How to Play Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy basketball is basically an imaginary team that is assembled from real world players. How the real player plays during that week greatly affects their statistics. Fantasy sports teams are pitted against each other and the team with a collection of higher statistics usually wins the game. Back before the advent of the internet, players (Known as General Managers or GMs) used to use keep track of statistics manually and trade cards with each other in order to affect transfers.

The fantasy basketball league is a list of teams that will all play against each other during the course of the season. It usually consists of even numbers like 12 or 14 teams. But before the league starts, the GMs will first have an auction/draft day to pick the players for their teams.

Scoring Categories

The league will decide on which statistics to follow, for example, there could be 3 categories on rebounds, free throws and fouls or you could create as many as 10 categories. It really is up to how the players agree on how many categories are necessary for the fantasy league. What you should note is that few categories would favor certain positions and too many categories would end up cancelling whatever advantage a GM would have on a specific category.

The scoring system could either be category based or points based. Here is an example of a category-based system, there may be 3 categories rebounds, free throws and assists in a 10 team league. If your team has the highest number of rebounds then it is placed first in that category and you get 10 points for that, if they have the second lowest number of assists, they get 2 points for that. That’s a total of 12 points of those two categories, add the points for the 3rd category and tally them up. Those with the highest number points wins the league.

In the point-based system, points are awarded for every statistic. For example, 4 points may be awarded for every rebound, so if a team has 10 rebounds in that game then they are awarded 40 points for that category. That also applies for all the other categories and the points are tallied up and the GM with the most points wins.

Drafting Players

Drafting of players could either be auction drafting or snake drafting. Auction drafting involves GMs bidding for players in an auction and those that have the highest bid gets the player, but there is a cap for each league, for example, the rules might involve players being awarded $330 to fill the team roster. Great players like Kobe Bryant have over inflated prices. It’s not uncommon to meet GMs who are so eager to get superstars in their teams that they end blowing half their budget on one or two stars, they are then left with little money and end up getting very weak players in the team. They then end up with an unbalanced team.

Snake drafting is much different in that a GM picks a player he wants in the first round. But in the second round, the GM who picked last in the previous round is given a chance to have the first pick for the consecutive round. This ensures that there is a level of fairness and that no one GM picks all the stars for all the positions.

Roto or Head-to-Head

Roto scoring involves taking note of all the statistics that the real players have during that week and are tallied up for the fantasy team. Those with the most win. Roto type of scoring ensures a level playing field because even if a team has 500 rebounds or 15 rebounds, provided it’s the highest, then they are going to be awarded 10 points for that category in a 10 team league. There are no playoffs involved in the roto type of competition and you don’t play against different teams every week.

In Head-to-Head, your team plays another different team managed by its own GM every week. To win you have to outscore the other team, how you win is based on what the league rules are, either a point-based system or a category based system. With category based systems, each team is ranked with the number of wins to losses. Those with more wins and fewer losses are higher up the table than those with more losses than wins. Once rankings are done then the league could head over into playoffs where teams face off until one team is crowned the league champion.