But before we go pouring champagne over each others heads, lets please be sure you understand the scoring system for Fantasy Basketball…. Standard leagues allow your roster to accumulate stats in either 8 or 9* of the following categories:
1.Field Goal % 2. Free Throw % 3.Points 4.Rebounds 5.Blocks 6.Assists 7.Steals 8.Three Pointers Made 9.*Turnovers
Are you with me so far?? Any Questions??
Q: Once the stats are compiled how is a winner determined?
A: That depends on which type of league you are in.
There are a variety of custom styles & formats but the 2 most popular formats are Head to Head & Rotisserie (also known as Roto). Choosing between Head to Head & Roto is similar to picking between a standard fantasy football league vs a PPR football league… while both offer similarities, each comes with its own strategies, rankings & advice.
Head to Head: owners are paired against each other for 1 week (similar to most fantasy football leagues) in which each team accumulates statistics in the 9 categories with the grand totals calculated. If you beat me in 6 categories & I beat you in 3, then your record would be 6-3 while my record would be 3-6. If you go on to win week 2 by a score of 7-2, then your overall record would be 13-5, etc.
This format provides you a different opponent every week & normally comes with a playoff system, often starting a few weeks prior to the completion of the NBA regular season.
Roto: uses the same 8 or 9 statistical categories but instead of being calculated on a weekly basis, stats are accumulated over an entire season. The team that leads each category is awarded as many points as there are teams in the league (i.e. if there are 10 teams, then the leader of each category is awarded a 10, the team in second gets a 9, third gets an 8 and so on). The league winner is determined based on highest total point score.
Are you still with me?? Any questions??
Q: So really, what’s the difference??
A: The way you compile your roster.
Head to Head allows you the freedom to ignore a specific category while over-loading on other categories. This strategy is often referred to as “punting.” Perhaps the best example of intentionally punting is drafting players who shoot poorly from the Free Throw line (i.e. Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, etc)….. Carrying players like these will almost certainly insure you finish the week with an awful FT percentage, however that is only 1 of the 9 categories to consider. In theory (and if you draft accordingly), you can punt FT % (or any other category) every week and still win your match up 8-1.
Now consider how these guys translate to the Roto format. Remember, Roto is an accumulation of stats over an entire season so owning Howard or Griffin means you are likely to finish very low in the Free Throw Percentage category because over the course of an entire season, the missed foul shots add up & are often too much to overcome.
Are you still following me?? Any Questions??
Q: What’s your point?
A: Roto leagues are designed to reward owners who achieve balance across their entire roster & are extremely difficult to win if you score very low in any one category…..conversely, Head to Head leagues can be won while purposely NOT having a balanced roster.
Personally I prefer the Roto format, I believe its a more accurate evaluation of “a good team” because overall balance is required to win. It also reduces the impact of injuries…… imagine LeBron sprains an ankle & misses 3 straight games, that could seriously hinder your chances in a Head to Head league since you’ll be missing your best player for most of the week… however, in Roto a few missed games tends to even itself out over the course of an entire season.
Once you choose your format, be sure to rank the players accordingly. For more assistance in ranking players & developing draft strategies, be sure to check out www.TheFakeBasketball.com ….and keep an eye out for more Fantasy Basketball 101.
Follow Brice Clark on Twitter @ExpertFantasyGM