NBA Fantasy League: Ten Tid-Bits That Will Ensure You A Solid Draft

Ryan VirginCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2010

NBA Fantasy League: Ten Tid-Bits That Will Ensure You A Solid Draft

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    The summer is almost over and teams across the nation are getting ready to head into training camp. The season is almost here and so is Fantasy basketball.

    Whether you play for fun or for a large purse, everyone wants to win.

    What I have compiled is a list of tidbits that I feel will ensure you a solid draft. These pieces of advice will help you in the selecting of your first place fantasy roster.

    Well... That's the goal, isn't it?

    Thank You for Reading and I hope you enjoy.

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Don't Pick Anyone On The Portland Trail Blazers

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    This one is part humor, part reality.

    Last season, The portland Trail Blazers experienced something unlike anything I have ever seen before.

    Losing almost everyone to injury, playing with the C- Unit through much of the regular season, winning the rebounding battles even though they didn't have a true center, and eventually winning 52 games.

    With the success aside, If I were drafting a team, I would have to think hard about drafting a Portland Trail Blazer.

    I'd take Greg Oden in a heartbeat, but he would have to be a late pick, one that wouldn't throw my roster out of wack with another huge injury. If he ends up playing in 60 games next season, you would look like a genius.

    He would be giving you an excellent field goal percentage, as well as 10 rebounds a night along with two blocks.

    His scoring averages will go up hanging around 10-13 points a game, but the rebounds a blocks are what will really payout if you take him on.

    But he is just too big of a risk.

    If you are looking for a draft steal, I would say that LaMarcus Aldridge is going to have a breakout year. He has gained 20 pounds, all muscle, and is ready to bang inside.

    The coaches have been hanging around with him in Texas helping him improve his post moves, particularily with his left hand.

    LaMarcus will be a post monster next season, his points per game averages will go up, but I don't think you will see a huge improvement in terms of rebounds because Greg Oden, Joel Przybilla, and Marcus Camby will by back and LaMarcus can move back into his power forward role.

    All in all, I would not hesitate on drafting LaMarcus Aldridge because at worst he is a 15 and 6 guy, but past expereince has told us that he can average 19 and 8 any given season.

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Look To Take Risks Late In The Draft, Not With Your First Selection

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    Please don't pick a center with your first selection unless his name is Dwight Howard and secondly, don't choose a guy for his potential, especially with your best pick in the draft.

    John Wall is going to be very good, but he isn't going to have a superstar year.

    Blake Griffin is a huge risk and most definitely not a first rounder.

    Stay the hell away from Greg Oden and Andrew Bynum.

    and if you are looking to draft a guy with your first pick that was recently selected in the first 10 picks of this years real NBA draft, well then you might as well be content with sitting at the bottom of the pack.

    This is the biggest mistake people tend to make.

    Selecting players based on potential.

    Potential is great, don't get me wrong, but you are choosing the best players in the NBA for one season.

    You aren't building a dynasty.

    If you want to take a risk late in the draft on a guy that you think could have a breakout season, well then go for it.

    That is what those picks are for.

    But if you listen to the media hype up a player, do your research first. Don't roll the dice with your first, second, or even third pick.

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If You Want A Center In Your First Few Picks, Check His Past Health First

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    I've touched on this earlier, but I feel that I need to say it again.

    Centers get hurt, be weary of the health history and draft accordingly.

    In terms of the greatest centers of all time, I cannot think of more than a handful that have averaged more than 70 games played through his career.

     Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    That is a very prestigious list and don't think that you are going to find one of those in the NBA today.

    Big men get hurt. They are seven feet tall and 300 pounds, something is going to give.

    It isn't their fault, it is just gravity acting upon their joints and ligaments.

    Things happen.

    So if you are going to draft a center with your first few picks, do your research first. I would say that the rule of thumb would be 60 games minimum each and every year.

    If you are hoping to get 70 games out of your big guy, then you'd better hope your lucky. Dwight Howard could fall prey to the injury bug at any moment, but he hasn't yet.

    I would feel safe with drafting him with my first selection, but can you think of another big man like that?

    Do your research first.

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Good Players On Bad Teams Always Fill Up The Scorecard, Keep That In Mind

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    This isn't the Heisman voting process.

    We aren't looking for the best players on the best team. We are looking for guys that can fill up the scorecard.

    Averaging double digits in points, rebounds, giving a few assists, a block and a steal here or there, and maybe even being capable of having a huge night.

    LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh used to be those players, but I doubt that both LeBron and D-Wade are going to average 30 points a night, and bosh average 20 and 10.

    I just don't see it happening.

    But what I do see is players that will see a decrease in some statistical categories, but see sharp increases in others.

    Blocks, rebounds, assists, steals, shooting percentage.

    These guys are still really good players, but they won't have killer point per game averages in a Heat uniform.

    Players to look for would be Kevin Love, Stephen Curry, Monte Ellis, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyreke Evans, Gilbert Arenas, Brook Lopez, those type of players.

    Chances are that if they play on a team with a losing record and they are the number one option, then they are going to get a ton of shots and a lot of the spotlight because their team needs their production to stay semi-afloat.

    Be careful because some leagues factor in the players winning percentage, or give extra points for wins, but if that isn't a major factor in your league then I would pull the trigger on one of these players with one of my first 7 selections.

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Avoid Choosing Players Because They Are Affiliated With The Team You Follow

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    Drafting Devin Harris with your first pick because he is on your favorite team doesn't make you a better fan.

    Drafting anyone just because you like the team they play for will send you straight to the bottom of your league for good.

    But if you are doing your research and you happen to find a guy that plays for your favorite team and he is available in a spot that you didnt think he would be available at, well then you should pull the trigger.

    Russell Westbrook is a great example of this.

    at 16 points and 8 assists a game, Westbrook is a solid selection.

    If he is available somewhere in the 8 through 12 range, then you take him.

    He isn't going to be a first, second, third, or fourth option, but he has shown he can put up NBA numbers and he has shown that he has tremendous upside.

    If he has a subpar year, you still get a good player.

    If he has a breakout year, averaging 20 points 10 assists, well then you look like a genius that just got a franchise point guard in the bench picks.

    Be careful when you are drafting players to make sure that they fit, not just because you like them.

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Point Guards and Centers Are Huge Assets To Fantasy Teams

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    A good fantasy roster has the 1-5 connection.

    The point guard, center duo.


    Because centers are hard to come by, especially dominant ones, and point guards handle the ball much more frequently than any other position.

    In other words, both positions are fantasy goldmines.

    What you want out of a fantasy player is production. Good centers will do a little bit of everything.

    Block shots, get rebounds, offensive putbacks, and they usually have a high shooting percentage. A good center will make around 55% of his shots, averaging around 10 points and 10 rebounds a game.

    A good point guard will be the initiator. Everything will go through him.

    He is going to set up plays, make things happen, get others going.

    A good point guard will usually come close to averaging a double double.

    and even if they don't, they are still a valuable commodity in the fantasy world. If you can snag an elite level point guard in the first round, I wouldn't hesitate the slightest.

    Drafting a point guard with your first pick would put you in position to get a good center with your second pick, if not your third.

    People look for playmakers in the draft and it just so happens that point guards are often the spark of an offense. In other words, they are in high demand.

    Get one when you can.

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Don't Draft On Potential, It Usually Takes a Few Years To Develop

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    I may have already said this, but It needs to be talked about some more.

    Potential is not something that is important in the fantasy world. Get your proven talent at your weaknesses and get out.

    John Wall will not be a good selection for next season. Neither will Evan Turner, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, etc.

    Nearly everyone in this years draft will not put up good fantasy numbers.

    I may be wrong and someone may end up having a career year, but why take the chance?

    That pick would be like buying a lottery ticket, if you win you look awesome.

    But chances are that you will look like a fool.

    Potential doesn't pay, especially in your first 10 picks.

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Know The League and Draft Accordingly

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    There are some teams that foster good fantasy production and there are others that do not.

    Fast paced teams are almost always the best for putting up big numbers and filling up stat sheets. Research the players on teams like the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, etc. 

    Chances are that you might end up finding a player that was projected to be selected sooner and you will be able to jump on him.

    Slow paced teams can produce good fantasy players too, but in different areas. First off, slower paced teams generally have a higher shooting percentage.

    If you take more time to get the shot you want, then you will get more of those shots to go in.

    Second, slower paced teams usually play with their back to the basket. 

    Centers that average double doubles will usually be found playing in a halfcourt system. This is not to say that you can't find a better center on a fast paced team, but chances are that a center will have better numbers if they are playing within a half court system.

    The pace that a certain player plays at can mean a lot for their projected production. If you understand each and every system, then you will probably be alright.

    The more you know, the better off you will be. 

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Draft For Depth Late In The Draft, Especially In Your Front Court

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    The last thing you want is for your best five players to all be at the same two positions. You don't want to have five all star guards and then a bunch of scrubs at the three, four, and five.

    So don't draft a point guard in the first round and then draft for depth with your second pick and grab another point guard.

    What you are looking to get out of your first pick is a player that will play in almost all his games and average spectacular numbers while doing so.

    Chances are, if you get an early enough pick, you will be drafting for that with your second pick.

    Spread the love.

    Develop a team that will be strong in each and every category and have viable option at every position. Depth is very important, but you don't want to be adding depth with your first five picks.

    Draft depth late, draft depth in the middle of the draft.

    But don't stock up at one position and neglect the other positions.

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Know Your League, A Well Balanced Roster Can Payout Tenfold

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    If you build your team to fit your league and you build a roster that is balanced for the rules you play with, then you will see success.

    You want to make sure that your team is great in one category, and good in all others. Often times, people end up drafting for point production and negate all other aspects of the game.

    Rebounds, blocks, and steals are the real kickers.

    Those are the areas in which you will get the most bang for your buck.

    Drafting a guy that averaged more than 20 points a game last season is great, but a guy that averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds is much more valuable.

    If he is flirting with a triple double on a nightly basis, then there is no reason you shouldn't draft him.

    In some leagues, 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists would be better than a player that gives your 30 points a night.

    Everything depends on how your league is structured.

    So this is my last piece of advice.

    Know your league.

    Do they take points the most seriously? Then draft for point production.

    The biggest mistake you can make is to draft solely for point production alone.

    You need everything to work well to win it all and points alone will not get you there.

    Good luck.

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