Thursday, October 25, 2012

Very First Fantasy Basketball League

I've never been a huge basketball fan.

I'll watch the finals, and track my hometown team throughout the year, but I probably couldn't name more than a handful of NBA players outside the superstars. I've also never played fantasy basketball. So when a co-worker asked if I'd fill a spot in a keeper league he's in I of course said "Sure, why not?". With my prior knowledge of players as low as it is, this probably wasn't the kind of league I should have joined to dive into the world of fantasy basketball.

Twelve team, keeper league (up to 3 players, filling rounds 1-3) head-to-head categories. Oh yea, and these are the categories: Points (PTS), Blocks (BLK), Steals (STL), Assists (AST), Offensive Rebounds (OREB), Defensive Rebounds (DREB), Turnovers (TO), Three Pointers Made (3PM), Field Goal Percentage (FG%), Free Throw Percentage (FT%), and Three Point Percentage (TP%). These may actually be standard categories, but they seem pretty daunting in my eyes.

I didn't want to over think the draft, or attempt to cram loads in information into my brain the week leading up to the draft. Instead, I took the minimalist route. About an hour before the draft I found a couple articles on ESPN.com, some sleepers, some busts, a little draft strategy and team building recommendations, typed up a quick cheat sheet in word and began drafting. I've never been big into keeper leagues, nothing against them, just haven't been in leagues set up that way. I filled a spot for the same co-worker in his football keeper league this year as well, but prior to that had never been faced with the prospect of selecting keepers.

The team I inherited finished 4th last year, a whopping 13 GB. It looked like this:
PG Jose Calderon, Tor
SG Marco Belinelli, Nor
SF Paul Pierce, Bos
PF Chris Bosh, Mia
C Marcin Gortat, Pho
C Nikola Pekovic, Min
G Kyrie Irving, Cle
G Jason Terry, Dal
F Nicolas Batum, Por
F Derrick Favors, Uta
UTIL Gerald Green, NJ SF
UTIL Charles Jenkins, GS
UTIL Spencer Hawes, Phi
Bench Mo Williams, LAC
Bench Bismack Biyombo, Cha
Bench Zaza Pachulia, Atl

Now, during the football keeper draft I made the mistake of keeping the max of 3 players, and missed out on some big name players people threw back, unfortunately I made the same mistake here. I ended up keeping Irving and Pierce, and won't get into the details of who all was kept on other teams, but my first pick after the two keepers was Brandon Jennings at 34.

Things seemed to go fairly well over all, got a couple of my sleepers, successfully avoided the players on my bust list, and tried my best to construct a well rounded team, focusing on PG and PF. This is what I ended up with:
PG Kyrie Irving, Cle
SG Tyreke Evans, Sac
SF Paul Pierce, Bos
PF Tim Duncan, SA
C Nene, Wsh
C Anderson Varejao, Cle
G Brandon Jennings, Mil
G Klay Thompson, GS
F Thaddeus Young, Phi
F Derrick Favors, Uta
UTIL Jordan Crawford, Wsh
UTIL Amir Johnson, Tor
UTIL D.J. Augustin, Ind
Bench Gustavo Ayon, Orl
Bench Brandon Rush, GS
Bench Delonte West, Dal
Bench Ekpe Udoh, Mil

I really don't know what to think, because I honestly hadn't heard of about half my team prior to tonight. But I plan to treat this team like its in one my big money football leagues, and manage the crap out of it throughout the year, regardless of my record. I will be following that magical journey here, sharing the thought process behind managing my first fantasy basketball team. Let me know what you think of the team, or where you think I need to improve, in the comments, on reddit, or on Twitter @MDBailey87

update: Apparently Delonte West is out indefinitely due to suspensions, yes I was 'that guy' during this draft, so I dropped him and picked up Nate Robinson.

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