Fantasy Basketball is a fun and competitive way to stay engaged in the sport of basketball even when you're out of the country, off-season, or get sick of watching re-runs of "Space Jam" all night. Here's your complete guide to getting started with Fantasy Basketball. We'll cover everything from how to get a free league to how drafting works and who should be on your team.
How Does It Work?
You get a free league at ESPN.com and pick a team of real players (ten players, five starters, and five bench players) in all the professional leagues. Then you compete against other Fantasy Basketball teams to see who has the best team and find out who's the ultimate fantasy basketball manager.
Another way to play Fantasy Basketball is to join one of the many leagues at Yahoo.com, CBS.com, or ESPN.com. You can also play Fantasy Basketball in various magazines and newspapers or TV shows on ESPN like Mike & Mike or SportsCenter.
How To Get Free Fantasy Leagues
The easiest way to get a free Fantasy Basketball league is to join one of the Yahoo.com leagues ESPN.com has, or you can join ESPN's Fantasy Sports Talkline.
How Fantasy Basketball Works in the NBA
At least one point of every player is added to his team's total each game. The game system is called "addition points" (APs). When you get a player, you get the number of points from last season. You'll have to use that same number of APs each game to get their actual value (called "real" value), or you can use points from other players' games and add them to his APs. The best thing about this system is it'll give your team a natural boost over another team because even if, in real life, LeBron James scored 40 points for you, that's still only 40 points. You should also consider going on sites like Lakers Nation where you can find news on Lakers trade rumors that can be useful to you in Fantasy basketball.
How To Get Your Team Together
When you reach ESPN, Yahoo!, or CBS.com, all you must do is pick your team, and you can start right away. It doesn't matter who wins the most games; it's more about getting the right lineup of players and making your team as competitive as possible. And because Fantasy Basketball is so competitive, many people pay attention to what other people do with their teams on their site or in magazines and newspapers.
In the NBA Fantasy Draft, your draft picks are based on where they were drafted in real life, as well as how good they are (called "real" value). Once a player is on your team, you can use him during actual games and see how well he does (called "actual" value).
Who Should I Draft?
To win Fantasy Basketball, you need to get all the best players. The NBA is full of stars and superstars, so it doesn't matter who you get in your team. You can pick what's called the "best player available" (BPA), or you can try to build a team around a one-star player that can then take on other teams with superstars. In Fantasy Basketball, you basically must guess which players will get the most points, rebounds, assists, and so forth. And that's hard because the best way to judge players is not just how many shots, they make but also how many points those shots are worth. There's also a lot of luck involved in getting certain players.
To make it easy on yourself, in the beginning, you might want to pick guys who are already playing well and off to a good start when the real season begins.
- A few players you should look at in real life are Kevin Durant and Lebron James. In real life, the "best player available" (BPA) is usually the guy who scored the most points last year, so that's who you want to start within your fantasy league.
- The second one is Kobe Bryant: although he doesn't have a lot of experience, he's been playing well and has a great attitude.
- Another guy I would look at is James Harden. He's good and young, but he's been just starting (like Kobe).
- Finally, Kevin Love is another guy you should look at for his potential. He has a good attitude, and he's playing in Minnesota, which is not the best NBA team.
What if I Already Have a Team?
Many people find that they already have a lot of players on their actual NBA teams. So, they may decide to keep their best players on their team and let them play in Fantasy Basketball. For example, if you're on the Lakers and you get Kobe Bryant, you could keep him in your team but let him play for your Fantasy Basketball squad as well.