Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dino Mite

Revamping the Setup of Your Fantasy Basketball League

Recommended Posts

First of all let me say that I've been playing and acting as Commissioner in Fantasy Basketball Leagues since the early nineties and consider Rotoworld my bible. I've played in every type of league you can think of and I'd like to rundown what I firmly believe is the best way to setup a league.

It was the post titled "League Sizes" that got me thinking about this so I'll start with that as my number one point here.

1. League Size - The league I play in only has ten teams and only eight players per team and let me tell you it is a thousand times better than large leagues. The main reason is the quality of the players on the waiver wire. In large leagues you're scrolling through the waiver wire for players like Jeff Foster and Etan Thomas, there's no one that's going to change your team around. Our waiver wire currently has Andre Miller, Ben Wallace, T.J. Ford & Quentin Richardson on it and this is deep in the season.

Earlier in the year there were guys that could make your season if you were savvy enough. The bottom line is that small league size makes the waiver wire more relevant and more fun and always makes everyone feel like they have a chance even if they had a poor draft whereas in a large league if you're far behind after a month into the season then you're done because grabbing Austin Croshere of waivers isn't gonna turnaround your season anytime soon.

2. Scoring System - Why is that we so readily accept a players fantasy value being different than his real life value? Shouldn't we try to make them as close as possible? When Shawn Marion is arguably the number one player to own in fantasy basketball isn't their something wrong with that since in real life he's not even close to the best player. Or how about all the years that Shaq was the most dominant player in the NBA but was sometimes not even a first round pick in fantsay leagues because of his.......free throw percentage? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that?

This is why I hate rotisserie scoring and always use points based scoring systems. In a Points Based league I can set the scoring system from year to year so that players fantasy value is as close as possible to their real life value. I mean should steals, turnovers and free throw percentage have the exact same importance as points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage? I actually make a list of the top 50 players going into each year and then design my scoring system based on the list and it works great.

3. Bench Spots - Most leagues have anywhere from 3-6 bench spots but in our league we only have one. This does a couple of things to improve the league. First off it punishes people for stashing injured players and sometimes results in seeing star players who get injured on the waiver wire in the middle of the season which peaks everyone's interest in the dog days of January and February. This year my league had injured stars like Rashard Lewis, Richard Jefferson, Yao Ming and just this week Emeka Okafor hit the waiver wire because if you have two or three players injured at the same time with only one bench spot you start to get so far behind that you have to cut your losses on a guy who's gonna be out a couple of months. In large leagues you'd just stash the player and not think about it again for two months. This does a lot to renew excitement in the league in the middle of the year and creates a strategy of when to jump on an injured guy on the waiver wire before anyone else does.

The other thing it does is force everyone to make more moves because you don't always have a backup just sitting on your bench. If your point guard gets injured and none of your other players have PG eligibility and the guy on your bench is a forward then you have to hit waivers for a free agent point guard which helps keeps the activity level in the league high.

The most challenging part of running a fantasy league is keeping everyone interested the entire year so that there are no dead teams. The best way to accomplish that is to have people making transactions on a steady basis all year and to have the people who are in the bottom half of the standings still feel like they have a chance if they make the right moves.

With these small alterations to the setup of a league it makes a world of difference in the overall activity and level of interest in the league and the amount of fun that everyone has.

P.S. Don't jump on me too hard, I know everyone is set in their ways but I'm just trying to open people's minds up to something different and in my mind 100% better than the typical fantasy league that most people play in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, i've personally always been a basic fantasy player.

Meaning i like the 10-12 team leagues, basic settings.

This is some interesting points out here. Now im not gonna say this is the BEST league, and everyone would love it (because being human, everyone has different things they love, and sometimes people love the bigger teams etc.)

But your league type would Definitively keep every team in it, it could make a number 1 seed in January fall to last in a few months. Very interesting.

Appreciate the post, it sure opened-up my mind for fantasy basketball leagues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a good post. I agree with some parts and disagree with others but its well thought out and clear. I completely agree about the size of your leagues. So many are so gun ho for big leagues, but usually it means having very little flexibility and more lousy (or even worse dead) teams.

Also:

"The most challenging part of running a fantasy league is keeping everyone interested the entire year so that there are no dead teams. The best way to accomplish that is to have people making transactions on a steady basis all year and to have the people who are in the bottom half of the standings still feel like they have a chance if they make the right moves."

I have been a commish for many years myself and you nailed it here. I use some different methods to create this, but I have also said, the best leagues aren't the ones you win but the ones that are competitive and fun from top to bottom.

Keep posting Dino Mite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, agreed. I have never played in a league with no dead teams, and seriously I just hate to see people giving up as in ruins the fun. It would be nice if everyone competes all season long. I generally like the setup of the league that you have mentioned, but I have a few questions if you don't mind me asking...

- With just 8 players per team, what are the setup of the positions? I would guess it's PG, SG, SF, PF, C, Util, Util, BN?

- Since your league is points based... that means there are no playoffs. But if you want it to be as realistic as possible, wouldn't a playoff make sense?

- How active is the league in terms of making trades? It would seem to me that people are reluctant to make trades if the roster is so small + the waiver wire has so many talents.

- I'm assuming each position has a max amount of games played right? Because with that sort of FAs avaliable, people will just stream ALOT, which to me kinda takes the fun out.

Just asking because I might setup a friends-only league next year, one that is somewhat different than others and one that will keep all players interested. Sounds like your idea might work well (except for the scoring part, that might be a bit complicated... and I always like the idea of roto). Great post btw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

League size is something that is always debated. Some people say smaller leagues are "easier" which I have never bought into. The competitiveness is wholly dependent on the other owners. The best part of being in a shallow league is the fact that when you watch the games your players are actually on the court (one of the biggest reasons I play fantasy sports is to enhance the enjoyability of watching the games you have no vested interest in). I like 10 or 12 team leagues and would never play anything bigger than 12 since I don't want to scrounge the waivers for 15 minute a game guys.

As far as altering the scoring system to match the guys you consider to be the top 50 players I don't know if I like that. It seems like it would be hard to find a league of guys knowledgeable with your system which would lead to the league being tilted in your direction. Marion may not be the best player in the league but I definitely think he is a top 10-15 guy in the actual NBA since he doesn't need the ball in his hands a lot to score and he plays so tough on defense. Most guys that are highly rated fantasy players are highly rated NBA players. I think TO's and percentages are frustrating fantasy stats since so many of the top guys are bad at them but in reality teams in the NBA are losing possessions when guys turn it over or miss shots. Even at the peak of his prime Shaq was a liability in crunch time due to his lack of FT shooting and the same is true of high volume low percentage FG shooters. Figuring out who the best players in the NBA are is totally subjective to who you are and what you value most highly. Most guys listed as top players are mainly known for their offensive prowess since defense is so hard to quantify outside of blocks and steals.

What I really do like about your system is that you are thinking out of the box and trying to change the current system to make it more entertaining. I think too often we think about fantasy basketball like it is done perfectly as it is and couldn't be done totally different. In the not so distant future I wouldn't be surprised to see alternative scoring options arise somewhat like what sabremetrics did with fantasy baseball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll try to answer these questions one at a time.

- With just 8 players per team, what are the setup of the positions? I would guess it's PG, SG, SF, PF, C, Util, Util, BN?

The setup of the positions is PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, BN

- Since your league is points based... that means there are no playoffs. But if you want it to be as realistic as possible, wouldn't a playoff make sense?

I can't believe I forgot to mention this in the original post because this is actually one of the best parts of the league I run and I wish Yahoo would get on this. My league plays out the entire regular season and then the top six make the playoffs. But unlike every fantasy league that uses the tail end of the regular season for their playoffs we actually use the real life playoffs. So the night before the playoffs start the top six finishers get together on MSN Messenger and we have a playoff draft from scratch. The top six finishers from the regular season draft in order of their regular season finish. We draft 5 players each, one at every position using Yahoo position eligibility. After the draft is completed every undrafted player becomes a free agent and you can add/drop players at anytime just like in the regular season.

The thing that's tough is that I have to calculate everyone's scores everyday all the way up to the finals but it gets easier as the playoffs move along and more players get eliminated, but it really only takes me about 20 minutes a day to update everyone's scores because there's only 6 teams of 5 players each. Yahoo keeps their leagues up until after the Finals so we just keep using that to post our add/drops and the daily updated standings.

There is a ton of strategy involved because you have try to determine what teams will go deep into the playoffs. Like for instance this year who do you pick first? Nash, Nowitzki, Duncan or do you roll the dice with someone from the East like Billups or maybe Lebron. The best thing about this is it extends the fantasy basketball season for two months and makes following the playoffs that much more fun. If Yahoo ever added this feature it would be a huge success.

- How active is the league in terms of making trades? It would seem to me that people are reluctant to make trades if the roster is so small + the waiver wire has so many talents.

I'd say the amount of trades are on par or maybe slightly more than large leagues but not much different. You still have people who get frustrated with their players or have their eye on a player on another team, this year I think we had two trades and one that got vetoed which is pretty much on par with most leagues but I've often played in other leagues that had no trades made the entire year.

- I'm assuming each position has a max amount of games played right? Because with that sort of FAs avaliable, people will just stream ALOT, which to me kinda takes the fun out.

Absolutely, we have an 82 game max on each position. Another thing I'll point out is that with one bench spot and an 82 games max on each position it really forces you to make tough decisions when the injuries pile up especially in a year like this year with so many stars getting injured. It can help to facilitate trades because if one team has no injuries and their games played situation is fine then they can afford to take on an injured star player that another person might need to get rid of because they've gotten really behind in games played so it can create natural matches for trades.

Just asking because I might setup a friends-only league next year, one that is somewhat different than others and one that will keep all players interested. Sounds like your idea might work well (except for the scoring part, that might be a bit complicated... and I always like the idea of roto). Great post btw.

The problem most people have with points based scoring systems is that they look at the scoring system itself and just pick it apart instead of looking at the result that the scoring system produces. Before each year I send everyone in the league a list of the top 100 players based on the scoring system we'll be using based on the previous years stats. That way it eliminates the advantage I might have by knowing the system better than others and it allows everyone to get an idea of where every player ranks. This is always much appreciated by the lazy people in the league who do minimal pre-draft preparation, lol.

If you go to this link you can plug in any scoring system and see the results of where every players ranks in the scoring system you input.

http://www.fantasysportsnet.cc/tools.php?t...btopic=rankbask

For anyone that needs help with choosing a scoring system I can help you out because I obsess over finding the perfect one and I spend about a week straight on it every year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I like your ideas but it puts too much responsibility on the commish and it seems too complicated for the casual players. For an expert league where ppl put alot of time in their teams (perhaps playing for money) it's a rather unique and exciting way of playing tho.

And I for one would also want yahoo to implement something for the playoffs. An option of letting leagues choose rather they want the season to end regularly or extend to the playoffs would be nice. At least let new leagues form during the playoff period, that way the top players can join another league and start as if they qualified for the playoffs.

This is espeically useful since the last week or 2 of the season has so many "meaningless" games, it doesn't really reflect on the quality of the fantasy teams as it should be (especially in h2h). This would be corrected if the playoffs are included in fantasy leagues as well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planning on running a league with forty people in it this year. The league itself will be big but it will be divided into four divisions of ten people each with only eight players per team so there will be good players available on the waiver wire. It will be free to enter with the winner getting a $100 out of my own pocket. With the catch being that the league is played under my league setup which is quite different than the normal rotisserie/head to head fantasy basketball league.

Why would I do this you ask. Well basically I'm on a one man mission to open the minds of fantasy basketball diehards to my league setup which I firmly believe is more fun as is explained in detail in the original post in this thread.

The $100 to me is worth it for the amount of fun it would be and the chance to make fantasy basketball better and even more fun and it will keep everyone playing hard all year and if all goes well next year we'll have an entry fee and bigger prize money and can continue running this league for many years. Plus the main league I run with my friends is getting less competitive by the year because they aren't as hardcore into fantasy basketball as I am so I need other diehards to compete with.

The league will run on Yahoo and I can assure you I am a dedicated and fair commissioner. I have over ten years experience running basketball fantasy leagues since the days when we needed paper and a calculator lol. So anyone that wants in just let me know and any questions you have I would be happy to answer. I will get the league up and running as soon as Yahoo opens up which should be in about three weeks or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites