Ah! Smell that? That’s the smell of NBA training camps opening across our glorious continent. This has to be one of my favorite times of the year, not just because tip-off is coming up, but also for the following basketball related reasons:
1) Sales of Big & Tall suits skyrocket as players say to themselves “Oh #!@%, that damn dress code is still in effect”.
2) Marcus Camby is probably getting injured right now.
3) Vince Carter has his annual checkup at the gynecologist.
4) Marijuana use declines by 80% in The U.S.A. as NBA players try and get back into shape for the season.
5) Fantasy basketball is upon us.
Without further ado here are my 10 Commandments for fantasy basketball.
I. Thou shalt not have less than 10 managers in your league: Man up! 8 team leagues are for wimps, it’s no fun if everyone has an all-star team. Even if you have to find 2 random people from Craigslist, yeah their probably serial killers, but at least you have 10 people.
II. Thou shalt not play favorites: One of my main rules for fantasy sports is don’t play favorites and draft everyone on your favorite team. Take the best player available. Just because you root for the Celtics doesn’t mean that it’s an abomination to have a Laker on your team. Put those feelings aside, this is fantasy sports, not reality, so please Raptor fans DON’T draft Reggie Evans.
III. Thou Shalt draft the best player available: This is very closely related to the previous statement. This isn’t hockey where goalies and skaters get you different categories, in basketball all players can potentially be productive in all categories. Therefore always draft the best player available. Obviously fill up your starting lineup, but then, just take the best player.
IV. Thou shalt not keep injured players for too long: This isn’t baseball, there is no IR to just stash away injured players. Therefore if you have a long term injury to one of your players, and you’ve waited an appropriate amount of time; cut the guy loose! Take it from the guy who held on to Gilbert Arenas for the entire season last year, only to have him play 2 mediocre games.
V. Thou shalt know whose starting and who isn’t: Do me and yourself a big favor. Get an updated depth chart of every team in the league. That way, come draft day, you won’t be lost in the later rounds when the drafting gets harder. Remember the basic rule that starters generally play more minutes, hence they have higher stats. Good logic for draft day.
VI. Thou shalt play head to head: I know I’m going against the grain here, but I generally prefer head to head leagues over rotisserie leagues. I find that being matched up with a different person each week adds to the intensity of the league, and when owners start jawing at each other over their matchups that’s what keeps a league interesting. I’ve been in Roto leagues and I’ve never felt the same way, I know their popular, but I prefer the intensity of head to head.
VII. Thou shalt know your leagues rules and scoring settings: This should actually be number 1, but whatever. Point being, and a lot of fantasy people will say this, take the time to review your leagues rules, scoring settings, waiver options, BEFORE the draft. That way you can avoid situations like Oh crap, I didn’t know we weren’t counting technical fouls. Guess I shouldn’t have drafted Rasheed Wallace in the second round.
VIII. Thou shalt focus on categories: Standard leagues usually have 10 categories. Don’t try and win all 10. Focus and build your team to be superior in 5-6 categories every week. If you have a top team in those categories your chances of winning the league increase immensely. It’s better to be great in 6 categories then to be mediocre in 10.
IX. Thou shalt have a maximum amount of roster moves: There are always people who are waiver wire rats and just add and drop players in order to get extra stats. Prevent this by setting a maximum amount of roster moves. That should put the rats back in their place.
X. Thou shalt mock your friends: What’s a fantasy league if not for insulting messages and smack talk. Do yourself a favor, once a week, send out a message to whoever your playing comparing them to a bodily orifice. You will have a lot more fun.
And now as an added bonus I’m providing you with some NBA headlines that may or may not be true. Try and figure it out.
1) In an effort to replace Ben Gordon the Chicago Bulls have signed hometown hero, President Barack Obama to an offer sheet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. No word yet on if the White House plans to match.
2) In Sacramento, it’s reported that no one in the Kings organization will accept a ride home from Tyreke Evans. Not even the ball boys.
3) More news from Chicago, it’s been reported that every time Derrick Rose annoys a teammate, the comeback is always the same “Hey D, how’d you do on your SAT’s?”
4) Lamar Odom is marrying Khloe Kardashian after knowing her for a month.