Fantasy Basketball Leagues

Fantasy Basketball Scoring

Fantasy basketball is a great way for fans of the NBA to follow their favorite players while competing against other fans throughout the season. Setting up a fantasy basketball league and playing in it is easy to do and only requires a few decisions to be made before you start. The important points are listed below, but realize that there is no “correct” way to play fantasy basketball. You can use the rules on this page as they are written or you can use any variations or different set up that you and a group of others agree to.

How to Play Fantasy Basketball

Learning how to play fantasy basketball is easy.

How to Play Fantasy BasketballMost fantasy basketball leagues have 10 or 12 owners or general managers. These numbers allow each team to have a good selection of players and work well with just about any scoring and playing style chosen. Roster size is flexible from league to league, but I suggest using either a 10 or 12 player roster. This lets each owner deal with injuries and account for slumps or surges from particular players.

Fantasy basketball leagues are run on a week-by-week basis by all but the most diehard fans to simplify the need for daily roster adjustments and decisions. General managers assign a starting lineup of five players each week, whose contributions count toward the team’s points for that week. Players not assigned to the starting lineup do not have their contributions counted for the team that week.

Players are chosen by either an auction at the beginning of the season, where each owner has a set amount they are allowed to spend on players, and they bid for the rights to each player, or by a draft. Drafts should be run in a serpentine style, with 1st through 12th, then 12th through 1st, 1st through 12th, etc. Dedicated league participants can play in the same league year after year and keep a certain number of players from the previous year.

Any player not chosen in the auction or draft is a free agent who can be picked up by any team. Trades are also negotiated and made in most leagues, with a deadline either half way or three quarters into the season. Many leagues use the same deadline for free agent acquisitions.

Fantasy basketball leagues may be set up with teams competing in head-to-head match-ups every week or with each team simply attempting to accumulate the most points for the season. In the heads-up leagues, the team that scores the most points gets the win and the teams with the best records compete in playoffs at the end of the season.

Fantasy Basketball Scoring

Fantasy basketball scoring is based on 3 to 9 categories. It is best to use an odd number of categories, especially if you are competing in a head-to-head league so you won’t have to deal with ties. Here is a list of the most commonly used categories, from most used to least.

  • Points
  • Assists
  • Rebounds
  • Steals
  • Blocks
  • FG Percentage
  • FT Percentage
  • 3PT FG Percentage
  • Turnovers

Points may be assigned for each category, like 1 point for each assist; rebound etc. to produce a total score for each team, or the winner of each category can receive a point to determine the winner each week. Fantasy basketball scoring can be done in multiple ways, and no single way is right. Set your league up in a way to suit your players.

There is more to learn about how to play fantasy basketball, but most of it is detail stuff that will be covered in future articles.

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