Fantasy Basketball 2022-23: Tips and draft strategy for category format leagues |

    special for yahoo sports

    Whether you’re new to fantasy sports or a seasoned fantasy football player looking for a new challenge, this guide aims to educate you on how to approach a category-based fantasy basketball league. the hints and tips found here should help you build a useful, and hopefully league-winning, service! — team, even if you haven’t been actively following the nba or if you’ve never played fantasy before.

    first as always: know your league setup

    Almost all category leagues are either “8-cat” (default eight categories) or “9-cat” (default nine categories). the default eight categories are points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, 3-pointers, fg%, and ft%. turnovers are the 9th default and are the only difference between 8 and 9 cat leagues. 9-cat is more common on yahoo, but you can play any format depending on what you prefer.

    A few things to remember if you play in a 9-cat league: Frequent players are often turnover machines, and rookies tend to be particularly prone to turnovers, especially ball-handling rookies . Catch-and-shoot specialists (think PJ Tucker) and no-passing big men (like Clint Capela) tend to see the biggest increases in 9-cat value.

    [have fun this fantasy basketball season: create or join a league now!]

    From time to time, league commissioners experiment with other category options. some of the more common alternatives are double-doubles, triple-doubles, dividing offensive and defensive rebounds into two categories, or changing the way field goal efficiency is measured (i.e., counting field goals made , free throws made, efg%, ts%, or some combination thereof). If you play in one of these outlier leagues, the most important thing to remember is that most fantasy advice is not tailored to your leagues. There’s still a lot to gain and a lot to learn from articles, tweets, podcasts, etc., but remember that all of those tips assume you’re playing 8-cat or 9-cat.

    weekly versus daily lineups; go spots

    This isn’t special to rank-based leagues, but fantasy managers need to know if they set rosters every day or once a week and if they have a place to go. managers in weekly lineup leagues or leagues without a place to go need to be extra cautious on draft day. Someone like Kawhi Leonard, who is likely to miss games due to “load management,” does more damage in a league of weekly rosters than in a league of daily rosters; in a daily lineup league, he can insert a replacement for that day only. injuries are also easier to wait for if your roster has a place to go. that way, you can add a new player without dropping the injured one.

    broken versus head to head; kicking

    this is the big one. in a h2h (head-to-head) league, you face one team per week: your categories against your opponent’s. In h2h leagues, the teams with the best records qualify for the playoffs and the champion is the winner of the playoff tournament. In roto (short for rotisserie), teams compete against the entire league over the course of the season. in a 12-team league, the leader in a given category earns 12 points, second place earns 11, third place earns 10, and so on until last place earns a single point. the champion is the team with the most points accumulated on the last day of the season.

    the most important difference between h2h and broken is that clears (deliberately ignoring several categories in order to build an extra strong team in the remaining categories) usually lead to different results. in h2h, a well-designed clear build is the optimal strategy. however, in broken, clearing successfully is much more difficult and is not rewarded as explicitly.

    the reason you should clear in a head-to-head league is that you’re just trying to win the most categories; it’s ok if you lose some. for example, if you’re in a 9-cat league, you can effectively clear four categories in an attempt to win the other five. the more unusual the build, the better, as you’ll potentially be competing against other people who are kicking, and you want to overlap as little as possible. something weird like punts, 3s, rebounds and assists will change the values, so you can get to secure players that fit your structure. Last season, that build (steals, blocks, % fg, % feet and even) generated higher value for players like robert williams, herb jones, jaren jackson and mikal bridges.

    another note about h2h category leagues: there are two types. the yahoo standard counts each category as one game per week. therefore, in a 9-cat league, a manager will receive a ranking result for each category he wins, loses, or draws. win five categories and lose four, you’ll be 5-4 that week. in “h2h one win”, only one result is added to the w-l-t record per week, determined by which team wins the most categories.

    scarcity category

    blocks and assists

    blocks and assists are the rarest categories. most of the assists in the league come from the top point guards, with a few notable exceptions. all non-point assist leaders are going to be drafted, and most of them will go in the early rounds. when a point guard becomes worthy of being acquired off the waiver wire, they are rarely high-impact passers.

    Similarly, there will be some big shot-blocking bigs emerging from resignations as the season progresses, but, as with assists, those players rarely block enough shots to make much of an impact. As with assists, most of the best shot blockers will be drafted in the early rounds.

    rebounds and triples

    Rebounds and 3s are much easier to find. while the league’s elite rebounders remain fairly stable year after year, there are always several big men who emerge early in the season as reliable sources of boards. plus, when bigs get hurt, their backups usually step in and provide a decent facsimile of the starter’s rebounding load.

    All three are a slightly different story, but the results are the same. As the total number of 3-pointers has increased, finding quality 3-point shooters later in the drafts has gotten easier and easier. every year a few players emerge as semi-surprising additions to the 3s per game leaderboard. Perhaps more importantly, due to the irregular nature of long-range shooting, managers who remain active on the waiver wire can usually find a few players who are on a hot streak and are averaging several 3-pointers made per game.


    dots are tricky. for one thing, all the top scorers will be drafted early. Unless you’re deliberately clearing the bracket, you’ll probably need to draft at least one 20+ scorer early to stay competitive.

    on the other hand, fantasy managers often overvalue points. low scorers are often recruited much later than they should be. high scorers are removed from waivers much faster, even if they provide little value in the other categories. Plus, as NBA offenses have changed, there are more scorers available in the later rounds of the draft than ever before.

    Points are available in waivers throughout the season, but most of the time, only players get 13-18 points. those guys can help, but, here too, waivers are unlikely to help you if you didn’t make this category on draft day.


    thefts are always available in exemptions. the problem? most of those players don’t provide enough help in the other categories to be worth listing. That means coaches in daily lineup leagues can get significant help from waivers, especially late in the week in a close head-to-head matchup, but managers in weekly lineup leagues will have a harder time using the wire. exemption to bolster your lists.

    The best way to stay competitive in steals is to try to draft elite two-way players relatively early, like chris paul and jrue holiday, so you don’t have to be late for drafts for players who have shady roles and are generally unreliable. reliable.

    fg% and ft%

    players’ %fg and ft% are more variable than many count stats and therefore harder to predict, even if they remain in the same role on the same team.

    For that reason, managers need to be careful when trying to build strength in these two categories. if you think your gear is good, but not great, in either fg% or ft%, remember that your margin of error may be small.

    one last note: there are also some well-founded strategic arguments against clearing any of the shot efficiency categories. the most important of which is that another manager in your league is likely to try the same setup, and a team with punt percentages will suffer more than other setups on the list when their team has fewer games than their opponent in a given week.


    if you’ve played in points leagues before and this is your first time playing in a rank-based league, be sure to compare last season’s final points league rankings with last season’s final league rankings of categories. this should help you get a good idea of ​​which players take some pretty big jumps and which ones fall.

    remember that category scarcity is now much more important than positional scarcity. positions still matter, but they matter much less.

    Lastly, and this applies to both Points Leagues and Category Leagues: remember that your latest picks will likely be deleted a few weeks later anyway. take some upside risks, or focus on players who could fill some specific categorical weakness – there’s no such thing as “catching up” at the end of a draft.

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