Tuesday, April 12, 2005

How Far is Too Far?

With about one week left in the regular season (and thus, one week left in the fantasy basketball season), all eyes should be on the standings in your league. We’re getting to the point in the year where somebody’s overall value has very little to do with their actual value for your team. What really matters is where you can move up or down in the standings, and what players can help you in those categories. If you’ve got a huge lead in, say, blocks and rebounds, but need points, then a guy like Ben Wallace might not be as valuable as someone like Nenad Krstic is to your team right now.

The most important thing that you need to do is figure out where, exactly, you can move up or down, and where there is little-to-no chance of your moving anywhere. In some cases, it’s going to be obvious. If you’re within 10 or 15 blocks of someone, or 70 points, or 1 percentage point, then obviously you’ve got a great chance of overtaking them. And likewise, if you’re 50 blocks or 400 points or 10 percentage points away, odds are you’re not going to be able to catch up to anyone.

But there is always a gray area. What if you’re 45 assists behind someone? Can you make up that deficit in just one week? What about if you’ve got 25 more three pointers than the guy behind you? Can you afford to take a guy like Tim Thomas out of your lineup in that scenario and replace him with a different type of player, or do you still need the 5 – 10 three pointers that he might shoot over the rest of the season? This could make or break your fantasy season if you’re teetering in the standings. Here are a couple of hints to help you figure out if you’ve got a chance to gain (or lose) points in the standings.

1. The Standings Don’t Tell the Whole Story.
Imagine you’re 70 rebounds behind the guy in front of you. Normally, that’s a pretty big difference to make up in just one week. But before you move on to the next category, take a quick look at his roster. A couple of things you want to look for – did he trade away a big-rebound guy mid-season? Have any of his big men gotten hurt over the past week or are they possibly going to see less playing time next week? What you really want to do is take a look at how his roster has been performing over the past week and the past month. Then compare that to how your roster has been doing over those same time spans. You may be surprised by what you find, and some opportunities might come up.

2. Let the Waiver Wire Guide You.
Take a look at what’s available in every single category. Odds are you’ll find a little help in every category, but sometimes you’ll find a huge stock of help in at least one area. For example, in one of my leagues right now, Chris Anderson and Travis Outlaw are available, and they’ve combined for 20 blocks over the past week. If you’ve got room for them on your roster, and you’re within 30 or so blocks of the guy in front of you, all of a sudden that’s not such a big gap to overcome.

3. Use Your Utility Positions Wisely.
This is the point of the year where your utility positions become the most important positions on your roster. Need a third or fourth big man? Need a third point guard to help in assists? This is the spot on your roster for them to go.

4. Extra Games Mean Extra Help
As we’ve been preaching for the past few weeks, do NOT let yourself end up with unused games on your roster. If you realize that you’ve got a couple extra games to play at SG, maybe you’ll get a little extra help in points or threes.

5. Know Who’s Watching
Finally, let’s face it. With baseball starting up, a lot of the guys near the bottom of your league have stopped paying attention to basketball as their chances for success have slipped away. So they might have a couple of injured guys in their lineup, which means that they could be falling faster than expected. Keep an eye on everyone else’s rosters just as much as you do your own.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is helpful advice. Thanks.

5:25 PM  

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