What are some good drafting strategies for a recreation basketball league?

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I envisioned three possible values of draft picks: better player talent, cheaper pay, and increasing options for the future. The main negatives of uncertainty in player development and the time needed to develop. But had really no great idea on how to weigh them.

However, I came across some great articles, particularly http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-much-is-winning-the-nba-draft-lottery-really-worth/ and http://www.82games.com/barzilai1.htm, that helped clear the picture more. They really narrowed it down to simply how much cheaper a drafted player's results are compared to the same results from free agency.

Averaging from 538's table of net profit per pick... it appears that as of 2014, a random first round draft pick was a gain of about $13 million dollars salary over 5 seasons on average, or about $2.6 million per season. Which is about 4% of a team's cap (now ~ $3.1 million, next year probably near $4 million). Second round picks are worth probably at...

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This is certainly situation based upon fouls(team and individual), pace of play, opposing schemes(offensively and defensively), etc.

Defensively, the strategy is to become more aggressive and force the opposing players into bad positions. Players are more tired in overtime so their shots are not as crisp and as clean compared to regulation so defense become a little bit 'easier'. There are a limited number of possessions in overtime, so defensively, you are trying to force a turnover or the worst possible shot, typically with a hand in the face. Little lapses in overtime turn into win or lose situations.

Offensively, teams become a lot more patient. Less shots are forced and less drives are put into double teams. This is wear a superior ball handler takes games over or a sound offensive scheme becomes more important. There are limited number of elite ball handlers at every level so the system being run is important. I always find I would rather have my players run off...

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I usually play 5x5 Roto, but I would assume that some of my logic would still transition to H2H leagues. In general, I try to build a team that is above average for all the categories. I'll also try to hold off on drafting any pitchers until the 5th round. You also have to have a good understanding of the strengths of each position. Positions like, 2B and SS are not talent deep, while there are always plentiful options for 1B and OF. Sometimes, the statistics of a Top 5 1B might be much better than a Top 5 2B, but the dropoff after the 2B might make it work drafting 2B over 1B.

For batters, I am in the camp that favors Steals over Home Runs. In a nutshell, I feel that Steals are not only harder to come across (many more people with 20-40 HR than 20-40 Steals), they are occur more consistently. In addition, a player that is great at steals can go into a deep slump and still contribute. A pure HR player like Howard or Fielder going into a slump would be detrimental. For the first 2...

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I used to be really into fantasy football years ago, but stopped playing due to a bunch of much more important priorities taking preference over it. Now that I'm out of the game, I am going to give you the core strategies I used to use to dominate my league every year. By dominate, I mean that there was only one year where my team didn't make the final four or the championship round. That happened after spending Labor Day Weekend in Rosarito, Mexico where I didn't prepare at all, came back an hour before the draft, and ended up finishing in dead last (don't really regret that one, though). Always remember to eat your humble pie.

I will focus on three important ideas that may not seem obvious to the casual player.

And now, I lift up the curtain...

1. Don't waste an early round pick on a quarterback. This is something that is completely counter-intuitive to a lot of people, as the big name QBs are the face of the sport.

In most leagues, you typically have 12 teams, and...

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in September 2010. We are bringing it back in archive form -- with only a few changes with regard to individual players mentioned to discuss the 2011-12 season -- for your convenience.

Think about it. When you're rapping about fantasy sports with a stranger at a bar or chattering away on instant messenger with your friends, what are you talking about 99.9 percent of the time? Player rankings, right? This guy is better than that guy. I hate Player X and will never own him. I love Player Y and want to bear his children.

Whether you're new to the fantasy game, a grizzled veteran or a so-called expert, we all do the same thing. It's not without merit, of course. If you don't have a sound opinion on which player is better than another, you have no hope of winning your league.

But ranking your players is just the beginning of the process. What we should be talking about 99.9 percent of the time is pre-draft...

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Fantasy Sports are games, usually played online, where players, called as fantasy owners, construct a team that competes against fellow fantasy owners. Fantasy owners also have the ability to trade, waive and sign players. The game is based on statistics racked up by an individual player of a professional sport. It has become increasingly popular today, mainly because Fantasy Sports can easily be accessed and fans feel like they are really part of the action. If you want to be a fantasy owner, here are some tips on how to get started on Fantasy Basketball.

Finding a League. Yahoo, ESPN, CBS and Hotbox are websites that provide free fantasy basketball leagues, as well as other fantasy sports. There are also paid leagues, which also provide prizes for season winners.

Knowing the rules. You must know that Fantasy Basketball is different from real basketball. On Fantasy Basketball, people win through statistics – choosing the right players to fill your stat sheet is...

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The draft is the single most important day of every fantasy owners’ season – this is as true for fantasy basketball as for any other fantasy sport. A mediocre draft doesn’t mean the premature death of a season, but a bad draft truly can.

Even owners that have middle-of-the-road drafts will have to expend a lot of time and energy trading their way out of the middle and praying to the injury gods for assistance on waivers down the line – a good draft means worrying less about short-term management functions like trades and intense lineup shuffling.

Because so many factors affect the outcome of every draft, the concept of a full-fledged “guide” that teaches people everything they need to know to have a perfect draft is ludicrous. This guide is designed to do one thing – give newcomers to daily fantasy (or anyone who wants to understand the game’s basics) enough information to out-perform the other owners in their leagues.

Luckily, most fantasy players already have...

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1

Introduce yourself and explain what you hope to accomplish. Keep it light; you want to gain the trust of your players as quickly as possible. Be transparent about your plans, but be willing to accept suggestions or tips. Most of all, stress the importance of having fun. Your players will be looking to you for guidance, so set a good example.

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Ask your players for their preferred positions. Rather than simply sending everyone out on the court and letting them start playing, you should find out who enjoys playing where. At the very least, it gives you a starting point when you run your first practice.

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Run some basic drills. Have the players do some pre-practice jogging. Encourage them to run layup lines or take jump shots. Light activity leading into a practice is a good way to prevent injury and get loose—and that goes for players of any age or skill level.

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Have the players split into two teams and run some plays....

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Age: 16 - 18

I analyzed the past two championship teams who won it all in the last two years, and here is what I discovered about the types of players they drafted:

1. Last year's team:
First Round pick: Quick explosive ball handler
Second Round pick: Big man
Third Round pick: Big man
Fourth Round pick: Big man

From there on out, the team drafted mostly all-around role players and ball handlers.

2. Champions from two years ago:
First Round pick: Strong big man
Second Round pick: Strong big man
Third Round pick: Ball handler / Three point shooter
Fourth Round pick: Big man / Ball handler

From there on out, the team drafted all-around role players.

The obvious pattern here is that in order to build a good team, you should draft big men early. But Team 1 drafted the best player available (which wasn't a big man) and then proceeded to use the next three picks to draft big men. Team 2 made sure it drafted...

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How to Prepare: Player Research, League Parameters and Planning

1. Do Your Research

A. Know the relevant player pool cold. – That might sound obvious, but I'd bet most people still trust in their general knowledge of baseball, pick a good cheat sheet and research players about whom they're unsure during the draft.

You can do this, but it's not optimal for a few reasons:

In a timed draft, you won't be able to do the research quickly enough, and you'll end up making panic picks. In an untimed draft, you'll annoy the hell out of everyone waiting for you to pick; Cheat sheets are usually based on projected stats, and those stats are usually simple expected returns (the 50th percentile season in a player's range) and don't separately take into account volatility. As you go deeper in your drafts, you'll want to target volatile players with high ceilings and low floors. Without knowing the back end of the player pool, you'll wind up drafting...
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Draft Solution

By:

Koach K

Working 10 years in basketball leagues I have discovered that it isn't the draft necessarily that is important but what leads up to the draft that makes it as fair and balanced for everyone.

This is what we do in our league.
1. Players are evaluated by the coaches on dribbling, spot up shooting, lay-ups, and 3-on-3 play. Scores are given 1 through 10, with 10 being the highest, for each skill and then added up for a total score for that player. (Max is 40 points, minimum is 4 points)
2. Half of the coaches evaluations are selected randomly and the players total scores from each coach are added together to give the player an overall score for the draft and are ranked from highest score to the lowest score.
3. On draft day the coaches have a time limit (15 minutes) to argue any players that they believe are rated to high or too low, and a majority vote can only change a players position.

Finally the draft...

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1. Understand the Value of Quarterbacks in your League.

Quarterbacks typically dominate the total points leaderboard in most formats, but their values depend on several things including your scoring system, the number of teams in your league, the number of starting quarterbacks (including quarterback-eligible flex positions) and the required number of starting position players (RB, WR).

Scoring System

Whether quarterbacks get 3, 4 or 6 points per passing touchdown, whether and how much they get docked for interceptions and how many points they get per passing yard all matter.

Your league's scoring for passing yards and TDs also affects the value of quarterbacks who run – the less credit given for passing stats, the more the running quarterbacks stand out relative to their peers. Point-per-reception (PPR) leagues add more relative value to position players and remove value from all quarterbacks.

League Size

There are 32 teams in the NFL,...

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Mock Draft Simulator
Mock Draft and enter your team into the FFToolbox Mock Draft World Championship.
Play Our Mock Draft Game
Multiple prizes - up to $5,000.

1. Prepare ahead of time
* Get a copy of the rules, which should include the drafting method, scoring system, and prize disbursement for the league
* If you're a first timer, learn all the terminology with our FF Dictionary
* Make a cheat sheet / projection sheet (or use ours)
* Read up on who other people think are sleepers (check out our Sleepers Page)

2. Bring your drafting equipment
* Money, for entry fees (if any)
* Cheat Sheet (no sense in working on it if you're going to forget it)
* Old FF Magazine (to loan to the guy who wants info from you)
* Several Pens/ Pencils
* Highlighters (1 color for your picks, another for other's picks)
* Clip Board (do you want to write on your knee for 2 hours?)
* Folder to keep things private...

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