With news that Kevin Love will miss about six to eight weeks with a broken right hand, my Twitter feed is blowing up with questions as to where he should be drafted. So I’m going to talk about some of the injured stars floating around on draft boards right now, with Love being at the top of the list.
But first, I wanted to take a minute to talk about Fantasy Hoops in general, in regards to league settings and strategies. I’m in five football leagues, and outside of one or two minor things, and two major ones (play 2 QBs & PPR), it seems like most football leagues are essentially set up in the same way. Therefore, coming up with one set of rankings isn’t that hard to do. Of course the biggest difference in football leagues is they’re either points per reception or they’re not. And while doing football research, or a live draft, it’s not that hard to figure out which guys catch a lot of balls and which ones don’t.
But fantasy hoops is a completely different animal. I’m in 11 hoops leagues this year, and every single one is different. There are Rotisserie, Head-to-head and Points-based leagues. There are 30-team leagues and there are eight-team leagues. There are five-category scoring leagues, and there are 14-category scoring leagues. Offensive rebounds, turnovers, 3-point percentage, triple-doubles and technical fouls are just some of the weird categories prevalent in many fantasy hoops leagues.
I get the sense that nine-category leagues are prevalent thanks to Yahoo!, but whether they are Roto, H2H or points leagues changes each player’s fantasy value in some manner. And even if you’re comparing one H2H league to another, there’s a big difference between scoring systems. Does your league count one category as a point? Or does your league have a points system set up that has your weekly game ending in a score resembling a real NBA score? Another big discrepancy is whether your league limits starts at each position. If it does, the weekly schedule essentially means nothing. And then there are the differences between leagues with varying position requirements. A league that requires you to start two centers makes them much more scarce than leagues that only require you to start one. The difference in where centers are drafted in one- and two-center leagues is huge. Glen Davis is a late sleeper in one-center leagues, and a hot commodity in two-center leagues.
Because of all of these factors and the fact so few leagues are identical, ranking NBA players in fantasy hoops is not a pleasant task. Dwight Howard is the prime example. In leagues that count free throws made instead of free throw percentage, and don’t count turnovers, he’s probably the No. 1 overall pick. In Roto leagues that count both FTP and turnovers, he’s virtually undraftable, unless you think you can win despite taking a guaranteed “1” in that free throw percentage. Yes, I know some of you have won a Roto league despite taking a “1,” but it’s not easy to do.
So the bottom line is that you have to take rankings as a rough guide, and not a bible when looking at whom to draft. It all depends on your league’s settings. Our Tiers are the easiest thing to keep updated accurately and are my favorite tool to use when drafting, but whatever rankings you use when drafting, take into consideration everything I mentioned above. Blake Griffin is a stud in points leagues, but is a bit of a Roto nightmare. And trying to come up with a general set of rankings in hoops is nearly impossible. I don’t ever see a day when we can all get on the same page and agree on roster size, starting lineups and a scoring system, so this will be an ongoing challenge.
Lastly, in regards to auction leagues, the size of your league is a key factor when considering how to spend your money. If your league is only 130 players deep, it makes sense to spend your money on studs early because there will be plenty of talent available late in the dollar rounds. Like when I got Glen Davis for a dollar in this draft. But if you are doing a deep-league auction, conserving your money is much more important so you can get those players in the 130 range, outbidding the guys without a bank roll, and not having to settle for Enes Kanter as your back up center. Keep reading for the good stuff - Injury Breakdown