Fantasy Basketball Strategy Talk: Maximizing Your Games Played

Will OvertonCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after missing a shot against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center on March 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Part of the fun of fantasy basketball is the strategy that it takes to succeed. No offense to fantasy football, I love fantasy football, but fantasy basketball takes more than just logging on twice to pick up a few players and then set your lineup.

There is a lot that goes into fantasy basketball and to succeed you have to be willing to pay close attention. One of the most strategic pieces to fantasy basketball is managing a maximum game limit.

Not all fantasy leagues use a maximum game limit, but most of them do, and if you are ignoring yours, you will be in trouble eventually.

It’s sometimes frustrating to constantly be monitoring how many games your guys have played, but there is a way to play within the limit and be successful.

Here are some tips on how to stay within your limits and make the most of the games you do have.


Do NOT Go Under Your Limit

Sometimes people freak out about maximum games played and anytime they see their pace go into the red, they panic. The absolute worst thing you can do when you’re playing in a league with max games is not use all of your games. We’re early in the season and you could still be trying to figure out who gives you the best chance to win.

Until you realize which players should be playing and which ones should be on the bench you should be playing your matchups and allowing some freedom. Don’t go crazy and play every guy on every night, but don’t stress when you are on pace to go over your max.


Don’t Count on Injuries to Save You

One of the big mistakes that fantasy basketball players make is they assume someone will get hurt on their team and everything will even out. When they assume someone will get hurt, they go load up on games early and play everyone who has a game on every night.

Injuries do happen and yes, there is a good chance you will have a guy get hurt and miss several games and keep you on a good pace for games. But there is no guarantee. Don’t be the guy who banks on someone getting hurt, doesn’t have it happen and is forced to not have Kevin Durant active for the last four or five games of the season because you’re over your max.


Don’t Take Games Away From Your Stars

Ultimately this is what staying in control of your max games is all about. When you come down to the last month, you don’t want to see yourself in single digits for games left at each position.

Early in the season you have to play the guys like Amir Johnson and Richard Hamilton and get things rolling. But there will come a point where your priority has to be making sure you will be able to use the Kevin Love’s and Josh Smith’s on your team for every game possible. And even though you hate leaving Marshon Brooks on the bench when you know he might go off for 30, it’s what you have to do. When Marshon Brooks is playing the New York Knicks or one of the other defensively lacking teams, you play him, but just not every game.

These are pretty basic tips, but it’s really not as confusing as it seems and it doesn’t have to be as frustrating as it sometimes feels. You just have to pay attention and keep your head and you’ll be fine. Enjoy the strategy that is fantasy basketball, it's part of what makes it such a beautiful game.

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