How to Join or Create a Fantasy Basketball League

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House, Abshier House

You should know a few things before you decide to join a fantasy basketball league online, in private, or even create a league of your own. Fantasy basketball uses the same principles as its big brother, fantasy baseball, and most leagues (including nearly all online leagues) use a similar scoring system.

Because of the long season and the amount of categories for individual players is large, the game becomes tedious and sometimes isn’t fun to play. The following tips will help you join or create a league that will be enjoyable right until the end of the playoffs.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Pamela Moore]

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Pamela Moore

Fantasy basketball leagues that offer an alternate format

Look for leagues that offer formats similar to fantasy football instead of fantasy baseball. Instead of scoring each player on individual categories such as

  • 3-pointers

  • Assists

  • Blocks

  • Field goal percentages

  • Free throw percentages

  • Points

  • Rebounds

  • Steals

  • Turnovers

Join or create a league that does away with some of these categories and sticks with the essentials:

  • 3-pointers

  • Assists

  • Blocks

  • Points

  • Rebounds

  • Steals

All other categories, such as free throws and field goals, just make the game more complex and stack the odds against certain players.

For instance, some players kill teams by dominating on the amount of free throws they get in a game, which is known as “bricking.” Other players have astronomical field goal percentages simply because of their dunking abilities.

Fantasy basketball leagues that use the point system

Create or join a league that does not use the standard win/loss format that is used in other fantasy sports such as fantasy baseball and turn to the point system. With the point system, you score each of your players in individual categories, but instead of making everything equal in all categories more rare events such as 3-pointers, blocks, and steals have a greater point value.

The point system makes the odds of winning more equal among all league members.

Keep in mind the point system not only gives you better odds of winning, but also is a lot easier to score and follow all the way through the long 82-game season.

Fantasy basketball leagues that simplify player lineups and rotations

Look for leagues that do weekly lineup rotations as opposed to daily ones. Even an avid fantasy league player won’t remember to change their team rotation every day. With weekly rotations, you don’t have to invest as much time into your league by constantly rotating your players or checking your players’ statuses like stats and injuries on a daily basis.

For example, if your team is comprised of 1 player each coming from a different NBA team, then you have to follow all those different real-life teams 3–4 times a week. You would have keep tabs on a ton of games and statistics every day instead of setting aside a weekly time slot to get caught up on all the games.

Also look for leagues whose lineups include only key player positions and do away with the guard slot, forward slot, and utility slots. These slots just add unneeded complexity to the game in which multiple players essentially could be interchangeable within the same head-to-head match and can cause a whole bunch of confusion when you and your opponent aren’t scoring each other’s players for the same positions.

Remember to keep a starting lineup that includes these positions:

  • Center

  • Point Guard

  • Power Forward

  • Shooting Guard

  • Small Forward

Remember to look for or create a league that rosters only 12 players max so not only will rotations be less of a hassle but also will make the whole draft process that much easier.