number 6.
Coby White (PG) - So the Chicago Bulls are basically begging for someone to share the scoring load with LaVine, especially if they end up deciding to trade him. Well did you know Coby White was averaging 11-3-5 before the All-Star Break, but bumped that way up to 25-4-4 in the 11 games after the All-Star break? Probably pretty good right? Rules number 1 and 7.
Mason Plumlee (C) - It's not new for Plumlee to be a good fantasy league center. Reclaiming a starting spot with the Pistons should bring him back to what he used to be, which was an efficient big man with good assist numbers. Rule number 1.
Ja Morant (PG) - I don't think I really need to explain why you should be considering Ja Morant in the second or third round? I raved about Collin Sexton's shooting percentage. Well Ja Morant is at near 48% shooting even though he only shot 33% from the 3, something I am sure he worked on in the offseason. Oh yeah, and he gave you 7 assists a game, something that's only going to get better as he gets more experience and takes care of the ball better. I mean it when I say this guy could give you 20+ points and 10+ assists this season. I don't always advocate reaching but do it here. Rules number 1 and 6.
Marvin Bagley III (PF) - With Bogdan Bogdanovic leaving to the Atlanta Hawks, Bagley should see more offensive touches this season. His biggest obstacle will be remaining healthy, but the 3rd year center is primed for a breakout. Rule number 1.
Jayson Tatum (SF) - I felt guilty putting this one in, because it may seem too obvious, but ultimately decided to. Kemba Walker will miss a few games to start the season, Gordon Hayward is gone, and the team needs a go to scorer. Do not be surprised to see Jayson Tatum top 3-5 in scoring this next season. Rule number 7.
Markelle Fultz (PG) - While Fultz had a bit of a bounce-back year last season, he still has a lot that he can improve upon. As he gets more comfortable being an important piece of an NBA offense, expect his numbers to show his improvement. He's unlikely to put up all-star numbers, but he's not a bad option to come off your fantasy team's bench. Rule number 5.
Zion Williamson (PF) - No one is better at getting easy point than Zion Williamson. A bad night for him is still 20 points cause you know he'll get fouled and get a bunch of easy points with an elite passer in Lonzo Ball on the team. The injury history is of slight concern, but his production when he is healthy more than makes up for it. Almost gave this last spot to MPJ, but rules number 8 and 1 kept him off.
Good luck with your Fantasy Basketball Season. Be sure to thank us if we will help you win your league.
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