Fantasy basketball was inspired by
fantasy baseball. Originally played by keeping track of stats by hand, it was popularized during the 1990s after the advent of the Internet. Those who play this game are sometimes referred to as General Managers, who draft actual NBA players and compute their basketball statistics. The game was popularized by ESPNFantasy Sports, NBA.com, and Yahoo!Fantasy Sports. Other sports websites provided the same format keeping the game interesting with participants actually owning specific players.
There are many rule variations when playing fantasy basketball. The rules used in a particular league are determined by the rule settings. Some common rule variations are discussed below.
Commonly, fantasy basketball leagues may track as few as three or as many as eleven categories. Three-category leagues usually account for only points, rebounds, and assists. Five-category leagues generally add blocks and steals. Eight-category leagues usually add
field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and either three-point field goalsmade or three-point field goal percentage. Nine-category leagues usually add the category of turnovers. Rarely, other statistics such as fouls are counted.
Some leagues allow the league "commissioner" to determine which categories will be tracked. If these categories are chosen poorly, the league may be unfairly weighted for or against certain positions. For example, a league that tracks points, rebounds, assists, steals, and three-point field goals would be weighted toward guards, who typically have higher numbers in many of these categories, and against power forwards and centers, who typically have higher numbers in the block and field goal percentage categories, which are not counted.
Number of teams
In public leagues, the number of teams in a league is typically ten or twelve. In private leagues, which are invitation-only and usually utilized by players who want to compete against a group of people they know, the number of teams will vary substantially.
There are two types of drafting used to select players – the snake draft and the auction draft. In a snake draft, the first round is drafted in order. In the second round, the draft order is reversed so that the manager who made the last pick in the first round gets the first pick in the second round. The order is reversed at the end of each round so that the manager with the first overall pick does not maintain this advantage in every round. In an auction draft, each manager has a set budget (commonly $260, an amount borrowed from fantasy baseball) that he/she must use to fill out the team's roster. Players are put up for auction by managers, and the manager willing to pay the most for the player "drafts" that player. The advantage of an auction is that all managers have equal access to all players (not the case in a snake draft). The disadvantages are that it typically takes longer than a snake draft, and can be intimidating for newer/inexperienced managers who may be relying on rankings from websites to draft.
Roster size and composition
"Roster size" refers to the number of players that may be assigned to any given team. The roster size is the same for all teams in the league. "Roster composition" refers to the number of players from each position (
point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center) that a given team may use.
Some leagues require as few as five players per team (one from each position), challenging the player to assemble the best starting lineup from week to week. Other leagues may allow as many as twelve or fifteen players per team. These leagues usually designate one or more "bench" positions. Statistics accumulated by players assigned to the bench do not count for the team, but no other team may claim a player on another team's bench for their own team. Leagues with larger roster sizes challenge players to manage their rosters internally.
In rotisserie scoring, the real-life statistics accumulated by the players on a team are aggregated and ranked against the same statistics for the other teams in the league. Fantasy points are earned based on these rankings. For example, in a twelve-team league, the team with the highest number of rebounds over the course of the season to date would be awarded twelve fantasy points. The team with the next highest number of rebounds would be awarded eleven fantasy points, and so on, with the team with the fewest number of rebounds being awarded a single fantasy point. For negative categories like fouls or turnovers, the team with the fewest statistics are awarded the most fantasy points. This is done for all categories counted by the particular league. The team with the highest number of fantasy points at the end of the season is the winner.
Rotisserie scoring encourages balance on the team's roster. Winning the rebounds category by one rebound or by one thousand rebounds counts the same, while winning the steals category by one steal and the assists category by one assist is worth "twice" as many points as winning the single rebounding category by one thousand rebounds. Successful teams must fare well in several categories to win in rotisserie leagues.
In head-to-head scoring, teams are scheduled to "play" each other over the course of a week. During that week, the real-life statistics of the players on each team are accumulated.
There are two styles of head-to-head scoring:
Most categories is a win — whichever team has the more favorable statistics in the categories chosen (most points, fewest turnovers, highest free throw percentage, etc.) is awarded a point for that category. One can also weight each category, for example: winning scoring earns you three points, winning rebounds wins you two points, winning steals wins you one point. The team with the most points wins that game.
Each category is a win — whichever team has the more favorable statistics in a category (most points, fewest turnovers, highest free throw percentage, etc.) is awarded a "win" for that category. The other team is tagged with a "loss". The results of these weekly matchups are accumulated to provide a seasonal win-loss record.
Head-to-head leagues often employ a "playoff" system, with seeding based on the seasonal win-loss record. Matchups are determined via a bracket, with the winners of each matchup advancing and the losers being eliminated until a winner is determined.
In fantasy point scoring, the commissioner determines the number of fantasy points that a particular statistic is worth. For example, the commissioner may determine that a steal is worth two fantasy points, where a rebound is only worth one, and a turnover is worth negative one. Fantasy points are accumulated nightly based on the real-life performance of the players on each team, and the team with the most fantasy points at the end of the season wins.
As when choosing categories, care must be paid in assigning fantasy point values to categories. Failure to achieve balance will result in weighting the league for or against players at certain positions.
Fantasy basketball tips and information
Rick Kamla, an NBA expert for NBA TV, has pioneered fantasy basketball with his show, " NBA Fantasy Hoops". "NBA Fantasy Hoops" is a half hour long informational show dedicated to fantasy basketball. Mr. Kamla's show airs daily on NBA TV, during the NBA season.
NBA.com's Premier Fantasy Championship
Starting in 2006, [http://www.nba.com/fantasy NBA.com fantasy] has instituted a global competition known as the
Premier Fantasy Championship. Self proclaimed as "The World's Most Exclusive Fantasy Competition", the [http://www.nba.com/fantasy/features/PFC_leagueoffice.html PFC] mirrors the real NBA in having 30 teams managed by 30 experts selected from over 9000 applications worldwide. The PFC is an H2H league of the standard eight categories with weekly transactions. Each team has a total roster of eight players of which six are starters in the positions of point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, and utility. Each team has $100 of free agent bidding dollar for the entire season to sign free agents in an auction format. The twist of the league is that for the first three months of the season, every team with a losing record in that month will be subject to an internet public vote where the general managers with the most votes will be replaced by another general manager from NBA.com's PFC Developmental League. The winner of the competition will be the enshrined in the [http://www.nba.com/fantasy/features/hof.html NBA.com Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame] and enjoy a lifetime's worth of bragging right as one of the top fantasy basketball players in the world.
NBA.com's NBA Stock Exchange Game
Starting in 2007, [http://www.nba.com/fantasy NBA.com fantasy] introduced a fantasy basketball game that combines a traditional points-based competition with a liquid market that is used to facilitate real-time player trading. The game offered in association with
RotoHog. Owners can join several different leagues and can win prizes that includes a congratulatory call from these NBA legends Rick Barry, George Gervinor B.J. Armstrong. [ [http://www.nba.com/global/top_10_fantasy_picks_071011.html NBA posting with reference to RotoHog partnership] retrieved 10th January 2008]
* [http://www.nba.com/fantasy/ Office NBA Fantasy Games on nba.com]
* [http://dmoz.org/Sports/Fantasy/Basketball/ Fantasy Basketball at the Open Directory Project]
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