We’ve all looked at a fantasy team and lamented, “If only I could re-draft this team, knowing what I know now…” Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin and D’Angelo Russell on the same team? What are the odds? Letting Victor Oladipo fall to No. 42 overall, while Donovan Mitchell went undrafted? Huge mistakes.
Intelligent trades and waiver-wire moves can resuscitate even the most unfortunate fantasy teams, but there’s another fun option – draft a new team mid-season! In a recent ‘Roundtable’ column, the Rotoworld crew listed their top-12 players if they were re-drafting in December, but that doesn’t have to be only a thought experiment. The NBA has joined forces with major fantasy-hosting sites, including Yahoo, to make fantasy hoops easier than ever.
Just like fantasy football, owners face off in weekly head-to-head matchups. Lineups are set once each week and the scoring is a straightforward points-style system, familiar to anyone who has played DFS.
How to get started? Click here to create a league, then draft your team, set your lineup each week, and rack up more fantasy points than your opponents. Simple as that. (There's even an official NBA contest with a grand prize that includes an All-Star Weekend VIP package.)
In the NBA's Official scoring system, owners earn fantasy points for the following categories:
The list below provides a snapshot of the difference in fantasy values between standard 9-cat leagues (PTS, 3PT, FG%, FT%, REB, AST, STL, BLK, TO) and the NBA’s Official points system. The most glaring change is that FG and FT percentages don’t matter in this points league – if Dwight Howard goes 4-of-13 at the line, or Dion Waiters shots 2-of-11 from the field, they’re both giving you fantasy points without hurting you anywhere.
Just as important, if not as obvious, is the weight each category has in these leagues. The NBA’s Official scoring system gives clear preference to scoring, which accounts for more than 50% of total player value. Rebounds account for nearly ¼ of total value, with less importance given to assists and defensive stats. That’s not the case in 8-cat and 9-cat leagues, of course, where a handful of steals or blocks can be equivalent to 20+ points scored or a dozen rebounds.
I’ve created the following table to illustrate the differences between category-based and points-based leagues. The column on the right shows the difference in value when moving from 9-cat to NBA Official points scoring – for instance, Dwight Howard's FT% doesn't matter and his turnovers take far less of a toll than they do in 9-cat, so his overall rank jumps more than 300 spots (!) to No. 38 overall. That's an extreme example, but it highlights a trend -- players who struggle with percentages (Andrew Wiggins, Lonzo Ball, Russell Westbrook, etc.) fare much better in the NBA Official scoring system.
Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting their Super Duel for a Difference contest this Sunday, where you can win tickets to the Big Game in Minneapolis! Support a good cause and compete for an unforgettable grand prize.
Meanwhile, at the bottom of the list we'll see the players who do not fare well -- 3-point specialists, defensive specialists, and players who rely on efficiency. High-profile examples include Trevor Ariza (whose rank plummets 77 spots) and Jayson Tatum(down 50 spots).
This list excludes players who have appeared in fewer than 10 games and/or averaged fewer than 15.0 minutes per game. I’ve also excluded anyone who failed to make the top-200 in either fantasy format, which leaves us with 214 qualifying players. Without further ado, let’s look at how those players’ values change when going from category-based scoring (9-cat) to the NBA’s Official scoring (points):
*I'm not sure what happened to DSJ's ranks...they should read 264, 99, 165*
Another key aspect of NBA Official leagues is the emphasis on weekly lineups – set your team once on Sunday or Monday, and that’s it. Of course, this puts tremendous importance on the number of games played each week. Who is more valuable, Russell Westbrook with two games or Dennis Schroder with three games? If James Harden plays three times this week, does it make sense to instead draft Paul George with an extra game?
The Rotoworld Season Pass has multiple resources to help owners maximize value on a week-by-week basis. Steve Alexander (@docktora) recently posted a column about rest-of-season schedules – for instance, the Pacers, Grizzlies and Raptors look good as the only teams with seven four-game weeks remaining this season. There are explanations of teams to target and avoid each week, and an all-important breakdown of various playoff schedules. Check it out.
I’ve also posted a Season Pass column projecting NBA Official values for the top 200+ players from weeks 10-14 (Dec. 18 through Jan. 22). The projections are based on season-long performance, recent trends, games played, injury timetables, and various other factors. For instance, LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 39.4 fantasy points per game this season, but I expect that to dip to around 35 per game with Kawhi active. That change is reflected in the numbers. Steph Curry isn't likely to play in Week 10, so I've assigned him a zero for that period. For a handful of players, I've also reduced expected point totals if a back-to-back set might cost them a game, or otherwise result in reduced production.
Below is a sample, and you can view the full list of 200+ players right here:
|Projected NBA Official Fantasy Points for Week 10 (Dec. 18)||Week 11 (Dec. 25)||Week 12 (Jan. 1)||Week 13 (Jan. 8)||Week 14 (Jan. 15)|
I'm excited to hear owners' experiences with the NBA’s "official" fantasy format, which allows you to build and manage leagues with the utmost speed and simplicity. If you have any questions or comments, let me know via email or on Twitter @Knaus_RW. Enjoy!