by Aaron Hirsch, staff writer
The NBA season started on October 17th this year, with an aim to elongate the regular season and reduce injuries. With the start of the season comes fantasy basketball, so it’s important to be prepared for those who are playing this year.
For the inexperienced, fantasy sports are this, in the most simple terms: You draft real-life NBA players for your fantasy team. How well those players do statistically in real-life NBA games is how they also do for your fantasy team. Your goal is to assemble a collection of players that perform better in a variety of statistical categories than your opponent’s collection. ”Fantasy basketball is fun and always very competitive,” described Devin Hendrick, playing for his fourth season this year.
In fantasy sports, you are given the ultimate freedom, and get to customize your own team. Not only do you draft all your own players, but other team assets such as team name, location, and logo (using an ESPN image your use your own) can be customized to make every fantasy team different.
However, there are many different strategies to orchestrating a winning season. ”People who try the hardest usually don’t win in fantasy basketball, it’s all about skill,” said Vivek Nadimpalli, a senior at River Hill.
The headline players, expected to have a big season, are reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James. “I think Jimmy Butler could surprise some people and possibly be an MVP candidate this year,” said River Hill senior Griffen Cinotti.
While all these players will certainly be picked at the start of drafts, there is always good value to be found in the later rounds. These players are known as “sleepers” in the fantasy community. Players such as Harrison Barnes, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Schroeder, and Willie Cauley-Stein are all poised for a strong season and are getting drafted later than their value suggests. ”My biggest sleeper is Jaylen Brown this year because my second round pick (Gordon Hayward) unfortunately decided to break his ankle,” said Dawson Wolfe, who’s excited about the young talent.
Just like fantasy football, there are many different types of drafts. Typically, the draft is a regular snake draft. Also, unlike fantasy football, you are typically only allowed a certain amount of acquisitions each week, usually 6 or 7. This aspect of the game requires you to be more careful about how you manage your lineup, ”Fantasy basketball is a game about finesse,” said Josh Mann, a new fantasy player. “You have to be able to finesse your lineup every day by picking up good players with only a certain amount of pickups.”
Why should you play fantasy basketball next year? There could be a lot of answers to that question, but the biggest one should be if you’re just a fan of the NBA. It’s typically considered more work than fantasy football, but likewise would be more fun as you get to manage your team every night for games, unlike the NFL where each team plays just once a week.